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Thumper, my 8 month old Kelpie mix, has just developed an odd eating (or.. not eating) behavoir, I should say. It doesn't appear to be a serious issue, but its just strange.. because he's very much a big eater and devoures every meal twice a day every day.. until this past weekend..so I'm just curious if others have had a similar issue arise with a maturing dog.

This just started this past Saturday morning, completely out of nowhere. Prior, he was gobbling breakfast and dinner as usual all in one sitting every day- nothing has changed as far as diet, they've been on the same kibble mix and their raw meat variety, but Saturday morning he ate half his kibble, was very excited for breakfast time as usual, gobbled a bit.. then stopped, came up to me wagging his butt wanting to play, I walked into the kitchen.. "what!? only ate HALF your food!? What is wrong with you Thumper?" So he continued to nibble the rest of his kibble while I was in the kitchen with him... but as soon as I left, he stopped eating and followed me again.

Before that day nothing could distract him from meal time. I could leave the house and he wouldn't care.. he doesnt leave the food bowl untilits empty. OK.. so I thought maybe at dinner time, when he gets his raw meat it would be different. Nope. Ate a few bites then was more interested in playing or being with me. Wouldn't continue to eat unless I was standing next to him and the food bowl.

This has happened every day, at every meal time since Saturday morning. Last night, he barely ate any of his raw and I ended up having to let Cash eat a bit of it and throw the rest away.

No sickly symptoms, no diarrhea, no vomiting, drinking water, playing, he's his usual self, except he just doesn't seem to be too interested in food at the moment. His treats..bones, turkey necks, bully sticks, stuffed kong, etc.. still loves those. And like I said, up until Saturday, he's devoured his meals in record timing and nothing can distract him away from his food until its gone.

On weekday mornings, as soon as I let him out of the crate and he's done his business outside, he comes in, I put his bowl of kibble down in the kitchen and I go back upstairs to get dressed/ready for work. Before he wont come upstairs until he's done his breakfast.. now I put the bowl down and go upstairs and he stuffs a mouthful in and chases me back upstairs and wont go back down to finish until I'm back downstairs in the kitchen too. Its a similar scenario with the raw meat at night, except I'm not upstairs but he would rather play with me in the living room than eat his dinner.

It's not really worrisome, I'm just curious if any of you had experienced something similar with a dog suddenly showing less interest in food, or won't eat unless your there by the food dish? Suddenly distracted away from food?
 

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I have a theory, but I wouldn't put too much stock in it. Is it possible he's going through a second fear period, and needs a little boost of confidence when being left alone to eat?

That, or maybe food just isn't as high a priority as it use to be. Normal IMO.
 

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I figure it is more or less just a phase of some kind. Since it literally happened over night, I'm not sure though. Lately, he has been very 'sucky'. He's not normally a fearful dog..but itis strange that just suddenly he would rather be us or play than eating his food. He doesn't have separation anxiety or anything like that, but he's definitely been taking a higher interest in getting attention/affection than eating. He has started to whine if we dont pay enough attention to him, when he wants it..

Ohwell.. hopefully just a 'phase'. Its a little annoying but I'm sure we will deal with it.

I appreciate any feedback though.
 

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Every once in awhile Abby will seem disinterested in eating. She comes in, sits on her mat with Harper, but when I release them from their "sit" to eat, she just runs back into the living room. If I call her again, she'll eat a few bites. If I sit by her, she'll eat, but slowly.
Usually, a day or two later, she's back to scarfing down her food!
I figure, maybe she has a sensitive stomach and is feeling a bit icky.
 

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My adolescent will go through periods where she isn't as interested in food. She's going through that period right now. She used to gobble up her food in the morning as soon as I put it down. Now she'll lollygag about for an hour, want to nap in my lap, etc. and won't eat anything until she's good and ready. On days when I have to go to work, I'll encourage her to eat by making the food seem "fun" (e.g., I'll dump a bit of it out onto a tray; pick it up; let her smell it; pretend I'm eating it; etc.). Generally she'll start eating after that.

Honestly, I think she's bored of her food. I know dogs are supposed to be cool with eating the same thing day in and day out, but every dog I've had is more interested in the food that is not there's after the thrill of their own food has worn off. For instance, my parents have two dogs that get fed different food. Both of them seem to want the other's food rather than their own, to the point where they will both attempt to sneak into the room with the other dog's food bowl in order to steal the food. What they don't have is more appealing than what they always have.

At night, especially after she's been playing all day at daycare, she'll eat her food right away. I think that has more to do with building up an appetite than specifically wanting her "boring" food.

Your dog may be getting bored of the routine food. I'm not suggesting changing his diet (I haven't changed Coco's diet), but you may want to try to find a way to make his food more interesting. Sometimes I'll put the dry food in a kong wobble feeder, and Coco enjoys tipping the Kong until she gets all the kibble out.

Adolescent dogs are all about doing what is most fun at any particular moment. If being with you is more fun than eating his boring food, he'll want to be with you. Even if he's hungry. Treats, however, hold a special charm, so they may be more fun than watching you get ready in the morning.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
My adolescent will go through periods where she isn't as interested in food. She's going through that period right now. She used to gobble up her food in the morning as soon as I put it down. Now she'll lollygag about for an hour, want to nap in my lap, etc. and won't eat anything until she's good and ready. On days when I have to go to work, I'll encourage her to eat by making the food seem "fun" (e.g., I'll dump a bit of it out onto a tray; pick it up; let her smell it; pretend I'm eating it; etc.). Generally she'll start eating after that.

Honestly, I think she's bored of her food. I know dogs are supposed to be cool with eating the same thing day in and day out, but every dog I've had is more interested in the food that is not there's after the thrill of their own food has worn off. For instance, my parents have two dogs that get fed different food. Both of them seem to want the other's food rather than their own, to the point where they will both attempt to sneak into the room with the other dog's food bowl in order to steal the food. What they don't have is more appealing than what they always have.

At night, especially after she's been playing all day at daycare, she'll eat her food right away. I think that has more to do with building up an appetite than specifically wanting her "boring" food.

Your dog may be getting bored of the routine food. I'm not suggesting changing his diet (I haven't changed Coco's diet), but you may want to try to find a way to make his food more interesting. Sometimes I'll put the dry food in a kong wobble feeder, and Coco enjoys tipping the Kong until she gets all the kibble out.

Adolescent dogs are all about doing what is most fun at any particular moment. If being with you is more fun than eating his boring food, he'll want to be with you. Even if he's hungry. Treats, however, hold a special charm, so they may be more fun than watching you get ready in the morning.
Yeah it is sort of strange.. but they do have quite a bit of variety in their meals, so being bored of his particular food I dont think is the case here, but being bored at meal time in general - maybe. I mix/rotate kibble and same with the raw meat so they're never really eating the same thing day in and day out. He just seems to have lost interest in gobbling it up. I have a feeling if I put his food in the bathroom where I'm getting ready in the morning - he'd likely eat, and if I stood right with him in the kitchen when I feed his raw at night, he'd probably eat it all too. Normally he loves his food, and I dont think that has changed becuase come meal time..he's totally ready and waiting. As soon as the food comes out he bolts for his pen in the kitchen where he eats and he sits and waits patiently for it, I set it down and he waits for the "ok" command.. and which he will immediately start eating, but as soon as I move away into another room and he loses eye contact of me he no longer is interested and would rather be begging me for constant attention. The second I am back in the kitchen - he goes back to his food and keeps eating until I move again.

It kind of reminds me of when I was a teenager, I would be out partying or hanging out with friends and I had no problem skipping meals and not eating all day if it allowed me to be out and about doing things. I wonder if this is similar behavoir with the dog. Because before.. Like I mentioned, NOTHING could distract him from food.. I would put his food down in his kennel, he would start devouring, and when he was finished he'd come bolting up the stairs to find/be with me.. but now he wants attention 24/7 and aside from that. he is starting to beg for attention (whine). He gets plenty of attention from us on a daily basis, so I'm really just hoping it's an adolescent phase that will pass by. In the meantime though,I just have to try a few things to get him to eat at one sitting, especially in the morning because I ideally like him to eat at specific time, so he can go out a half hour later before I leave for work. Him not eating all his breakfast at one sitting is messing up the morning routine lol. I want to refrain from bringing his food in the bedroom/bathroom, so I might have to alter my morning routine a little so that I get my lunch together, refill water bowls, etc first thing in the morning during his breakfast time rather than doing it right before I leave for work while hes outside.
 

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I think you hit the nail on the head. Attention from you is just more important than meal time right now. It could partially be due to a fear stage; he may not necessarily be afraid of anything specific, but he would rather be by you than away from you. You are his person.
 

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Yeah - seems to be the case; I fed him this morning as per usual, except three things: I ditched his 'special' bowl, its the one that prevents them from eating too quickly, I put his food in a regular bowl, figuring maybe he's getting annoyed with having to work through that bowl to get his food, and I also decided to decrease the portion becuase I noticed he's getting pretty thick and I have been feeding him the same portions he's been getting since he was in that puppy growth stage around 4-5 months old when he needed more food - so instead of his 1 -3/4 cup I cut him down to 1 - 1/4 cup, and he still gets approximately 9 or 10 ounces of raw in the evenings ( 1 - 1/4 of 8 ounce ground carcass patties). This morning I also changed up my routine and while he was eating in his pen I did my stuff in the kitchen like pack lunches, get their kongs out of the freezer, refill the water dishes, etc and he was absolutely fine, he sat there and ate all his kibble. Although I notice he's still not as 'interested' in food as he was before - he hesitated to eat at first, pushing his dish around, didnt bolt to the dish to start eating when I said "ok!" - isntead he just stared at me first for a bit then started picking away at his food. He did this with the raw lastnight as well. So I might just have to add some more excitement to his meals as well. I figured they eat pretty damn good and they always get variety but in general it's still always the same thing - kibble every morning, raw every night with their fruit n veggies. So.. I'm going to start adding in some different supplements as opposed to their usual fruit n veggie mix, like a raw egg or tripe, and I think I'm also going to try and feed complete raw diet on the weekends when we're home.. so that come weekday mornings maybe he will be more interested in kibble - since its easier to spice up the raw meal with other raw supplements. Give it a go anyway, break up their usual meal routine a little and I think i'm going to go buy some whole fish so that they can have that as a meal out in the yard for something different (they've never eaten raw fish) so should be somewhat exciting - I hope lol
 

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sounds like he's getting too much food...try cutting his kibble back just a little....and see what happens.

also, if you're feeding gassy veggies and fruits, he may well have a tummy ache.....the usual culprit is broccoli and green beans.

personally, i'd cut out the fruits and veggies.....they are gas formers and dogs are carnivores....they are getting fruits and veggies in their kibble, too, so maybe he's gassy and overfed. not a great combo :)
 

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sounds like he's getting too much food...try cutting his kibble back just a little....and see what happens.

also, if you're feeding gassy veggies and fruits, he may well have a tummy ache.....the usual culprit is broccoli and green beans.

personally, i'd cut out the fruits and veggies.....they are gas formers and dogs are carnivores....they are getting fruits and veggies in their kibble, too, so maybe he's gassy and overfed. not a great combo :)
The fruits and veggies he eats are actually UC product, and it is a blend of bok choy, celery, green leaf lettuce, carrots, apples, pears and blueberries. I have cut down the amount I mix in with his dinner, usually just about a teaspoon once a day. I feed him a couple of thawed/frozen green beans occasionally for a treat, but he is certainly a pretty gassy dog; he always has been and it seems to vary on the different kibble he eats. I definitely agree he's probably been getting a bit too much food in general and now that he's over his growth spurt his body probably just isn't metabolising it at the same rate. So I will be cutting his food portion back. He doesn't need the veggie mix especially at his age but since I have it, I feed a little bit. It helps Cash's stool as he's not a big eater in general and the fruit/veggie mix helps keep him regular :) and since its there, I give the pup a little too. But, I will be alternating the fruit n veggies with other supplements like tripe or an egg, or whatever. If I start feeding complete raw diet on the weekends, I might just end up giving them the fruit and veggie mix then, and cut it out during the week days when their eating kibble.
 
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