Help! My lab is a fussy eater!
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Thread: Help! My lab is a fussy eater!

  1. #1
    bprevost is offline Junior Member
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    DefaultHelp! My lab is a fussy eater!

    I'm new to this forum and I hope you can help. Brandy (2 yr old yellow lab) has been given only dry food since she was a puppy, then we started adding either broth or raw egg sometimes. Now she refuses to eat her food unless we've "modified" it with something. Its a problem because she really should be just eating what's given to her every day. A trainer said adding just a little canned food to each meal and slowly reducing the amount should wean her off her "people food habit", but now she won't eat unless we put enough of it on her food. We've changed flavors of her food (Purina Pro Plan shredded blend). She went almost 2 days without eating until I gave in and added the canned food. Last night and this morning, she just turned up her nose because there wasn't enough of the "good stuff" in it. I've read that to correct this behaviour you need to just put down her food for 30 min and then remove it until next feeding time. Eventually they'll realize they're not getting anything else. Stick to your guns and the dog won't starve herself. I'm a wreck knowing she's skipping meals.

    PS: She was just at the vets 2 days ago and she's in premium shape so its not health related.

    Could sure use some advise.

    Thank you!

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    bett is offline Senior Member
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    it sounds like she's trained you. that being said, i plop a bit of non fat yogurt on top but mine would eat anything i give them.
    but yes, remove the food after 20-30 minutes and eventually the dog will eat.

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    BauersMom is offline Senior Member
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    Are you sure the food isn't bad? We recently went through a phase where Bauer wouldn't eat, and his food was bad. New bag and all was right with the world again.

    We do put "topping" on dry food too, a bad habit that I started a long time ago. I top it with about 8 tiny pieces of shredded cheese. If I don't put on top, he will sit and stare at me for a while until he realizes that he isn't getting it for that meal (usually because we don't have any) and then he will eat the plain food.
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    bprevost is offline Junior Member
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    We did replace her bag of food (twice) just to be sure it wasn't that. My concern is that will she be so stubborn not to eat that she'll cause herself physical harm somehow? How long will it be before she finally gives in? She went about 2 days, I've heard 3 or more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bett View Post
    it sounds like she's trained you. that being said, i plop a bit of non fat yogurt on top but mine would eat anything i give them.
    but yes, remove the food after 20-30 minutes and eventually the dog will eat.
    This. I wouldn't give her 30 minutes, though, 20 tops. I add tepid water to my dog's food and set it down. No need to soak. She will not get sick by missing a few meals. From what I understand, a lot of people are not crazy abou the Shreds line, probably because their dogs won't eat it. Go back to whatever she ate, add some water to it, put it down for 20 minutes, pick it up after that and give her nothing until her next meal, not treats, nothing.


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    Belles mom is offline Senior Member
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    They won't starve themselves to death! But, maybe you can add some warm water to the kibble. Most kibbles it makes kind of a gravy after a minute or two. The Purina shredded blend, just in my opinion is kinda yucky stuff. I had a dog boarding once that was on it and I just barely bit into one of those shreds (yes, I am weird), and it had the most god awful bitter taste!


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    BigBrownDog is offline Senior Member
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    Yes - you should not bend to her fussiness. You need to make her understand that she's can't negotiate for a better deal at dinner!

    That said - IMO a little broth or an egg is not a big deal. People who regularly feed their dog last night's leftovers are the ones who have a problem on their hands.
    Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.

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    bprevost is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for the input everyone. She's been one the Shredded blend for about a year with no trouble. Absolutely gobbled it plain for a long time. The broth came next and then the egg just as a treat. Then when I'd feed her with the broth she'd "puff" at me, with little mini barks-clearly voicing her protest but eventually eating (she wanted egg not broth). Now we've got "miss fussy" who is calling my bluff. I'm thinking I should go back to plain food, no nothing until she gets the picture. But perhaps a different brand?

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    We fed ProPlan until they changed to the shredded blend. I just didn't like the looks of it. I changed to ProPlan Selects. No problems with it.

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    See, I'm just a bitch. If a dog doesn't eat what's given to them in the time that the others have finished, or they walk away without eating, the bowl get's picked up and put away until the next meal. The bowl comes back and repeat. Even if they leave 1 mouthful left, that is what they get at the next meal. The only thing that is added to the food is green beans because two of the three need "filler" because they tend to gain weight easily. But when I don't have any on hand, they eat without it being in there with no problems. Dog's wont starve themselves. But you need to teach her you control the food and if they don't eat on your schedule, they don't eat. Period. It's worked so far. Even my foster's catch on within one or two feedings.
    Dani, Rider & Rookie
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