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Poodle People - feeding question!

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  • Poodle People - feeding question!

    So, I have been told poodles eat to live. I have always had dogs that live to eat.

    Any suggestions to make picky poodle eat her full meal at meal times? Poor pitty just cant wrap her brain around why she walks away from the bowl!!

  • #2
    I don't know about poodles, but my youngest Sheltie is a picky eater too. Nothing wrong with him, but he doesn't have a great appetite.

    I've started leaving him the food to eat for 10 minutes. If he walks away, then that's it, and I don't offer anything else until the next food o'clock rolls around. (I also feed Wellness, but the Super 5 mix). He is also very particular that the dry food has to have just the right amount of water added - too much, and he tries to bury the bowl LOL.

    Anyway, after going through this off and on for about 2 weeks, he's realized that this is it and eats much better.


    • Original Poster

      Thats what I figured... I'll leave the bowl down for 10 and take it away if she doesnt want it. Poor pitty will have to drool for 10 minutes (as it takes her less than 30 seconds to polish off her food!), but she too will survive.


      • #4
        The "limited time offer" method is the one I use with all my dogs. I never fuss when my dogs don't eat, unless it's for more than a day or two or three and there are other signs of problems.

        I have noticed that all my dogs get fussy around 6-8 months of age. They've stopped growing, and aren't quite the energizer bunnies they used to be, and are settling into more grown-up habits. I take my cue and start feeding less at that point. They just plain aren't as hungry.

        I always figure, feed your dog. Check ribs, check coat, check eyes and mucus membranes, check interest in life and activities - and if they ain't broke, don't fix 'em!
        Don't tell me about what you can't do. That's boring. Show me what you can do. - Mom


        • Original Poster

          Yep, she is on the lean side and she is new to me. I have no history on her, but she appears otherwise healthy. Abdominal ultrasound ruled out any GI or liver related issues (didnt assume there was any, but wanted to be on the safe side). She doesnt lack energy, and while her coat isnt great I have only had her a few weeks yet so I need to give her more time to bloom I just never thought a dog in MY house would ever walk away from food LOL!


          • #6
            Poodles are not fleshy dogs - at least, they shouldn't be. They have long, flat muscles and deep chests with a pretty good tuck-up. Their ribs will be "right there" when you put your hands on them.

            The coat is a funny thing - texture and density will depend on genetics and color. A flat, silky coat is incorrect, but I do see it rather often. It should be thick and somewhat harsh with a definite crimp when allowed to dry without fluffing - that allows the coat to be shaped easily.
            Don't tell me about what you can't do. That's boring. Show me what you can do. - Mom


            • #7
              I have a Puggle foster here right now that took about 3 weeks to convince food should be a priority.

              He arrived lean (3.5 out of 5.0 on body scale), but he had been free fed and so food just wasn't something important.

              He is about 20# and gets 1/3 measured kibble with a spoonful of canned + training snacks.

              He now belongs to The Clean Bowl Club.


              • #8
                My Toy loves to eat, but he does it one kibble at a time, and likes to take each piece of kibble to a spot of carpet. I leave his food down until he is finished.

                He does get easily distracted while eating, so I try to leave him alone so he can focus. If he thinks there is something going on more interesting than eating, he'll leave the food.

                Welcome to the world of Poodles!


                • #9
                  Originally posted by TrakHack View Post
                  My Toy loves to eat, but he does it one kibble at a time, and likes to take each piece of kibble to a spot of carpet. I leave his food down until he is finished.

                  He does get easily distracted while eating, so I try to leave him alone so he can focus. If he thinks there is something going on more interesting than eating, he'll leave the food.

                  Welcome to the world of Poodles!

                  Attention Deficit OH SQUIRREL!!


                  • Original Poster

                    Emryss - I sent you a PM!

                    Alagirl - that is what my old terrier had. He would be off doing his thing, ignoring you until you asked him "where's the......" and immediately the focus turned to squirrel hunting!


                    • #11
                      Squish I never had one that was picky before either - the other sheltie/border collie inhales his then watches his 'brother' very slowly eat his. Luckily neither are food aggressive, and both are pretty respectful of the other dog.

                      I keep kidding that I am going to send the pup to the shelter for a week so he knows how good he has it LOL !


                      • #12
                        We have a Yorkie mix who's apathetic about food, and a lab mix who isn't. We feed Ms. Yorkie in her crate so Ms. Lab doesn't get the leftovers.


                        • #13
                          We had small poodles for years, they ALL seemed to be grazers. The last one I made a concerted effort to change and had little luck.
                          It's a small world -- unless you gotta walk home.


                          • #14
                            Any suggestions to make picky poodle eat her full meal at meal times?
                            is she actually underweight? if not, you're probably giving her too much, and worrying about nothing. Try both the "you have ten minutes to eat and then it goes away" and also try cutting the amount of food down until she actually eats it all. Weigh regularly and I bet you'll find she maintains a good weight on the new, smaller amount. If you picked her "full meal" amount by reading the side of your bag of dog food I'm guessing you're simply giving her way too much food. I don't know where they get those amounts from, but most dogs need far less than is suggested on the bags. You'll notice most dogs are overweight these days. You should be able to feel ribs easily, and actually see hints of them on a short-coated dog (or a recently clipped poodle).

                            -if she is, or becomes, actually underweight, that's a different story entirely.


                            • #15
                              My poodles have all been indifferent to food. They're meant to be a lean dog. You'll feel ribs on one in good weight. You shouldn't feel spine. Don't go by the weight of show dogs. They're kept on the chubby side deliberately. I just fattened up my mini recently and had to put him on a super digestible food meant for dogs with digestive tract issues because he just wouldn't eat a volume of normal food that put weight on him.


                              • #16
                                All my mini podles have been good eaters, but I feed them less than recommended amounts by manufacturers, switch recipe or brand several times a year, put 2 Tbsp of canned food mixed with kibble, feed them once a day plus their training treats or their chewing item (raw bone, bully stick, or rawhide). As soon as their bowls hit the floor they are vacuuming them clean. My 12lb poodles eat ~1/2 cup kibble plus 2 Tbsp canned food/day, and my 18lb poodle eats 3/4 cup kibble plus the canned food. The smaller ones are 5 in body score and the bigger one is a 6, so they really don't need much food. They are very active too, with long outings at the dog park or trail rides almost on a daily basis, plus agility once or twice a week, except for my old, 16-yr old one who has slowed down a lot in recent months.

                                Sometimes I save chicken or beef broth from my meals and add it to their kibble. They love it!
                                Last edited by clm08; Sep. 10, 2012, 11:01 PM. Reason: typo
                                "Another member of the Barefoot Eventers Clique"


                                • #17
                                  So what is the best way to figure out how much your poodle needs? I'm guessing ask your vet, but there must be a "norm" for each type though, right?
                                  "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
                                  "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey


                                  • Original Poster

                                    Yes she is underweight, she is a body score of about 2 (and thats being generous) out of 5. Ribs and spine are easily felt, as are her pelvic wings. She weights in at 4.4 kg, and she should be closer to 5.5kg.

                                    She is on a mixture of Now Adult and Wellness Core (Ocean Fish). She is up to eating about 3/4 of her meal (she gets 1/2 cup per meal) before she walks away, actually finished all her breakfast in record time this morning but mornings is usually when she is either gung ho, or anorexic.

                                    I think she is starting to understand that meal time means meal time. While the Pittie will eat her meal in 30 seconds flat,I give poodle enough time to eat, chew, grab a drink and finish. After 10 minutes it comes up. In the morning she makes it clear within a few seconds whether she will eat or not so I dont need to leave it out for long.

                                    I'll monitor her weight weekly to ensure she is gaining. I am also deworming her and have famotadine on hand for when she gets morning tummy.

                                    Wendy - I am feeding her based on ideal weight RER x 1.6 (as she is not active, this could increase to RER x 3.0 if she becomes more active). This ends up being about 395kcal/day -which amounts to just over 1 cup of the Now, or just a little less than a cup of the wellness...but they are mixed, so close enough to 1 cup total


                                    • #19
                                      5.5kg? She's a tiny little thing isn't she?

                                      She's only been with you for what 2-ish weeks? I'd also give her a little time. Like I said earlier, it took Vinnie about 3 weeks to figure out that we eat meals here.

                                      Is she getting any canned or other tasty stuff too?


                                      • Original Poster

                                        She is an "odd" eater. I meal feed her twice daily, it seems sometimes she has NO interest in even one single kibble. Even if I hand feed to her, she refuses it. She will refuse liver treats too (and no dog can refuse these!). Then, at next meal time she gobbles everything up.

                                        No rhyme or reason as to which meal she will skip. Sometimes she eats well in the morning, sometimes she wont touch it. Im not going to put tin food in with it, I know she likes the food (she eats it with gusto half of the time), and dont want to create anything pickier than she already is.

                                        She's thin but not emaciated, so I think in time she will correct her weight.

                                        Yes, she's super tiny under all the fur. She looks like she would weigh 15 lbs or so, but its all fluff! Its a good thing, because she likes to sleep atop the arthritic pitty