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Anorexic Bulldog

We have an American Bulldog (the big one that looks like a pitbull) who I swear is anorexic!!!! We have been trying different types of dog food until we can find one she likes but in the meantime she's not eating enough. She should be eating 4-6 cups a day & she eats like 3 total cups. I feed her in the am & pm, can't leave dog food sitting around all day cuz of bugs (I live in the south where the roaches are the size of lg cats) & I have a crawler who would LOVE to eat the dogs food. I did find out she likes chicken broth being poured over her food but even when I do that she only eats 1/2 of what we give her. Any ideas how to convince my dog that she's too skinny & its okay for her to eat? I keep telling her I'll love her no matter what size she is but I swear she wants to be runway skinny lol.


Asked by Nyx7 at 10:06 AM on Feb. 3, 2010 in Pets

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Answers (9)
  • HAHAHAHAHA!!! OMG! Thanks for the giggle! In all seriousness, she MAY need a visit to the vet! Is she pooping okay? If not, an intestinal blockage could be suppressing her appetite. I remember when my boxer ate a dishrag, she wouldn't eat much for almost a week! She eventually pooped it out, and when she did, she was eating normally again. Too funny about her wanting to be a greyhound, though!

    Answer by WatermelonNerd at 10:20 AM on Feb. 3, 2010

  • I have a pit bull mix that is like this. I would stop switching foods and put the food down for 10 minutes then pick it up. If she does not eat she gets another chance at the next meal time. It can be hard especially if they skip more then one meal but they do learn that if they don't eat when the food is set down they don't eat. Another thing that i do with my dog is i won't give her anything else during the day so that she is hungry at meal time. I also make sure to do something active with her so that she works up an appetite.

    Answer by KyliesMom5 at 10:45 AM on Feb. 3, 2010

  • oh i forgot you can also give them a liquid Vitamin B that will increase their appetite. I did this for awhile with mine after my vet suggested and it did help.

    Answer by KyliesMom5 at 10:46 AM on Feb. 3, 2010

  • Thanks guys, I have been limiting her feedings, right now I'm giving her 1/2 hr, she's in her kennel during this time so she can't get distracted. Even doing this & her skipping a meal she only eats 1/2 of what we give her @ dinner!!! Doesn't wolf it down either, she takes dainty bites like she's calorie counting!! I swear I'm gonna have to find an eating disorder clinic for dogs lol. Will try the vitamin b, hadn't heard that one yet. don't feed her table scraps or let the baby feed her from the high chair so table food's not ruinining her appetite, she's pooping regularly & I don't see any worms in her stool....sigh. She's not skinny skinny like her ribs are showing but her tummy caves in just a bit, she could be a good 10lbs heavier & I'd be happy.

    Answer by Nyx7 at 10:51 AM on Feb. 3, 2010

  • If she is taking little bites and not eating much it could be teeth problems. How old is she? She could have an infected tooth and then it would hurt and they don't eat well. I would take her to the vet and have her looked at-teeth, blood test, and a good worming (you can't always see them in the stool even if they do have worms). If it is not any of those things try putting her on a high calorie food-not anything you can by at the grocery store or walmart. Then she would have to eat far less to get the calories she needs. I have a dog that had a lot of teeth problems before we got her and she does not eat well bc of it. We feed her "taste of the wild-salmon" and she has to eat about a third of the amount to get the same calories as one of the cheaper foods.

    Answer by Carajust at 1:24 PM on Feb. 3, 2010

  • If she is eating in her kennel, do you think maybe she's a social eater? I've known dogs who wanted to be kept company at meal times. I have a bull mastiff mix who won't eat unless I tell him, "Please eat your food." And he will stop if I leave the room even though he is starving. It's approval seeking behavior.

    Answer by ecodani at 12:13 AM on Feb. 4, 2010

  • Ecodani has a good point. One of my dogs used to be a poor eater. When we got another dog and started feeding them together, she started eating better. Only because she was afraid my other dog would get her food! lol

    What brands of food have you tried? If they're low-quality, she may be telling you that she doesn't like them. I would go to and look for a 4-6 star quality brand to try. With high-quality foods, it may cost more up front, but you will need to feed a lot less so the price will actually even out to be about the same. Plus, there will be less clean up in the yard because the dog gets more nutrients from the food. You can try soaking the food in warm water for a few minutes to bring out the aroma. Also, I agree with sitting the food down for 10-15 minutes and whatever she doesn't eat gets taken away and she doesn't get fed again until the next meal. She will not starve herself.

    Answer by CollinBayleeMom at 9:35 AM on Feb. 4, 2010

  • Thanks ladies, she's getting an all natural food w/ the 1st 3 ingredients being meat, expensive stuff, no purina grocery store crap here! When we 1st got her her eyes were really red & now they are clar again b/c of the food. Also, she won't eat if we are watching her, I swear she acts just like a highschool girl w/ an eating long as she's being watched she won't take a bite. I always leave the room so she can eat in private, lol afraid she may start sticking her paw down her throat!!! rolling on floor


    Answer by Nyx7 at 9:41 PM on Feb. 4, 2010

  • That's great that you are feeding her a natural food. I would definitely try adding warm water and/or putting the food down for only 10-15 minutes. Also, I was just re-reading the other replies and I agree that she may have a tooth or mouthsore that is bothering her.

    Answer by CollinBayleeMom at 9:09 AM on Feb. 5, 2010