Eating behaviors..

Hello,

My basenji is 16.5 pounds. I swear she has lost weight! She is on a raw diet. We have tried multiple kinds of food (over the last year). She is currently eating the pork or chicken horizon raw diet. She is almost anorexic sometimes. We have tried multiple things such as leaving the food down for 15 minutes then taking it away…feeding on a strict schedule...exercising really well..etc. Not much has changed in her behavior. Some days all she will eat is 2 bites of food and some milk. But then again some days she will eat two patties of food and act hungry even after all that. She is excited and has as much energy as she always has. She loves to do the basenji 500's in our living room all the way to the bedroom. I am however worried about her lack of interest in food and water. I swear I can leave water out all day and I never notice her drinking. If she is eating, I avoid the kitchen and don't pay any attention to her because I am so thankful she is eating. It is not constant!

The vet said she looks really healthy and happy so should I be worried?

Oh ya, I forgot to mention this…

Sometimes if Nulla hasn't eaten in the morning and I have to leave for work she won't eat then until the evening. When my boyfriend or I come home we put her food out so she can eat. She will actually barf out of hunger before eating it sometimes. It really upsets me because then after she barfs she will eat the whole bowl..but why barf if the food is right there to be eaten?

I would get her to a vet for a check up and blood work.

@NullaBasenji:

Oh ya, I forgot to mention this…

Sometimes if Nulla hasn't eaten in the morning and I have to leave for work she won't eat then until the evening. When my boyfriend or I come home we put her food out so she can eat. She will actually barf out of hunger before eating it sometimes. It really upsets me because then after she barfs she will eat the whole bowl..but why barf if the food is right there to be eaten?

"Empty tummy" would be my guess… for the barfing....... she is hungry... at that time...

And in the end if she is healthly I would not worry about how much she weighs...

On a raw diet dogs tend to lose more body fat that they can have from a kibble diet. But she really won't starve herself, like Tanza said the barfing before eating could be from "empty tummy" syndrome. My dog does sometimes vomits in the morning if we sleep in, he'll go outside and munch on grass and then throw up the grass and bile, it's just from having an empty stomach for a longer than normal period of time.

Your vet has checked her out, you can have them run a stool and blood sample again just to check her out; depending on your vet though they may or may not try an prescribe a kibble food - a lot of vets don't like/prefer raw diets because they haven't learned about it.

Another thing with raw is it also has more moisture content so dogs on raw tend to drink less water. Try not avoiding the kitchen, you can be in the kitchen with her and praise her while she is eating - or does this discourage her? You could also try hand feeding her for a bit.

Alternate options is you can give her Satin Balls, they work wonderfully, to help add weight to dogs that are under weight. Here's a link from a post on here to how to make them,
http://www.basenjiforums.com/showpost.php?p=30167&postcount=2

Maybe you could post a side view of your girl? Some basenji girls can be really dainty and petite so your girl might just be on the slight side.

Thanks for your replies. They are very helpful. Here are two pictures of Nulla from today. I will definitely try making the satin balls! She has eaten yesterday and today. Yesterday she threw up bile at around 2pm. We had tried feeding her twice in the morning and she did not eat yet at that point. After she threw up she ate a full patty. I just think she has the weirdest behaviors!
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Has she had a full medical check up? Including full blood panel? She looks to be very finely built.. and I don't really see her ribs sticking out …. so she doesn't look that bad to me... How old is she?

How tall and long is she? Medjai is very lightly built and a little short. He weighs 18.5 and is healthy for now, 'til Fanconi sets in. You pup looks healthy to me. I don't see ribs and back sticking out. There's a waist, but not too thin to me.

She is 1 year and almost 3 months. On Tuesday she had a full medical check up but no bloodwork. She is approx 14-15 inches from her tail to her shoulders and stands approx 14 inches tall.

She is a small girl since the breed standard calls for 16" for bitches… so I would say her weight is good were it is... and considering her build, I would also say that she is about where she should be. I would continue on with what you are doing... when there is no competition for food (even when they eat in crates, which I highly suggest for any house with more then one dog) sometime it is difficult to build good eating habits.....

Dito what Tanza said, and the laying down pic helped too. She looks great IMO since she is fine built and short for a basenji I wouldn't worry to much.

Good eat habits can be hard to develop and part of it can be that they are picky about what they are eating and/or how it is given. Are these patties frozen or cold when you give them to her? You could try warming them up a bit, not hot just more like room temp, stick them in the micro for a few secs. If they are dehydrated type add it to a little bowl of warm water. Another trick that works famous is baby food, couple teaspoons of warm baby food mixed in and the critters will gobble it right up. Baby food is great too because it has no sodium or added sugars and its healthy.

Please be sure to keep us informed how she is doing.

Thanks, I hadn't even thought of the baby food idea. Today she is doing great. I think added stress in the home (from upstairs neighbors) has put her on edge too. I think she senses stress in us as well. I appreciate the feedback that she looks pretty healthy. I thought so too until we went to the vet and she had lost a full pound since 4 months earlier. I usually weigh her on my home scale (I weigh myself alone and then with her and figure out the difference). I think the vet scale is far more accurate though. Something to look forward to is a dog socializing club we are starting to go to next week! Its going to be nice for her since the cold weather (and ungodly amounts of snow) has made us stuck inside for longer periods than normal.

Stress can cause weight loss, and yes dogs can very much sense it in you.

For the vet scale, I'm kinda 50/50 on them - more because they kinda round off, guess the average because most dogs are so fidgety on them and smelling all over the place. Now if your dog can actually sit still for about 5 seconds then they are quite good. I have one dog that I can get to sit still all the time and the other well….. lets say he likes to be fidgety one LOL But we can't get anything better, everything varies from our own home scales to the vet scales. Luckily basenjis are small enough to weigh on our own roughly at home LOL

Yahoo Groups has a RawFedBasenji forum. The members have an enormous cumulative wealth of information. You should join and pose your questions to them.

Hello, I just wanted to send a quick update on Nulla. She is doing so well!
We started a dog training course where my boyfriend and I are the alpha dogs. There is not treats involved and it has shown amazing results. Nulla has been in the course for about a month now. We have had no eating problems from her (no barfing, no not eating what we set our for her), no behavioral problems (no chewing my shoes, etc). She seems so happy and I am sure she is gaining weight (although I have not weighed her).
I think dog training is completely necessary and we've seen HUGE results in Nulla. Everything I posted about before is no longer a concern. Thanks for all the input though. Take Care 🙂

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