Lou's Barely Eating! Help!
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Thread: Lou's Barely Eating! Help!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    DefaultLou's Barely Eating! Help!

    My 6-month old male chocolate lab has slowly quit eating. He started by backing off a little bit and now he eats only a few bites a day. Originally, I thought his teeth were hurting, so I wet the food. That worked for a few days. Then, I thought maybe he didnt like the food, so I would mix a little cheese into it. That also worked for a few days. Now, the food's wet and has cheese in it but he's not interested. His teeth may be hurting but he sure chews the heck out of everything else...and I mean everything else. After he eats a few bits of food, he rolls around on the ground, yealping a little bit, and massaging his snout with his paws. I dont know what to do. I'm calling a vet today, but any other insight would be greatly appreciated.

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  3. #2
    kaytris is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Lou's Barely Eating! Help!

    after a vet exam (and make sure the vet looks closely at the mouth, sometimes things can get caught behind the teeth/roof of the mouth) and the vet says he's healthy, put the food down for 10 minutes, with no additives. If he doesn't eat it, take it away till the next meal time.

    It's surprisingly easy to create a fussy eater.

  4. #3
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    DefaultRe: Lou's Barely Eating! Help!

    I really have tried everything. I guess he needs to see a vet. Oddly enough, he is still very active and playful. It surprises me that he has energy without food. And, like I said, he still bites on everything...so I dont think it's anything in his mouth.

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  6. #4
    Join Date
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    DefaultRe: Lou's Barely Eating! Help!

    I agree with Nancy.

    He might be holding out for something better. After all, when he refused before, he got water added in. When he refused again, he got cheese. So, now he figures, if he refuses again... maybe steak? Not to make light of your situation, but it is extremely easy to create a fussy eater.

    My parents coddle their dog and now he will ONLY eat if hand fed AND with extras mixed in. They created the problem, now they have to deal with it. Makes it kinda hard to look for a petsitter.

    So, if he checks out okay at the vet, do as Nancy suggested. Plain food down for 10 minutes and then back up. What he didn't eat goes down again at next mealtime. Don't add anything to it.




  7. #5
    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Lou's Barely Eating! Help!

    How much does Lou weigh now and how much (and what and how often) have you been feeding each day?

    Young puppies need/eat about 2X the amount of food that an adult dog of that same weight would need/eat.

    But as they grow, that multiplier decreases.

    As to when it becomes noticeable, that varies with the dog -- probably 6-8 months typically.

    I second the recommendation to take him to the vet for a check of his mouth, etc.

    I also second the recommendation to put the food down for 15 minutes and then take it up. Offer it again for the same time for the next meal.

    When my Puff was a pup, she got up to eating 5 cups/day. Then she suddenly stopped eating for a couple days. When she resumed, she ate about 4 cups/day. We went through steps like that until it got down to 2 cups/day.
    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

  8. #6
    Join Date
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    DefaultRe: Lou's Barely Eating! Help!

    Lou weighs between 60 and 70 pounds now, at exactly 6 months this Thursday. He's very lean. He got up to 4 cups a day in the last month or so, of Purina One. He went from seeming like he couldnt get enough food to having no interest in eating at all. I only tried the water and cheese after he quit having interest in eating. I tried feeding him just twice per day..once per day. Nothing has worked. He sure hasnt slowed up with chewing his bones and toys (and anything else he can get away with).

    As a puppy, I trained him to sit by his bowl and not eat until I commanded him to. He would get so antsy to get into his food. Now, he wont hardly go near it. If he does, it's just in passing, and he'll grab a few bites and move on.

  9. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    DefaultRe: Lou's Barely Eating! Help!

    well he sounds big to me! i just posted a thread on 6 mos old and how much they weigh. My female is 47 pounds! He may just be going through a stage where he doesn't need much (slowing growth). My pup eats 1.5 cups 2 times a day but her food is grainfree so it's more cals. He sounds like a big boy. I call my pup waddle bottom she is going to be stocky like her dad!!

  10. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    DefaultRe: Lou's Barely Eating! Help!

    He is big, but he's certainly not heavy. He's more lean than stocky. I run with him alot and play alot of fetch, so he's in shape.

  11. #9
    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Lou's Barely Eating! Help!

    he is still very active and playful. It surprises me that he has energy without food.
    VERY good sign.

    I suggest you measure the amount, put it out, pick up the remainder after 15 minutes, measure again to see how much was eaten.

    Then repeat for the next meal.

    Dogs in the wild often go a day or two without food.

    When he does start eating again, be sure to measure the amount left so you can deduce the amount eaten.

    THEN, offer only that amount for meals.

    As I did with Puff, you may have to go through several of these steps on the way to adulthood.
    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

  12. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    4

    DefaultRe: Lou's Barely Eating! Help!

    I second the trip to the vet. You want to rule out bowel obstruction. Willow was a picky eater too. I must have tried 5 or 6 brands of kibble -- pricey, high quality brands too. I finally gave up and made her food. For the 1st year, she got eggs and buttered toast for breakfast and for dinner a homemade hash (hamburger, chicken liver, gizzards and hearts, brown rice, thawed frozen veggies (mixed veggies - corn, green beans, peas, carrots) all mixed up and chopped up in a food processor. When she was about a year old, she stopped eating her eggs and toast. So we tried kibble again and just eggs. Then we added kibble to the hash for dinner. Oh and like a typical kid, all the food had to be separated, if you mixed it all up, she wouldn't eat it. The kibble she's on now is Owen & Mandeville VIP fit and trim. It took us a while to come up with the right portion of hash at night and eggs in the morning to keep her weight stable. So for the past 6 months or so, she's getting one scrambled egg with a bit of shredded cheese, a bit of canned mackerel and about a 1/2 cup of kibble for breakfast and about 6-8 oz of Willow's hash and another 1/2 cup of kibble.

    So if the vet gives Lou the all clear, he might just be bored with the kibble and wants something new. Another thing to consider. Perhaps the manufacture has changed the recipe enough to make it unappetizing.

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