The Most Dog Friendly Community Online
Join and Discover the Best Things to do with your Dog

Welcome to Our Community
Wanting to join the rest of our members? Feel free to sign up today.

Will a dog let themselves starve out of stubbornness?

Discussion in 'Dog Food and Diet' started by Josie, May 15, 2020.

  1. Josie

    Josie Administrator Administrator Registered

    Messages:
    3,553
    Likes Received:
    3,395
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Dennis is SO frustrating. I’m trying not to get stressed by it but it’s getting me down.

    Last week he ate amazingly - although he’s gone off the meat version on Z/D we got him the dry version and he was eating really well.

    This week he has barely picked at his food and it’s starting to show in his energy levels. He’s not too bad on the day he has a steroid but still not great.

    The thing is, he would happily eat human food so is he just being completely stubborn? Will he finally give in? I can tell he’s hungry, he’s asking me for food and then when he sees what it is he just sniffs and walks off.

    We’ve got to be so careful what we feed him and this is how the pattern started last time before diagnosis.

    He would eat something for a few days then go off it, then he’d eat something else for a few days and then go off it etc and we kept changing because we were so desperate for him to eat.

    He looks so flipping sad at the moment and it’s so upsetting - I don’t know what to do :-(
     
  2. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

    Messages:
    4,519
    Likes Received:
    4,112
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Not as such, but I have heard of dogs who feel so uncomfortable after eating that they would rather not eat at all, and that in turn makes them feel even more unwell so the desire to eat is reduced even more and so on.

    But if he would take human food that doesn't sound like it's the case.

    Remind me what his diet has to include/exclude please?
     
  3. Finsky

    Finsky Well-Known Member Registered

    Messages:
    1,076
    Likes Received:
    1,019
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I doubt they would starve out...but they are definitely able to make themselves ill in the process of refusing from food.
    That's why getting something down into dogs tummy is become almost a obsession for me too. I'm constantly on a look out and seeing that in their 'silliness' they don't harm themselves.
    But I also try to remind myself...'my dog is in ideal weight...there is no immediate panic about it'. Maybe those days when they have good appetite, they top up so much that they feel like having few diet days would no go amiss?
    Can you trick him to eat by pretending the plateful of food is yours...and give him something from your hand to kick start his appetite?
     
  4. Josie

    Josie Administrator Administrator Registered

    Messages:
    3,553
    Likes Received:
    3,395
    Trophy Points:
    113
    On the days he will eat I try and get as much into him as I can but I do worry now he’s 12 1/2 that not eating regularly is not doing him any good... or maybe he’s just like senior humans and doesn’t get hungry so much!

    Oh I’ve tried it all - he has been eating the food if I play hide and seek with it but I’ve just done that and nothing. I don’t think this hot weather helps.

    I find it really hard not to get cross with him ‘just eat your food!!!’
     
  5. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

    Messages:
    5,789
    Likes Received:
    7,316
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Just in case eating a big meal makes him feel uncomfortable, maybe on the days he'll eat just give him a small meal. Then hopefully, he won't feel uncomfortable but he will feel hungry at the next (small) meal, and maybe come to see mealtimes as a postitive thing.

    Are there any supplements/tonics you could give him to help with his nutrition generally?
     
  6. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

    Messages:
    4,519
    Likes Received:
    4,112
    Trophy Points:
    113
    As dogs (and other mammals) get older their digestive systems become less efficient at drawing nutrients from their food. Plant based enzymes such as YuDigest can be added to their food to help extract some of the nutrients for them. YuDigest is made by Lintbells, they also make YuMove that you may have heard of.
     
    Hemlock likes this.
  7. Josie

    Josie Administrator Administrator Registered

    Messages:
    3,553
    Likes Received:
    3,395
    Trophy Points:
    113
    He’s just eaten a small meal, you’re right Judy. I then get too excited and give him more and he leaves it :emoji_face_palm:

    Thanks for suggestion @JoanneF -He’s having Yumove tablets but we have to make him have those by putting down his throat and he won’t touch anything snuck onto his dinner

    where did my Labrador go :( he’s definitely changed so much since he’s got older. It’s so hard to watch
     
  8. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

    Messages:
    4,519
    Likes Received:
    4,112
    Trophy Points:
    113
    What about making bone broth and adding that to his food?
     
  9. Josie

    Josie Administrator Administrator Registered

    Messages:
    3,553
    Likes Received:
    3,395
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Upsets his tummy too much :-(
     
  10. Hemlock

    Hemlock Well-Known Member Registered

    Messages:
    972
    Likes Received:
    860
    Trophy Points:
    93
    No matter how frustrating you find this, remember he is NOT being stubborn. He would like to eat his food too.
    Difficult at the moment, but when things are easier, he could do with a full blood panel to check organ function, especially spleen and liver. In the meantime, as you have thought, feed small amounts and a good variety. Fresh food is not a sin, nor is cooking his food if he finds that more appealing. What human food does he enjoy?
     
    Ragsysmum likes this.
  11. Josie

    Josie Administrator Administrator Registered

    Messages:
    3,553
    Likes Received:
    3,395
    Trophy Points:
    113
    @Hemlock I should point out that he’s been diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowl disease so he’s had all of the tests done and we have to be extremely careful with what food he eats. The vets have told us that he struggles to process proteins so the food he is on is hypoallergenic and hydrolysed.

    it’s very hard for us to introduce anything else without us causing upset :-(
     
  12. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

    Messages:
    4,519
    Likes Received:
    4,112
    Trophy Points:
    113
    If he is struggling with protein what about pasta or rice, just to have something in his tummy?
     
  13. Hemlock

    Hemlock Well-Known Member Registered

    Messages:
    972
    Likes Received:
    860
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Yes, it must be so frustrating. Hang on in there - you are doing your best for him. Is he allowed probiotics?
     
  14. merlina

    merlina Well-Known Member Registered

    Messages:
    882
    Likes Received:
    1,129
    Trophy Points:
    93
    This is so sad! I think you know in your heart he's nor stubborn but struggling too- and since you care so much, so are you. The only experience I've had is a dog that was having chemo- I think he was scared of food making him sick. I sat on the floor with him so often and tried not to weep. You say he will eat 'human food'? Is there anything in this category that doesn't provoke his symptoms?
     
  15. Josie

    Josie Administrator Administrator Registered

    Messages:
    3,553
    Likes Received:
    3,395
    Trophy Points:
    113
    we’ve got probiotics to add to his diet but he won’t touch it if it’s on there
     
  16. Josie

    Josie Administrator Administrator Registered

    Messages:
    3,553
    Likes Received:
    3,395
    Trophy Points:
    113
    We’re trying him with some quorn as recommended (as long as no onion in it) but it’s still a tough process because we can only give small amount at a time to build up gradually.
     
  17. Finsky

    Finsky Well-Known Member Registered

    Messages:
    1,076
    Likes Received:
    1,019
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Are you still trying to keep up with the 'usual' meal time regime? If so...I was wondering if instead turning his eating more of 'nibble here and there' kind of dining. Litereally just offering titbits as you walk by and it is taken. All those would amount into steady supply of energy without stressing his tummy as there would not be spikes with the food load.
    I bet I'm telling you how to suck eggs..I'm sure everything and anything is now tried and tested & tried again...:rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2020
    Ragsysmum likes this.
  18. Finsky

    Finsky Well-Known Member Registered

    Messages:
    1,076
    Likes Received:
    1,019
    Trophy Points:
    113
    ETA; Ha! I just realized...I've never written 'titbit' word before! Well well well...my written language 'skills' are still evolving...for some direction...:rolleyes:
     
  19. Josie

    Josie Administrator Administrator Registered

    Messages:
    3,553
    Likes Received:
    3,395
    Trophy Points:
    113
    All advice very well received! Feeding regime has gone out the window - doing like you said and just trying to get him to eat when I can. I give him kongs, play hide and seek with it etc sometimes he will be fooled into eating the same food that would be going into his bowl but because it’s in a different set up he eats it!
     
  20. Finsky

    Finsky Well-Known Member Registered

    Messages:
    1,076
    Likes Received:
    1,019
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I suspect you will have to find more of the playful discoveries how to fool his senses in future :rolleyes: It is what it is and there is not much you can do about it other than get along with it.
    It is very trying for you but if you can the find right frame of mind, it just comes kind of routine.
    If you drop piece of food on floor 'by accident', is he keen to take it without you noticing it? ;)
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2020

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.