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6 month old stopped eating breakfast?

12561 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Shell
Hey guys... :)

I've got an almost 6 month old lab. He's never been super enthusiastic about breakfast, and we found out early on, we can't feed him right when we wake up in the morning, he's got to be awake for a little while before he'll be interested in food. Makes sense, I don't like eating when I'm still waking up either lol.

Today is day 3 of him not eating breakfast. He gets fed twice a day. We feed Eukanuba (I think, I'll have to double check the bag, but I'm pretty sure that's the brand) Large Breed Puppy Chow. We recently cut back his food (maybe started a week and a half ago) from 2 and a half cups per serving to two cups per serving. So I feel like him not eating in the AM is not due to too much food? He's a big guy... he's almost 60lbs.

We've been soaking his food for a while now, maybe a month? Because his mouth has been bothering with all the teeth that keep popping out.

He eats dinner just fine, and seems to act normal throughout the day, etc.

I can't just leave the food out for him because he comes to work with me, and he can't eat at work. We get up about an hour before we leave for work.

Ideas? Or just let him not eat...? I feel bad! He acts hungry later in the day!
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My Kelpie mix did this exact same thing around 6 months old, I fed him kibble in the mornings, and raw at night - he always ate his dinner no matter what, but right around the 6 month mark he went through a phase where he just wasn't interested in eating his kibble in the morning, and then, of course, was starving later so I had to increase the amount of raw I fed in the evenings. After a couple days of this, I decided to give him raw in the mornings for breakfast and he ate it no problem sorta hesitantly but he got er down eventually, but I noticed he still wasn't as hungry or excited for breakfast, raw or not, and he was always excited for his raw dinners.

I didn't think it was the kibble I was feeding, since I usually mixed 3 or 4 kinds together with different flavors to keep it interesting for him, but after about a week of this behavoir, he went back to devouring his kibble in the mornings again. I did notice, though, that I was overfeeding.. at 6 months old I dont think they require as much food as they did between the 8 week-5 months.. because before he went through the 'not interested in breakfast phase', he was devouring 1 - 1/4 cup of kibble first thing in the mornings no problems, in about 3 seconds and about 9 ounces of raw in the evenings, then after the phase and about a week of not wanting to eat breakfast, he went back to eating his kibble, but he would leave a lot of it and didn't finish it...

so I decreased his kibble portion in the morning to just over 1 cup, approx 1 1/8 cup and he would finish it.. and now at 11 months old and 50 lbs he gets 1 cup exactly of kibble and same approx 9 ounces of raw and he's lean, not fat, not too skinny and looks good.

Have to remember that the bags of kibble they usually always recommend a bit more than necessary..

A few things to try, if it were me, would be to A: decrease his daily food rations.. maybe a bit more than what you are giving currently, and see if this boosts his appetite in the morning. B: If A doesn't seem to work, maybe he doesn't much care for the kibble? Perhaps try something different, or add something into it like boiled chicken, or some low fat yogurt, or some canned pumpkin (not pie filling) or even some good quality canned food and mix in (be sure to decrease the kibble amount even more if going to mix in something else so to not over exceed on the calories and such). Maybe he's only eating it in the evenings because by then he's starving and has no choice but to eat it, wether he likes it or not.

Or, like my pup.. it could be sort of a combination of maturing, not needing as much food and going through a phase , where in my case, lasted a week, where he refused to eat breakfast (Kinda like we sometimes did growing up and becomming a teenager.. lol)

anyways.. just some thoughts, I'm sure you will get a lot of other helpful replies.
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My dog was picky and skipped meals frequently when we were on a low quality food. Unfortunately, I don't think Eukanuba is the best food. I recommend switching to something higher quality. When I switched to a grain-free food that contained moderate amounts of meat she began enjoying her meals a lot more and eating them right away. Here is a good place to start if you want to see what foods are out there.

In addition I would start instituting the 15 minute rule. Whatever your dog doesn't eat in 15 minutes gets put up and he doesn't get access to it again until the next meal. It doesn't take most dogs very long to realize what's going on and start eating when the food is offered. It is also possible that you are overfeeding, so if he continues to leave food after a while (or starts to get chubby) I would decrease the amount you are feeding.
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If you are using the brand you say you are. Its a good brand. And you are feeding pure food, not filler crap found in most dog foods. Follow the instructions on the side, even measure the amount your dog is eating, against suggested eating guide on side of packet. If your dog is getting Eukanuba's recommended daily intake for that particular brand, you are doing ok.

You have a lab that is not food driven. This is fantastic in med/long term of its life. You see so many "i used to be a labrador, now im a fat blob with legs on the corners", you are blessed. And as Lab's often have hip/elbow probs, you will need to be vigilant re weight.

Most pets are kept at obese levels. Dont fall into this trap.

10 mins to eat its meal then lift it, and wait till next meal. Dont allow dogs to graze feed. 10 mins is plenty of time. It WILL be extra hungry at next feed. Do this for 4 days, your dog will eat when you put food down! As its knows it has to wait for next feed.
As long as your dog is getting the daily intake suggested by the eukanuba packet you have, there is no need to stress. It can have all of that at 7pm, or divided into several meals without your dogs health suffering any any way.
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Generally, most dog food bags, particularly the lower quality brands suggest a much larger feeding amount than a dog needs. You might just be feeding a bit more than he needs.

Eukanuba's Large Breed Puppy food's first 5 ingredients (since ingredients are listed in terms of their proportions in the food)
Chicken, Corn Meal, Chicken By-Product Meal (Natural source of Chondroitin Sulfate and Glucosamine), Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Brewers Rice,
Not impressive IMO. Corn is fairly undigestible to dogs and basically just adds bulk to the food. Chicken as a first ingredient is good, but since it includes the water weight, its actual portion of the food is less than its "first" place would suggest. Sorghum and rice are two more grains that aren't exactly bad but don't really add much to the nutritional content of the food either.

Personally, I'd do 3 things:
1- get a better quality food, preferably one where the first 2 (3 is better) ingredients are named meats (or meat meals which is NOT the same as a "by-product meal"). There are better options for the same price per lb and you will need to feed less of a better food.
2- 15 minute rule.
3- if you want to make sure he eats in the AM (esp maybe on days when dinner might be later or similar) then put a spoonful of peanut butter or plain canned pumpkin on top of his breakfast and stir it around a bit. I wouldn't use this as a regular enticement to eat though.
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