Ok I need help. Taran is about 5 lbs from where we want him to be - and he’s been a bit on the small side his whole life. However he’s lost weight the past two months and we can feel his pelvis and spine a bit more than what I’m comfortable with.
The problem is he won’t eat….
Archie does the same thing. It’s like he doesn’t realise he’s hungry until he’s had something to eat first. (Of course, Archie’s about 15lbs from where I want him, not just 5.)
German Shepherds can just be picky eaters like that, it is often a breed characteristic that they will keep themselves lean and not overeat, but at the same time the first thing I would personally do with a dog that won’t eat consistently is take it to the vet and have a full blood panel done to make sure there isn’t a reason behind his pickiness.
This would also be the point where I ask what sort of bowel motions he has, how often he goes, whether he ever goes in the house, what colour/consistency/odour they have, because that sort of thing can be relevant to GI tract issues.
Then again, maybe he just isn’t interested in the food you’re offering.
What do you feed?
That’s exactly his problem. He takes a bit and then licks the bowl clean.
Poop wise he’s good. Firm to soft, but not loose. Good color (brown) and no abnormal odor. He normally goes 3 times a day its usually in the morning when he gets up, and after he eats both meals. However since he’s not been eating he’s only going once or twice.
We were just at the vet and she’s who told us that it wasn’t just slow growing, but that he’s underweight. We have the same problem as Archie because Taran is just so fluffy and poofy that he looks massive. I’ll definitely remember to ask the vet about a blood panel the next time we’re there.
We feed Taste of the Wild. We were on the bison feed, but just switched to lamb this yesterday to see if it was a flavor issue. We did try a Blue Buffalo Wilderness sample (my brother works at Petco and got it for us for cheap) and he didn’t even touch it.
The weird thing is we have the IQ ball treat toy and he’ll gladly eat his kibble out of that until he loses interest. Generally we try to remind him he’s hungry with the IQ ball and then give him his dinner. We have some good days and he’ll eat a full 3 cups and then others he maybe eats 1 cup. Its so frustrating
Well, like I said, my first port of call is always the vet to make sure nothing’s wrong. I mean, Archie was exactly the same for years. He just had the occasional bout of diarrhoea. And I mean occasional. Maybe once a fortnight, ONE stool was loose. The rest were fine. It turned out he was slowly starving to death because when he ate, he couldn’t digest anything. And the undigested food passing through his GI tract probably caused him quite severe stomach pain, which was why he was never interested in eating in the first place, though really he might have been extremely hungry all along.
Taran may just be bored with his food, though.
Archie is also fed Taste of the Wild. I order four bags at a time, each one different (Bison, Lamb, Salmon and Duck), open them all at the same time, put them in different coloured airtight bins, and then just feed him a different flavour at every single meal to try and prevent food boredom.
He also gets a 400g tin of wet food mixed with his kibble at every meal. There are 3 different flavours, and like with the Taste of the Wild, I switch so he never has the same flavour two meals in a row.
In this fashion, Archie eats 4 cups of kibble + 800g of tinned food daily, and I still struggle to keep weight on him.
(His tinned food is completely grain free, preservative free, and free of artificial colours, etc. It is essentially just a pate of meat and vegetables.)
I know they say don’t change your dog’s food too often, but Archie never gets stomach upsets on this diet and he also doesn’t get bored.
That’s a really good point. We’ll definitely make sure to get him looked at during his next visit. And do a full blood panel soon. I’ll also keep an eye on his poops - make sure I know if they get far from normal.
And keeping different flavors on hand is a good idea to keep them from getting food bored. That’s a really good idea. I’ll keep you posted with how things go - thank you!!
Normally as long as it the same brand you can change flavors without issues unless your dog is super sensitive. Merlin can sometimes be sensitive and he changes flavors every meal. I do add a spoonful of pumpkin at dinner to help with digestion just in case. And he really likes pumpkin.
Oh my gosh I totally forgot about pumpkin. Taran LOVES that stuff. If it wasn’t midnight I’d go get some right now.