Hi everyone. I've got a 5 year old Yellow Lab male who more and more is not eating his dish of kibbles mixed with canned food. Without getting into too far back history, here is the most recent sequence:

He used to eat Nutra kibble straight into his dish, and sometimes maybe with a little water on top acting as "gravy". He got bored of that and stopped eating, so he tried "Chicken Soup For The Dog Lover's Soul" kibbles. With a dish of Nutra and Chicken Soup kibbles next to each other, he went right for the Chicken Soup and ate that for a while. He then got bored of that after a couple of months and went on another food strike. He would not eat it so I tried getting some cans of Kibbles and Bits and mixing it in with his dish.
He went for that for a few months and that was fine, but then he started not eating that much either. I tried Chicken Soup cans mixed in with the Chicken Soup kibbles and he sometimes eats that. I've also tried the more expensive Merrick cans mixed with dry and sometimes he'll eat that and other times not.
The bigger problem is that more and more in the last couple weeks he won't eat any of it. I got him 12 cans of various Merrick flavors and Chicken Soup cans for Christmas which I mix with the dry every day. Lately he'll stick his nose on it, and then come back to the kitchen to sit and stare at me. I've even tried kibbles on one side of the dish and Merrick on the other in which case he will either sort it and eat most of the canned, or not touch any of it. It's sad that he won't eat the $2/can dog food and it is just wasted.
For treats he gets MILK-BONEs as well as Pedigree Breath Busters. He does get some human food which may be part of the reason he is not eating, but back when he stopped eating the Nutro and even before that when he wouldn't eat other things like Hills, he wasn't getting much human food at all. Now, I usually make him some scrambled eggs in the morning and he gobbles those right up. He also gets a little bit of fresh sandwich turkey/ham for lunch. Not much, but a few trimmings.

I am guessing that the common answer would be that he's spoiled because of the human food. I think that's part of it, but again, he always used to be picky about kibbles and get bored with what was put down for him even when he very rarely got human food. The solution was trying different kibble brands which he got interested in for a while, but then got bored with. Now if he won't eat the expensive cans with the kibbles, then what is a guy to do?
Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
-Mark
Picture:
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Hi everyone. I've got a 5 year old Yellow Lab male who more and more is not eating his dish ... not eat it so I tried getting some cans of Kibbles and Bits and mixing it in with his dish.

Your dog has you pretty well trained, doesn't he?
Here's what you do:
- Decide what dry kibble you want to feed him. Stick to that: no wet food, no water mixed in, just plain dry kibble. Don't change brands or formulations without easing into the change gradually.
- Decide when his mealtimes are. I used to feed my lab once daily, about 6:30 in the evening. You may prefer to feed twice daily; at any rate, choose the mealtimes and stick to them.
- At mealtime, put the kibble in the dish and put it down for your dog. Don't fuss over the food or the dog, and don't interact with him. This is his time to eat. If he chooses not to, just ignore him.
- Twenty minutes later, pick the dish up. Return any uneaten food to the sack, or bin, or wherever you store it.
- No food of any kind, except training bait, until the next mealtime.
- Repeat. Do NOT give in to begging for "people food," and do NOT provide opportunities for staling food off kitchen counters and the like.
Your dog is not going to starve to death, and will eventually get the idea that he'll either eat or not - and that if he chooses to eat it'll be what you give him and at the times you provide it.
Remember: dogs in the wild sometimes go 3-7 days between meals, depending on what's available.

Can you provide a full-body shot? Your dog looks pretty well- fed in that picture, but it's hard to tell.
(followups set to rec.pets.dogs.behavior only)

Mark Shaw (And Baron) moc TOD liamg TA wahsnm == "I wonder if other dogs think poodles are members
of a weird religious cult." -Rita Rudner
I am guessing that the common answer would be that he's spoiled because of the human food. I think that's ... bored with. Now if he won't eat the expensive cans with the kibbles, then what is a guy to do?

pick a food, stick with it - give him 15 minutes to eat as presented, 2x/day, with NO SNACKS OR OTHER FOOD and he'll figure out that he better eat when it's there. This dog won't starve. Tough love can be very healthy.

Janet B
www.bestfriendsdogobedience.com
Follow-ups set to rec.pets.dogs.behavior
@newssvr11.news.prodigy.com:
I am guessing that the common answer would be that he's spoiled because of the human food. I think that's ... bored with. Now if he won't eat the expensive cans with the kibbles, then what is a guy to do?

One possibility that should not be ruled out is a medical problem. If his annual is coming up soon, it might not be a bad idea to try to move it up a little bit. If not, you might want to schedule one soon.

Of course, there is also the strong possibility, like Mark mentioned, that he has realized that anytime he starts refusing food, he gets something tastier for him and he is playing you.

Marcel and Moogli
http://mudbunny.blogspot.com /
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Thanks for all the replies. I will try them as suggested and reply back. Hopefully he will catch on after a couple days.
Marcel: I'm not an expert, but based on the fact that he eats all the human food just fine, I think it's unlikely that anything is physically wrong with him. I'm sure if he was given human food all day he would eat that until it was all gone! Emotion: smile ...It's just the dog food he's having trouble with.
Here is an updated full body shot taken today. The other one was not very recent:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v297/mixx941/lucky full body.jpg

-Mark
Here is an updated full body shot taken today. The other one was not very recent:

one of him standing would give a better idea of his body condition, but he LOOKS a bit tubby in this shot. But YOU!! Clean up that rat's nest of wires and cables! ACK!

Janet B
www.bestfriendsdogobedience.com
Good advice has been heard from all. It is not unusual for a dog to go off of their food for a day or two. I don't worry till the third day.
I feed kibble only and never human food. I put their food down twice a day and they almost always eat all in less than a minute. I has occasionally happened, however, that my one dog didn't eat for a day or two. I have since learned that this is not unusual and nothing to worry about. Just fee Fido on a regular schedule, night and day. Give him a maybe 10 or 15 minutes to finish then remove all food. Always offer plenty of fresh water. He will get the idea soon enough.
I has occasionally happened, however, that my one dog didn't eat for a day or two. I have since learned that this is not unusual and nothing to worry about.

that really depends on the dog, so it's important to know your dog, so you can make good decisions about whether or not to be concerned. i know that if my Boxer doesn't immediately inhale her food, there's something seriously wrong with her, and it's time to take her to the vet ASAP. loss of appetite in some dogs is a signal to seek emergency care.

shelly
http://www.cat-sidh.net
http://cat-sidh.blogspot.com /
Here is an updated full body shot taken today. The other one was not very recent:

one of him standing would give a better idea of his body condition,

Here's one of him standing:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v297/mixx941/lucky standing.jpg
but he LOOKS a bit tubby in this shot. But YOU!! Clean up that rat's nest of wires and cables! ACK!

Haha. That rats nest is nothing compared to this one:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v297/mixx941/rats nest.jpg

-D
Again, thanks to all for the replies. If I was him it would be a little hard going from having eggs, meat scraps, and canned mixed with dry every day to suddenly kibble only. Should I maybe gradually pull those things away rather than everything at once?
Also, since I've never tried this sort of thing, how long would be too long without eating? It's not like he's sick and won't eat anything, he just won't eat his dog food!
Thanks
-Mark
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