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Raw feeders..help!(7 Posts)
9 month old puppy..never food orientated. Mostly raw fed with a bit of cooked/cheese as treats now and again. She hated kibble from the start hence moving to raw.
Gradually she has become less and less interested in her food. She's not ill..picture of health but she is very good at holding out in hope of something better.
She HAS liked tripe (grim!), a bit of rabbit, and chicken, and loves chicken wings..tripe was her favourite and she is least keen on red meat. But currently the only thing she likes is the chicken...either raw chunks or the wings.Obviously I want her to have a more balanced diet than that.. but how to get her interested again without making a big deal of it?
I know it is her trying it on as she is uber keen for junk food treats or cheese (not helped by having adult kids who can't resist giving her stuff)
Short term I know a few hungry days won't harm her but she does tend to be sick if she has a really empty stomach so I'd rather avoid that!
ANy suggestions welcomed!
My two spaniels went through the same thing when they were around that age, just picking at the meals and sometimes not even bothering to have a sniff! I would definitely cut out the cheese and treats until she starts eating her meals - dogs are very clever and they can play us like a fiddle when they realise that refusing meals will result in us exchanging it for something new. If she refuses to eat what's in her bowl, pick it up and serve it again later, she doesn't get another option. I know raw can be a pain as it doesn't stay fresh for long, it will usually last around 2-3 days in the fridge. Do you feed DIY or completes, and is she fed twice a day?
Unfortunately sounds like you'll need to enforce some tough love on her - a healthy dog won't starve itself and she'll quickly learn that refusing food gets her nothing.
Hunger pukes are a pain, my older spaniel is particularly prone to it if his stomach is empty.. it may be worth spreading meals out between 2 or 3 smaller feeds. I give mine a biscuit at bedtime to prevent them being sick in the night, but this might not be an option for you right now if treats are encouraging her to refuse meals.
Maybe you could try introducing new meats along with tripe? There are lots of completes you can buy which include tripe. And if she likes chicken, maybe you could try other white meats like turkey, duck.. maybe a little fish like whitefish or salmon (fresh fish needs to be frozen for at least a week to kill all potential parasites). Slowly of course, to make sure she isn't sensitive to any ingredients. In fairness, her diet isn't really too bad! Tripe (lamb/beef), chicken and rabbit balanced over a week is quite varied, although it never hurts to try new meats!
If it's of any help, my two are now extremely greedy and eat everything and anything that's put in front of them these days. Their appetites changed a lot after being neutered. If they haven't touched their food, I know there's something seriously wrong!
Thank you for your reply.. it really is helpful.
She's been having a mix of 'completes' and basics... I started with Paleo Ridge but it was a) mega expensive and b) she often wasn't keen. I get from a local stockist and got a few Albion ones in..that's how I discovered tripe, and she has a mix..eg beef and tripe, chicken and tripe etc, which she has been eating but reluctantly. This morning after a previous non eating day, I gave her plain raw chicken... and she wolfed it down (300g) but then refused her nice tripe/beef combo tonight. She's a 22kg dog! I generally find she doesn't need as much as the guidelines suggest (I think she's fully grown now) but she is definitely going short at the mo. I don't think she looks thin tho (she's a double coated fuzz ball but I can't feel her ribs sticking out)
She definitely prefers chicken on the bone.. takes it off to her bed to enjoy it, whereas food in a bow..sniffs, walks away and might come back eventually. She doesn't like liver/heart etc but I hope the tripe compensates when she isn't refusing it! Salmon.. sometimes likes but isn't over keen on fish. I was wondering about giving her some eggs..either raw or cooked (I'm not purist about raw as she has cheese some times..just want her healthy and happy)?
I think I'm going to have to go down the 'tough love' route... I do think she's playing me like a fiddle! I'll give her a night time biscuit though to try and avoid the hungry puke.
Sometimes dogs can be a bit funny about the texture of some raws - some of the completes can be almost pate-like and wet, others prefer chunks or food with a drier consistency.. Can definitely empathise with you there - my two occasionally get treated to a Paleo Ridge meal (it is lovely quality stuff!) but it would be far too expensive to feed on a regular basis. Mine are mostly fed on a mix of Bulmers, Furry Feasts and The Raw Factory completes depending on what my stockist has in at the time.
This is probably a bit of a weird one, but have you tried feeding on a flat surface like a plate or chopping board as opposed to a bowl? It may do nothing, but I've heard of some dogs being funny about eating out of stainless steel bowls - a couple of times I've heard about dogs being spooked by their dog collar tag clinking against the bowl. Maybe even try feeding in her bed if that's where she feels most comfortable eating!
Eggs are great! Raw or cooked is fine - scrambled egg is our go-to if our dogs are unwell. You can even give her the shell if she's willing to eat it - good source of calcium. Alternatively you can dry out the shells, grind them up and sprinkle it over meals. Liver is an important part of the offal ratio - I believe it's 5% of the 10% offal should be liver? If you can manage to get her to eat a bit of liver (either raw or dried in treat form) that would be good - it is very high in vitamin a, so you only need a small amount. Heart and tripe generally tends to be fed as muscle meat as opposed to offal - but it can be very rich and cause runny tums so they don't need a lot
Funnily enough she is more likely to eat oif it's on the floor (I do clean afterwards!) than in a bowl... I might try just dumping her food on a spare tray !
I'm going to buy some liver tomorrow and slow dry it in the oven, or maybe make liver cake (just been googling). She's been a bit 'not herself' since her first season finished 2 weeks ago.. not ill, but a bit quiet and a tad grumpy (usually she'd want to play with dogs she meets but at the moment she just wants to hunt mice in the grass) so hormones may be playing a part. I assume home dried meat is ok? I have pondered doing tht with some of her food as then it wouldn't go off quickly!
Mine has a single meat morning and night either turkey or pork (restricted because of potential allergies, hopefully that can change eventually). Then we chuck bits of apple, carrot, banana, cheese, egg etc in his direction as distractions over the day or as his good behaviour rewards. He ends up with variety and I think he enjoys feeling he's getting a treat.
Bottom line I wouldn't worry. Mine is 10 months and a few weeks ago he had a week or so of barely eating. He's demolishing everything again now.
I think lots of dogs get picky about food at this age.
Try not to make a deal of it and just pick up any food not eaten. Try again next meal time.
They come back to eating food with enthusiasm again, in the end (mostly!)