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 Feeding Anxiety

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Darguth
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Join date : 2011-09-27

PostSubject: Feeding Anxiety   Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:40 pm

Hey all,

So my 10 week husky boy, Comrade, seems to be displaying more and more enthusiasm (I'm starting to read it less as enthusiasm and more as anxiety) over his meal times.

When we first got him about 3 weeks ago he was a slow, deliberate eater. He was still eating, it wasn't like the new environment had made him lose his appetite, but he ate with a good pace.

Now he bounces off the walls, literally jumping straight in the air, when I go to feed him. Additionally, he wolfs it down much faster now--almost inhaling it. Lastly, once he's done he'll keep returning to the bowl to lick it clean (and the bowl of our 2yr old lab), making me think he's still hungry.

I feed him 1 cup of Blue Buffalo's puppy kibble twice daily. which seems to be in the recommended range for his age. However, I don't want him to go hungry, and I'm thinking maybe if his meals filled him up more he'd be less anxious to receive them.

I'd read in another thread about using canned green beans as a healthy filler. Should something like that be used alongside the meal to bulk it out and fill them up right then, or in-between meals to appease any oncoming hunger?

Also, any other tips to calm down his eating habits at all? He's already showing some signs of separation anxiety when we go out of the house for work--which we're working to address--so I really want to head off any other anxious behaviors ASAP.

Thanks!
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Huskyluv
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Female Join date : 2009-06-23
Location : Huntsville, AL

PostSubject: Re: Feeding Anxiety   Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:09 pm

I would expect to be feeding somewhere between 2-3 cups a day, at that age I'd probably feed 1 cup of food 3 times a day for a total of 3 cups. Adjust as necessary, but at that age I'd definitely be feeding 3 times a day, not two. I'd try 3 cups a day before turning to fillers, but yes you can use something like green beans with his food or as a separate snack if you wish.

To slow down his eating you might try putting a rock or large ball in his food bowl so that he has to work around it, therefore slowing him down. Another idea is to spread out his kibble in a baking sheet so he can't swallow large mouthfuls, thus making him work around the sheet to get all his food.

Does he get fed near your lab? He could be anxious about losing his food to the lab if they are fed in close proximity or even the same room.

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Darguth
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Join date : 2011-09-27

PostSubject: Re: Feeding Anxiety   Wed Oct 05, 2011 12:57 am

He eats in his crate away from the lab but within eyesight. She's never once touched his food, so I would hope that wouldn't cause too much anxiety.
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Huskyluv
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Female Join date : 2009-06-23
Location : Huntsville, AL

PostSubject: Re: Feeding Anxiety   Wed Oct 05, 2011 12:59 pm

I wouldn't think that would be an issue either. I'd try increasing his food and feeding more frequently along with measures to slow down his pace and see if that doesn't help. It may not be anxiety at all but a really hungry puppy who just loves his food. I've got one of those that just goes bonkers at feeding time, quite comical. And she was one who initially didn't eat much and when she did eat she was very slow and methodical about it for the first few weeks. It wasn't until she'd spent months in her new home that she showed her true colors about her enthusiasm for and love of food.

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Darguth
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PostSubject: Re: Feeding Anxiety   Wed Oct 05, 2011 1:18 pm

Thanks for the advice Valerie! I'll try increasing his intake, feeding him a 3rd meal around lunchtime, and probably going with a cooking sheet for his food bowl for awhile and see if that helps.

My last dog, a golden retriever, lived her entire life as an extremely anxious eater that would eat so quickly and with such panic that she'd regurgitate her food almost daily. We tried so many different things and could never break her of it, I'm just worried about my little Comrade and don't want that fate for him Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Feeding Anxiety   Wed Oct 05, 2011 1:46 pm

I'd also make him sit and wait til you say it's OK to eat. My now 5 month old girl when we got her went BONKERS when I got the food out. She's make a ton of noise and jump around. I've made it to where she has to sit the entire time I'm getting their food out and when it's time for her to get her bowl, I make her sit, then I back up a few feet infront of her and put her bowl down and make her wait til I say OK for her to walk to her bowl and eat. She was of course really flinchy the first few times we did this but now she calmly sits and waits for my OK Smile
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Darguth
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Join date : 2011-09-27

PostSubject: Re: Feeding Anxiety   Wed Oct 05, 2011 3:09 pm

Heatherlee, I just tried this yesterday for the first time as well and he wasn't liking it much; but I'll persist and see if it helps out as well Smile Thanks!
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26nikita
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Female Join date : 2010-09-11

PostSubject: Re: Feeding Anxiety   Wed Oct 05, 2011 7:49 pm

Heatherlee wrote:
I'd also make him sit and wait til you say it's OK to eat. My now 5 month old girl when we got her went BONKERS when I got the food out. She's make a ton of noise and jump around. I've made it to where she has to sit the entire time I'm getting their food out and when it's time for her to get her bowl, I make her sit, then I back up a few feet infront of her and put her bowl down and make her wait til I say OK for her to walk to her bowl and eat. She was of course really flinchy the first few times we did this but now she calmly sits and waits for my OK Smile

I did this with Willow and it worked for her too!
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Huskyluv
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Female Join date : 2009-06-23
Location : Huntsville, AL

PostSubject: Re: Feeding Anxiety   Wed Oct 05, 2011 7:58 pm

26nikita wrote:
Heatherlee wrote:
I'd also make him sit and wait til you say it's OK to eat. My now 5 month old girl when we got her went BONKERS when I got the food out. She's make a ton of noise and jump around. I've made it to where she has to sit the entire time I'm getting their food out and when it's time for her to get her bowl, I make her sit, then I back up a few feet infront of her and put her bowl down and make her wait til I say OK for her to walk to her bowl and eat. She was of course really flinchy the first few times we did this but now she calmly sits and waits for my OK Smile

I did this with Willow and it worked for her too!

I just thought I'd say that I did this with my crazy food loving dog and while it keeps her in line while she's waiting for her food it didn't do squat for how she eats like a mad dog when she actually gets her food.

Edited to add: I did notice that feeding a "wet" type food makes my food inhaling dog eat a lot slower. She inhales kibble but with wet foods like canned, Fresh Pet Select, The Honest Kitchen, or Grandma Lucy's she eats a little bit slower without the need for a ball in her bowl for her to work around.

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Darguth
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PostSubject: Re: Feeding Anxiety   Wed Oct 05, 2011 8:59 pm

Making him sit until totally relaxed and uninterested in the food slowed him down a bit tonight, so I'll keep that up and see how it goes Smile

I think it also might have helped that we went a longer walk than usual and he got to run around the yard a lot before coming in for din-din.
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PostSubject: Re: Feeding Anxiety   Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:55 pm

Awesome! It's really helped with Rogue because when we first got her, she serious did flips all around and her heart was beating so fast I thought it'd burst! She does still eat fast so we've been using a cookie sheet, but she's getting better every day. The previous owners were only feeding her a total of 1 cup a day of crappy Royal Canine food, and then they got her from a store, so I think she was bound to have some chugging issues.
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arooroomom
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Female Join date : 2009-12-13
Location : South Fl

PostSubject: Re: Feeding Anxiety   Wed Oct 05, 2011 11:36 pm

Rodeo does this too. I've been rying different things but tonight I fed everyone else first while he waited and then I sat next to him with the food bowl (in the same room.) I covered it with my hands and just put out a handful at a time. That way at least he's getting used to eating slower and hopefully sees that no one is going to steal his food. In the mornings he's fine and eats slower since no one else is in the kitchen. But no way am I having separate feedings at night so he needs to grow up. lol

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