I have a 1 year old yellow lab who would gobble up her food as soon as I put her bowl down for feeding time. I currently give her 2 cups in the AM and 2 cups in the PM. We feed her Science Diet dry food. In the last week, she has not eaten her morning meal. She will maybe eat 3 or 4 bites and then lay down next to her bowl. We have not changed her food or the way we feed her. She is eating her PM meal but defiantely not as quickly as she used to. It has been much hotter here and she is exercised regularly. Is this normal for a Labs appetite to change? She has recently been to the vet for a check up and everything was normal. Any feedback would be appreciated! Thanks in advance.
It could be a bad bag of food. Yes -she may have a reduced need now that she is close to full grown and it could certainly be due to the weather which has been hot, I know.
You might also try a different food. Science Diet is not the best out there. She may do better and be more interested in a different food.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
Below is a copy of a post I've often made:
I suspect it's a streak of emerging "self-regulation." Below are exceprts that I've posted before to others who've reported the same thing:
I understand your worry, because I went through that with my Puff, although with her it was at about 8-9 months of age. However, there are such remarkable variations in the rates of development of Labs, it is almost certainly a similar thing.
Not to worry -- instead, REJOICE !!
It was through this that I discovered my Puff is largely a self-regulator of her food intake. That puts her in the minority; most Labs are gluttons and some could easily kill or injure themselves by over-eating if given a chance. Self-regulating (according to a poll I conducted on JL several years ago, responded to by about 70 owners) is only found in about 10% of Labs. And, at that, it applies only to regular kibble and not to steak, fish, cat food, horse manure, etc.
Puff had gone from eating about a cup of food a day when she was 6 lbs at 9 weeks age to eating 5 cups/day (divided into 2 meals) at 8-9 months. Then she stopped eating for a couple days and when she did eat, she ate only part of her food.
I looked up puppy nutrition in several dog vet books, The UC-Davis "Book of Dogs" says, for instance, that when puppies are very young they need to eat about 2X the amount of food that an adult dog of that same weight would need.
BUT, as they approach maturity, that need multiplier decreases from 2X down to 1X -- with 1X meaning they need the same amount an adult dog of that weight should eat.
I measured the amount Puff did eat when she resumed eating and made available only that amount for 15 minute periods.
She ate that amount. That lasted a bit and then she stopped eating again. I decreased the amount again.
Puff finally went down to her current 2 cups/day (divided into 2 meals; but supper has green beans added).
I suggest you count yourself lucky and begin decreasing the amounts you feed until you reach a stable balance.
The first time it happened with Puff, she pretty much ignored food (except a few nibbles on irresistible treats) for a couple days.
It was then that I began really reading and absorbing what the vet books said. My first Lab, Bess, never met anything edible she didn't want to eat (except raw onions and raw mushrooms), so I was as unprepared for a Lab refusing to eat as I would be if seeing her fly.
But -- if it'll be any comfort to you -- in nature, feral dogs and wild canids often go for a couple days (but not always by choice) without eating food and then stock up when fortune favors them with scavenging a carcass.
1. measure and reduce by 1/4 the amount of food you've usually fed at a meal;
2. measure anything left so you can deduct that amount from the next meals offered;
3. continue to feed the reduced amount until ______ again skips some meals;
4. repeat steps 1, 2 & 3 as it becomes needed (if it happens several more times).
5. If you notice unusual behavior (listlessness, apathy, loss of activity and interests, etc.) DO take _______ to see your vet.
Last edited by Bob Pr.; 06-03-2010 at 02:15 PM.
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":
Thank you so much for your response! I feel much better about Ollie not eating as much as she used to...I am going to take your suggestions which were so helpful...Thanks for your time and advice! It is much appreciated!