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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, all,

My puppy boy (~7 months old Husky/Malamute/GSD mix) has decided that he doesn't care for food. Meaning any food. He stopped touching his raw. Okay, so after a hunger strike, we tried kibble. Nope. Not interested in chicken. Not interested in even the smelliest of foods/treats.

Nothing else is wrong. No lethargy. No vomiting. No diarrhea. He's drinking and playing with all the same energy--just VERY reluctantly eating 1/3rd of what he was just 2 weeks or so ago.

He is currently intact. We do not free feed and never have. He's always eaten enthusiastically before. We've tried feeding out of different bowls, on the floor, on his snuffle mat. Nothing encourages him.

A friend of mine mentioned that it can be normal for intact male adolescents to lose interest in food. Is this common? Should I be worried?
 

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Assuming he is healthy and normal.....nature will eventually drive him to eat.

I would suggest to stay with his typical diet and typical meal times. Offer the food for about 20 minutes, then pick it up.

Although, you may want to make a call to the Vet to eliminate any possible GI trouble.
 

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How long has this been going on? Is he having normal bowel movements? I wouldn't immediately be worried, unless he was showing other signs something might be wrong like not drinking, decreased energy levels, weight loss, etc. And it does sound like he is eating, just not as much as usual? If he isn't dropping weight, there's no real reason to try and force him to eat more. He is young and growing, and might not be growing at a rate that requires the extra calories we give puppies at this particular time, so he could be self regulating. Stick with the regular routine and his regular diet.

You could/probably should give your vet a call and see what they think, and if they want you to bring him in for a check.

Also, if it makes you feel better, I have an intact male and when he was younger he would go off food for a few days at a time inexplicably and he turned out fine lol. He still sometimes will skip a few meals, but as he gets hunger pukes I've found that some bread with peanutbutter is almost always accepted, and a small piece of this is enough to keep his tummy settled until he starts eating again.
 

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You have the trifecta of breeds who are fussy/indifferent eaters. I have read countless post about huskies/GSD's not eating enough or not eating at all. My daughter has 2 huskies, and feeding time is never easy, they can go 2-3 days without eating, it's just in their make up. It's the number one reason i would never get the breed, as i lived with a fussy eater for 18 years, and refuse to go through that again!
Your guy is also reaching the teenage phase, plus his growth could be slowing down, both of which can cause a lesser appetite. Keep offering his food, take it away if he hasnt touched it after 15 minutes, and offer again at the next meal time. He wont starve himself unless there's something medical going on. If all is good with his health, he'll eat when he's hungry enough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Assuming he is healthy and normal.....nature will eventually drive him to eat.

I would suggest to stay with his typical diet and typical meal times. Offer the food for about 20 minutes, then pick it up.

Although, you may want to make a call to the Vet to eliminate any possible GI trouble.
Thanks for the reply! Yeah, I don't ever free feed and don't offer meals after he refuses. We have five animals and ALL of them will eat any food left out so this has never been an option, hahah.

I did call the vet and spoke with her--she's been his vet since we got him and is a very well trusted person by me. She said that it honestly sounds very hormone-related and that she isn't surprised. He's eating a bit better now, so it may just come and go for a while. Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
How long has this been going on? Is he having normal bowel movements? I wouldn't immediately be worried, unless he was showing other signs something might be wrong like not drinking, decreased energy levels, weight loss, etc. And it does sound like he is eating, just not as much as usual? If he isn't dropping weight, there's no real reason to try and force him to eat more. He is young and growing, and might not be growing at a rate that requires the extra calories we give puppies at this particular time, so he could be self regulating. Stick with the regular routine and his regular diet.

You could/probably should give your vet a call and see what they think, and if they want you to bring him in for a check.

Also, if it makes you feel better, I have an intact male and when he was younger he would go off food for a few days at a time inexplicably and he turned out fine lol. He still sometimes will skip a few meals, but as he gets hunger pukes I've found that some bread with peanutbutter is almost always accepted, and a small piece of this is enough to keep his tummy settled until he starts eating again.
It had been getting progressively worse over the past couple of weeks. He's pooping fine. No signs of anything being off other than the lack of appetite. The vet said the same thing you mentioned--that he's self-regulating due to hormonal changes.

Thank you for sharing that. It's not a story I'd heard often but more and more people are telling me that's the case. He's actually started eating a bit better--we have to crate him with his meal and go on about our business and he'll eat. Crisis averted!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You have the trifecta of breeds who are fussy/indifferent eaters. I have read countless post about huskies/GSD's not eating enough or not eating at all. My daughter has 2 huskies, and feeding time is never easy, they can go 2-3 days without eating, it's just in their make up. It's the number one reason i would never get the breed, as i lived with a fussy eater for 18 years, and refuse to go through that again!
Your guy is also reaching the teenage phase, plus his growth could be slowing down, both of which can cause a lesser appetite. Keep offering his food, take it away if he hasnt touched it after 15 minutes, and offer again at the next meal time. He wont starve himself unless there's something medical going on. If all is good with his health, he'll eat when he's hungry enough.
Hahah, I have heard it before. It just kind of came out of nowhere with him as he was always a ravenous eater. But, he's now eating fine as long as we crate him with his meal for 10 minutes or so and go on about our business.

We never free feed. Too many animals to do that, hahah.

Thank you!
 

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Is it possible he's getting food from somewhere else? Outside maybe? Or someone else feeding him? Or maybe too many training treats?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Is it possible he's getting food from somewhere else? Outside maybe? Or someone else feeding him? Or maybe too many training treats?
There's absolutely no possibility. He is never outside unsupervised. I've been in the habit of never leaving my first dog, a Chihuahua, outside unsupervised so we just continued this with him. It's only me and my husband in the house and I trust him entirely. He's very much on the same page with me regarding Haku's feeding/training.

He does get training treats, but his training treats are primarily his kibble -- because he will work for it. :)
 

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Being intact or not has likely nothing to do with it. It is more likely that he simply needs less food over all. People often tend to over feed puppies (and dogs).

It is also just as likely that he is a low food drive dog (plenty exist). Having him isolated for eating has helped (as you note.. feeding in a crate). I have a 9 year old female GSD that has low food drive. She started refusing her raw food breakfast. I bought her some kibble (not the best stuff either!) and feed that in the morning and I isolate her.. walk away.. shut the door (to the garage) and go feed the cats. By the time I am done with that she has eaten. Nights she gets raw and eats in her kennel outside or downstairs by herself. She is not obese.. just not real food driven.

Sometimes she is more food driven in the kennel outside where the younger dog is also eating in his kennel.. the sense of competition (even though they are separated and cannot touch each other's food but can see each other eating) increases her desire to eat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Being intact or not has likely nothing to do with it. It is more likely that he simply needs less food over all. People often tend to over feed puppies (and dogs).

It is also just as likely that he is a low food drive dog (plenty exist). Having him isolated for eating has helped (as you note.. feeding in a crate). I have a 9 year old female GSD that has low food drive. She started refusing her raw food breakfast. I bought her some kibble (not the best stuff either!) and feed that in the morning and I isolate her.. walk away.. shut the door (to the garage) and go feed the cats. By the time I am done with that she has eaten. Nights she gets raw and eats in her kennel outside or downstairs by herself. She is not obese.. just not real food driven.

Sometimes she is more food driven in the kennel outside where the younger dog is also eating in his kennel.. the sense of competition (even though they are separated and cannot touch each other's food but can see each other eating) increases her desire to eat.
Yes, my vet mentioned that intact dogs do seem to have a better feel for self-regulation with food intake. She mentioned that it isn't a rule, just something that she's consistently seen. The fact that it began exactly when he started marking outside seems like more than coincidence, but it doesn't really matter. I do think that's what he's doing, which is perfectly fine as he isn't losing weight. His weight gain slowed significantly and now he's only gaining about 1lb every few weeks--but his body condition feels fine under his coat and he isn't growing taller as rapidly anymore, either.

We had to switch back to the kibble for now because he was picking and choosing what to eat with the raw and thus would not be getting any kind of balanced nutrition. As he's a puppy, I was not comfortable with that at all. We don't have a grinder and cannot afford the cost of raw pre-mixes for him at this time. So, he's been back on kibble and he will eat if kenneled with his food. He still doesn't eat his entire meal, even with the portion cut back by 1/3rd, but I think that he's just regulating, as you suggest.

The weirdest part is that he will work for his kibble during training exercises. So he's plenty food driven, but seems to want very little to do with a bowl/feeding toy/plate/a pile of food on the floor. He just needs some excitement, I guess? Hahah.
 
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