Dog Unenthusiastic About Eating

Dog Food Advisor Forums Canine Nutrition Dog Unenthusiastic About Eating

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  • #82944 Report Abuse


    I have a 9 year old long haired miniature dachshund named Sadie. Lately she has been eating her food quite enthusiastically for the first couple of days but after that has to be coaxed into eating. She will eventually eat her food, but she doesn’t seem to want to. She is overweight but has always been a good eater. No vomiting, no diarrhea, drinking and acting normal. She might have a tooth problem but that is going to be looked at next week. So far she has ended up refusing (or having to be coaxed into eating) Pedigree, Purina, Texas Pets, Wellness, Wellness CORE, Blue Buffalo, and now Taste of the Wild. I always do the slow introduction of a new food, and none of the food had any signs of being bad or rotten. What could be causing this? She doesn’t get human food, doesn’t get many treats, and gets a daily walk for exercise. I’m at a loss as to what to do. My other dogs eat the leftover food so it isn’t wasted but my wallet is taking a hit from the constant battle to find a food she will eat for more than 3-5 days.

    #82945 Report Abuse

    Hi Sadie’s Mom-

    More often than not, when a dog that was once a very food motivated dog suddenly stops wanting to eat with the same enthusiasim, there is something wrong medically. Sounds like you’re taking the right steps in bringing her into the vet next week for the tooth. It’s probably time to have a full exam and maybe blood work done since she is a senior. Not sure how recently she’s been in for her senior blood work and check up.

    Don’t forget- not all dogs will act like they are in pain or something is wrong.

    • This reply was modified 7 years, 7 months ago by Pitlove.
    #82953 Report Abuse

    Thanks for the advice! If it is her tooth would softening her food with water help keep it from hurting until she goes to the vet? She also has a bad back that could be causing problems, so I can give her pain meds for that again. She had her full exam a few months ago but I’ll see what the vet recommends in terms of blood work.

    #82956 Report Abuse

    Dental issues/pain/infection can cause a multitude of issues. Periodontal disease? Pain?
    If it was my dog I would make an appointment with a veterinarian and have her seen asap.
    Today, if possible. They will probably recommend a senior workup, lab work etc.

    I would even consider taking her to the emergency vet if you think she is in pain or is not eating/consuming adequate fluids x 72 hours.

    It is what it is, this is part of pet ownership. No one on the internet can diagnose your dog and prescribe treatment. Get her examined by a veterinarian….that is my advise.

    #82959 Report Abuse

    I guess I didn’t make myself very clear in my first post, and for that I apologize. I know that very few people on this forum are vets, and I’m not asking for veterinary advice. What I really want to know is is it possible for my dog to really not like all of these foods, and if so, what food would you recommend trying next? I don’t want to have to coax her into eating every day for the rest of her life. This problem is not new, the only new development is a possible chipped tooth. I’m not the biggest fan of wet food but I will buy it if that is the only option.

    P.S.: She has an appointment on Tuesday with her regular vet who does not seem too concerned about her teeth after talking to me. I would instantly take her to the emergency vet in an emergency, but it would cost me thousands of dollars I do not have on hand because the A&M animal clinic is the only emergency vet in my area. I do appreciate your concern for my dog, but she is eating and drinking adequately and does not seem to be in terrible pain, therefore I would not classify this as an emergency.

    #82960 Report Abuse

    It goes back to the question of pain issue. If the dog is in pain, it doesn’t matter what you offer it to eat. It will not be interested. After you resolve the reason for the poor appetite (via vet exam and lab work), then you can revisit what the best diet for her would be. Just my opinion.

    #82962 Report Abuse

    Hi Sadie’s Mom-

    Why are you not a fan of wet food? They are not all created equally. I like to stick to the stew type canned foods. They seem to be less “yucky” than most pates. Lol! Some of them look and smell just like human food. I don’t like the price of most of them though. I stick to the value brands as I have many mouths to feed here. My favorites Are: Nature’s Domain (Costco), Pure Balance (Walmart)’ 4Health (Tractor Supply), Wellness (most pet supply stores), and Variety (most grocery stores).

    You will need to feed a little less kibble to make up for it if you add wet food. Most of the stews are lower in calories than pates due to the high moisture content.

    Good luck! I hope she is just being picky and there is no medical issue. A while back one of my dogs quit eating. Which was very, very weird. Turns out his tongue was swollen due to a plugged salivary gland. If it’s not one thing it’s another! Cheers! 🙂

    #82963 Report Abuse

    Hi c4c!

    We have 6 dogs total and if I feed one of them (Sadie) wet food all the others whine and cry to get some lol. But I will definitely look into those brands and see where they fit in my price point.

    Also when I give her any wet she will then refuse to eat dry because she likes the wet better. I hope she is just being picky as well. She has always been a picky eater but it has gotten worse these last few weeks. Even with daily walks she will turn her nose up at food just because. Hopefully her appointment Tuesday will shed some light on her eating habits!

    #82966 Report Abuse

    I totally understand. I have four cats. One of them is almost 17 and needs TLC. I try to sneak her extra food and treats to help keep her weight up. Even when I hide in the bathroom with the fan running to get her extras, there are three other cats at the door when I open it begging. Lol! They absolutely do NOT need any extra calories.

    If you have a nearby Costco, that might be your best bet. The N/D canned turkey stew is the best value. However, you have to buy a case of 24. The cans end up being only about 80 cents each. You would easily be able to return it if it didn’t work out. Canned food is less processed and moisture rich and would be IMO beneficial for all your pups.

    #82969 Report Abuse
    S B

    how do you put a user pic on your account?

    #82970 Report Abuse

    S B –
    You have to set up acct on to get an avatar on the forum for your acct. there is a thread on this site on how to do it. Try using the search function above to find it.

    #82972 Report Abuse
    S B

    Thank you crazy4cats!

    #82973 Report Abuse

    Hi Sadie’s Mom

    I’m so sorry that your pup is not feeling well ๐Ÿ™

    I’ve read your current posts, and your previous posts about Sadie’s “slipped disc”. Pitlove was right on target when she told you;

    “More often than not, when a dog that was once a very food motivated dog suddenly stops wanting to eat with the same enthusiasim, there is something wrong medically”

    In Sadie’s case, a 9 year old overweight Dachshund with disc problems, her back is going to be a problem area for sure! Whether there is something else going on, I can’t say.

    When you take her to the vet on Tuesday, I would have him do a complete physical (if possible) and a senior blood panel, with a urine analysis (if possible). I would make sure he checks out her back, her teeth, as well as the the rest of her.

    – Moistening her kibble could help if she has an oral problem

    – Adding canned food could also help if she has an oral problem, and it will also boost the overall quality of her diet. I would mix it in thoroughly so she can’t eat the canned without eating the kibble. For your other dogs you could mix in a little less.

    – Please try to get her on the lean side, please, please, please.

    I hope that Sadie feels better soon ๐Ÿ˜‰

    #82974 Report Abuse

    Try feeding a wet tin food fat under 3% in fat, Wellness has their Small Breed Petite Entree’s in gravy with 2% min fat, the Petite Entrees casserole flavours have more fat around 5% when converted to dry matter (Kibble) that’s around 23-26% fat if it were a kibble…. Maybe Pancreatitis ask vet to feel around the pancreas area… even you can do it stand behind her or sit behind her then around the rib cage with both hands start pushing firmly as you go toward back legs, if she has any pain she will either flinch & turn & look at you or that area, cry or go to bite you…When my boy eats certain kibbles he gets his pain & goes off his food, now I ask him to pick which one he wants to eat, I’ve noticed he picks the kibbles that are easy to digest, Holistic Select, Eagle Pack, Wellness Simple Lamb & Oatmeal…… how I check if a kibble is easier to digest & doesn’t just sit in their stomachs. I get a glass of warm water & put a couple of kibbles in the glass of warm water, if the kibble sinks you’ll find it will take a while to soften, even if the kibble floats it can take over 1-2 hour to go soft…..Patch likes the kibbles that go soft within 20-50 mins….sometimes they are not being picky its cause the kibble does give them pain while its digesting…

    #82976 Report Abuse

    Hi Sadie’s Mom-

    In regards to your question to me, there are a couple things you could try until Tuesday. If its her back maybe elevate her food dish so she doesn’t have to bend over to eat causing pain to her back. If its the tooth, soft food like canned wet food would be a really good option for encouraging her to eat and maybe giving the tooth a break. Just because the vet doesn’t think its a big deal, doesn’t mean its not! I was in a car accicent in ’12 and the EMT’s thought I had a sprain in my wrist, turned out to be broken! The tooth really could be more of an issue than the vet thinks just from talking over the phone. First thing I would definitely try (because of her back) is finding a way to lift her food dish.

    Edit: And yes El Doctor is certainly right when he mentioned keeping her lean. Especially with Sadie being a Dachshund and all the back/hip problems they are known for, keeping her at a healthy weight is critical. Make sure you are feeding her for the weight she should be and not current weight. Not too many treats either!

    • This reply was modified 7 years, 7 months ago by Pitlove.
    #82985 Report Abuse

    Thank you for all the help everyone!

    I used the dog food calculator on here to calculate how much Sadie should be eating and have been feeding her accordingly ever since. She gets no treats right nowexcept for her glucosamine supplement. We do our best to get her daily walk in but with the cooler weather it isn’t always possible because her back flares up. She just isn’t losing weight like she should be. I think I will go ahead and do all the testing to make sure there isn’t an underlying problem causing the weight gain.

    #82996 Report Abuse

    Hi Sadie’s Mom,

    The others have all given you good advice. I am a firm believer in yearly checkups and complete blood panels on a regular basis. In regard to the calulator, you must use the dog’s healthy weight, not the current weight. Also, I have Labs, but even though they get regular, brisk walks, I still feed them less total calories than what the calculator shows, and I use the “typical” level. Doxies have long backs which makes it crutial that you keep them lean. Dentals are another critical issue to keep your dog in good health. There are so many issues that can include liver and ultimately kidney problems if you don’t keep up with a healthy dental program including chews, brushing and checkups!

    Good Luck and keep us posted! ๐Ÿ™‚

    #83009 Report Abuse
    S B

    How is Blue Buffalo wilderness? I’ve heard vary good stuff about it but also bad stuff. In the review on this website it said ” the concentrated version of this ingredient commonly known as caramel coloring has been more recently considered controversial and found to cause cancer in laboratory animals.”

    • This reply was modified 7 years, 7 months ago by S B.
    #83049 Report Abuse


    I recently read the Blue Wilderness will not release where their food is made. Also, I keep seeing reports of dogs getting sick on it. Sadie likes it well enough, but I cannot justify spending $25 on 4 pounds of dog food when I can get 12-15 pounds of a comparable brand for the same price. But I am on a strict budget, so that obviously alters my opinion on foods.

    #83050 Report Abuse

    Everyone else,

    I got an elevated feeder and some lower-fat wet foods for Sadie to tide her over until I take her to the vet Tuesday. She is quite happily eating the wet food, so I think it may be her tooth that is causing the problem, though I will still ask my vet about blood work and other testing to make sure she is healthy overall. I think there may be an underlying problem since she eats 1/2 a cup of food a day (when the DFA recommended amount is 3/4 cups) and we walk 5 miles a week and she still isn’t losing weight. I’m hoping it isn’t too serious and that I can find a food that will meet her needs.

    #83051 Report Abuse

    Hi Sadie’s Mom-

    Appreciate the update! Glad she is eating well again. Maybe that tooth is the issue!

    I don’t own small dogs, however I have quite a few friends/co-workers who do and a lot of them have told me that their dogs are infamous for not always finishing food. I’ve also been told that some of the smaller breeds will portion themselves down to one meal a day.

    As for the weight loss- it might just take more time. How long have you been on this regime?

    #83054 Report Abuse

    We’ve been on this regime since August :/ I’m worried about thyroid problems since they are common in dachshunds. She’s always happily eaten 2 meals, so it’s either her tooth or maybe the fat content in the food.

    #83055 Report Abuse

    Ya she should have lost the weight by now, unless there is something else (not medical) thats preventing it. Maybe too many treats? Hard to say. Perhaps checking her thyroid would be worth it at this point.

    • This reply was modified 7 years, 7 months ago by Pitlove.
    #83057 Report Abuse

    She really doesn’t get many treats. She’ll get maybe 5 Zuke’s Mini Naturals after a walk and she gets since Zuke’s after gee bath every month, but that’s it.

    #83088 Report Abuse

    Well, Sadie cracked a tooth ๐Ÿ™ She is having it pulled next week with antibiotics until then to prevent an infection. Also, she’s gained nearly a POUND(!!!!!!!!!) so we are testing her thyroid. Should have those results tomorrow/Thursday. Dr recommends wet food only from now on to assist with weight loss because of the lower carb count. So, recommendations on a good low-fat wet food? She pretty much eats anything if it’s canned lol. I can afford nicer food for the first month because I have a coupon to but after that I’ll need a budget food because wet is more expensive in the long run.

    #83090 Report Abuse

    Poor Sadie! Glad you found the cracked tooth though! I would filter search for weight management formulas as they will be lower in fat. Weruva is a good one, but it’s very expensive to feed solo.

    #83103 Report Abuse

    So it turns out that HEB has a 5 star grain free wet food that is only $1 a can! And a 12 pack is only $11. Since I have an HEB really close by, I’ll probably go with this food. Chewy has a good selection, but many of the foods that have quality ingredients are very far out of my price range ๐Ÿ™ Thankfully when it comes to wet food Sadie will scarf it down no matter the flavor or brand.

    #83466 Report Abuse
    David H

    I have been feeding my two Pit Bulls Blue Buffalo for their entire life, three years. I tried the Rabbit flavor recently, and the dogs would not eat it. I talked to the salesman at the store where I purchased it. And he recommended mixing a can of wet food that was very popular. When I got home,I did as directed. The dogs did eat the food immediately, it had been three days since I put the BB Rabbit food in their dishes. They both immediately vomited the food up.
    I took a picture and took the BB Rabbit food back to the store, and was given a refund.
    I have heard of similar situations, but just word of mouth. Is there any similar experiences?


    #83528 Report Abuse
    Taunia A

    All great advice! I have a 12 year old dachshund who did the same thing for a while, and we kept having to switch the food all the time and coax him to eat.
    Now we know that her tooth is sore, however if it continues afterwards, we found that we just had to have a little bit of tough love with our doxie. Put the food down for 10 minutes, didnt want to eat it, got offered the same thing again next meal. After a 3 day hunger strike my doxie always eats now!! Unless he really isnt feeling well.

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