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View Full Version : Still having trouble with a fussy Cav!



vanessa0305
27th May 2007, 12:53 AM
I am still having trouble with Bailey being fussy and just not eating enough. I think he is too skinny. I really feel he should have another 1/2 - 1kgs on at this stage. He is 12 months old and 5.5kgs.

I bought him home and he was eating supermarket food. He had an upset tummy so I was advised to change him straight away to a premium dry. We got Eukanuba but Bailey refused to eat it. We just kept putting it down and when really hungry he would eat some of it but really wasn't eating anywhere near enough.

Then we put him on Nutro puppy small breed chicken and rice. Which took a few weeks but eventually he would eat no problems. So we decided to change him to the next size up as the nutro puppy is for up to 12 months. But he refuses point blank to eat it. I have been pushing on for a few weeks with no success.

We recently went to the petacular in Brisbane and was given plenty of samples and have tried them all without success. We have also tried meat rolls, and a number of other different things. But in the end Bailey would rather stave than eat. No idea what to do now.

Mind you after all that Bailey will sneak into the cats room and eat the catfood....

PamH
27th May 2007, 05:20 AM
My little Maddy is like that too. We had her on dried food, but have switched her to canned because she seems to eat more of that. What I find with Maddy is if we go out for a few hours and leave her alone she eats her food. It's almost like if we are around she would rather play and be with us than eat. Pam

arasara
27th May 2007, 06:17 AM
My little Maddy is like that too. We had her on dried food, but have switched her to canned because she seems to eat more of that. What I find with Maddy is if we go out for a few hours and leave her alone she eats her food. It's almost like if we are around she would rather play and be with us than eat. Pam

Kosmo does this too!!! during the day while I am working, he eats.. or at like 10pm when he's alone he'll eat.. just not when I am home and watching him.. he's nuts! Now that I have Faith though I take his food up after about 20 minutes otherwise she'll eat it! :o I do put it back when I'm gone to work though .. he just eats on his terms and that's that. I don't have a problem with it, really. As long as he's eating and I know she's not eating his, then I am fine.

As for your fussy eater, since I've gone through the exact same thing, I will give you what I know. kosmo is the fussiest eater ever. He hates almost everything good for him, and loves almost everything bad! I will often take whatever I am eating for dinner and give him some of it mixed with kibble and he will eat it up 90% of the time. i don't mind him eating people food as long as it's healthy. He LOVES taco salad, the inside of stuffed peppers, chicken w/rice and potatoes and roast. You can also try mixing some canned food in with it or something like that.

Does the vet feel that he's too skinny? I am sure they will have some suggestions for you. I was told Kosmo was too skinny and I thought it too but when we were at the vet she just told me that he's very dainty boned. He's built small and although she told me he shouldn't lose any more, he's not malnourished or anthing - just small boned.

Anyways hope that helps a little.. :xfngr:

Karlin
27th May 2007, 03:29 PM
Yes, fussy cavs are a frequent topic! :lol:

First: GET THE CAT FOOD UP HIGH! He is probably surviving quite well on sneaked cat food, especially when you aren't noticing. He has to be eating something. Cat food is way too high in protein for dogs and also has ingredients dogs should not be getting -- it is balanced towards cat health, not dogs. :thmbsup: I suggest not free-feeding the cats any longer or putting their food up high and get a cat tree to give them access, or use a baby gate the cats can get through to the food, but Bailey cannot. This is how I feed my cats -- using food on a high shelf next to a cat tree. This is very im[ortant -- you MUST get him off the cat food and not allow him any access to it.

Then: have you visited a vet? You say you are sure Bailey is too small but has a vet confirmed this? Some dogs are slim, some are stocky, and this is totally normal. If your vet is not concerned with weight, you shouldn't be. That weight falls within the norm for cavaliers -- I have one that weight and one smaller than that. They should have a distinct waist and be lean, not heavy.

Finally: are you also giving Bailey treats during the day/evening? If you are, this will contribute to his fussiness.

I recommend following Laura Lang's advice on how to feed here:

www.roycroftcavaliers.com/manualfeeding.htm

Do not change around foods, do not give treats, do not pay lots of attention to Bailey or even talk to or LOOK at him when you feed. Put the food down, wait 15 minutes, pick the food up and put away til the next scheduled feeding.

But the very first thing you should do is GO TO THE VET. A dog that isn't eating, especally a young dog, may have something seriously wrong. A growing dog needs proper nutrition. If you have ANY doubts whatsoever on whether he is getting adequate food and nutrition and think he is overly thin, seeing a vet is a very urgent matter. Let us know what you hear back from your vet! :)

If you think this is ONLY a fussiness issue then you ned to follow Laura's advice to the T and totally ignore your dog for the 15 minute feeding time -- TOTALLY!! :lol:. He also should only be on one or two meals. Feeding once a day often helps solve feeding problems too. That is what I feed.

vanessa0305
28th May 2007, 03:44 AM
Hi Karlin,

Bailey's vet agrees he is a bit too skinny. He would like to see a little more weight on him. But all his advice I have tried.

I feed Bailey in his crate. We don't free feed the cats because bailey will sneak their food, we feed the cats only what they will eat in 1 sitting between the 3 of them. We do that twice a day. We feed bailey at the same time in his crate. I will drop him down to one feed a day to see if that makes a difference. We haven't really chopped and changed foods, this is all over the course of a year. But one you keep putting down the same food for a month or two and he wont eat it what do you do? We do give the occasional treat but generally we have stopped treating during the day unless we are going to training.

I think I might look into feeding him a more natural diet.

arasara
28th May 2007, 07:06 PM
What country are you from Vanessa?? :)

Doughnut
28th May 2007, 07:23 PM
Yes, fussy cavs are a frequent topic! :lol:

First: GET THE CAT FOOD UP HIGH! He is probably surviving quite well on sneaked cat food, especially when you aren't noticing. He has to be eating something.
You say you are sure Bailey is too small but has a vet confirmed this?

Actually, I know young dogs that have eaten practically nothing because they are unwell but undiagnosed.

I disagree that Cavs should all be labelled as fussy, this can be misleading. I had a Cav die on me once and the vet had told me she was 'fussy' and to leave her go 5 days without eating if necessary and that she wouldn't 'starve'. If I had done this the poor dog would have suffered even more and would quite literally have starved.

By all means get advice from forums like this but I assume no-one here is a vet so please don't kick yourself by following advice that may not be appropriate.

Please see a vet and I would seriously advise getting another opinion from a different vet/practice. Remember they miss things too.

Have they done any tests?

vanessa0305
29th May 2007, 06:54 AM
Hi doughnut, I live in rural Queensland. There is only 1 very trusted vet. Yes they did blood test and an xray of his tummy and bowels to make sure he hadn't swallowed anything that was obstructing or causing tummy pains.

Bailey is a very healthy happy robust dog. He just isn't food orientated. I have tried putting the food down for 10mins and putting it up again to get him to see he feeds when I want him to but that didn't work. I don't free feed any of my animals but I wonder if I should start with Bailey. My Vet suggested good quality table scraps with his kibble and some raw mince or chicken necks/wings.

Karlin
29th May 2007, 12:33 PM
I think 10 min is too short; I'd leave 15 minutes, whatever you are feeding and really make sure there is no drama involved with feeding and no reward of attention for not eating. He simply must be eating some food? Actually I agree with your vet on things to add -- maybe try mixing some wet with dry, or try a premade raw, or read through Caraline's threads on raw or natural feeding? Or try a homecooked diet? Most dogs will wolf down homecooked or raw. :) I think p[lain kibble is a pretty dull option for a dog, day in and day out. Like eating Weetabix every meal. :( It might be full of vitamins and healthy but it gets dull.

Doughnut, just to be clear no one was saying ALL cavaliers are fussy. :) I was saying this type of issue where people feel their cavalier is a fussy eater comes up often; and they certainly are known for being particularly manipulative (as a re a lot of small lapdog breeds bred to be very people oriented -- thery are quuite willing to trade eating for attention!). Also your point on seeing a vet is correct, and to be clear there are clear disclaimers both in the Getting Started section and pinned to the top of this forum asking people to always *see their vet first* and not rely on advice from boards or websites when they have any health concern.

But the point of having a forum is to share advice and experience. This form of manipulation is very common in puppies and especially in this breed, which is both food and people motivated. :lol: Most people find if they are very strict on a feeding regime and do not give in to hand feeding,feeding on the floor, trying new foods, cajoling, giving in and offering treats etc, find their dogs quickly settle into a normal eating pattern. A dog allowed to manipulate for a long time can become a serious problem eater and gets increasingly hard to train away from this habit, so it is really very important to deal with this firmly if a vet has stated there is no underlying health issue. :thmbsup: But likewise if the diet the dog is ignoring is plain dry kibble I'd always go for some more interesting option as a full time choice. My three have always been fed a range of foods. Getting a second dog BTW tends to solve a lotof eating problems as there's competition. :lol: That worked right away for Jaspar who used to like to play games with his food rather than eat it.

PS Interestingly many people who are sure they have problem eaters discover the dog eats perfectly normally when sent to kennels or when minded by someone else -- a clear sign the dog is doing this to manipulate YOU and is well aware when it will not be able to get away with this particular game of seeking extra attention!

merlinsmum
29th May 2007, 02:03 PM
They are very manipulative.... not just with food. My two will howl all night at Granny Chases because they are in the kitchen and know that Granny Chase will come down and sit with them! At Granny Peds they sleep soundly through the night in the kitchen because they know she will ignore them!

At home as long as they have free run of the house not a peep at night - little tinkers!:luv:

Cathryn
29th May 2007, 02:24 PM
Have to agree that this is a common problem, Darcy has days when he barely eats enough to fill a sparrow and others when you blink and he's wolfed the lot down! Over the years I have noticed that mostly they turn into total dustbins by the time they are a year and a half to 2 years old and you wonder why you ever worried!

I often try mine with fresh green tripe, VERY smelly, the first bag I opened I threw out as I thought it had gone off! I add a bit of kibble to it to balance it a little but I have found that very few fussy eaters will turn their nose up at it!!

Doughnut
30th May 2007, 12:23 AM
Thanks Karlin but I think most Cav owners are aware of these issues. Only when someone is having a specific problem can we all contribute our own unique experiences.

sins
30th May 2007, 02:33 AM
Perhaps if he's on a dried food you could try soaking it with a cup of water for two or three hours before feeding time.It might just be the texture that doesn't appeal to him.It's very curious that he likes the catfood.Either it's something to do with the texture of the food or it's a behavioural thing.I hope you get it sorted soon.
Sins

vanessa0305
30th May 2007, 07:43 AM
Ok so I bought some good quality wet food from my vets. Some human grade chicken mince and some chicken necks and Bailey gobbled it all down. So now I need some advice on what he really needs to have if he doesn't have dry kibble!

Caraline
30th May 2007, 07:50 AM
Ok so I bought some good quality wet food from my vets. Some human grade chicken mince and some chicken necks and Bailey gobbled it all down. So now I need some advice on what he really needs to have if he doesn't have dry kibble!

Hi Vanessa,

If you are going to go down the home prepared, regardless of whether it will be raw or cooked, bones or no bones... you probably need to buy yourself a couple of books on canine nutrition. What you have purchased for your dog is fine short term but long term you do need lots more variety.

To get you started take a look at this link. http://www.dogaware.com/dogfeeding.html

Give some thought about exactly what kind of home prepared you are thinking of doing and get back to us with this. Then some of us can recommend some books & discuss what & how we feed. There are many on this board who are doing home prepared, but of course there are different styles. :)

vanessa0305
30th May 2007, 09:38 AM
Caraline, Thanks a heap for the link it is very very helpful. I am going to start him on a cooked diet. But I will add chicken necks/ wings and other meaty bones.

So I am off shopping tomorrow to get some much needed stuff such as a green mix and a suppliment. I will go talk to my vet!

Thanks everyone.

AT
30th May 2007, 11:02 AM
my last 3 cavaliers have ate anything they could fit in their mouth ( bird seed , gravel ! etc ) but my tri charlie girl was very fussy as a youngster , I found putting her food outside & shouting cat made her stuff as much food down as she could incase something came & took it.

She is 10 now & a little pig. She still has her meals outside.

Caraline
30th May 2007, 11:31 AM
I am going to start him on a cooked diet. But I will add chicken necks/ wings and other meaty bones.

Ok, I can highly recommend 2 books then.

Dr. Pitcairn's "Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats (http://board.cavaliertalk.com/showthread.php?t=18070)" which is about raw (or very lightly cooked) foods but no bones. He advocates the use of calcium supplements instead of bones.

Dr Ian Billinghurst's "Give Your Dog a Bone (http://board.cavaliertalk.com/showthread.php?t=18185)" which is about feeding a raw diet plus raw meaty bones.

I've done book reviews on both of those, so if you click on the links above, you can read what I thought of them.

sramirez
30th May 2007, 04:56 PM
Like a number of you with numerous dogs, i have a finicky eater and one who will eat anything!! I feed both at the same time -always wetting the kibble down (plus now that they are adults I add non-fat yogurt and a dollop of pumpkin). Sasha has throat problems so eats very slowly - Sophie wolfs it down as fast as she can and then slowly creeps next to Sasha's dish just "in case" Sasha needs help eating her dinner!! I usually have to move her back from Sasha's dish a number of times (using the baby gate doesn't help, she just pushes it down).

My daughter's Lhasa has to eat his dinner in the bathroom - go figure what that's all about!! And he only eats once a day vs. my two girls who eat a small morning/evening meal. They all have their own little quirks and sometimes it just takes awhile to figure out what they are before you get so frustrated! I also use the line "well, I guess I'll just give your dinner to the neighbor dog" usually works in my house!

Sheri

cavi lover
30th May 2007, 08:40 PM
I have one fussy cavi out of 4. I just dropped on a treat dipensing ball at my local pet shop It has an opening that varies for you to put your complete food in and then you close it just enough for the food to come out. You then switch it on and it moves around and every now and then some food will come out. This really worked with Henry as i put him out in the garden with it on his own and he loved it eating all the food but having to work for it. He still enjoys his "ball" but now eats happily with the others as well.