• My basenji, Jax, is 5.5 months old. He has never been a super excited eater except apparently when he is at friends homes. I have changed his food 4 times now(not by choice) each time he would stop eating and I would try warm water etc. he would eat it then if I didn’t transition he would stop all together. I know he is hungry, just wong eat. So anyway we are on food 4 now which he loved at a friends house because their dogs ate that. It worked for about a month now he is done with this food(and he didn’t even love it) I would some days have to add water, some days water and a little Kong stuffing. Now will barely touch it. I have seen on here before the saying if he is hungry he will eat. I am not so sure he will, he does the classic stomach is empty in the morning so he will throw up. On mornings I cannot get him to eat. The past few days he has been especially not thrilled about eating. Not even my vet is sure what to do because we have switched to foods for the vet and he is still not a fan of that food. I know he is not “sick” has normal bowel movements etc. Please help!!

  • @nick4

    You should try raw fooding, as we call it. It's all I give my dogs. They've been eating this way for awhile now and love it. I'd never go back. I just started some 5 week old puppies on raw food this week. There are some excellent brands available in the freezer section. Some are better than others. There is also bone broth, ready to go, out on the market now. You warm just a little of that and pour around the raw food or you can add a little warmed-up raw goat milk to take the chill off. Either way, you'll probably never have a problem again. Do some research on the subject and I think you'll find some very interesting and "scary" info about kibble and canned food. Best to you and your puppy.


  • If they are not sick, they will eat when hungry... classic empty tummy doesn't mean they are hungry, just that the tummy is empty. Also I always mix some good can food with the dry kibble. And nothing wrong with adding a little water.... I would not want to just eat dry kibble.... How much does Jax weigh?

  • @nick4 Just some thoughts.

    I tend to believe that every dog owner feeds their dog diferently than the next - and most of us "swear by it". The key is to figure out what food will make you feel confidant that you are giving Jax what he needs. That might mean that you need to research kibble products, or the raw diet, or homemade foods, or all of these approaches. Doing that research will give you the confidence that you are giving Jax the best you can. It will also eliminate any anxiety that Jax might be sensing at mealtime. If Jax thinks you are worried about what's in his bowl, he's not going to "want it". (does that make sense?)

    Are you hovering to see if he's eating? [LOL, Kinda sounds a little creepy, doesn't it? Would you want to eat if someone was looking over your shoulder?]

    Or, do you put the bowl down and pick it back up after a half hour (empty or not)? [This will create a sense of urgency: "I better eat or she'll take it away!"]

    Does he get his meals at the same time every day? [Bug doesn't get breakfast/dinner at the same time, but she knows that we go for a walk after we wake up and then she gets breakfast. Sometimes that's at 6am, sometimes it's at 10am, and she's always eager for her morning walk!]

    It's fine to 'mix things up' a little with water, or chicken stock, or a surprise in Jax's bowl. [I started "bug" on chicken/rice/veggies and a bit of chicken stock when I first brought her home as a way to alieviate the stress from transitioning into our home. We still feed human foods, but we vary the protein, veggies and grain, adding fruits occasionally. (I nuke her meal for 30 seconds because I suspect that refrigerated food products will upset dog tummies.) Never have a problem with her eating or digestion. Personally, I like feeding her this way. She gets (canine) multi-vitamins to make sure I don't miss something vital - which makes me confident in this approach. (which is why I suggested the research - I feel good about what Bug eats, so she does too.)]

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that you need to feel like you are giving Jax something that is good (for him) before he will feel like he's getting something good for him to eat.

    ok, I'm really not a doggy psychologist....

  • My male was the same way. I fed him a dry kibble with a little chicken broth and he was fine. He also would eat grass the vet said that was because of acid in his stomach. I would give him a teaspoon of peanut butter at night with a pepcid AC and voila it was cured.

  • Mine gets bored of the same thing every day. I add different foods to his regular kibble to change it up. Chicken broth, beef broth, pumpkin puree, egg, coconut oil, freeze dried fish or liver, you could add some raw as well. Pick a healthy kibble you know is good for him, add some variety here and there, he won't starve himself to death. If he just doesn't feel like eating some days but he's still a healthy weight then he's fine.

  • My basenji had similar periods, when in puberty... I learned he was eating too much protein. We switched to raw, I have cut his portions and he is eating regulary.
    He will eat anything when with other dogs, that doesn’t mean he likes it, he just doesn’t want other dogs to eat it.
    Relax, offer him food after walking. Get him tired, come home and give him food. If he doesn’t want it, pick it up.
    I prefer raw food, but that doesn’t mean That’s your only option. My problems are gone since on raw. Do your research and find food he likes. Wach for proteins, If you feed kibble, up to 24% of protein is enough.

  • mine is a foodie. He won't eat if he is disappointed in the offering especially if I am watching. Try a little bit of high quality real food (an egg, sardine, meat, yogurt) and then walk away and see what happens. If he eats it, you may have a dog who knows quality and won't eat anything else. Not such a bad thing in the long run. Expensive but better for him.

  • We buy dried raw food from Chewie's and add a little warm water and some Linatone for Binti's coat. Our vet 3 Basenjis ago told us that the Linatone was not only good for the coat, but that Basenjis seem to like the taste. Sometimes we substitute some bone bone for the water, but we always slightly warm the liquid. That seems to do the trick for Binti.

  • Not sick isn't determined by normal bowel movements.

    Changing food four times in what, 3 1/2 mos? is too much. Give him an acid reducer so he doesn't throw up bile, stick with one food. Putting water is fine, avoid other stuff. If he doesn't eat after 3 days, it's time for full blood work, teeth, gums, everything that could be making eating a problem. Dogs do have eating issues, and sometimes you don't know why. I believed all dogs would eat and not starve ... until i was proven wrong.

  • @nick4 I'm assuming your pup has had Fanconi testing or is clear by pedigree? It usually causes decreased appetite, so I wanted to make sure it's been ruled out.

    Otherwise, I've always found basenjis who are 'only children' are really fussy eaters--no siblings to steal their food if they walk away. At 5.5 months, it might also be he's missing the his mom & littermates, since b's are social dogs. Does he spend a fair bit of time alone? That's often stressful for them, and stress affects their appetite a fair bit.

    You could try a commercial raw diet, mine definitely prefer it to kibble. Earthborn Meadow Feast is another kibble that's tempted mine when they weren't hungry.

    Also, make sure the kibble is stored in a cool, dry place out of the sun in the original bag. If you economize by buying large bags, store the bulk of it in the freezer, taking out about a week's worth at a time. It can go rancid quickly once exposed to air, especially in hot weather. I'm also cautious about buying kibble in the summer months--I think it might go rancid if transported in unrefridgerated railcars or trucks that stand in the sun for hours. I have one boy with a sensitive nose and even more sensitive gut--I pay attention when he refuses food, he's my canary in the coal mine.

    If he doesn't eat, pick up his food and either discard or bag it & put it in the freezer. Leaving it down for him to eat later will make him a pickier eater. It's better for training & housebreaking if he eats (or not) on a schedule that YOU dictate. Good luck!

  • @yodelma - Pup is only 5.5 months, too early even if affected with Fanconi via the DNA test. Fanconi is late onset

  • Seems like there is a lot of sensible advice. I'll second the question of how much does he weigh. Also, does he look healthy? Emaciated? Makes a difference. Also note that his growth may be slowing down so he may not need as much food as he did a month or two ago.

  • @katclem said in Basenji Won’t eat:


    My Sahara is a picky eater as well. I feed her Dry kibble Royal Canin, with cut up chicken thigh & a little broth. I heat it a bit, she hates cold food. I give her French Style (no salt) green beans at night with chicken. She also loves white rice with chicken & broth. I know she is spoiled, but I want her to eat good. On her Birthday she gets steak, Just Saying!!!!

  • @basenjilover60
    Your spoiling is of a good kind. 🙂

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