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 Very Picky Doggy - I Will Do Anything to Get Him to Eat!

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Rumflower
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PostSubject: Very Picky Doggy - I Will Do Anything to Get Him to Eat!    Tue Jun 16, 2015 8:38 pm

Hello everyone! I am having some trouble feeding my husky and would be grateful of any advice at all on this issue. He is 7 months old and 53 pounds. He has always been picky, but I did not realize how bad he was getting about it and assumed he would eat when he got hungry. Unfortunately, it never worked out that way. He will take maybe two bites of food and then walk away from his bowl. I have tried the following food:

Blue Buffalo
Royal Canin
Evo
Pure Balance
Science Diet
Chef Michaels, Alpo, Pedigree (pure desperation)
^A variety of flavors of all of the above as well as both canned and dry versions
Cooked ground beef
Shredded pork
Shredded chicken
Boiled chicken livers
Boiled chicken breasts
Bacon
Hotdogs
Brussel sprouts and broccoli

The only success I had was when he ate one chicken breast once. I had mixed with with broccoli and brussel sprouts cooked to a mushy mess, but he somehow separated the chicken breast from the vegetables and, of course, did not touch them. He has precision with those little teeth!

Otherwise, he will take two bites at most and walk away.

I talked to his trainer and worked on different methods: mix gravy with it, mix butter in it, or give it to him on a plate. I tried those tricks and still no luck.

His veterinarian stated that he is a little bit underweight, but otherwise healthy. I want to get this problem nipped in the bud before it does become a problem. Any help would be wonderful. Price is not a problem. As long as I can get this bugaboo to eat I can live off canned beans, LoL!
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MiyasMomma
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PostSubject: Re: Very Picky Doggy - I Will Do Anything to Get Him to Eat!    Tue Jun 16, 2015 9:20 pm

Welcome to the forum and oh dear another picky husky, lol. I got one too so I am laughing with you and not at you.

For starters, he is super big for 7 months, are you sure your vet understands huskies, and does he/she know that your guy is at breed standard top weight for a male?

He will not starve to death, and are you sure he is not munching on cat food, other dog food, someone feeding human food? You are offering him way too many choices, and he knows if he doesn't eat you will feed him something even better. He's holding out for the good stuff.

Some things to keep in mind about huskies.....they tend to be thinner than most dogs their size. They will eat approximately 20-25% less food than other breeds their size. Most do not tolerate grain inclusive foods, and many prefer meat based, grain free kibble. For excellent kibble I would recommend Fromm or Merrick, if you go that route I can be more specific with those brands and what line to buy. I personally feed Taste Of The Wild, some here do frown on that brand because it is a Diamond product and they have had past issues, although none for TOTW for several years. Because my girl is ultra picky, I have stuck to TOTW because she will eat it 75% of the time. I also feed raw. By cooking his food you are loosing valuable vitamins and minerals.

I would seriously stick to one brand, and buy smallest bags offered, for instance my girl will only eat venison/bison flavor of TOTW, I tried small bags and that is the only flavor she would eat consistently. By buying small bags you can rotate with out having to slowly transition from one flavor to the next.

Feeding raw is also a great idea, I personally feel it is the perfect diet for a husky, I have limited space, so I do feed a partial raw partial kibble diet, and have had success. I can go into more detail.

The brands that you have mentioned are not that great, Blue has had a recent issue, and many huskies do not tolerate that brand. Evo is a great food, although I am basing this from dogfoodadvisor, and have never used, nor have I heard any one here use it. The rest are just not that good.

Again I will mention that cooked meat is not that great, they need the benefits that raw gives. And please I hope you have given him boneless meats, cooked bones are dangerous to dogs.

Anyways, I am happy to help, and there are others here who can also provide their
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Very Picky Doggy - I Will Do Anything to Get Him to Eat!    Tue Jun 16, 2015 9:42 pm

A 7 no old husky husky 53 pounds does not sound really underweight to me. How many times a day and how much are you feeding?

I'm guessing 3/4 cup of high quality food (I feed totw) twice or 3 times a day may be sufficient. At 7 months, a husky will look quite gangly, lanky, thin. Sort of like a teenage boy before a growth spurt.
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PostSubject: Re: Very Picky Doggy - I Will Do Anything to Get Him to Eat!    Tue Jun 16, 2015 10:04 pm

Thank you so much for all of the information!

I see what you are saying about him being at the top breed standard. It seems from what I've read on the weigh-in thread that he's definitely on the larger side for huskies, so I wasn't concerned until the vet said that he was underweight. I maybe place too much trust in my vet. Do you think I should go to a different vet? I noticed from the dog park that he is a lot taller than the other huskies, though, so maybe he's just meant to be a larger guy.

The breeder kept him on Royal Canin and gave me a bag of it when I picked him up, but he did the thing where he takes a bite and walks away since I got him, so I've been trying samples of different things. I suspect she may have given him table scraps, lol. I've been very careful about keeping him from getting into table scraps, though. Also, my trainer is awesome about giving me small sample baggies, which I think may be why I have tried so many different things.

Please let me know what brands from Merrick and Fromm. Did your girl pick it up instantly or did you have to coax it? Did you start her on the partial raw at the same time as the TOTW or did you transition one first?

The partial raw and partial kibble diet sounds like a really good idea. I read the sticky on the prey model diet. Is that the raw diet? How much kibble and how much raw? I am sorry for asking so many questions, but if another picky husky likes this diet it is definitely worth trying. I've been afraid to try raw diets because I've read a couple of dog books that have called it into question and am worried about food borne pathogens, but I am interested in learning more about it. Please let me know about this diet.

LoL, no he hasn't gotten any cooked bones. Everything has been boneless. I would die if it splintered and something happened to him!

Thank you again!
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PostSubject: Re: Very Picky Doggy - I Will Do Anything to Get Him to Eat!    Tue Jun 16, 2015 10:09 pm

I feed him twice a day. I've been slightly wasteful and filled the bowl full, but he just takes a bite or two and lets the rest go to waste. Because of that, it's hard to tell how much he is actually eating. Sad

He's also a long coated husky, so it's hard to tell if he's looking thin. How tall are 7 month old huskies supposed to be? Also, is there anywhere I can find a height/weight chart for huskies? I've looked, but can't seem to find one. I'm terribly sorry to bother you, but I greatly appreciate your help.
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PostSubject: Re: Very Picky Doggy - I Will Do Anything to Get Him to Eat!    Tue Jun 16, 2015 10:37 pm

Ok, Since Amy mentioned as well as my self we both feed Taste of the Wild, out of the three brands I mentioned TOTW is probably the easiest for you to find. Fromm may have to be ordered online as well as the Merrick. With the Fromm their 4 star line is imho their best line. If you have a Tractor Supply near you, you should be able to get TOTW and Merrick, with the Merrick I would go with their Back Country Line or their Grain Free Line. Both Fromm and Merrick are family owned companies and have never had any type of recalls. With the Merrick I like the fact that they add Glucosamine* (min)
Chondroitin Sulfate* (min)....Which the other two brands do not mention. This is very good to include, imho, for bones and joints. Since he is bigger that is very important. I also would go ahead and start feeding the adult versions of any of those 3.

Amy gave you good advice on the amounts. I feed my girl between 1-2 cups daily, with the added raw. The more on days where we get a lot of exercise and less on less active days.

With raw, I personally do not see a major need for a transition, I started feeding raw almost from the day I got her, since she was so picky on food, I would though start with a little raw and work your way to adding more into his diet. I understand the thought of pathogens, however, if you freeze any meat for at least 7 days, most bacteria is killed. I stick to a beef, chicken, and turkey, with occasional venison, fish, lamb. A great start is feeding a raw meaty bone. Ask your local meat department if they have any beef bones. If you have any local specialty butchers ask them. I do feed human grade meats. Another option, is to feed a small amount of turkey burger or hamburger. With hamburger you want to feed 80/20 or higher(80 is meat and 20 is fat, you do want to feed fat so either 80/20 or 85/15 is what I would go with), start with 2 ounces of burger, you can adjust as he gets used to eating the raw, as I mentioned earlier, so with any raw I would start with an ounce or two and work up. As with any type of feeding, if he has runny poops you are overfeeding, if he acts always hungry you may want to slightly increase(with kibble 1/8 cup increase/decrease, raw 1 ounce increase/decrease).

No bother......my girl is 2.5 years old stands about 24 inches(measure from the floor to the top of shoulder), she weighs between 58 and 65 pounds, lighter in summer. There is a chart somewhere here, but I do believe it can be easily found on the web, to visually see the correct appearance of a dog. I would assume he would be somewhere around 21 inches at 7 months, since you mentioned he is on the larger side.
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PostSubject: Re: Very Picky Doggy - I Will Do Anything to Get Him to Eat!    Wed Jun 17, 2015 7:23 am

Note: http://nchfp.uga.edu/questions/FAQ_freezing.html

It is a myth that freezing destroys bacteria.  While it will kill some parasites, it will only STOP the growth of bacteria - once the meat is thawed, any bacteria present in the meat at the time of freezing will begin to multiply again.


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PostSubject: Re: Very Picky Doggy - I Will Do Anything to Get Him to Eat!    Wed Jun 17, 2015 8:30 am

@Rumflower Since your guy is good size and a bit on the overweight side (for a Husky) I'd be inclined to say that you're worrying about a non-problem.  The potential problem is that being a bit overweight may give you problems with an overweight Husky later in life ... and if you've ever tried to lose weight you know how difficult it can be.  I have a heavy girl here and cannot get the extra 15-20 pounds off of her.
Husky's are notorious for being finicky about their food; they're even worse when they learn that acting finicky will drive mom wild and get them "the good stuff" - and yes, they do learn that.
In one sense, I'd say that you're lucky, many Husky's, given a full bowl of food, will scarf it down as quickly as they can with a potential danger of bloat.  That your guy nibbles makes me think that he's getting more than he wants or needs and is content to just nibble.

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PostSubject: Re: Very Picky Doggy - I Will Do Anything to Get Him to Eat!    Wed Jun 17, 2015 8:35 am

@aljones wrote:
@Rumflower Since your guy is good size and a bit on the overweight side (for a Husky) I'd be inclined to say that you're worrying about a non-problem.  The potential problem is that being a bit overweight may give you problems with an overweight Husky later in life ... and if you've ever tried to lose weight you know how difficult it can be.  I have a heavy girl here and cannot get the extra 15-20 pounds off of her.
Husky's are notorious for being finicky about their food; they're even worse when they learn that acting finicky will drive mom wild and get them "the good stuff" - and yes, they do learn that.
In one sense, I'd say that you're lucky, many Husky's, given a full bowl of food, will scarf it down as quickly as they can with a potential danger of bloat.  That your guy nibbles makes me think that he's getting more than he wants or needs and is content to just nibble.

Agreed - I thought Ami was being picky...Dropped his food to 3/4 cup twice a day with 1/2 cup "midnight" snack and he eats with joyful abandon!
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PostSubject: Re: Very Picky Doggy - I Will Do Anything to Get Him to Eat!    Wed Jun 17, 2015 9:03 am

One thing I meant to address was the question "should I get a different vet?" (probably misquoted).  
If your vet is generally knowledgeable about dogs then why bother.  The fact that he might not know what a Husky should weigh is just something to consider when asking for his advice.  You know that a heavy Husky is overweight, he doesn't - that, by itself, shouldn't be a big problem.  When we consider what a mastiff, for example, should weigh compared to a chihuahua or a bully breed (considering weight in relation to body shape, not size) they're all different and all over the scale.  
Most vets are going to look at most Husky's shape and consider them underweight, probably the same with a Greyhound.  Most Husky's, like most Greyhounds, fall into the category I call svelte, sleek, narrow "waste".

If your current vet is good in all other categories, you might want to take the time to educate him about Husky's and their weight and physique - if not, then another vet is worth considering.

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PostSubject: Re: Very Picky Doggy - I Will Do Anything to Get Him to Eat!    Wed Jun 17, 2015 11:42 am

Thank you so much for all of the input. I feel a lot better knowing that he might not be as underweight as the vet indicated. There are not a lot of huskies here so she might not have much experience with them. I think since I've always struggled with being a bit underweight I may have taken it a little bit personal and panicked when she said that he was underweight, LoL! I think I will talk to a different vet and just see if they say anything different before I get any more worked up with this issue.

I do not think he is overweight, though. It's hard to tell when he's all fluffy, but when he's wet he looks a lot skinnier than the diagrams indicate. He's just a little shorter than his dad now, but seems a lot smaller in width (my profile picture is him at 4 months).

It seems like TOTW is really popular among picky eaters. I'm definitely going to give it a try and let you all know how it goes!

Thank you again for all of your help!

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PostSubject: Re: Very Picky Doggy - I Will Do Anything to Get Him to Eat!    Wed Jun 17, 2015 2:16 pm

i agree his not under weight, hes just on the high end of the male weight.  Smile  hes smaller then Leo at that age Laughing . i to notice Leo can gets a little picky i usually add some peanut butter into his food usually works, other wise its banana Laughing . some times yogurt Laughing .

Leo is a big guy, right now he weight in at 78-80lbs, at his last weigh in; strangely enough both parents are with in standers. i guess the large jean shows up every now and then. Wink

I feed Leo and Joey dr. tim's Kinesis and some home made dog food from i cook book i bought on http://www.k9instinct.com. they have a lot of free treat recipes. Like a Star @ heaven
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PostSubject: Re: Very Picky Doggy - I Will Do Anything to Get Him to Eat!    Wed Jun 17, 2015 2:21 pm

my vet's trick for weight:

If you can feel the ribs, feel them but not play the xylephone on them
If looking from the side the stomach tucks up
if looking from the top it narrows at the waist

All signs they are at a healthy weight.
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PostSubject: Re: Very Picky Doggy - I Will Do Anything to Get Him to Eat!    Wed Jun 17, 2015 2:39 pm

yeah i though he might be too fat Suspect  affraid , so i look for info a wail back, i did just like you stated and other then a not so tuck up tummy his a good wight for his height.

he finally looks like hes loosing his baby fat and all his winter fluff Laughing .

this was around Easter, not sure if he looks a bit chubby here though. Suspect Shocked Laughing  might need to lay off the pig ears. tongue
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PostSubject: Re: Very Picky Doggy - I Will Do Anything to Get Him to Eat!    Thu Jun 18, 2015 5:54 am

Thank you for the input everyone!

I measured him this morning - 24 inches, so a little bit out of the breed standard.

Anyway, I got him a raw, meaty bone last night just to see if that perked up his appetite, and he went bonkers over it! He held the bone with his paws and ripped the meat off of it. I have never seen him put that much effort or enthusiasm into food before! He's always ignored puzzle feeders with kibble and treats but apparently will spend hours getting every last scrap of meat off a bone.

I was scared to try raw food because of all the contaminated food scares, but it seems to be what he wants. A lot of people seem to be doing it, so it must not be hurting the dogs too much. I think I'm going to take him to a different vet and have him weighed and looked at again and talk about the raw diet. I used this vet just because it's the vet I used (circular logic right there), but it might be good to just see if there are more knowledgeable ones out there.

Thanks again!

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PostSubject: Re: Very Picky Doggy - I Will Do Anything to Get Him to Eat!    Mon Jun 29, 2015 11:37 am

Update: He's eating! I tried the raw food and mixed it in with his kibble and he did the weirdest thing and picked around the raw food and ate the kibble and the bone. So I've been just putting a meaty bone in his kibble and he's been eating the majority if not all of the food in his bowl. Last night I just gave him kibble and he cleaned the bowl. Not sure if he decided I had fussed over him sufficiently or that maybe after the raw food kibble didn't seem so bad after all or if he just really likes taste of the wild. Either way I'm going to keep my fingers crossed!
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PostSubject: Re: Very Picky Doggy - I Will Do Anything to Get Him to Eat!    Mon Jun 29, 2015 12:12 pm

Great news!

Frankly, if it were me and I had a choice between a pile of raw meat and a bowl of cereal, I'd take the cereal any day lol!

Both Ami and my son's dog LOVE the TOTW...the wild boar, not so much but the Bison/Venison is a BIG hit.

Also, periodically, Ami will not eat in the morning. If I then check his ribs, I usually find them a wee bit padded, cut back to 3/4 C morning and night with 1/2 C at bedtime (a bonding ritual Rolling Eyes ) and he starts eating his breakfast again and a few days later, I can thoroughly feel his ribs.
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PostSubject: Re: Very Picky Doggy - I Will Do Anything to Get Him to Eat!    Mon Jun 29, 2015 12:23 pm

I didn't read anything previous in this thread other than the original thread poster.

(In an immense amount of pain, also why I have been AWOL for a while)

Anyways, here is my
Do with it as you wish.

A. Dog. Will. Not. Starve. Themselves.
Pick a food, that YOU like (not taste, you know what I mean). One that YOU think is beneficial to your dog and that is it.. Don't switch to a million zillion foods, what you are doing, is TEACHING your dog to be picky. The only reason to switch foods, is health issues, recalls etcetera. Don't do it because your dog turns nose up to it.

So here is what you do.
Offer the food at feeding time. Leave it out for like 20 minutes.
Doesn't eat? Fine.
Try again in a couple hours
Doesn't eat? Fine....
Repeat this process.

Doesn't eat today? Fine.

Next day same routine.
or the next day.... or the next day.

Your. Dog. Will. Give. In. And. Eat.

I had to do this a couple times... Okami never made it to day 4.
If this doesn't work, then I'd say see a vet, because there is a possible underlying issue.



That is all, hope this helps.
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PostSubject: Re: Very Picky Doggy - I Will Do Anything to Get Him to Eat!    Mon Jun 29, 2015 3:44 pm

Haha I agree with you Amy!

Lol I'm not worried about him starving to death. He may not starve but simply being underweight can cause health problems later down the road and lead to vitamin deficiencies so I wanted to nip it asap.

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PostSubject: Re: Very Picky Doggy - I Will Do Anything to Get Him to Eat!    Fri Feb 19, 2016 12:49 pm

Forgot to post a follow-up. Took him to the vet last weekend. She weighed him, felt his ribs and felt his tummy and declared that he is now officially in the healthy weight range! Whew! That was a long uphill battle.

I feed him morning and early evening. TOTW seems to be the only brand he will eat. I have found he eats best when it is in a puzzle feeder, and for some strange reason I have to be in the room with him as well, lol. He eats best after he has exercised and eliminated, so it has been pretty successful just timing his meals around that.

Razz
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PostSubject: Re: Very Picky Doggy - I Will Do Anything to Get Him to Eat!    Fri Feb 19, 2016 1:54 pm

Danielle, both Josh and I have noticed that Ami and Archer, when not visiting, frequently eat better if we are at least in the room, sometimes sitting innext to them and sometimes evenwhenhand feeding. And yes, sometimes I I the kong.

Together though, they eat like they've never eaten before... probably because they are on-stop romping.
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PostSubject: Re: Very Picky Doggy - I Will Do Anything to Get Him to Eat!    Fri Feb 19, 2016 6:52 pm

Good eating habits start in the whelping box....and yes there is sometimes a genetic component.  Siberians have gained themselves an undo reputation, largely in the pet community, of being picky eaters....and far too often we see the same pattern, free feeding, frequent food changes, additions, treats, high value enticers added to the food which just compound the problem rather than working to resolve it.  The best advice I had ever heard was from Karen Ramstead.  When you have a "picky" dog that doesn't eat, take his food away.  Adding goodies only entices your dog to wait until you cave and give them high value rewards for their behavior. After all what incentive does a child have to eat their brussel sprouts when you'll give them candy instead? Offer a half ration the next day, give him 20 min to eat it then take it away.  Next day offer a half portion again.  Don't increase his food until he's inhaling that ration.  Keep them on a consistent schedule. Teach him he gets one option and one ration at a set time.


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PostSubject: Re: Very Picky Doggy - I Will Do Anything to Get Him to Eat!    Fri Feb 19, 2016 9:31 pm

Lanii, my first hint of this came when i read a quote by a vet: if your dog isn't acting ravenous, he's being over fed. I've gradually come too recognize that if Ami isn't eating normally, he may be sick but probably I'm feeding too much.

Now my problem is.... if dog is acting ravenous, Eayne says he's starving, he needs more food
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PostSubject: Re: Very Picky Doggy - I Will Do Anything to Get Him to Eat!    Fri Feb 19, 2016 9:33 pm

Yes, once you get your dog eating normally and consistently, going off of their food is one of the easiest to identify and earliest signs of something being amiss.  I know with all of mine, if someone skips a meal that's a dog that needs to see the vet.
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