I have 2 rescues–a male Mini Aussie/shetland ( 4 years) who could lose about 5 pounds and a female Kelpie mix (3 1/2 years) who’s at a healthy weight. They are now on Blue Basics Turkey and Potato (for about a year now) Neither one will consistently eat their food. We’ve tried wet over dry, homemade meat/broth/veggies over it, changing brands (about 5 in total)–everything. They just will not eat. Vet said to feed dry, pick up after 30 min. and try again with the next meal. Well, the longest I lasted (humor there!) was 5 days. Then they start vomiting bile and just look pathetic and mom gives in!!! Some days they’ll eat good all day (with meat/broth mixed in) then the next day they’ll snub their noses at it. It all started with my male–but then when we got our female, she was fine for about a year but then she see’s the other one snub his nose and then she does the same! I’ve never had a dog like this before, let alone two! It’s very frustrating and costly with all the kibble being thrown out untouched and also hard to plan your day when they haven’t eaten and gone outside to do their job yet. I will add though, they will eat ANY AND ALL human food at all times, just not dog food! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
There’s been an issue with Blue Buffalo’s quality control for a while now, maybe that’s why your dogs are rejecting it. Is switching to a different foods an option?
I can switch, but to what? We’ve tried about 5 other 4-star food with no luck. I don’t know how WE know they’re “great tasting”! !! I’ve gotten samples before but with their history of not eating dry kibble, how long before we say “not this kind”? They started out with Fromm. Did good for a couple of months and then refused. Same with the others or there was recalls and we were forced to switch. Right now they’re eating homemade chicken, rice and veggies but they can’t stay on that forever, not balanced enough.
Are you in a position to be able to prepare home cooked meals for them? There are some excellent recipe books I could direct you to that would help you create a balanced, home cooked diet. It sounds like that’s their precedence. I can certainly understand if that doesn’t work for you though!
I’d take “human” food over kibble any day too! Lol! My dogs will pretty much eat anything. And I mean anything. But.. My cats are very picky and it is frustrating to throw away expensive food.
There have been other posters expressing that their dogs have recently shown disinterest in Blue as well. And they are in the middle of a lawsuit accusing them of misrepresenting their ingredients. And I believe have been proven guilty of having by-products in their food when they advertise that they don’t use any.
All that aside, we need to get your dogs to eat! I regularly feed Victor grain free kibble and mix in canned, human or dehydrated food in every meal. Have you tried adding lightly cooked eggs, lean meats, veggies or fish (sardines or salmon) to their meals? Those are appropriate to add and might help entice them to eat it. Do you add warm water to the kibble? As long as you keep the add ins at 20% or less of their total calories, they are a great way to up the nutritional value of their meals.
I hope you find the right combination!
I feed a rotational diet so mine are always getting something different. They’re always getting something different and I don’t think they have time to get bored. I feed kibble and rotate after each bag. In the morning, I usually feed kibble with a fresh or canned topper of no more than 20% to avoid throwing off the balance and mine have been loving The Honest Kitchen for dinner for the past couple of months.
Yes, we’ve tried meats, eggs, fish, yogurt, gravy, wet dog food, almost everything as a topper to their dry. Some work once or twice and some don’t work at all. Or they will eat the human food and then spit out the kibble. Very stubborn and smart dogs! Doesn’t switching brands so often cause stomach upset? If Blue has switched formulas without telling people–ugh-so sick of dog food issues. I wish they were all regulated and safe!
I would gladly cook for them if I could give them all the nutrition they needed.
That’s great, Melissa!
Take a look at this book by Dr. Karen Becker, “Dr. Becker’s Real Food for Healthy Cats and Dogs.” http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0982533128/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1425224476&sr=8-1&keywords=real+food+for+healthy+cats+and+dogs+Karen+Becker&dpPl=1&dpID=51H8J0njUBL&ref=plSrch&pi=AC_SY200_QL40
Thank you DogFoodie!Jon hMember
Sorry if I missed it in your responses but are you by chance a free feeder? 9/10 times I’ve found when people have issues with their dogs not eating or not being food motivated they are free feeding them. I foster for a rescue and have my own dog as well and have never had any sort of lack of eating issues with any dog unless they were sick.
Nope to free feeding! Morning breakfast and then dinner around 5 pm. Occasionally a milk bone for a treat or unfortunately some kind of “human” food since I have 2 children and they sometimes give them a bite of something. Going to go out this afternoon and try to find another 4 or 5 star food to try. Crossing fingers!LabsRawesomeMember
Hi Melissa, have you tried feeding canned exclusively, without any kibble? If it’s within your budget, I would definitely try canned only. Costco’s Nature’s Domain sells for $20.99/case of 24 cans. Tractor Supply has 4health canned, it retails for .99/can. Walmart has Pure Balance canned stews, they just recently went up to either $1.09 or $1.19 per can. These are 4 and 5 star foods, and much more species appropriate than any kibble. 😀
I’d be curious as to what foods you tried previously.
If you’re heading out to look for something new, you might consider Nature’s Variety Instinct, Victor, Farmina or Horizon. Those, to me, seem to have pretty strong aromas (Farmina in particular) or appear to be pretty palatable.
I don’t know the sizes of your dogs so I don’t know if it would be cost prohibitive for you but I have three toy dogs and I feed them all commercial raw food diets. Twice a day. I also rotate commercial raw foods and they have not missed a meal in the three years that I have been feeding them commercial raw foods. Just a thought.
I personally don’t care for wet-yucky breath and teeth. Raw, I won’t do. My female is about 30-32 pounds and my male is 40 ish -could be 37-38. We just went out and got Taste of the Wild–going to try that and tough love, feed twice a day with no treats in between. (good luck to me!) Their brown eyes get to me! Was going to try American Natural Grain Free since it’s made here in Wisconsin but no bags under 15 lbs here locally. They got excited seeing the bag but they usually do until it’s opened.
You big softie you! I always give in to mine too. I promised myself I wouldn’t with these guys in order to stop the begging, but too weak! Good luck with the TOTW.
Since you’re interested in feeding homemade, just want to do it safely & well, if you can afford the one time fee, I’d highly recommend having a long distance consult (through your vet) with DVM DACVN Susan Wynn.
She will design several homemade diets, with your preferences in mind (which proteins, grain free or not, what kind of vitamin/mineral formulas you prefer, etc.) and including any needs of your specific dogs. It’s a good investment for the life of the dog, especially with two young ones. You start by filling out the form on the 2nd link above. I like what she does better than any other website offering this service, because she is more flexible/open-minded and holistic minded. She also appears to be the most qualified.
She can even do, and specializes in, cancer preventative diets which I think is really cool since that’s such a huge risk for all dogs and cats later in life.
Here’s a “simple” sample homemade, already balanced diet from Dr. Wynn:
I have a couple grain free ones from her that I can’t find at the moment.
You might also look through, to get started & have a basic framework for balanced homemade diets (with some information and charts about nutrition), from UC Davis Veterinary Medical School/DVM Donald Strombeck’s Home-Prepared Dog and Cat Diets and Pitcairn’s classic book. I have both book from long ago, but HDM said Strombeck’s book can now be accessed online too.
If not homemade, I like DogFoodie’s suggestion of rotation as preventing boredom — also just plain old good for the dogs’ health!
- This reply was modified 6 years, 9 months ago by GSDsForever.
Hi GSDsForever. Funny, or coincidentally, that you should mention Dr. Susan Wynn. She’s my Maltese’s, Hannah, veterinary nutritionalist. Also the veterinary nutritionalist that my three dog’s veterinary interned under for a year or so. She’s a wonderful person.
Yup, I’m a big softie and that’s the problem!! They are my babies! Thanks for all your help everyone. We’re going to try TOTW—so far they ate it tonight! Yay! No real need to add slowly since they really never ate Blue. Just put a tsp or two of homemade chicken broth over and they both gobbled it up! Now we’ll see what breakfast brings. Thanks again!
Oh how funny! Lucky you! 🙂
Yeah, and can you imagine a vet with more advanced degrees and such than she has? Talk about highly educated & experienced.
Of course, I consider her to have and additional qualification that I plan to put to future good use in that she has owned German Shepherds.
Having familiarity with German Shepherds, she should be well acquainted with how they typically don’t digest foods as well as do other breeds! I remember when I first tried all kinds of homemade diets many years ago, from Pitcairn recipes and the like, and still continue to hear people talking about feeding their dogs various whole grains and carbs, legumes, etc. with no problem at all. Nope! Not so with my GSD: I saw all that stuff come out “the other end” wholly unchanged.
- This reply was modified 6 years, 9 months ago by GSDsForever.
Hi GSDsForever. Very coincidental. Anyway, my question is purely for my education. Why is it that German Shepherds don’t digest foods as well as some other breeds do? I’m just always trying to learn. Never too old to learn something new. I’m 66 years old by the way. I’ve never owned German Shepherds nor will I ever. I’m allergic to all animals that have fur, hence my having toy breeds with hair, no fur and low allergens.InkedMarieMember
Melissa, I just wanted to let you know that dry dog food does as much good for a dogs teeth as granola does for ours.
The sample recipe that GSDs posted actually does look pretty easy! I’m betting that it wouldn’t give your dogs wet-yucky breath. LOL! I thought home made would involve a lot more than that recipe. I think I am going to give it a shot now and then when my See Spot Live Longer Dinner Mix runs out. I try to give one kibble free meal per week.
How is the TOTW working out?
- This reply was modified 6 years, 9 months ago by crazy4cats.
Well my female ate this morning but not my male–go figure
Does he have any dental problems, Melissa?
I just wrote a whole long post and I lost it! My female did eat this morning but my male refused. He is hungry though because he drooled while I ate my toast! Very stubborn little guy! My female has nice formed stools this morning which she hasn’t had in a while. That was nice. They both have some deadly gas though! It’s new to their tummy’s so it will pass–literally! My male will not get any treats today (crossing fingers here–one look and this mommy might cave) so hopefully he’ll eat his dinner.
I do know that dry food isn’t much better for their teeth but I just don’t like the wet. My neighbor’s dog is strictly on wet and boy, her breath could kill you!! I just don’t like the look of it and I can already see my two dog’s expressions on their little faces like, you expect me to eat that?? Remember, these two are unfortunately used to eating human food probably more that kibble so they need to be broke of that habit! Slowly, but we’ll get there I hope!
Nope, to the dental problems. We thought of that right away and was checked out at the Vets for that! I think just very stubborn and because of his past (6 months of not too great of a life), it’s our fault, for babying him too much and now having to break him of human food.
I think he just prefers your cooking to kibble. 😉
I’ve used raw for my pups, but one of them refuses it. I bet he’d love cooked foods though. If I had the time, I’d love to cook for my dogs.
If you’re able, maybe try it for a month and see how things go.
Yeah, that is the problem DogFoodie!! I’m going to give TOTW a try for a month, if not, I guess I’m cooking for a family of 6, rather than 4!!! Thank god I’m a stay at home mom! Those brown eyes get to me every day! Not to sound too crazy here, but I just sat Charlie down and told him how it’s going to be–then he puked!!! I guess he didn’t like his little talk! Little [email protected]#t!!!! He vomits if he doesn’t eat–and then I get concerned BUT, if he would just eat there’d be no vomiting! I could write a book about these two!
I’m going to bet that your neighbor’s dog has dental issues. Quality canned dog food does not cause bad breath. How about making up a batch of the home made recipe that was posted and just use it as meal mixer in the kibble?
Also, there is Fresh Pet Select that comes either rolled or kibble form. I don’t think that it is as “yucky” as canned food. I would rather use it than canned for my dogs, but it is a bit too expensive to feed regularly to my crew.
BTW, Did you notice that the recipe called for a Centrum adult multivitamin as a supplement? Maybe you should start giving them one now until they start getting well balanced meals.
One of my dogs quit eating a while back which was really really strange for him. Took him to the vet concerned about his teeth, but it turned out he had a swollen salivary gland on his tongue. He had to be put under and have it drained. Thank goodness it has not reoccurred. If it’s not one thing, it’s another!LabsRawesomeMember
Melissa, your neighbors dogs breath doesn’t stink because he’s being fed canned food. My 3 eat canned food every day, and they do not have bad breath. However, putrid bad breath is not normal. Please tell your neighbor that his dog needs to go to a Vet for a dental exam.Barbara C SMember
The dry food is easier to feed, but my 4 Yorkie’s will only eat it if it’s mixed with the can version….They love the Zignature Limited Ingredients Trout & Salmon, so I buy this in both the dry & wet. We put half their required amount using the (can)wet food in their bowl, add a little water, & stir. Then we microwave it to room temperature. Then we grind up the kebbles to very small pieces and sprinkle the other half of their required amount on top of the wet food…Do not mix in. We also mix 1/4 tsp. of coconut oil in their food once a day….And (YES) my Yorkies are (SPOILED) rotten!! 🙂
No, Barbara, they are just well taken care of!
Agreed^^^^^There’s no such thing as spoiled pets! My neighbor’s dog has had many of dental exams-nothing was ever found. Like I said, everyone has their own preference to wet/dry and I just don’t care for it. I’m not saying by any means that’s it’s any worse than dry. I just don’t care for it and I know my two dogs wouldn’t eat it. I’ll try some of the homemade food at the end of this month if TOTW doesn’t work out. For now they’ll get broth or some protein on top for a mixer and give it a little time.
The good thing is it’s 1:30 here and I haven’t given in to Charlie yet
Good job, Melissa! LOL!! 🙂
Maybe they’d like a dehydrated food that you reconstitute with water, like The Honest Kitchen, Sojos or Dr. Harvey’s Oracle. They have complete mixes with protein included or pre-mixes to which you add your own fresh raw, or lightly cooked meats.
Update–I DID NOT GIVE IN!!! I’m so proud and my husband thinks I’m nuts!!!
I don’t know why my whole posts don’t go through? Well anyway, Charlie and Lucy both ate dinner with gusto and I’m hoping for another good day for tomorrow!
I was having problems this morning with a few posts disappearing. Weird? Anyway, congrats!
EPI is a known issue in GSDs that is genetic. Among well bred GSDs from good breeders of showlines, who breed healthy and correct animals, this and other health and structural problems are less common. None of my dogs I’ve ever owned have had it.
Among GSDs generally, among the “normal” population that does not test positive for EPI and show clinical signs associated with EPI, German Shepherds often have lower than average TLI scores in within the wide “normal” range compared to other breeds.
All of this relates to digestive enzyme activity in digesting their food, which is why the main standard of care treatment for EPI (and related malabsorption conditions) is
*a highly digestible diet with a highly digestible & high quality/biologic value protein source, moderate fat or high digestible fat, highly digestible carb source (like white rice)
*+ Viokase/pancreas (gold standard) or other enzymes added to the food and pre/probiotics
Thank you GSDsForever. This is very interesting. I never realized that GSDs had this problem. So do you add digestive enzymes and probiotics to their diets also? Would those help with their digestion?Saint LouieParticipant
I adopted an amazing German Shepherd/Chow mix 6 weeks ago and think he may have EPI. My dog is eating a very high quality grain-free food that my labs thrive on, yet this boy acts ravenous and has lost 4 lbs. in 6 weeks. His coat is dulling and his shedding seems way out of the ordinary. He has occasional diarrhea. When I increase the amount of food, his “output” increases, so I started researching foods specifically for German Shepherds on the forums and came across your post. I will have him tested next week, but would sincerely appreciate your expertise. Can you give me the names of several very high-quality foods that may work for him in combination with the enzymes — I want to begin my research and get food samples ordered.
Thank you in advance for your help!JPStPierreMember
For 2 years now I have been feeding a home made “natural” diet.
We have 6 dogs.A bassador,Great dane,Pyrennees,Boxer,Jack Russell and Kelpie.
Every day the batch consists of a 5 pound chicken ground bones and all.Frozen veggies ,eggs and yogurt in a blender w liver added in.
This yields 10 pounds per day.We feed twice a day.1 pound ea meal for the bigger dogs.3/4 pound per meal for the other 4 dogs.
They used to have health problems while on dry.We did feed them premium food.
My lawn was a minefield of undigested food.They rarely had enthusiasm for meals.
Now when I start to grind they all get very excited.
We have also noticed that it actually costs us less doing this.
Even if it cost more I would still do this.
Wish you all well! Take care and enjoy your companions.All ours are rescues.Jody CMember
My dog just started doing the same thing. He will normally eat everything & anything. He does get treats/table food on occasions. He’s still willing to eat those. We cut back. He’s 90lbs & eats the same times every day. I’m going to try a new food. He’s currently eating Taste of WildanonymouslyMember
Rule out medical causes for the sudden change in appetite before making any dietary changes, get the teeth checked. How old is the dog? Maybe some lab work is in order, see what your vet advises.Jody CMember
He’s 8yo. His teeth were just looked at. The funny that it’s only sporadically over the last month. Wouldn’t the fact that he’ll eat everything else rule out medical issue?Duane PMember
You might want to consider using natural food for dogs. Also, consider the following:
What does your dog need in a food or supplement?
Does your dog need to have his reproductive needs met?
Is he on a specific life stage or activity group?
Any health issue that needs to be addressed?anonymouslyMember
At 8 years old I would consider getting some labs done, especially where he is demonstrating symptoms that something could be wrong. Change in appetite and behavior is a symptom.
Best to catch these things early…..Michele YParticipant
Hi..it’s been about 5 years since your post I’m curious to know own how it all turned out..my do is picky about eating too..we just started him on raw food..all taw
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