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Feeding Problems

My DH and I have a weak spot for strays. 3 of the 4 animals we have were strays. Our 2 dogs are the ones we are having a problem with right now.

One is a 7 year old Min Pin/Chihuahua mix that came to us from a home where she was the least favorite dog.  She was constantly being beaten out for food and attention by 2 other dogs.  Finally her owners let us take her so she could get the love and attention she deserves.  The main problem with her is that she will not eat any dry food.  This would not concern me if she would eat dog biscuts or chewed on raw hides or toys like other dogs, but she rarely does.  She will occasionally eat some of the dry cat food we leave out for the cats, but I know this isn't healthy for her, so we try to discourage her doing this.  I am worried about her teeth with her not eating anything crunchy.  I have tried to clean her teeth myself but she will snap at me while I try.  The vet didnt have much luck either and said to do it they would have to put her under and he really didnt want to do that if at all possible.  We have tried making a full switch to dry food several times, first by mixing dry and wet foods and then by simply giving nothing but dry for as long as a week.  This is usually when she will turn to the cat food.  We have tried several brands and flavors.

The other dog is a 2 year old(rough guess by looking at her teeth, size and behavior) Lab mix.  We have no idea what her home life was like before a few weeks ago.  She wondered up to a friends house a few weeks ago and no one has answered the ads placed about her.  We are assuming at this point she was a dump.  Our friend could not care for her so we took her in.  She is extremely overweight and begs when anyone in the house has food.  She will not touch dog or cat food at all unless she gets extemely hungry.  I am assuming someone was feeding her only table scraps.  I know the best way to retrain her is to just let her go hungry but it seems so cruel.  We have an appt scheduled to get her checked out next week with our vet.

I hope someone out there can help. 

 
CandyceG

Asked by CandyceG at 8:02 AM on Apr. 11, 2011 in Pets

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Answers (7)
  • The first thing I would do is find a new place for the cat food somewhere the cats have access but the dogs don't. Then I would pick a dogfood and stick with it. Put the food down for 10 minutes and if they don't eat pick up and give that meal to them at the next meal time. One thing that should help is increasing the amount of excersise they get. Run them, take them swimming whatever it is they like to do to. That will also help the dog that is overweight in the long run anyway. Don't give them any treats between meals. I had to give my oldest dog vitimen b to increase her appetite because she was so picky she refused to eat. IT did the trick though she hated it (liquid form). Talk to your vet about that before you try it though.
    KyliesMom5

    Answer by KyliesMom5 at 10:49 AM on Apr. 11, 2011

  • I have no help except hopefully when they both become comfortable in their new loving environment they will change their eating habits. I admire your care and concern for stray animals.
    meooma

    Answer by meooma at 8:50 AM on Apr. 11, 2011

  • It will take time,be patient,they came from very uncomfortable places and they need time to adjust. Message me and we'll talk about the food problem.
    dancer

    Answer by dancer at 11:13 AM on Apr. 11, 2011

  • I ran to the store a little while ago and bought some more wet food(we were out anyway) and mixed it with the dry for Lily the Lab mix. She gobbled up half of it almost before I had time to pull my hand away from the bowl!!! She didn't eat it all and I just noticed Pixie, the little dog sneaking in to grab a bite too! I may have finally found the solution!!!! Wish me luck on that!

    As far as exercise, we have 3 fenced acres with a creek that runs through the back. The dogs(and sometimes the cats) have full run of the space. Lily seems to love the creek(as much as I hate cleaning her up!) and running from fence to fence barking at the neighbor dogs and running after the kids(she is very gental with them).

    I grew up on a farm and we had tons of pets. I always thought I would grow up to be a vet, but I am actually now thinking of opening my own rescue if we can get a few more acres someday.
    CandyceG

    Comment by CandyceG (original poster) at 11:49 AM on Apr. 11, 2011

  • Just because you have a lot of land does not mean they are getting enough excersise. My dogs have run of several fields and a lake but they are not worn out unless I actually work them. I take my Lab mix running with my Bike and he does a lot of swimming. I have found other activities for my other 2 dogs to where them out as well.
    KyliesMom5

    Answer by KyliesMom5 at 1:14 PM on Apr. 11, 2011

  • I agree that you should pick one food (high quality MEATY brand) and stick with it and put them on a feeding schedule. Give them 10-15 minutes to eat, then take it away until the next meal. A healthy dog will NOT starve itself. You can also try wetting the food with warm water or salt-free chicken broth to bring out the smell/taste of the food, but if they don't finish it you'll have to throw the left over food away and that would be a waste. If one is finishing first and going after the others food, you may need to separate them while they eat. I also agree with getting them more excersize; both mental and physical.
    CollinBayleeMom

    Answer by CollinBayleeMom at 2:47 PM on Apr. 11, 2011

  • We finally located the Lab's family!!!! She is on her way back home as I type this. They had been out of town and left her with a friend who they thought would take care of her right. He didn't do much to try to find her before they got back. I have never seen a happier reunion then that family with this dog. She is obviously very loved!!! So glad we were still watching the newspaper and listening to our radio swap meet!!!!
    CandyceG

    Comment by CandyceG (original poster) at 7:54 PM on Apr. 14, 2011

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