Suddenly refuses all 'holistic' food

Dog Food Advisor Forums Diet and Health Suddenly refuses all 'holistic' food

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  • #48708 Report Abuse
    C W

    I have a 4 year old Golden Retriever who has basically always happily eaten 4-ish star dog foods in various meat varieties, some with grains and some without, with seemingly no problem. In recent weeks/months she’s just decided that she won’t eat any of them anymore. She’s had Nature’s Variety Prairie/Instinct, Taste of the Wild, and I just bought her some Blue Buffalo (which she refused entirely).

    I’ve already eliminated all ‘extras’ and she just starves herself for days until she throws up bile. Broth is no help, boiled chicken she’ll eat but she threw up the last time I gave it to her, etc.

    A week or so ago, I ended up paying for an abdominal x-ray & blood work (clean bill of health from both), a nausea injection, follow-up pills, and Royal Canin Gastrointestinal vet food (which she ate immediately). The Royal Canin is crazy expensive. I ended up mixing it with her regular food and she ate both. The RC ran out & she ate her regular food again and I thought she was better… and then she refused to eat again.

    In desperation I bought her a small bag of Pedigree (barf), which she scarfed down. 🙁 I’ve noticed that the kibble size is much larger in the Pedigree. All the “holistic” brands I’ve seen have tiny diameter kibble… I’m wondering if that’s part of the reason for the refusal?

    Are there any ‘good’ foods that have larger kibble? Or does anyone have any other ideas about what might be wrong??

    • This topic was modified 7 years ago by C W.
    #48710 Report Abuse

    What about mixing in canned and/or dehydrated to help get him eating? Dogs often won’t reject things like the honest kitchen or sojos

    #48711 Report Abuse
    C W

    When she refused to eat before the $500 vet visit described above, I tried adding broth, sprinkles of boiled chicken put through a food processor, a touch of yogurt, and a variety of other things. She would sometimes pick through and try to eat the not-kibble bits with a few pieces of kibble mixed in… and then she threw it up a few hours later.

    ETA: Shortly afterwards, she went into heat (or the bleeding phase at least), so I attribute her nausea to that. But now her heat is over and she still refuses ‘good’ food.

    She’s had chronic ear infections her whole life. The vet has always said the ear infections were just normal for her type of ears and given me cleaning stuff & antibiotics. Maybe it’s a food allergy, but I can’t pin down what because she’s had different meats and different grains and no grains and nothing seems to help.

    • This reply was modified 7 years ago by C W.
    #48714 Report Abuse

    Hi CW-
    Wow! This is a frustrating situation. I have two golden labs. They ate anything and everything up until a few months ago. One has decided to be a little bit picky. He likes to have something mixed in with his kibble. I mix either canned or fresh foods in and he eats it right up. For fresh, I rotate between eggs, sardines and frozen raw. He will not eat the Honest Kitchen Turkey flavor any longer. The other pup, who tends to be a little bit chubby still eats anything. He is glad to eat whatever the other one doesn’t! LOL!

    I received a sample of Now Fresh large breed dog food a while back and the kibble was very large. They are a very good company if you want to try giving a larger size kibble a shot.

    I fed the Royal Canin Vet food for a short while when they were pups due to stomach issues, and you are right, crazy expensive!!!

    Good luck to you!

    #48722 Report Abuse

    Acana regionals are biggish too. Actually too big for my crew so I’m not using it much anymore

    #48793 Report Abuse

    Hi C W, have you tried wet tin foods, low fat ones, wet tin is better for dogs then kibble when having stomach problems, I’d say she getting stomach acid after eating a high fat% kibble… what was the fat% & protein% on the Royal Canin gastro, find another brand kibble close to the R/C in fat% & protein% & get a few different flavours then give one flavour for breakfast the other flavour for dinner, rotate so she doesnt get sick of them, I still give the vet prescription diet but I mix with Wellness Simple Duck & Oatmeal, the Wellness Simple kibbles are average size, also tuna is low in fat, I give tuna in spring water drained then mix with pumkin & a boiled egg, for breakfast, kibble for lunch & kibble dinner..When a dog stops eating something, normally something is wrong…

    #48867 Report Abuse
    C W

    Acana is not available in my area, bummer! We also move just about every 2 years, so it’s always a struggle to find good foods that are widely available or that ship from Amazon.

    Sue66b, I haven’t tried any wet foods but I think that would burn out my wallet pretty quick with a large dog and other “toppings” (or even just plain boiled chicken) I’ve offered her haven’t helped.

    Your comment about the fat content does get me thinking though… We started out on NV Prairie Chicken (~13% fat), switched to the Lamb (~14%), then went to TOTW (~19%). She mostly ate the TOTW well, give or take a bag here and there. The Pedigree & RC Gastro were both low fat and she ate them immediately. Maybe the fat is bugging her… The Blue Buffalo she refused had about ~16%, so mid-range I guess, but it was also the Chicken flavor and I have a growing suspicion she might also be sensitive to chicken.

    Thank you all for your thoughts & suggestions so far — lots to think about!

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 12 months ago by C W.
    #48884 Report Abuse

    CW: look at They are a great place to order dog food from. Other places I’ve used are, and

    #49420 Report Abuse
    C W

    Well, she threw up again and then had some very loud bowel sounds. Another vet had a look and repeated that basically she’s in perfect health, but just won’t eat anything.

    I tried getting her some fish/potato food for a unique protein/starch to see if we could try to eliminate some of the possible allergens from her other foods — wouldn’t touch it, even after another round of anti-nausea shots/pills.

    So I bought a bag of Hill’s Prescription z/d and a few cans of wet stuff. She ate it straight away for dinner last night and breakfast this morning and hasn’t thrown up at all, so that’s a plus; just a shame it’s junk food and costs $4/lb. So I guess as long as she’ll eat this, we’ll do an elimination diet to see if she’s just sensitive to something in her old food.

    DH noticed she’s been sneaking bites of rabbit poo from the yard as well, so maybe that’s part of her problem. I just hope we can find something to feed her other than z/d because it’s way, way, way too expensive.

    #49444 Report Abuse

    Hi C W, the loud bowel sound is called Borborymi, sometimes when a dog has eaten something they shouldn’t eat they have this loud gurgling of the bowel …The loud gurgling sounds are produced when gas moves from one portion of the intestines to another.. try to find another wet tin food that agrees with her & is cheaper then the Hills, sounds like she prefers wet food more then kibble… Kibble is harder to digest so this may be the reason why she doesn’t want her kibble, she may get pain after eating her kibble, so now she refuses to eat her kibble…I add water to Patches kibble & let the kibble soften a bit, then I drain all the water & pat dry with a paper towel, it just makes his kibble more soft & easier to digest..
    When Patch was having the loud gurgling noises early hours of the morning, vet said it was Colitis, Patch was pooing jelly like poo’s & sometimes there was light red blood streaked thru his poo’s, I also caught Patch eating the neighbours cat poo….also if you click on “Forum” then scroll down to “Off Topic” click then scroll down a bit & you’ll see “Coupons” on the Coupons post, people have posted places with cheaper premium foods that are on special….

    #49448 Report Abuse

    Hi CW,

    Keep in mind that just because the vet hasn’t found anything doesn’t mean it isn’t there. My little guy had GI problems that started with not eating well and he dropped weight because of it. He would vomit occasionally and have loose stool. Initial testing, blood work and radiographs, was normal..kept looking, his ultrasound revealed abnormalities. We got resolution with diet from vet….after trying home cooking and limited OTC diets. He is on RC venison and potato. If your dog does respond to ZD I’d keep him on for awhile as in months before I tried something else.

    #49454 Report Abuse
    C W

    Vet said since she hadn’t eaten, she only had water moving through her colon and that’s what was causing the borborymi noises. They were pretty scary though. And I’m inclined to agree that she’s got GI issues or a food allergy or something.

    She’s happy as a flea eating these tiny gold bars laced with crack that they’re calling the z/d formula. It has a pretty strong smell to it, so maybe that helps make it more appealing.

    We’re going to stick with it for a few weeks and see how it goes — I’m really curious to see if it helps keep her ear infections at bay (in conjunction with cleaning and etc) because she’s had chronic problems her whole life with her ears. Maybe that was a symptom of this larger problem.

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