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Help with dogs diet please!(6 Posts)
I have a 20 month old Jack Russel cross, he's always been a fussy eater. When we got him we weaned him onto raw food, which he enjoyed for a little bit then stopped eating. We then tried everything. Wet food in gravy, jelly, pate - meat and fish, again dry food in meat & fish as well as hard/soft textures. We came to accept he would eat as and when he wanted and to stop policing as such. We found a dry food he liked when he was hungry so we leave a bowl out 24/7 for him to graze on and then he likes 2 brands of pate which we give a bowl in the morning, if he doesn't eat it gets put in the fridge until later. After about 5pm it'll stay out until bed time and be binned if he doesn't eat and we start again. He's fussy with treats, only really likes body parts and bones which is fine, and will eat anything human. He does like sardines and tuna which we give him a couple of times a week.
Anyone able to advise what else we can try to get him to eat reliably? He gets hunger pukes a lot because he's so empty but there is always food available to him!
Sounds like you might need to instil some tough love - dogs are very smart and quickly realise that if they refuse meals, there's a chance that we will replace it for something novel, as we don't want to see our dogs go hungry. Cut out all treats and human titbits until he starts eating his meals properly. Dogs can go a week without eating (although they definitely shouldn't, and two days should ideally be the max), as long as there aren't any health problems, he will eat when he's hungry. Don't pander to him, otherwise you will be stuck in this never ending circle of switching foods!
Stick to set meal times, twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening, as feeding only once can cause hunger pukes. Give him about 10 minutes to eat, and if he refuses, just pick up and serve again later. Ideally you don't want him thinking that food is available whenever he wants, grazing will also lower his interest in meals.
Both of mine got very picky with their raw food around that age and would point blank refuse to even sniff their meals at one stage. It was tough (and some food did get thrown away in the process!) but now they eat everything and anything that's put in front of them, the bowls are always spotless! It takes a lot of determination but it's so much less hassle not having to switch to different food each time they get bored.
@TeacupRex thank you for your advice. Do you know of any wet/dry/raw food that's particularly nutritious? We're going to head to pets at home tonight to find something good for him and then follow your advice.
There’s a site (all about dog food?) that will give you an idea.
What do you want to feed? Raw, wet or dry?
My big girl is fussy. I offer food. If she won’t eat it then it goes away. Same food is offered. But less. At next mealtime.
If you offer loads of different things every time they refuse to eat they soon realise that not eating can lead to yummy stuff!
If it was me I would choose one of the 99% rated foods and stick to it. Don’t alternate, don’t give him human food.
You can get toppers for food to encourage them to eat but I’ve never tried them (Eg Barker&Barker Tasty Toppers)
If you're going down the raw route, unfortunately you're not going to find much there in Pets At Home aside from Nature's Menu. Their Country Hunter range isn't too bad but it is expensive. Avoid the products with brown rice in them - grains aren't raw and really shouldn't be in raw food. I'd start with completes first rather than DIY raw. You can probably just keep him on the one flavour to begin with, then once he stops being fussy you can introduce other types of meat - with raw you're ideally aiming for around 3 different proteins for longterm variety. Has he tried raw whole bones before?
I can't personally recommend any dry/wet foods myself as mine have always been raw fed, but Canagan looks like a good nutritional complete, they do kibble and wet tins. Billy & Margot, Aatu, Lily's Kitchen are some of the better commercial brands they stock at PaH. As long as the ingredients are clearly labelled, high in meat (I'd want at least 80% meat ideally), not too much fruit/veg/supplements and no grains. Akela is good too but I don't think PaH stocks it.