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Labrador only semi-interested in food... help? -UPDATE post #12

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  • Labrador only semi-interested in food... help? -UPDATE post #12

    So I have a 2 y/o black Labrador Retriever. He's currently on Acana dry food, 2 cups twice a day. He's never been a massive food dog and any time he feels remotely "off" he doesn't want to eat. Once this was do to a large abscess at the base of his tail that required surgery and drains (so yes totally understandable!). He's had UTI issues as well and anytime he goes on antibiotics he goes off his food and we end up having to mix in some wet food in order to entice him to eat. Also if something more exciting is going on he will leave his food bowl.
    He's was on the Acana chicken flavor and we noticed that he got to the point that he wouldn't start eating right away, but once he started he would eat the whole bowl. I was like well maybe I'll try a different Acana flavor, so this time I bought the stinky six fish. No difference... you still have to stand there and convince him to start eating. Until today usually once you convince him to start he would finish the bowl. This morning he left maybe a 1/4 cup... which I picked up and then got him to finish it this afternoon.

    I ran a urinalysis on him yesterday just to make sure and that was more normal than I've ever seen it! He's still happy go lucky and full of energy. No vomiting and no diarrhea. He does get cranberry (or Vit C) tablet once or twice a day because of the past UTI issues. He always gets the tablet with a full meal.

    I REALLY don't want to add wet food to get him to eat, but I'm thinking that may have to happen... he's a lab for crying out loud! He should eat everything I put in front of him lol!! He is in good condition and definitely does not need to lose any weight. Anyone have any tips or dealt with something similar? I can't leave food down as I also have a Corgi, who does follows her breed norm, and will eat whatever he's left behind if I'm not there to pick it up.
    Last edited by CarolinaGirl; Dec. 28, 2012, 03:56 PM.
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  • #2
    A little oil on the food, some canned topping and a little warm water. Bet it works.

    Comment


    • #3
      I'd perhaps give an ulcer drug a trial and see if it helps. If his stomach is bothering him, that could certainly cause the behavior you're seeing. Talk to your vet about some omeprazole?

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by Simkie View Post
        I'd perhaps give an ulcer drug a trial and see if it helps. If his stomach is bothering him, that could certainly cause the behavior you're seeing. Talk to your vet about some omeprazole?
        I've actually got Sucralfate on the shelf from his various other medication experiences. I guess I'll see how coating his stomach before eating goes for a few days just to test... although really he doesn't have any other symptoms that usually indicate ulcers in dogs (vomiting, black tarry stools, abdominal pain, etc).
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        • #5
          Originally posted by CarolinaGirl View Post
          Anyone have any tips or dealt with something similar? I can't leave food down as I also have a Corgi, who does follows her breed norm, and will eat whatever he's left behind if I'm not there to pick it up.
          I have heard of people grating a little bit of parmesan cheese on top of dog food. I cook a little bit of meat and mix it with the food.

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          • #6
            How is all his labwork, and when was his last vet visit? Unless its "normal" for him to be picky, I would be concerned. However...I come from the land of labs who leave nothing untouched! Hope your kid is ok!

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            • #7
              Providing that all he needs is a little incentive to eat there are a few options.

              Pumpkin about a tablespoon, a raw egg, a cooked egg, cottage cheese, yogurt, grated carrot, chopped up meat,


              Hope it helps
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              • #8
                I have an older Heinz 57 dog that has always been picky. If we didn't have the lab I probably could free feed her dry food and she would self regulate. As she got older she got pickier and we needed her to eat to keep up her weight. It did help for a long time to just wet the food with warm water. We didn't even let it sit long enough to make the food softer.
                We now add wet food to her dry since she is now 15 years old and had a 10 cm tumor on her spleen. We have had to do that for the last year. But the old girl deserves it. We were splitting a pouch between three dogs but in reality she got the bulk and the other two get a Tablespoon each so they don't feel left out.
                Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)

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                • #9
                  Ditto Squish. Assuming you've taken his temp and that's normal too?

                  Have you considered stopping the VitC/Cranberry for a bit? Might be making his stomach sour?

                  I come from the land of labs where if the food isn't gone in 60 seconds, you've got a big problem. But it sounds like your guy has always been a little picky. My SP is like that. It's not uncommon for him to skip a meal, especially in the morning.

                  But in your case, it sounds like he's not acting "normal" right now for him. So I'd be inclined to get a CBC/Chem panel done just to rule out other issues. Then if that's all clear, I'd likely stop the cranberry/Vit C and give him a few days. If still no improvement, I might start looking at a food he'll find more palatable.

                  Are you fairly certain that he didn't get into anything? I mean, lab and all. My lab has gone off food when he had pancreatitis or a partial blockage. Not enough to make him vomit or have loose stools but enough that he didn't really feel like eating.
                  A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                  Might be a reason, never an excuse...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    (Ruling out all medical issues, of course, this is my anecdotal data)

                    Our girl has always been a little sluggish to eat. She usually will get to it eventually if you leave it down for her, but I hate that (plus when we have other fosters in the house, it's not really an option).

                    We feed her Orijen, which is about as good as kibble can get, but no flavor really jazzes her much after the first bowl. I'm thinking of keeping a couple of flavors on hand to switch it up regularly.

                    What works WONDERFULLY for us is the Nature's Variety Raw Boost topper. It's a dehydrated raw powder that comes in a can. Our girlie will scarf down any kibble with just half a tablespoon of this stuff on top: http://www.wag.com/dog/p/natures-var...n-11-oz-284360 It comes in 4 varieties if your dog has allergies or preferences.

                    I have recommended it to a lot of people with picky eaters, and it really does the trick. It doesn't smell like much to me, but the dogs seem to LOVE it. Plus, it's way easier than other typical toppers and not that expensive (I use less than their recommended serving since I just use it as a topper not as a supplement).

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                    • #11
                      My 18 month old Border Collieish mutt is like that. She's healthy, she just had her annual at the vet's. She's just not that into food and it doesn't take much to put her off it. She also eats Acana (Grasslands), but I don't think it's the food, as she's more likely to eat that than any other dry food I try. She does not like any canned food except Green Beef Tripe, you could try that, it smells horrid, which is probably why she likes it so well .

                      The thing that will reliably get her to eat is to put a bit of people meat in with her kibble, which I do if I have some leftovers with no onions or spices in them or if I happen to find some ground beef or chicken on sale.

                      A pet store recommended the Nature's Variety Raw Boost recommended above...my older ACD mix looved it, but the young dog was not impressed.

                      Ugh, picky eaters are a pain, but I supposed it's better than having to constantly worry about a dog's weight. Speaking of weight, Molly's is pretty good, she's not overly thin, which is what I remind myself of when she's in an extra picky phase. I have to watch her food, as the ACD mix is elderly and arthritic and I don't want HER eating the young dog's food when young dog decides to just pick at it over many hours.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Update: I pulled him of Vit C a week or so ago. I gave him a sucralfate tablet 30 minutes prior to feeding am and pm for about 4 days and it didn't seem to make any difference. Up until today he has not finished breakfast (and most days I didn't even try to give him the full 2 cups). I've been adding about two spoonfuls of wet food and mixing it to coat the food for about a week. He GENERALLY will finish off his coated dinner bowl though. Talked to my vet about him and we ran a chem 17/general health profile today and everything came back normal. He's currently at 76.4lbs and I don't want him any leaner.
                        I guess I'll try the boost stuff next as my dog food place sells. That seems easier to deal with than the canned food.
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                        Comment


                        • #13
                          You are not the only one with a picky lab... My mom's purebred CKC lab is the definition of Picky, even to the point of refusing some table scraps any other dog would love! She uses my trick for wet food (mix with water to make gravy) and also puts plain yogurt on his kibble and mixes so every kibble is coated. We also have found that he did not like the high protein diets (like Orijen & Acana) as much as the "regular" protein level foods.

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by Coltinator View Post
                            You are not the only one with a picky lab... My mom's purebred CKC lab is the definition of Picky, even to the point of refusing some table scraps any other dog would love! She uses my trick for wet food (mix with water to make gravy) and also puts plain yogurt on his kibble and mixes so every kibble is coated. We also have found that he did not like the high protein diets (like Orijen & Acana) as much as the "regular" protein level foods.
                            Glad I don't have the only one in the world... everyone is like are you sure he's a lab?!? Yes, registered AKC english block head. Interesting about the protein levels, do you know if it's an immediate difference? I can probably get a number of samples at the dog food store....
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                            • #15
                              Yup

                              My labs must be siblings to yours.
                              I make homemade soup to put on their food. Sometimes it works.
                              Also try oatmeal and cottage cheese.Depending on the day they sometimes work.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I have a BIG, 12 month old Boxer who is very picky. I started him as a pup on fancy meat based dry with a dab of canned chicken mixed in. I feed all my dogs 3x a day....sometimes he gobbles all three meals, sometimes no breakfast, but lunch and dinner...he has his own agenda!! I don't worry about it any more!! I do mix a bit of mild beef bouillon broth in his dinner, but dry the other meals. My dog WILL NOT eat beef dog food of any brand. NADDA!! He also prefers the store brand dry I give the Pyrennes!! Not a gourmet at all. I just tried different things until I found a combo he likes. Dogs don't read the rules on what they should like to eat. As long as he is not ill...Just keep experimenting.
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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by CarolinaGirl View Post
                                  Glad I don't have the only one in the world... everyone is like are you sure he's a lab?!? Yes, registered AKC english block head. Interesting about the protein levels, do you know if it's an immediate difference? I can probably get a number of samples at the dog food store....
                                  It must be the 'block headed English lab' thing because my mom's lab is also one of the "classic" style labs... he always gets accused of being something other than a lab because he is so thick!

                                  I would try getting some smaller bags of a 'regular' protein level food, with my mom's dog it is pretty immediate, he makes a "yucky" face, turns away and WILL NOT eat the food (just put on his cute goofy puppy ears and looks back at us when asked to eat). My dogs love Fromm (my fiancée’s dog is also super picky - mine eats anything!) and my mom's dog eats California Natural... just be sure the food is not one of the commonly recalled foods! I personally love Fromm because it is manufactured at one plant in Wisconsin, so it *should* be safe!

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