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Discussion Starter #1
Duncan, my new foster dog, has been a really finicky eater since I brought him home on Saturday. He didn't eat Saturday evening or Sunday morning and I had mixed in some peanut butter to try and entice him to eat Sunday morning, later found out he isn't a peanut butter fan. /facepalm So Sunday afternoon I go out and get two cans of wet food, liver flavored as he really seems to love the freeze dried liver treats and he's used to some mixed in wet food at the shelter. He ate Sunday evening when I added a little water, mixed in a little canned food, and warmed it up for 20 sec in the microwave. Did the same thing Monday morning and I could only get him to take a few bites in about 10 minutes, had to go to work so I left it with him in his crate. Duncan didn't touch it as far as I could tell all day (since I didn't tell him to my brother didn't remove the bowl of food during the day).

I'd sent an update to the foster coordinator about how well overall Duncan is settling in and mentioned issues getting him to eat which she forwarded on to another volunteer who emailed me Monday with some pics from us getting Duncan in the car to leave the shelter (cars are kinda scary atm) and that Duncan seems to prefer to eat in private. So Monday night I fix up his meal kibble, little water, little wet food, nuked lightly and leave him be for about 10 minutes. Come back and he hasn't touched a thing just chilling in the kitchen. Sit with him, offer him the bowl, he takes a few bites and I praise him for eating. Slowly be surely he finishes his meal.

Tuesday morning again he won't eat with about 15 minutes of time wasted on top of food that has to be dumped, I've decided to cut out morning meals as he isn't eating them anyways. For now at least. Tuesday evening more issues getting him to eat, put a little of the kong easy cheese liver flavor in it and he finally eats.

Now I'm starting to wonder if he's trying to hold out for "something better is coming if I don't eat this now." Wednesday night he got kibble with some canned, and easy cheese and was still a little reluctant to eat but did eventually. He is a chubby boy who needs to loose some weight so I'm not overly concerned about him missing some meals but I do want him to shed these pounds in a healthy manner not from a "crash diet." So how much should I really be catering to his finicky eating habits and how much should I go with "he'll eat when he's hungry enough" with a new foster who is still settling into home living.

He's already getting a good deal less than they said he was being fed at the shelter. They said 1.5 cups with some canned topper twice a day. I'd planned to start him at 1-1.25 cups twice a day but as of yesterday evening it'll probably be 2 cups with some canned topper once a day for now. I'd rather get back to feed twice a day but don't plan on trying that until he's eating well on his own without all this fuss. Plan to cut out the canned food eventually if I can too. Don't like wasting the food and time trying to get him to eat in the morning with no success.
 

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Yeah, as long as he's drinking and acting normally I wouldn't cater to him. Put dry kibble down for 15 minutes, then take it up if he doesn't eat it. No treats in between meals. I don't think it'll be more than 3 days. And if he's chubby he can definitely handle that.
 

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Try the Natural Balance dog food rolls. It gets my dogs to eat every time. Lots of my dog owning friends also buy it for their dogs and everyone raves. Theres a few flavors and it’s all-natural so it’s good for them too.
 

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Try the Natural Balance dog food rolls. It gets my dogs to eat every time. Lots of my dog owning friends also buy it for their dogs and everyone raves. Theres a few flavors and it’s all-natural so it’s good for them too.
Not bothering to actually look it up but from memory I don't think the natural balance rolls are that good. Plus all-natural doesn't mean anything... tons of unhealthy foods are completely natural, doesn't make them good for dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Ha I seem to have accidentally stumbled on a way to get Duncan to eat his kibble. My power was knocked out by the storm Friday night so Saturday night I added the last of the wet canned food, about a 1/4 of the can, to his meal. After that I just offered kibble in the morning and evening, didn't eat at all on Sunday or this morning. Put his food down again this evening and left him in the kitchen with it for about 10 minutes and he hadn't noticeably eaten anything. Came out of the basement with Jubel in tow, planned on shooing him out the gate quickly so he couldn't/wouldn't go after Duncan's food. Well as soon as Duncan sees Jubel in the kitchen, about 5' away from the bowl of food at least, Duncan starts eating. So I kept Jubel in the kitchen while Duncan ate all his food from a safe distance away and me in between them.

So he wasn't quite ready to give in to plain kibble but the idea that Jubel MIGHT eat it was enough to spur him to eat it himself. Certainly don't want to have to do this every time so I hope he's decided to give up his picky hunger strike and just eat. Duncan has already shown he'll defend his food even if he's not going to eat it himself so there will always to a safe distance between Jubel and Duncan for meal time, they actually do fine with treats. The first day I had Duncan in his crate with his bowl of kibble and Jubel eating out of a treat ball in the same room and he rolled his ball into the front of the crate. Duncan jumped up and started barking and growling apparently defending the food he was ignoring. Lesson learned If Jubel is eating out of a treat ball while Duncan is in his crate I keep him away from the crate, more often I put Jubel downstairs with is treat ball or Duncan in the kitchen and Jubel in the living room. The actual scuffle between them was over a kong I forgot to pull out of the crate when I let Duncan out, Jubel went into the crate and pulled it out and Duncan wasn't happy about that. Nothing serious just lots of noise and slobber, my brother saw I was in the kitchen when it happened. Separated them for less than a minute and it was all forgotten as soon as the kong was gone.

Edit:
Oh I felt compelled to actually look up natural balance food rolls and I was correct it's doggie junk food. review
 

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Haha, competition does wonders for the appetite! :p
 

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Haha, competition does wonders for the appetite! :p
Sadly it only really worked that first accidental time. I can sometimes get him to take a few bites, maybe even clean his bowl, by tossing a kibble over to Jubel who is sitting behind the gate to the kitchen baffled over this other dog who won't eat. Jubel finishes his meal and then sulks seeing Duncan ignore his meal. So far Duncan is mostly only eating in the evenings when I have more time and patience to coax him. I'm standing firm on "here is your kibble, you'll eat when you're hungry" no extras added. When he doesn't eat the only treats he gets are the ones he gets for going in his crate.

I'm thinking about getting a bag of the salmon and potato 4health food earlier than I planned and starting Duncan on it sooner than Jubel. I've found the highest value treat for him so far are the salmon treats so he might eat that kibble more readily and I was going to make the switch anyways. Guess I'll see where we're at next weekend and decide if I feel like making the trip out to tractor supply or not.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
We seem to be on a roll right now, aka Duncan is starting to give in and realize plain kibble is all he's going to get. He's now eaten 5 of his last 6 meals (3 eaten, 1 skipped, 2 eaten) and a few of them he finished his bowl before Jubel finished his dispensing toy meal. I know that doesn't SOUND impressive but it's a big improvement. I still have to sit with him for him to eat but I don't have to do as much cheer leading and he's eating faster so I'm happy. Looks like I can hold out on buying the new food until they are closer to finishing the current food.
 
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