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Hey all,

Long time lurker here. I have two dogs, one three year old 55 lb fixed female pit (Marla) and a one year old 68 lb and growing fixed male pit mix (Chevy). Both are super active as they are running free on the farm for 6 or more hours a day. They were fed diamond natural large breed lamb and rice up until the recall. They ate it quite well in the evening when they came home and were doing well on it. Marla did not eat as well in the mornings and had to be coaxed into eating it. She did eat everything at night though. Chevy ate everything.

With the recall, I switched to Earthborn Holistic Meadow Feast which is grain free. They both ate it up really well, even in the mornings. Well after two months on it, I noticed both of them having to be coaxed to eat it. They did not want to finish their meals. I was worried and brought them to the vet after the fifth day of it. Vet checked them and she said they were fine. They have energy and are great but not wanting to finish the food. So I switched them to the EB Costal Catch and now Marla eats it fine, but Chevy has to be coaxed to eat at both meals.

Is there anything I can do? I am worried about Chevy and I want to make sure that he is getting enough nutrition to keep up with his growth. I cannot feed raw everyday, though I do give them raw steak once a week as a treat. Should I be worried?

Thanks in advanced!
 

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You can do the 15 minute rule. Put food down for 15 minutes and take away whatever's left. Don't feed again until next feeding time. Maybe they are bored of eating the same thing everyday. My dog did this also so I started adding different flavors to his food and now we're both happy.

You can add warm water, low sodium chicken or beef broth, lowfat plain yogurt, or pumpkin which will make it smell tastier. I mix stuff that Brownie likes, like canned chicken, fish or beef with broth, yogurt or homemade gravy and freeze them in ice trays. He gets 1 cube per meal partially melted onto his dry food. All ingredients I use are organic, no salt and meats are in water if from a can. I also use Merricks canned dog food sometimes but he loves home cooked toppings much more.
 

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Do use the 15 minute rule. Your hovering doesn't help and it gives a nice guide that might help take emotions out of this.

Does he need all that food? Growing young adult dogs tend to look lean as they haven't developed all the muscle yet. Growing lean and slow is best for a long and healthy life. I like my dogs lean, able to easily feel all the bones but not see any but the shadow of the last couple ribs. There isn't any thick muscle over ribs, if you cannot feel ribs they are covered with fat.
 

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I second (or third?) the 15 min rule. If you have a dog that is starting to be a little picky, and you hover and coax them to eat, you are basically rewarding the picky behavior with attention. Put the food down, leave them to it, remove it again. If they don't eat it all, its not a big deal. Honestly, a missed (or lessened) meal or two won't do them any harm! You will probably find that in no time they are eating it all again - when a dog is hungry, it's going to eat.

If they are STILL not finishing food, but eating some or most of it, then they may just not need all that food. Often grain-free food is much higher protein, so they don't actually need as much to start feeling full.
 

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Thanks for the replies!

Chevy is getting 1 cup morning and evening and Marla is getting 3/4 morning and evening. I left him alone for the 15 minutes in the morning and he ate over 1/2 of the food. Left him alone in the evening and he ate it all. Hoping that leaving him alone is the key.

I'm just so used to my dogs eating their food, so it just threw me a bit. Plus Chevy used to have to eat out of a slow feeder because he would scarf it down so fast he would choke on it. It just changed so quickly that I worried something was wrong. He is not chubby at all, and has a nice figure that borders on skinny but he is a puppy so I'm sure he will fill out. The vet said he looked fine and was in good weight. Marla is super fit but gains weight easily so I have to keep an eye on her and her weight.

Thanks again!
 

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I looked at the calorie and fat numbers on the DN and Earthborn. Earthborn is higher in calories and fat, I wonder if that is contributing to the lack of appetite. After a couple months with a bit more fat and calories they are caught up? Coastal Catch is higher than fat than the first one and has 129% the calories DN has per cup.

Most people discover their dogs have pancreatic issues when they have a crisis after overindulging but that extra food may only be a trigger with an ailing pancreas bothering the dog all along. Is it possible the higher fat content is making them uncomfortable so they lose their appetites? What sort of raw do you offer and what is the digestion like on that high fat/protein meal?

I would hate for that to be the reason. Fat is good for dogs and an important part of the diet. My guy's skin and fur are far healthier now he is on raw food with a lot more fat in it than on normal fat kibble.
 

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I fourth the 15min rule. You can always add something to make them eat it (pumpkin, yogurt) as long as you don't mind continuing that.
 

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He was on 1.25 cup with the DN and the Earthborn Lamb. I dropped down to just one cup with the change to costal catch. I was hoping with the higher protein and fat that I could feed less. Guess I got my wish :(

Did not eat more then three bites after 15 mins this morning so I took up his bowl. Hoping he will eat his dinner tonight.
 

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I was glad to see this thread. I have a rescue shin tzu male 3 1/2 yrs old. In the year we have and him he has gained from 10#(bony and underweight) up to 14# , looking healthy. He used to eat at minimum one of those small cans of blue buffalo lamb and rice in a day, half the can twice a day. In the past couple months, he has gotten to where he might eat 1/4 to 1/2 the can in one day. He will start eating and after a few bites turn and walk away. I can't remember when he acted really hungry for his food. I don't leave his food out all day. If he doesn't eat it after at least an hour I take it away and I swear he looks at me like "go ahead, I don't want it anyway". I too worry about his nutritional needs. Should I start him on some kind of vitamins? Like I said I used to feed him twice a day it I have stopped giving him morning food and make him wait untl about 4-5pm before I give him his food. Even then he doesn't act like he is even the slightest bit hungry. Any advice?
 

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I was glad to see this thread. I have a rescue shin tzu male 3 1/2 yrs old. In the year we have and him he has gained from 10#(bony and underweight) up to 14# , looking healthy. He used to eat at minimum one of those small cans of blue buffalo lamb and rice in a day, half the can twice a day. In the past couple months, he has gotten to where he might eat 1/4 to 1/2 the can in one day. He will start eating and after a few bites turn and walk away. I can't remember when he acted really hungry for his food. I don't leave his food out all day. If he doesn't eat it after at least an hour I take it away and I swear he looks at me like "go ahead, I don't want it anyway". I too worry about his nutritional needs. Should I start him on some kind of vitamins? Like I said I used to feed him twice a day it I have stopped giving him morning food and make him wait untl about 4-5pm before I give him his food. Even then he doesn't act like he is even the slightest bit hungry. Any advice?
My Sasha is a picky eater. If she misses a meal, or even two, I don't worry too much about it (unless it is accompanied by vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, etc.). IMO, as long as they are maintaining their weight and energy, and as long as their coats/body condition look good, I let it slide.

I will say that Sasha eats much better if I switch her food to a new brand/formula after finishing a bag. I don't know if she just needs the variety or what.
 

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My Sasha is a picky eater. If she misses a meal, or even two, I don't worry too much about it (unless it is accompanied by vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, etc.). IMO, as long as they are maintaining their weight and energy, and as long as their coats/body condition look good, I let it slide.

I will say that Sasha eats much better if I switch her food to a new brand/formula after finishing a bag. I don't know if she just needs the variety or what.
Thanks Brandi . I try not to worry too much. He doesn't go days without eating or anything like that but he can go a day and a half or so ,at times, with nothing. I'll kee p offering him his food and hope one day he will look hungry and act hungry. Lol
 

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Both are super active as they are running free on the farm for 6 or more hours a day.

What do you mean by that? If they are unsupervised and loose, it's totally possible they're catching and eating critters, or going to a neighbor's place to chow down. Our cat used to cross the street and go through the neighbour's yard every time she got out, turns out they kept an ice cream bucket full of cheap cat kibble for their cat, too lazy to put a small amount out every day. She'd gorge herself and come home sick requiring a bath, not fun. I used to live on an acreage and the neighbour dog came over quite often, I don't think they even knew till I got annoyed and locked the gate to the yard without chasing her out once.

Other than that 15 minute rule.
 

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Both are super active as they are running free on the farm for 6 or more hours a day.

What do you mean by that? If they are unsupervised and loose, it's totally possible they're catching and eating critters, or going to a neighbor's place to chow down. Our cat used to cross the street and go through the neighbour's yard every time she got out, turns out they kept an ice cream bucket full of cheap cat kibble for their cat, too lazy to put a small amount out every day. She'd gorge herself and come home sick requiring a bath, not fun. I used to live on an acreage and the neighbour dog came over quite often, I don't think they even knew till I got annoyed and locked the gate to the yard without chasing her out once.

Other than that 15 minute rule.
They stay by the ring when I ride, stay in the aisle when I tack up/cool down my horses, and they don't leave my sight. Also we are on over 30 acres that is fenced on all the sides that are not surrounded by a lake. My dogs are not wild psycho animals as I do not tolerate it and my neighbors will shoot dogs that run amok on their property. The cats are fed on top of the fridge in the lounge so no way to get cat food. They do not raid the trash cans as they are locked for the coons.

Dogs have been eating normally and are high energy. Weight is keeping consistent so fingers crossed that all stays well.
 

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My Max was diagnosed with a liver shunt which is why he was acting like he was a finicky eater, when in fact he was feeling horrible after he would eat protein. He has had surgery 3 weeks ago and doing well. And now eats his hepatic ld food with vigor!
 
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