Need Advice on Lab Eating Habits
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Thread: Need Advice on Lab Eating Habits

  1. #1
    TeamBerger's Avatar
    TeamBerger is offline Junior Member
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    DefaultNeed Advice on Lab Eating Habits

    Murphy has settled into his daily routine. We feed Murphy twice a day, once in the morning after his walk and then again when I get home from work. Lately, Murphy has not been eating his breakfast and after his walk has been running right upstairs and gets back in bed. We have even been putting some chicken in his breakfast to entice him to eat but to no avail. Do most people feed their dogs once a day? He is just over two years old now and since he has been leaving his food we are thinking it might be time to move him to once a day feeding.

    Any thoughts? Thanks for your help!!

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    LuvBrown is offline Senior Member
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    Most feed 2x a day. But some do feed once daily. The idea is that too much food in the tummy is actually not that good for a dog, but then again, I doubt wild dogs ate 2 balanced meals a day. It's a dog's tendancy to gorge when food is available.

    Why not change up the routine a bit? How about a half portion before the walk?

    I always fed before walks in the morning. It's not like it's a high stress activity that's hard on a full belly.

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    tammyhuffman is offline Senior Member
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    Some may say I am an alarmist BUT a change in eating habits was the first thing that began my Ozzy's short, downward spiral. I am not trying to scare you but you may want to think about a visit with the vet just to run some blood work and check things out. Nothing ever showed up for Ozzy but you never know. I would first try feeding before the morning walk and if Murphy continues to turn down kibble with added chicken I would personally head to the vet. JMO.
    Tammy
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    Is he crated after you're done? If not, just leave it. He'll eat when he's hungry. Our shephed mix was fed free chioce, when he was hungry, he ate. And if you forgot to fill his bowl back up, he'd bring it into the living room and fling it around!!!
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    tkeizer is offline Senior Member
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    If he continues not to eat for a prolonged period of time, I would take him to the vet just to be on the safe side. Has he been eating his second meal without hesitation; does he still have proper bowel movements? He could just be going through a phase. I, personally, like to feed my dogs twice a day. As said in a previous post, I don't think it's very good for our dogs to be eating too much at one time.

    From experience, my Aila went through a phase when she was an early 2-year old (she's now almost 3 years). It lasted about a month or so, but she refused to eat or ate very little of her morning meal. She ate her evening meal without hesitation and she seemed fine in every other regard. I did worry for awhile, but sometimes, just like humans, they get bored of stuff. Anyway, I left the food in the bowl for 30 minutes and gave her that time, but if she had not eaten it after 30 minutes, I put the food back. After about a month or so, she all-of-a-sudden started eating her morning meal again and, to this day, never misses a meal. So I would give him some time, but if you still feel that something isn't right, I would take him to the vet.

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    TeamBerger's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice! We have a vet appointment for him on September 5th so he will be getting his shots and bloodwork done. It is important to note (probably should have put this in the first post) that Murphy is on Fluoxetine (prozac) 65mg every morning to help with fear based aggression. A big side effect of the medicine is a change in eating habits and we have noticed that he became a little more picky with his food once we started it, hence the addition of meat, cheese, and chicken to his food at different times. Depending on what is in his bowl also depends on if he eats in the morning. For example, last week he had some pieces of beef with stock in his bowl and he ate that immediately. He also always eats breakfast on the weekends.

    We will have him checked out at the vet to be on the safe side. I am going to start to feed him before the walk, per the recommendation above, which I think might work.

    Thanks again for all of your advice!

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    tammyhuffman is offline Senior Member
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    The medication could well be the culprit. I am glad you have a visit planned for 9/5, better safe than sorry but you are probably right and the meds are what have thrown off his appetitie. Good luck to you!
    Tammy
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    Sometimes the hardest part isn't letting go - but learning to start over.

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    Hmmm.. could very well be the medication. I wonder if you gave him his breakfast first and gave him the medication after he ate if that would help?

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    blackandyellow is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeamBerger View Post
    Thanks for the advice! We have a vet appointment for him on September 5th so he will be getting his shots and bloodwork done. It is important to note (probably should have put this in the first post) that Murphy is on Fluoxetine (prozac) 65mg every morning to help with fear based aggression. A big side effect of the medicine is a change in eating habits and we have noticed that he became a little more picky with his food once we started it, hence the addition of meat, cheese, and chicken to his food at different times. Depending on what is in his bowl also depends on if he eats in the morning. For example, last week he had some pieces of beef with stock in his bowl and he ate that immediately. He also always eats breakfast on the weekends.

    We will have him checked out at the vet to be on the safe side. I am going to start to feed him before the walk, per the recommendation above, which I think might work.

    Thanks again for all of your advice!
    I think you have answered your own question... most Labs love to eat and will swallow their share immediately. If he previously ate his food whole at each feeding and is not eating well, I´d definitely suspect some health problem.

    My Vermont is like that, but he´s always been like that (Collie not Lab). I just remove the uneaten portion and feed it later, since Homer and Misha would immediately feast on Vermont´s food if I leave it.

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    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
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    Puff's one largest meal is at supper, to which she eagerly looks forward--giving me nose nudgies, "that look," and tail wagging from 5 PM on until her filled supper bowl is served on the floor. In that, she gets about 2 1/2 cups Kirkland Mature Dog kibble, which I've enhanced with about 1/4 cup of finely diced cooked chicken or turkey breast--then simmered in 1/2 cup of water for 15-25 min. or so to enhance the flavor of the water when poured over the kibble (then allowed to cool to a warm temp before serving). This is sprinkled with Forti-Flora to aid digestion (Rx since her spleen was removed), and served after her daily appetizer of 1 tab Kirkland's G&C & 1 cap of Fish Oil, each dipped in PB.

    For breakfast, I always put out about 1/2 cup of dry kibble with half a handful of "Craisins" (sweetened, dried cranberries: to forestall UTIs). 90% of the time Puff leaves this untouched and, if so, it forms part of her usual supper. 10% of the time she does munch on this during the day, occasionally eating as much as 1/2 of it.

    But, just like Bess, whenever and whatever I'm eating, Puff also wants "shares-ies." Whenever we go to Costco or Sam's Club and attendants hand out free food samples, I always eat only half of those suitable for Puff and she gets those treats when I get back to our car.

    Puff is from an AKC H&FT Lab line so is leggier, lankier & leaner than bench line Labs (like Bess). You can easily see Puff's ribs (highlights & shadows) whenever the light is right and, when looking down from above, her waist is decidely hour-glass shaped. Our vets at K-State's Teaching Hospital have always commented on the excellence of her condition.

    So, from my experience, some Labs DO change their eating habits with age so it's not necessarily a sign of ill health. (And, FWIW, both Bess (55 lbs.) & Puff (62 lbs.) were runts of their litters.)

    Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]

    Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
    http://forum.justlabradors.com/showt...?p=748#post748

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