Dog lovers, need your helpf
I have a twelve year-old Chihuahua. He was on nothing but dry food his entire life until last year. I've always struggled to keep his weight on him without resorting to soft food but the vet said that'll be the best way to get his weight up. I knew as soon as I introduced canned food it would be a slow slide to him not eating hard food at all, which is exactly what happened.
He used to never beg for food or whine while I was eating, now he does and it's driving me freaking crazy. If I'm home he's begging and whining for food every 1-2 hours. I find my self yelling at him all the time, which I never did before. It's as if I can't have peace at home any more. His weight is normal now so he's not starving to death. Any suggestions?
A lot of dogs do get more and more food obsessed as they age. It seems like just ignoring doesn't always work for older dogs. Have you tried a few types of dry food for him? Maybe something very high quality? Or the addition of a really good multivitamin/probiotic?
If a dog is always hungry, my vet recommends adding frozen green beans or peas along with the small amount of wet food to their normal ration. In addition, giving him a small food stuffed bone or toy and putting him in a separate room during your meal time may at least give you some quiet during your meals.
I have seen this is so many older dogs now it makes me wonder if they develop some type of nutritional deficiency with age that makes them this way.
Last edited by jammies; 07-06-2011 at 12:19 PM.
What exactly are you feeding him? It may depend on the make-up of the dry food as compared to the canned food. There are some grain free dog foods available, which might be an option. I switched our dog to a more natural diet and her appetite decreased a bit. Being that your dog is so small, even if the cost is a more it shouldn't be that expensive due to feeding less.
Have you tried feeding raw food?
I know you said he won't take hard foods, but if you've only fed kibble or biscuits before, raw may be different enough for him to take it.
You could also start with something like minced chicken or beef, mixing in some minced heart, kidney and a little liver would also be good but may be too flavoursome initially.
If he likes that you should be able to build up to meaty bones, assuming his teeth are up to it (poor dental conditioning is a common cause for dogs to go off hard foods, as they experience discomfort/pain) by stepping up to mashed chicken necks, then whole necks, etc.
A dog his size could eat chicken wings/nibbles (they shouldn't be too small that they're a choke hazard, but if the are look for something bigger).
Check out rawmeatybones.com for lots of useful info.
Both wet and dry food are from the vet. It's good quality stuff. Think I might try some other type of dry food or maybe starting putting lard or some thing on it. He just had a check up and every thing was fine. I put a call into the vet to ask her opinion.
He's also started eating grass regularly, some thing her rarely did before. Typically you'd say he's doing it because he's sick to his stomach but I see no signs of that, like vomiting.
Dogs don't eat grass because they're sick, they eat it for fibre and because some of it is actually quite tasty (orchard grass in particular). My dog eats grass but she's really picky about it. It just comes out in her poo and she seems to like it that way. (My dog is on a raw food diet.)
I'd say your dog has just discovered that food can taste AWESOME, thanks to the wet stuff, and just wants more. The grass is probably just to add a bit of bulk. How you manage that depends on what his health is like - if he needs the extra weight, let him eat more. If he's good, weight-wise, you want to avoid overfeeding - adding raw vegetables (like carrots or green beans, something crunchy) is a good idea as it'll provide bulk with few usable calories (err on the side of green beans, not carrots, as dogs CAN digest fructose).
If it's from the vet, it's most likely NOT high quality. Veterinarians are animal doctors - not animal nutritionists. They are taught about nutrition in vet school from the dry food companies.
If it's from the vet or grocery store - it's not high quality food.
What's the ingredient list look like on the dog food?
Please be careful with lard. Dogs can get pancreatitis very easily if you up the fat too fast on them. Maybe a little lightly cooked chicken liver added to her food to start?
I would second the idea that food from the vet may not be ideal for your dog. They often have a lot of grain and other filler in them.
Taste of the Wild : Products
^^ find some of that. I have yet to meet an animal that won't eat this stuff, it's awesome.
Just got off the phone with the vet and she said since he's only eating wet food now I'm not giving him near enough and he's hungry all the time. She suggested doubling the amount I'm giving him.
My dog is in spectacular health, for his age so this is a little bump in the road. He just hogged down half a can so we'll see what happens.
BTW, I've tried 100% beef dog food for him before, loved it at first and then quit eating it. Went through this a couple of times with different brands.