I had recently posted in the Dog Food Forum about my picky eater Otis - 3 yr old dachshund/beagle/terrier mix and the challenges I had getting him to eat on a consistent basis. Well we have just gone through a wellness check and blood panel to rule out any physical reason for his lack of appetite and were cleared. I, and now my vet, am pretty sure that we are dealing with an anxiety issue and I am hoping someone here has dealt with this before.
Otis is now about 3 and we adopted him 1 yr ago next month.
I have been through basic obedience with him and he has started to go to daycare 1 day a week for socialization mostly. He has been 3 times so far.
His symptoms range from:
- refusing food when he is hungry.
- ears pinned back/ low carried head/ wide eyes and stiff stance and sometimes licking his mouth.
- can have quite low energy, nests/ hides in blankets, under pillows for hours!
- on a staircase faced head on with a cat (we have 3), he will stop in his tracks/ avoid eye contact and wait for someone to remove the cat before he can proceed.
- he will 'avoid' his dish, physically walking around it/ not looking at it if there is something new in it, or if I have made too 'big of a deal' about his dinner.
- sometimes a simple 'a-hem' throat clearing is enough to make him jump/ roll over on his back/ side.
- general licking of his mouth a lot of the time, if we want him to go out, get in the car, coax him from under his blankets...
My question is do I try to coax him or do I let him have space when he is anxious. Like, should I allow him to lie under a blanket for hours? He is not anxious all of time. This is something that comes and goes. When he is not anxious, he plays, has energy and is relaxed.
Vet has suggested medication. I am trying some natural therapies first/ rescue remedy and scent to hopefully help him. How do I address his issues before he gets anxious?