Fighting against eating…

Dexter has been on Orijen with his breeder and we continued it at home. He has been with us for almost a month now. Originally, Dex would eat his meal in one sitting (5-10 minutes in his crate) simple as that. Progressively he became less interested, so we took his meals down from 3 to 2. As of yesterday, he wouldn't eat in one sitting and this morning refused to eat any of his breakfast. I don't want to leave his food out for an hour plus, that's just bad habit.

We put a little water in his food, as well as a little less than a tablespoon of organic pumpkin.

I'm open to any suggestions to help this little guy eat!

How old is he - he's 5 or 6 months if I recall correctly, right? My last 2 pups were on 2 meals a day at 5 months. If he is otherwise healthy, I'd let him miss a meal. Put his food down for 15 minutes, if he doesn't eat it take it away and the next meal is his dinner. I wouldn't mix anything else in his food to "try" to get him to eat - as I think it can make a fussy eater. Once he is back eating his food regularly, fine to mix in other things - but not in an effort to get him to eat. Dogs won't starve themselves.

Also, do you have other dogs in the household?

@renaultf1:

How old is he - he's 5 or 6 months if I recall correctly, right? My last 2 pups were on 2 meals a day at 5 months. If he is otherwise healthy, I'd let him miss a meal. Put his food down for 15 minutes, if he doesn't eat it take it away and the next meal is his dinner. I wouldn't mix anything else in his food to "try" to get him to eat - as I think it can make a fussy eater. Once he is back eating his food regularly, fine to mix in other things - but not in an effort to get him to eat. Dogs won't starve themselves.

+1 I agree, the only way to build good eating habits is to NO cater to them.. as said they will not starve themselves. How much are you feeding him? You might also try cutting back the amount until he starts to eat it all and seems to be looking for more.

Thank you for the responses. No other dogs in the household. He is 5 months old, and we were adding the pumpkin to harden his stool, but we can stop that if it could be contributing to the issue.

Also he is getting a cup twice a day. Go down to 3/4 maybe?

How is his weight?

Initially, my call on not eating is tough love. Give it 10 to 15 mins, take it up. Period. Try again next meal. MOST dogs will eat after a day or 2, most will learn to eat when put down and not get too thin. So I thought most if not all picky eaters created by humans. Then came Sayblee. My first dog ever who genuinely didn't care about eating. When she reached the point you could see her ribs, we did every test on earth… nothing wrong. I tried just raw, no. She'd eat a day or 2 and lose interest, eating minimal days on end. We tried meat, gravies, add ins, you name it. Boiled chicken. No. Her hips began to show. We put her on cyproheptadine, a cheap antihistamine. Problem solved. She had an appetite, even a few years later when she was undergoing chemo she still ate.

But for now, I'd do tough love, or stop the pumpkin and try some parmesan sprinkled on it or tuna juice etc.

He weighed in at 21 pounds a week ago (18 weeks old). I'd say he is the perfect weight for his size and stature – check my picture thread to see. I just worry that he is going to start losing the weight with his lack of interest in meals.

He rarely will take a treat and is pretty picky.

A healthy dog will not starve itself. If you do the tough love routine and he is truly not eating then you may need to take him to the vet and have him checked out.

I do have one that I have found does not do well on chicken based foods, he will only pick at them and sometimes not eat at all and will lose weight. I have switched him to other protein sources and he does fine. He doesn't show any sign of allergy to the chicken and he eats actual chicken with no ill effects but won't eat the chicken based kibble.

@jdido09:

He is 5 months old, and we were adding the pumpkin to harden his stool

Although Orijen is an excellent food, I believe the very high protein content tends to contribute to loose stools in some dogs. At least our two dogs' stools have firmed up since we stopped feeding Orijen.

We now feed the following on a rotation basis:

Taste of the Wild (either High Prairie or Wetlands)
Wellness Core or Wellness Core Ocean
Blue Wilderness Salmon
Nutrisca by Dogswell (either Chicken or Lamb)

@jdido09:

Thank you for the responses. No other dogs in the household. He is 5 months old, and we were adding the pumpkin to harden his stool, but we can stop that if it could be contributing to the issue.

Also he is getting a cup twice a day. Go down to 3/4 maybe?

That is a lot of food…. 2 cups a day, I would try going to 3/4's of a cup and don't eyeball the food, use an acutal measuring cup if you are not doing so already.

@DebraDownSouth:

How is his weight?

Her hips began to show. We put her on cyproheptadine, a cheap antihistamine. Problem solved. She had an appetite, even a few years later when she was undergoing chemo she still ate. .

Shaye is like that - she just doesn't care about eating - is cyproheptadine prescribed or OTC? I am ready to try anything, because her companion, Gemma, is overweight, and I'd love to be able to just put down meals morning and evening to avoid that, but keep Shaye from starving - I swear she really thinks eating is an imposition on her time!:(

IF nothing else works, the cyproheptadine is an Rx but cheap and effective.

Just for comparison, we dog-sat my stepdaughter's 75 pound lab and her daily rations were 2 cups of orijen. She's older so eats less, but I would still think 2 cups a day is a lot.

Our basenji Annie is 7 months old and gets about a cup of kibble a day, a chicken wing at lunch, and various scraps. No trouble getting her to eat, though, because she doesn't want our other basenji to get it. Competition is good for picky eaters 🙂

I have no experience with Origen but from comments in various posts on this forum i understand that it is a good food but if his stools are loose when feeding hime origen I would say that it isn't suiting him any longer and suggest you try an alternative.

I agree totally with the other posts about 'tough love' and about the amount you're feeding him. He sounds as though he is a good weight any how so there is no major worry.

First Basenji's

@DebraDownSouth:

How is his weight?

Initially, my call on not eating is tough love. Give it 10 to 15 mins, take it up. Period. Try again next meal. MOST dogs will eat after a day or 2, most will learn to eat when put down and not get too thin. So I thought most if not all picky eaters created by humans.

But for now, I'd do tough love, or stop the pumpkin and try some parmesan sprinkled on it or tuna juice etc.

I would agree with the above. If he is going through a hormonal period, as puppies do, then the taste of the food may not be agreeable. Yes, do stop the pumpkin. Most dogs do not really like it. If you need to harden the stool, evaluate the food's ingredients. If brown rice or the like is not on the first three or four ingredients, I like to use Cheerios! Nutritious and adds texture, I use them for treats for a food driven overweight students(dogs)! Make him sit and wait also, it is like working for his food too! Evaluate his energy expended vs caloric intake-don't go by the label! Just had to add my 2cents!!!!

@Buddys:

I would agree with the above. If he is going through a hormonal period, as puppies do, then the taste of the food may not be agreeable. Yes, do stop the pumpkin. Most dogs do not really like it. If you need to harden the stool, evaluate the food's ingredients. If brown rice or the like is not on the first three or four ingredients, I like to use Cheerios! Nutritious and adds texture, I use them for treats for a food driven overweight students(dogs)! Make him sit and wait also, it is like working for his food too! Evaluate his energy expended vs caloric intake-don't go by the label! Just had to add my 2cents!!!!

I disagree with "most dogs do not really like it"…. I have never had a Basenji turn down pumpkin or any root veggie for that matter. (provided they are not sick to begin with)

And noting his age, which I over looked before, he could be teething, so many will go off their food when teething or starting to get adult teeth as the gums can and do get sore.

Almost all my dogs love pumpkin, except Arwen who won't eat if I add it.

Nor would I feed cherios. Dogs don't really need a lot of carbs, so no reason to add in more grains.

First Basenji's

I understand that everyone has to right to peacefully add anything they want as long as it does not offend. Some replys on a forum are from a totally subjective viewpoint. Some of my comments are as well. You may have never met a Basenji or dog that didn't like pumpkin-well, some people have have known dogs not to like it, like me for instance and my neighbor! I have different breeds come my way all the time- some like it some don't. Just don't be so closed minded to make comments that all Basenji's love root foods!!!!! Just silly not factual really PS: 2 of 3 Vet have approved Cheerios for a treat or temporary addition to a diet. Oh this carb obsessive world we are in:;)

First Basenji's

@DebraDownSouth:

Almost all my dogs love pumpkin, except Arwen who won't eat if I add it.

Nor would I feed cherios. Dogs don't really need a lot of carbs, so no reason to add in more grains.

Pay closer attention before you respond- I said to look at the list of ingredients and if a 'carb' is not in the top 3-then add one to help out the loose stools…!!!!!!!!!

@Buddys:

Just don't be so closed minded to make comments that all Basenji's love root foods!!!!!

Just to clear up a point, I said "I" never had a Basenji that didn't like Pumpkin or root veggies for that matter". I did not make a comment that "all Basenji's love root foods".

And as it has been discussed many times here, food/feeding becomes very personal. All we can do is pass along our successes and/or failures. People need to sort it out for themselves and what works for them.

Kipawa likes his root veggies, but they must be mixed in with his kibble. I have bought pumpkin treats, and he will eat them, but I think it's more because he knows it is a food item. 🙂 He does, however, hoover down his sweet potato treats.

I wonder if your basenji had to work for his food would it improve his eating habits? We recently acquired a Kibble Nibble toy. His 3/4 cup of food goes in there (it comes apart) and he has to learn to roll it end on end (it is shaped like an egg) to get the food. Maybe if fun is attached to eating he would enjoy food more? Just a thought.

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