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LAB PUPPY not wanting to eat!

September 2nd, 2005, 06:17 PM
My 6-month old labrador retriever puppy is acting really funny about her food lately. From the point we got her (10 1/2 weeks) up until about 5 1/2 months she was so excited about her meals that she would run into her kennel and turn around so fast, and I could hardly get the bowl down before she'd start eating. Lately she just walks along behind me, and just stares at the bowl when I put it down. I've added canned pumpkin, which she used to love to get as a treat, and still nothing. She takes a few licks and then I have to get down in her crate and pretend like I'm eating, shuffle the food around to act like I'm playing, and then she eats. But, even still she gets fed quite a bit at each meal and so it takes her a while, and she eventually just quits when there's about 1/2 to 1/4 cup left.

She is fed a total of 4 1/2 cups of food a day (a lot, I know, but she's not overweight). I was feeding her 2 cups at 6:15 AM, 1/2 cup at 1:30 PM, and 2 cups at 6:00 PM. I figured maybe she needed less at breakfast and dinner, so I started feeding her 1 3/4 then and at lunch she gets 1 cup (same amount of food per day).

I don't think it's any sensitivity in her gums or teeth, because she loves ice straight out of the freezer.

It may be that she doesn't like the food. I feed her Purina Pro Plan Original Chicken & Rice Formula, although the other day I bought Purina ONE to switch her to eventually, and I will try tonight or tommorrow to see if she'll take it as a treat.

... I somehow don't think it's the food, though, because she's not getting excited about anything -- treats included, and that really worries me. Actually, she does still like flavored Nylabones and ice, but that's about it.

*Sigh* Just add this to the never-ending list of problems we've encountered with her ... I only wish before we bought her that we knew about back-yard breeders. :(

September 2nd, 2005, 06:25 PM
Switch her to 2 meals a day..and cut back on the amount. If she's eating and quitting with food left in her bowl, she's getting more then she needs. At her age, you can very safely feed morning and night feedings and not worry at all. The only thing I can think of other then that, is to soak the food with warm water until it has a 'gravy' and then feed it to her. Some dogs like their food 'fresh kill' warm.
Good Luck :)

September 2nd, 2005, 06:28 PM
The reason I'm feeding three meals is because she is getting so much, and the reason she is getting so much is because she has a TON of energy and is still growing. I was feeding her 4 cups/day but she started getting skinny, so of course I increased it.

September 2nd, 2005, 06:31 PM
You need to make sure she's getting enough, definatly. But, I still think she can deal with 2 meals a day easily.
Put her food down, let her have access to it for 10 mins, and take it away....eaten or not.
She will learn to look forward to you putting her food down, and eat it all up in a reasonable time very quickly that way.
It would also be a good idea to make her 'perform' for it also... ask for a sit, down or wait.....before you give it to her... she'll feel like she worked for it that way.

September 2nd, 2005, 08:55 PM
I agree with wjranch, the ammount is probably in access--what does she weigh?

2x/day is more than enough at six months--and I would switch to a higher quality food--if you can, one that corn or the word "meal" (gluten meal, corn meal) is not in the first 5 ingredients.

She's probably eating only what she needs, but if she's really finicky, try sprinkling a little garlic powder on her food. :thumbs up

September 2nd, 2005, 09:05 PM
Is she still consuming the majority of her meals?

September 2nd, 2005, 11:11 PM
I think the quantity might be so much that this doggy just can't get hungry enough to fit it all in... You might have to switch to a better, more rich food, so she eats less but gets the right amount of calories.

When you have things like brewer's rice and corn (at least in the One, it's corn gluten meal- more useful than corn or cornmeal), the food is boosted with less useful calories, so the doggy ends up having to eat a larger quantity.

Also, when the first ingredient is "Chicken", the weight includes the water, which ends up being removed during cooking anyway. The dried chicken probably ends up actually weighing less than the next grain ingredient. Foods with Chicken Meal or Salmon meal, etc as their first ingredient are usually better. More of the weight is actually meat!

Compare these three to Purina One:
Here is Purina One large breed Puppy's first few ingredients:
Chicken, corn gluten meal, brewers rice, poultry by-product meal (natural source of glucosamine), whole grain wheat, whole grain corn, beef tallow preserved with mixed-tocopherols (source of Vitamin E), pea fiber, fish meal, natural flavor, chicken cartilage (natural source of glucosamine), egg product, hydrolyzed sunflower oil [...]

Solid Gold Wolf Cub Ingredients (the whole list): Wolf Cub (
Bison | Salmon Meal | Brown Rice | Millet | Cracked Pearled Barley | Rice Bran | Canola Oil | Flaxseed Oil | Garlic | Amaranth | Blueberries | Yucca Schidigera Extract | Taurine | Carotene | Choline Chloride | Vitamin E Supplement | Iron Proteinate | Zinc Proteinate | Copper Proteinate | Manganese Proteinate | Potassium Iodide | Thiamine Mononitrate | Ascorbic Acid | Vitamin A Supplement | Biotin | Calcium Panthothenate | Selenomethionine | Pyridoxine Hydrochloride | Vitamin B12 Supplement | Riboflavin | Vitamin D Supplement | Folic Acid |

Merrick Puppy Plate (the first few): Merrick Puppy plate site (
Turkey, Chicken Meal, Chicken, Oatmeal, Whole Barley, Duck, Whole Brown Rice, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols a source of Vitamin E and Ascorbic Acid, a source of Vitamin C), Potatoes, Carrots, Peas, Natural Dried Chicken Liver, Whole Apples, Dicalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Lysine, Guar Gum, Salt, Choline Chloride, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Whole Blueberries, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Whole Clove Garlic, Dried Chicken, Chicory Root, Marigold Extract, Lactobacillus Plantarum [...]

Wellness Super5Mix Puppy (partial list): Wellness Super5Mix Puppy (
Deboned Chicken, Salmon Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Oatmeal, Barley Flour, Ground Brown Rice, Canola Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Tomatoes, Flaxseed, Peas, Carrots, Whole Sweet Potatoes, Bananas, Whole Apples, Whole Pears, Garlic [...]

I don't know what your budget is, but I think if you're willing to pay for 4.5 cups of Purina One, you won't mind paying the same but feeding maybe 3 cups a day instead? (and you'll end up with a super healthy doggy to boot!)

September 3rd, 2005, 01:02 PM
She is not eating Puppy food, she is eating adult food. The reason being -- puppy food past three months for a large breed dog can cause them to grow too fast, causing joint problems in the future.

Twinmommy - if I feed her less, she loses weight. She is 53 pounds, and my boss (a vet) has confirmed she's absolutely not over weight (I'm paranoid about this!).

StaceyB - yes, she still is consuming the majority of her meals.

Prin - As far as I know most of those foods are not available in my area, and I can't afford the shipping. My budget is tight, but I still want to feed my dogs a high-quality food. I think Purina ONE is way better than just running to wal-mart and buying Pedigree or Ol' Roy because it's cheap. Solid Gold, last time I checked, was VERY, VERY expensive, and not in my budget range. However, if anything of higher quality were to ever come up for a decent price (under $45 dollars for a 35-45 lb bag), I would definetly switch her to it. I have been thinking about switching her to Natural Balance, as my other dog is on the Sweet Potato & Fish formula for her allergies, and this food has totally transformed her. However, my boss feels that Purina ONE and ProPlan are very high quality foods and if that's the best I can afford I think I'm doing pretty good.

You have to understand that I am very young and I don't have a good paying job, but the benefits I do get (50% off vet bills) allows me to buy them a higher quality food than I would otherwise be able to purchase.

September 3rd, 2005, 02:55 PM
I am also very young and have an incredibly minimal income... I don't think that's a factor in choosing a good food... It all depends on what your priorities are, I guess. I have 2 big dogs and they both get Solid Gold Wolf King. I don't find it is any worse for my bank account than the previous food they were getting was.

And yes, regular puppy food can cause large breeds to grow too quickly, but that is why they make large breed puppy food.

And you wouldn't be paying significantly more because you would feed less. So the bag would last longer.

September 3rd, 2005, 03:11 PM
I'm pretty sure Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed would be available to almost anywhere. It is a really good, midrange priced, dog food. I could go on and on about how it's made a difference to both of my dogs... one of which is a 1 year old Doberman male (intact) He is of great weight now (confirmed tues by my vet) and does not lack for energy. He gets 3 cups a day...1.5 morning and 1.5 at night.
And, he eats it all up :)

Now my other dog is a 6 yr old spayed female dobe/shep mix who is "an easy keeper" so to speak :) so she is on the 'lite' formula of Nutro to help her keep her girlish figure... :thumbs up

September 3rd, 2005, 05:11 PM
I don't think anyone mentioned that feeding a dog better more expensive food is actually cheaper per month then feeding cheaper food.

If you buy a high quality food for $80 a bag, but only feed two cups a day, it's cheaper than spending $45 twice (two bags), to feed 4 cups a day. You save $10 that way. If you feed half the food but spend less than twice the price, you save money.

Here is a great way of putting it. It was a study done in good dog magazine I think:

When we began to look at cost per feeding last year, we discovered an interesting fact: It costs less to feed a Super-Premium dog food than an Economy dog food. The secret is in the nutritional power of the food. A Super-Premium dog food contains much more energy and protein in every kibble than an economy brand. In one test we ran, we had to feed five times as much of the Economy brand dog food to get the same nutritional benefits of the Super-Premium. Despite the lower cost per bag of the Econo brand, it costs you more to feed than a Super-Premium, because you use more bags. How does cost fit in to the dog food picture? We measured the cost of 40 pound bags of various maintenance/adult dog foods and took the manufacturers' suggested feeding instructions. We then calculated the cost of feeding a 40 lb house dog for a day.

The Premium foods studied had an average of 22% crude protein and 10% crude fat. The Super-Premium dog foods examined had an average of 27% crude protein and 15% crude fat. The Economy brands averaged 20% crude protein and 8% crude fat.

The Super-Premium foods suggested feeding an average of 1-3/4 cups of food per day for our 40 lb dog. Premium brands recommended 3-1/4 cups, while the Econo brands instructed feeding 6 cups a day.

It costs an average of 24 cents a day to feed a dog a Super-Premium brand, compared to 26 cents a day for a Premium brand, and 31 cents a day for an Econo brand. That's right - the Econo-brand actually costs you 7 cents more a day to feed your dog than a Super-Premium does. In order to give your dog the nutrition he needs, he has to eat 3-1/2 times more of the Econo brand than the Super-Premium food.

Thus, the big difference is in the poop! The seven cents more that you spend on an Economy brand buys you piles more in the yard cleanup department. .

September 3rd, 2005, 05:14 PM
I am also very young and have an incredibly minimal income... I don't think that's a factor in choosing a good food... It all depends on what your priorities are, I guess. I have 2 big dogs and they both get Solid Gold Wolf King. I don't find it is any worse for my bank account than the previous food they were getting was.

And you wouldn't be paying significantly more because you would feed less. So the bag would last longer.

I will look into it then. But don't think my dogs aren't my priority, I that I treat them better than I treat myself. I never factored in the difference in calories and such so I totally forgot that the amount of food could change.

I'll definetly look into the stuff. Last time I checked the largest bag was nearly $60 in the pet store. I can't feed it to my other dog, though, because she has allergies. Her food is really good, though. No by-products :)

And yes, regular puppy food can cause large breeds to grow too quickly, but that is why they make large breed puppy food.

My boss said the large breed puppy food still isn't very good, and I will go by what she says.

September 3rd, 2005, 05:16 PM
Didn't see the post above 'til after I posted. Thanks!

September 3rd, 2005, 09:27 PM
Why don't you just try to feed her the same food as your other dog is getting? It's just as good and you're buying it anyway... :)

And of course, like with any category of dog food, large breed puppy food comes in different qualities. The main guideline that I know of is that Calcium should be below 1.5% and ideally it should be between .8 and 1.2% for the really bigger breeds.

September 5th, 2005, 07:28 PM
I shopped for my dog food in the U.S. on many occasions. I have homes on both sides of the border. Do you have a Petco nearby? They carry Natural Balance foods and for a large bag the price is under $45.00. If you want something cheaper but a better quality than the Purina check out Nutro foods. They are also carried at Petco. I believe Petsmart also carries Nutro.
Many stores also carry Eagle Pack which again are better than Purina foods.
Before you make a decision check out the ingredients. As mentioned by previous posters you will find you need to feed less of a better quality food so the cost is really very similar.

September 27th, 2005, 10:52 PM
Just wanted to let everyone know that Nova is now on Solid Gold and, yes, that solved the problem. Here I am worried sick that she has some sort of medical condition and she really was just sick of the food! I'm happier, now, too, because the ingredient label is awesome :)

THANK YOU everyone! I would have never known it costs less to feed the best!

September 27th, 2005, 10:56 PM
Yey!! I'm so glad it worked out for you. :) Which one are you feeding? Wolf King?

September 28th, 2005, 12:09 AM
MMillenia is what it's called, I believe. I don't know they put so much stuff on their packaging lol.

September 28th, 2005, 12:15 AM
Ok. It's the beef one. :) You're the first person I know on it.

September 28th, 2005, 06:56 AM
I only just saw this thread - too busy I guess - and it sounds as tho you have the probs worked out which is great. I just wondered since you work for a vet, could you not get a discount on the food that s/he sells? If you live in a region where good quality food is difficult to find, vets will sell it to their "patients". It's kind of a proactive medicine I suppose. :)

September 28th, 2005, 09:24 AM
Perhaps you could convince your employer, which I'm assuming is a vet, to stock Solid Gold for sale to the general public. You've seen the wonderful results on your dog, and you WILL notice the better coat, clearer eyes and abundance of energy while she consumes less food. Plus too, you could get your discount!

September 28th, 2005, 09:28 AM
Personally, sounds like teething to me, that was about the age Harley slowed down on eating, just because it was painful to eat...Check out her teeth, see if there might be something there bothering her. JMO