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GraciesMom
7th February 2011, 10:57 PM
Gracie has gone back to being too picky and not consistently eating her food, especially in the morning. She was doing great for a while and now back to wanting to do anything but eat... and then wants to eat crap outside in the yard.

This is really hard on us too because of doggy day care and knowing she has to be hungry when she is playing there, but we are going to heed advice from many of you and just put the food down for 20 minutes on a regular schedule and let her get hungry if she refuses to eat. I know she loved this food when she first got it....that is not the issue. It is a good quality and well balanced. That is not the issue. She also has been tested for worms and all...

We have been here before. She wants variety and to be coaxed into eating. So we have to get on top of this issue now or we will always be spending way too much time and money getting her to eat.

So give me the strength to hold out.... may be a tough period here for a while. :( If you have tips to help this along, let us know. Thanks!

Lexie
8th February 2011, 01:11 AM
How old is Gracie? Does she have all of her adult teeth.
The last of their adult teeth come in at 7 to 8 months.

Portia is my picky eater. I feel your pain. I finally found a food last year that she really likes.

Zumie05
8th February 2011, 02:15 AM
Oh my gosh I feel your pain. Coco is the same way. Some days she skips meals and is not interested in food at all in general. She has a higher drive to play and toys. I am even feeding her Ziwi Peak, which is air dried meat jerky, should be like treats! Really funny thing though is she always takes treats...hmm.

Here's what I have been doing on her picky days (almost every day). Food goes down for 10 minutes, tops. Whatever is not eaten is taken away for a few hours. I offer her again, leave it down for 10 minutes with some water added in case her teeth are sore, and whatever is not eaten is taken away all together until her next meal time. By the next meal she almost always eats 100%, and sometimes I will add more on top to make sure she is getting enough food.

But I know how you feel...its so hard to not want to hand feed them every bite or make a fuss and give them attention over the whole deal.

What you said in the title is right though...gotta give em tough love~!

allie
8th February 2011, 09:06 AM
I usually have between 4 & 7 dogs at home and must say I've never had an issue. My parent's dog was staying with me for a few months and she was always picky down at their house. Needless to say she learnt very quickly to scoff her food before someone else came along and it seems to have stayed with her now she's gone back home. I too lift dishes after about 10 minutes and have told my mum to do that if Dora becomes fussy again. Could you have a hungry dog come to visit a few times; she'll soon catch on :rolleyes:

Kate H
8th February 2011, 10:21 AM
Using other dogs to encourage a picky eater reminded me of a story in Readers Digest many years ago. The children in a primary school were very picky eaters - except on one table, where everyone ate everything. The teachers discovered that a boy on that table called Johnnie ate all his own food, then started on his neighbours' if they didn't want theirs. Eventually everyone on the table was eating up just to prevent Johnnie getting it. The teachers simply moved Johnnie round all the other tables in turn - and no more problems with picky eating!

You just have to be careful that it doesn't turn nasty - Oliver and Aled still have a go at each other occasionally if Aled starts barking at Oliver because he seems to have more food because he finishes last. So meals are always supervised, and Aled is learning to wait until Oliver really has finished before checking out his bowl.

Kate, Oliver and Aled

Charlifarley
8th February 2011, 11:05 AM
You just have to be careful that it doesn't turn nasty - Oliver and Aled still have a go at each other occasionally if Aled starts barking at Oliver because he seems to have more food because he finishes last. So meals are always supervised, and Aled is learning to wait until Oliver really has finished before checking out his bowl.
Kate, Oliver and Aled
Kate, are you sure you don't live in my house, that is exactly what goes on here!
Also, Trapper used to be really slow and fussy until we got a bit of competition for him - Bosco :p
But that doesn't solve Gracies problem with her meals. I think, just be strong, hold firm and keep telling yourself it will be worth it in the end to have a dog thats happy around food.

Sabby
8th February 2011, 01:56 PM
My Ebony is a little tease. She waits until the other two have finished and then only starts eating her food when the others show interest. The others donít get her food as she then growls at them.

MadPip
8th February 2011, 06:34 PM
Having a fussy picky little girl myself I really feel for you. Even getting Pippin didn't help - she used to walk away and let him eat her food.:yikes
Even now when we have found a food that she really likes (it's taken 6 years!) she still has her mealtimes where she isn't interested. I don't leave her food down for more than 5 mintues, mainly because once Pippin has finished his he wants hers. :p If she wants it she eats, if she doesn't she waits till the next mealtime.

Your plan is a good one. A healthy dog wont starve itself. Good luck and let us know how you get on.

GraciesMom
8th February 2011, 06:38 PM
We gave her lots of "GOOD GIRLS" and gave her a piece of her fave treat (bit of apple) afterwards. It is just so HARD to say no when she is going off to doggy daycare with a mostly empty tummy. She just wants to be coaxed or hand fed....and given a wide variety.

This morning my hubby put her food down with fresh dollop of low-fat cottage cheese on top and she could not resist given how hungry had to be. She started nibbling on the cheese and never stopped. Licked the plate clean! We stuck with ONE serving only so that she will eat again tonight.

I do think it would help alot to have competition for her food...maybe I should put on a doggy costume and pretent that I am after her food??? :fool: The Natural Balance lamb/rice roll actually smells pretty good.... kinda like summer sausage!

GraciesMom
9th February 2011, 12:29 AM
The dollop of cottage cheese on top has been working wonders. Gracie got out of her bed and went to her feeding dish.... once she got past the cheese she went on to eat both plates clean and licked up all the stuff she dropped on the floor. I know we will still have days where she does not want to eat much, but I know now to hold firm and not feed her by hand or try to entire her with diverse toppings. So hopefully we are on the right course, but have to understand there will be setbacks. I greatly appreciate the support!

Brian M
9th February 2011, 08:49 AM
Hello Debra

My four have had a teaspoon of cottage cheese for a long time and also as a probiotic I put a teaspoon of goats yogurt on top of their food and the four of them lap it all up with glee .Have you thought of feeding a chicken wing or part of one ,mine have about 40 grammes of one two or three times a week ,I chop it up though into manageable pieces and stay with them till its all gone just in case ,also try white fish or sardines which are excellent for Omega 3 .

AgilityLola
9th February 2011, 10:44 AM
Kate, are you sure you don't live in my house, that is exactly what goes on here!
Also, Trapper used to be really slow and fussy until we got a bit of competition for him - Bosco :p
But that doesn't solve Gracies problem with her meals. I think, just be strong, hold firm and keep telling yourself it will be worth it in the end to have a dog thats happy around food.

Yep same here!!

GraciesMom
9th February 2011, 08:09 PM
Gracie does tend to need help in the probiotic area. She had some slightly runny poop again today.... mainly cause she again got a piece of something she snatched in the yard. She is SNEAKY!!!!! So yogurt daily will be in her diet.

Wagtails
10th February 2011, 10:26 AM
She is SNEAKY!!!!!


Show me the Cavalier that ISN'T sneaky, given the chance, when it comes to food - acceptable to humans or otherwise (especially the latter)! :yikes

GraciesMom
10th February 2011, 02:10 PM
But since she is now recovering from a bit of colitis she probably is not as hungry as usual. Yesterday, despite colitis she did eat a good dinner (almost a full portion) so I am not so worried that she is going hungry now. She has not been as active in the past 24 hours either since she likely does not feel as good. But docs gave me some probiotic gel as well as the pills...she takes one in the morning and one at night. So I know she is on the mend. Fortunately, we took action before she got really bad case of it. So a little setback here with feeding until we get her back to normal digestive system.