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 Husky isn't eating/picky eating

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Chris Eddlemon
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PostSubject: Husky isn't eating/picky eating   Wed Aug 30, 2017 1:59 am

I've been battling a problem with figuring out why my male 2 year old husky, Kenai, hasn't been eating much at all. I have tried different food brands, raw, etc. and nothing has worked. I have a food he is currently eating but he is very picky on when he wants to. It seems like days go by and he hasn't eaten a good amount of food. I would say this is kinda normal according to their breed, but he is starting to lose weight and have very skinny appearance. His ribs aren't showing very much but you can still see them a little bit. When we are out and about, friends ask if im starving him and it's frustrating because he has all of the opportunity to eat.

I got bloodwork and xrays done and they all came back good. (Was worried about blockage or other medical issues)

Kenai is the only dog in my house, with a total of 6 roommates. He gets along with all of them and is a very friendly dog. We have a big yard and is pretty active. It seems that when he's at my house he wont eat much. He has however shown interest when other dogs are around (friends dogs visiting). This gave me the idea to take him to my moms for a week and see how he did there, since she has 2 other dogs. He was eating very well over there. She did have them on a feeding schedule, whereas I was free feeding. Kenai has also been given human food by roommates in the past, but now they very clearly know not to do that anymore. When I tried the raw he just smelled it and walked away, showing no interest.

Here's been my ideas thus far:

1.) Kenai is getting lonely and needs another dog around(I'm currently looking at a husky puppy)
2.) He is being an opportunistic eater and hoping he gets more enticing food (treats, human food, etc.) Which I am going to start schedule feeding so he knows thats when his food needs to be eaten or else he waits for the next meal time.
3.) Sick, but the vet said he was fine but did need more weight
4.) He happens to not like the 6 high quality different kibble brands I've tried and the raw meal.


I've been browsing the forums and seen similar issues, but didnt really see an updated answer. I'm looking for advice, past stories, or anything that will help. Let me know if you need any additional info.

Thanks,

Chris and Kenai
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Artic_Wind
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Location : San Diego, California

PostSubject: Re: Husky isn't eating/picky eating   Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:21 am

My gut says your second theory. I think with roommates feeding him human food, he's got a bit spoiled in that respect. At your moms, possibly just being out of the environment of your place, with roommates around, got him to change his eating habits knowing there wasn't a roommate around to slip him the good stuff.

Other things that can affect their appetite is it being hot, and/or less exercise. I know mine don't eat as much when we are taking shorter walks cuz of the heat. Others will chime in I'm sure, but if the vet pretty much cleared him, I think your no.2 theory fits the best.
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TwisterII
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PostSubject: Re: Husky isn't eating/picky eating   Wed Aug 30, 2017 10:56 am

Huskies are supposed to be lean dogs. To some that looks like they are being starved since most dogs are overweight. Rule of thumb is that you should be able to feel the back two ribs without having to dig for them. Some will self regulate and maintain this on their own by fasting. Others if not getting enough stimulation will simply not be hungry and competition for food or spending time with other dogs will serve as enough mental and physical stimulation that they will go ahead and eat. My girl is not overly food oriented during summer when it is warm. She's also not overly food oriented when she's only getting a mile a day of walking on a path she sees every day. We do much more in new areas and that has helped her eat as much as anything.

If he likes to eat from roommate's hands then you can attempt to hand feed raw. Some dogs respond well to searing the meat. Makes them think they are getting people food but that's really just their food. Nose plays a big role too so stinky meats like fish and liver can be extra enticing. As they eat better you start weening off how much you are searing the meat until you aren't doing anything to it.

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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Husky isn't eating/picky eating   Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:28 pm

Thoughts and observations

First - Jenn's comment is right on...Huskies are lean. Really lean.

Second - Free feeding doesn't always work. You might want to try a feeding schedule.

Third - I've noticed that Ami eats much more avidly when Archer is around. Even if he is not so inclined, he takes one look at Archer just waiting to eat whatever Ami leaves behind and eats every last bit.

Which brings up a 4th - are you perhaps overfeeding? Very easy to do with high quality food and an energy efficient dog. I would try cutting back by 25% in measured daily portions and see how his apetite goes.
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Husky isn't eating/picky eating   Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:37 pm

Oops - got interrupted and forgot. Room-mates feeding people food. Big no no for dog who is picky. I would suggest, unless you're going Jenn's route, is to measure out his daily portion of kibble put it where puppy can't reach it but room mates have easy access. If they want to feed puppy, grab a small handful and feed that, slowly, piece by piece.

Weird, but Ami frequently waits for me to hand feed him. Particularly since Z'ev descended upon the household.
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Chris Eddlemon
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PostSubject: Re: Husky isn't eating/picky eating   Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:56 am

In my opinion, he is too lean. He is currently 59lbs. You can see his hip bones on top of his back pretty well. The vet said he could use about 5-7lbs. I'll attach some photos of him from tonight. Couldn't get the best angles. As far as the roommates, they have been told to not feed him human food again. At this point I've been trying to feed him what he'll eat with the kibble which amounts to 1-2 cup a day. I have started a feeding schedule so we will see how that goes as well. He does seem to guard his food if dogs are around or will also eat it. I think its a mixture of being picky and the dogs being around for stimulation. I have a husky puppy I've been looking at adding to the family. He is coming over monday to see how Kenai and him do around each other. I'm hoping with these changes Kenai will start acting normal again.



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Kmanweiss
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PostSubject: Re: Husky isn't eating/picky eating   Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:24 pm

I'm not a vet, but honestly, he doesn't look bad.
Male height averages around 21-24 inches I believe, and weight is around 44-60 lbs.
59lbs is near the top end of that.
If he stands taller or comes from bigger stock, he might need to be above that, but he doesn't look underweight from those pictures.
Huskies are super lean dogs. Keep in mind that some huskies are pretty poofy too. Yours doesn't have as much poof to his coat, so he appears even slimmer than other examples of the breed.

Huskies are also pretty darn efficient when it comes to energy use. If you are feeding good quality kibble, 2 cups is probably the top end of what you want to feed him anyways. The feeding guide on the dog food bag is an average, and huskies tend to need 15-25% less than what the bag says. They are crazy efficient dogs.

Do you have a lot of huskies in your area? I find that some vets think of all dogs as being pretty identical in most regards. Some don't think of the individual needs or characteristics of certain breeds. Vets that don't have experience with huskies will tend to think that a perfectly healthy dog is underweight. I can only imagine what they'd do if they saw a greyhound.
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aljones
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PostSubject: Re: Husky isn't eating/picky eating   Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:38 pm

Chris, for my comment, the side views really look good.  Huskies are typically svelte (slim and trim) so the tummy tuck you see is completely normal.  From the top view, I might agree with the vet that he could stand a couple of pounds more - but not much!

If you look, you'll find that over half of American dogs are overweight! (( a Google Search about pet obesity )) so it's no surprise that people who have a dog with good weight are being acvcused of "starving" their dogs.

Add to that Dave's comment that most vets don't know Huskies and want to treat them, overall, as they treat other dogs and you get a prescription for an "overweight" dog.

I have three ... on two of the I see the same basic profile I see with yours.  Yep, I can feel ribs but not extreme and their hips are pronounced.  You should be able to feel them (ribs and hips) but there should also be "meat" (muscle) over and around them.  My third is on a constant diet!

ETA: My two who are in good shape get about 2.0 cups of food a day; the one who's on a diet gets about 1.5 cups, so you're right on target there.

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Pasasdf
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PostSubject: Re: Husky isn't eating/picky eating   Thu Aug 31, 2017 1:55 pm

Huskies need a friend to be with. It's good to looking for a second husky so you male have a friend and be happy.

My husky puppy was picky at age 3 months. She didn't eat anything but human food and treats. So we didn't give her food if she didn't eat her own food. Few days and her hunger wins and she ate all of her own food. To this day (she's now 5 months) she have been eating all of her food. You should try this. You give him his daily amount of food at morning, if he didn't touch it you took it away and give it again at evening. If he didn't touch it again or only eat a little bit, you took it away again and try again tomorrow. No treats, no human food, no anything else but his own food. If he's not sick, he would eat tomorrow or next day. Healthy dogs don't starve themselves.
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vitalsign
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PostSubject: Re: Husky isn't eating/picky eating   Sat Sep 09, 2017 3:08 pm

Pasasdf wrote:
Huskies need a friend to be with. It's good to looking for a second husky so you male have a friend and be happy.

My husky puppy was picky at age 3 months. She didn't eat anything but human food and treats. So we didn't give her food if she didn't eat her own food. Few days and her hunger wins and she ate all of her own food. To this day (she's now 5 months) she have been eating all of her food. You should try this. You give him his daily amount of food at morning, if he didn't touch it you took it away and give it again at evening. If he didn't touch it again or only eat a little bit, you took it away again and try again tomorrow. No treats, no human food, no anything else but his own food. If he's not sick, he would eat tomorrow or next day. Healthy dogs don't starve themselves.



well my husky "Enzo" is 18 months now, he will starve himself for 2-3 days and then will only eat half of the food, tried everything... i guess he is spoiled and likes when i put a little meat and its soup mixed with the kebbles ://
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