What is this? Picky eater? Hunger strike? Illness?

Discussion in 'General Mastiff Discussion' started by sgsmith318, May 14, 2019.

  1. sgsmith318

    sgsmith318 Member

    Oh my GOSH, this is so frustrating.

    Our 4 year old English mastiff periodically decides she won't touch her (Fromm Adult Large Breed) food. If we switch her to another flavor or grain-free/non-grain free option in their food line for some variety, she gets literally projectile high-volume diarrhea, so that option is OUT. We already had to replace all the living room and dining room rugs once, and a couch and loveseat. Ruined.

    The first time she seemed unexcited about her food, we (mistakenly) tried to tempt her to eat by putting fun treats in her food (a dab of bacon grease...a bit of dog high-value treat buried in the bowl...anything to pique her interest). The problem ever since seems to be that she thinks there might be something yummier worth waiting for...and she goes on a complete hunger strike. She'll come out to the kitchen like it's dinner time, then stand at her bowl wagging her tail and waiting. She'll actually just lay down in front of the bowl.. Or she'll sniff it, maybe take a few little bites, and walk out. For days.

    She doesn't have any mouth problems, teeth problems, stomach problems. Her energy level is normal. She's not acting "off". The bowl is clean. The food is fresh.

    This current 'strike' started after my husband brought her home a beef marrow bone to chew on while she's outside, which she was very excited about. AND she started sneaking cat food (which took her four years to figure out). Now she's more interested in looking for fun things to gnaw on outside, including any leftovers that our hunting cat leaves lying around (ugh). So suddenly here we are on what feels like a full-fledged hunger strike again, and it feels like she's waiting us out. She doesn't appear to have anything going on in her mouth that would cause eating to be painful, so I'm at a loss.

    Normal? Not normal? Call a vet? It feels like some kind of weird power struggle, except she's a DOG.

  2. Nik

    Nik Well-Known Member

    My dog Cerberus was like this and man was he stubborn. He would just get bored with his food sometimes. We found this powdered pure beef sprinkle stuff and we would sprinkle that over his kibble ( like seasoning) when he would do this and it would usually do the trick. With him it was simply a matter of yes he wanted something better or different.
  3. Pastor Dave

    Pastor Dave Well-Known Member

    There are mornings when Mr. Chev will not touch his kibble. If I stir in some grated cheddar cheese, he will eat up all in the bowl. I have been making a combination of For Health and something with some grains for my two doggies. The black lab is ...always hungry !! No problems there. Have a great day.
    Chevy 17.jpg
  4. Sheila Braund

    Sheila Braund Well-Known Member

    Both my EM Bella and my wee poodle Sunny will do this.
    Both dogs of course does this on different days....thank goodness. 2 pups on hunger stricken would be unnerving. I will allow them to walk away from their dish and I'll pick up their dish and put away....I feed both mine raw no grains at all in their diet.
    If one of my girls goes on hunger struck with out drinking too for more then 24 hrs....they go to the vet.... Sunnys done this and she was very ill....Bella will skip a meal either morning or night... but the next feeding she will eat. Sometimes I'll put freeze dried liver treats on top of they food....other times I'll just let it go. Bella has never skipped 2 meals in a day..so I'm lucky that way. I have noticed that the change in the weather can effect their appetites
  5. DenyMcKusker

    DenyMcKusker Member

    'I feel like I could have written this post. Max will not eat kibble. He just wont eat it. I put him back on raw and he is eating. I also put the Pittie that is having seizures back on it to see if that helps. Th reason I took him off it was due to explosive diarrhea. I give him a tablespoon of pure pumpkin and this has helped so far. I am not one who is able to walk away and say he'll eat when he gets hungry. Can't do it. I am grateful he is eating raw. I know your frustration!
  6. DennasMom

    DennasMom Well-Known Member

    I've never experienced this, personally...

    Denna is raw fed and will eat ANYTHING I put in her dish.... when she gets the occasional kibble meal, she thinks she's getting a whole meal of treats (we use kibble as kong stuffing), and will inhale it. LOL... she's on weight-management portions now for a reason...

    Our last dog ate the same kibble his whole life, and would skip a meal here or there, but never go "on strike"... he was a "self-regulator", and if we didn't get out and exercise, he would reduce his calorie intake for the day.

    I knew we needed to get out for a walk when he skipped breakfast. LOL.

    So... things I would try, before resorting to the "toppers" that your dog is holding out for:

    1. Go for a LONG walk and get her really TIRED... and HUNGRY. Put the food down for 15 minutes... then pick up... wait an hour and put it down again... pick up again as needed.

    2. Do a bunch of obedience command training exercises... and use her normal kibble as the "reward" for a job well done.... get her juices flowing by working for a few bites, then lead her to the dish with a happy, excited "GOOD JOB! NOW EAT!" Some dogs feel better about eating if they know they've earned it.... I think that's more of a lab thing, but, hey... if it works?

    For the explosive diarrhea issue on changing foods... have you given her probiotics and digestive enzymes?
    I use a product called "GI Support" from OnlyNaturalPets that has all sorts of GI stuff in it... probiotics, slippery elm, L-glutamine - all of these soothe the GI tract, support mucus production, and can help heal leaky-gut. If you haven't given anything like this before, it might be worth adding. The GI Support pills I use are also chicken flavored, so I open the capsule and pour it on Denna's food, which would also act as a "flavor-topper" in your case.
    DogZymes is another great product for daily probiotics and digestive enzymes.
    Sheila Braund likes this.
  7. DennasMom

    DennasMom Well-Known Member

    ...another thought... our "self-regulator" would also not eat when he was too excited or anxious (it drove the staff at the bording facility BONKERS!).

    So... if you think that might be the case... where your dog is getting too distracted by other stuff going on to eat... put her in a quiet room with just food and water, shut the door and walk away for a few hours... maybe she'll get bored enough to eat. :)
    Sheila Braund likes this.

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