Jump to content
BC Boards

Ways to increase palatability of dog food?


Bryna
 Share

Recommended Posts

Anybody have any ideas? My dog Echo is perennially thin and a poor eater. We had bloodwork done, nothing unusual, we did find round worms, those have been taken care of, but her appetite and weight have not improved. She likes raw steak and bones, but that is spendy and not exactly a balanced diet. She of course likes bread and pasta, but that is completely unhealthy. I've tried pumkin and other canned veggies with no luck, though she is always happy to clean up salad dressing. We've tried half a dozen varieties of quality kibble -some she will eat a small amout of if she has gone at least a day without food and we mix some kind of tidbit (treats, cheese, raw steak) in with it. Often we will get a new kibble, she will eat really well for a couple of days, and then get bored and refuse it. We've tried Avoderm, Eagle Pack Holistic Select, Taste Of The Wild, VF Holistic, and Chicken Soup for the Soul. She wont touch it if we add oil or yogurt, though she will eat yogurt plain. If I drop a raw egg on the floor, she will lick it up, but in a dog food dish it is poison. When she was younger, I could get her to eat by making her work for it (feeding her a kibble at a time for sitting, laying down, beg, etc.) now she just does the trick, takes the kibble and drops it on the ground. Still eats the treats though. Any ideas to make her food more appealing -or any quality foods you have found to be particularly palatable?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmmm, any chance she has an allergy? My friends Sibe was a poor eater and after they discovered her allergy she got her appetite back...my friend and her vet theorize that her dog was in a perennial state of not feeling well.

 

Also, my dog has a bowl phobia...he will eat what I give him on the ground or a flat surface, but unless its super high value won;t eat from a bowl. He gets close but won;t put his face in, and eventually walks away, dejected. Granted, he is an odd duck but you never know.

 

If you are sure she has no allergies or fear issues: What happens if you change the food, she ignores it, and you continue to offer it and nothing else? Pick it up after dinner time is done, and that's that. If she's hungry, she will eat.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not sure how I would determine if she has an allergy. If she does, she isn't having a noticeable reaction. That doesn't mean she couldn't be allergic to something that is causing her to feel poor generally, I suppose, but not sure how I can determine that. She did no better on Taste Of The Wild (no grain) then on the other foods, no better or worse on foods with chicken or turkey vs beef or buffalo. I'm not sure if I have tried her on a food that was lamb only, so don't know about that. She doesn't have any kind of respiratory problems or goopy eyes, coat and skin are great, so if she does have an allergy it must be affecting her GI tract only.

 

As far as just waiting until she eats, she does eat a small amount eventually -but I can feel every rib on her, ever bump in her spine, the complete outline of her skeleton. She has a long coat, so doesn't look bad, but is just very thin and seems to have no problem with that. I just don't think it is healthy and would like to get some more weight on her.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not sure how I would determine if she has an allergy. If she does, she isn't having a noticeable reaction. That doesn't mean she couldn't be allergic to something that is causing her to feel poor generally, I suppose, but not sure how I can determine that. She did no better on Taste Of The Wild (no grain) then on the other foods, no better or worse on foods with chicken or turkey vs beef or buffalo. I'm not sure if I have tried her on a food that was lamb only, so don't know about that. She doesn't have any kind of respiratory problems or goopy eyes, coat and skin are great, so if she does have an allergy it must be affecting her GI tract only.

 

As far as just waiting until she eats, she does eat a small amount eventually -but I can feel every rib on her, ever bump in her spine, the complete outline of her skeleton. She has a long coat, so doesn't look bad, but is just very thin and seems to have no problem with that. I just don't think it is healthy and would like to get some more weight on her.

 

 

It sounds, based on your post, like she is learning to be picky...if she gets bored you doctor it up...how long have you let her just be hungry? More than a week? If shes still healthy, I would let it go and see what happens. Pick a food she liked and offer that, nothing else. No begging to eat, no oils, yogurt, etc. See if after a while she just eats.

 

And FWIW, none of my Border Collies have been piggish eaters except the dog who had seizures and her meds made her always hungry.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When we got Spirit, he was quite underweight but also very reluctant to eat. We followed the advice of the rescue we were fostering for: mashed some canned tripe up in his bowl with water and stirred his kibble into the tripe "gravy." He definitely became a bigger fan of kibble when it was dressed up that way.

 

We used to use Tripett, but that brand was hard to find locally. Now we use Solid Gold brand, available at PetCo. One can lasts a couple of weeks, so it's an economical and pretty easy approach.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a picky dog. Shredded cheese on top of kibble from Taste of the Wild does the trick for him. We went through a number of brands until we found TOTW which is grain free and seems more appetizing for him than all other kibble.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ditto on the tripe. Have you simply picked the bowl up and taken it away after 15 minutes? Try again for the next meal and if she doesn't eat, take it away again? IOW, here's your chance take it or leave it. I've had dogs that will go a few days w/o eating. I'm not sure if the frame you are describing is "too" thin. I can feel (and see as she's nekkid right now) all the ribs and hip bones on my girl.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with the others... if she's healthy, but a little thin, I would just wait her out. They eat when they're hungry!

 

FWIW, Daisy was a terrible eater when she was young. The vet was always telling me she was a little thin. Nothing to worry about, but no thinner. It's better for an active dog to be lean. It took me quite a while to find a food she'd eat regularly. Now she's almost 6 and I feed her quite minimally compared to most. She could stand to loose a couple of pounds. I can feel her ribs and she's very muscular but there are one or two pounds that could come off, she weighs about 45#. My male, Riley is all coat, he looks bigger than Daisy and is 15 months. He weighs 35# and you can feel his ribs and hip bones when you get down under that fur and that is the ideal weight for him.

 

What does your vet say about the weight? If they aren't too worried, I wouldn't be. If it's a good vet...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If she is good about eating once a bag is first opened maybe it is how the food is stored. I have a dog that we could not put food in a plastic container because after a couple days she turned her nose up at it. When she ended up with an allergy to plastic bowls, we also switched the container to a metal one and all of a sudden she started eating better. I also tried doctoring up the food to get her to eat and even that would get old for her. I learned real fast that I had to take control of the food situation but luckily I was able an answer by using a metal container. Now that I have multiple dogs, none of the dogs dare eat slowly or walk away as it won't be there if they do. Either the other dogs will eat it or I pick it up.

 

Also, by always doctoring up the food and constantly switching it you may be causing the problem.

 

1. switching foods can upset the tummy

2. giving table scraps means she doesn't really need to eat her food since she is getting scraps which is making her not as hungry as she could be

3. if you give a lot of treats, again it may be cutting the hunger back enough

4. putting stuff in the food to make her eat again may be making her less hungry

5. leaving the food down instead of giving 15 minutes and picking it up could again make her eat just enough to take the edge off the hunger.

6. she may have an issue with the food bowl in general. you may want to see about switching the bowl or making sure you don't have a collar with tags on the dog while she is eating

 

I would find a good quality food, give 15 minutes to eat it/pick it up and try again at dinner, 15 minutes/pick it up and try again at breakfast,etc... a dog will not starve themselves. They will eat when they are hungry enough.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One thing we use at work to entice dogs to eat is to sprinkle some parmesan on top. Nothing fancy, just the stuff that comes in the plastic bottle, but dogs seem to love it.

 

Of course, Mick is a notoriously bad eater. I feed both dogs their regular kibble, and if he doesn't finish it in 20 minutes or so, I take it up. I don't give them many treats...maybe one or two biscuits a day. Mick's just always been a poor eater, but he's in good shape, so I don't worry about it. Sinead, meanwhile, has both slimmed out fat wise and put on muscle since getting here. I chalk that up to being fed grain-free as opposed to whatever she was getting at animal control.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...