Hello fellow corgi lovers, I know that this subject has been discussed quite a bit and was hoping to get some guidance from folks who have "been there, done that" :)
Stumpy is 7 months old and not excited about meal-time at all, no matter what we do! She was eating purina puppy when we got her from the breeder and after extensive research on these forums(esp the threads on "What do you feed your corgi", dogfoodadvisor/dogfoodanalysis) we transitioned her to Wellness Core grain free puppy formula once we got her. She tolerated this but was never excited about her food or never ate her food on her own until we added treats to it. At 6 months we moved her to Canidae all life stages(we did some searching on the boards and found some had success with this one for picky eaters) and although she seemed to love this at first, after a month she just wouldn't eat or ate very little of this unless we added treats to it just like the wellness.
The thing is, she is super treat-motivated and loves all of the treats we give her(Zuke's mini naturals, Charlie Bears, baby carrots, shredded chicken, home-made organic pumpkin & peanut butter treats). Just doesn't seem to be the vacuum cleaner that most corgis seem to be. She will eat leaves outside and random non-food items on the floor :( but not her food!
We recently started putting salmon oil on her food as a supplement and this caused her to be more interested in eating, but she won't eat unless we put the salmon oil in it. Then she starts eating halfway, she won't finish it until we sprinkle treats on it. I'm fine with continuing to put fish oil on her food since it's good for her but do not want to put treats/yogurt/cottage cheese/canned food or any other additives to get her to eat anymore. Mealtime is starting to make us stressed/worried and I also feel like she is not seeing us as the food provider. So, we have implemented the strict feeding time over the weekend, setting the food down for 30 min then taking it away. Stumpy is at a very healthy weight, already gets fed twice a day at the same times(we always wet her food with warm water so it's easier to eat) and after starting the strict feeding, so far she has only eaten 1/4 of her breakfast yesterday, even less of her food during dinner. Today she didn't eat any of her breakfast at all :'(
I've read great things about wellness/blue buffalo/taste of the wild/orijen but cannot justify the prices(especially since she really didn't like the wellness one in the first place). Are there any great dog foods that have changed your corgi from a picky eater to a vacuum cleaner? As a reference point, we buy Canidae ALS 44lbs for 53.99($1.23/lb) and are looking for something affordable/around this price range but we're open to all suggestions! Or should I just keep up with the strict feeding schedule? Any tips from those that have gone through this? It breaks my heart to see her not love her food. **Sorry for being so verbose, I just don't know what to do...how can you say no to this face?!
A while back Fences was throwing up her food at night and I couldn't figure out why. You told me to try adding water to her food and it worked like magic! I always put water in both Tom's and Fen's food and they just love slurping up the water before chowing down on the kibble. It's funny how something as simple as water in their food would make a big difference on how their digestive systems react to it.
I know it seems strange that such a simple thing as water can help...after spending so much money on trying to figure out what was wrong with bella and all the drugs that I believe even made things worse I was so happy when it helped and the only thing that made me think of it was when both she and sage were throwing up partially digested food and it still looked so dry.
@Jane, don't most people add a bit of water to the dry food? I've always done that. When I steam my vegetables, they love having vegetable water poured on their food. I have one that will not eat the spinach water, it's real bitter so I can't blame her, but the others just scarf it down It gives them variety, extra vitamins/minerals and the price can't be beat! Plain water is the norm.
@Anna, No I don't believe that most people do add water. It would be a great discussion question. It was by accident that I came up with the idea.I had to try something simple and it worked:) I always did when my pups were weaned or older pups were teething but not on a regular basis.
Water helps so much(especially when Stumpy was teething and losing her puppy teeth) - I've added warm water from ever since seeing it suggested all over the forum! I think warm water really makes the dry kibble smell a lot more appealing, much like how cold leftovers doesn't smell as good as a nice hot meal to us humans.
Too bad water alone didn't keep Stumpy going and we're in this situation but it's coming along!
These discussions show just how helpful they can be to someone else that may be going through a similar situation with their dog. Of course going to a vet trumps any advice one gets off the internet, but it really helps to ease your mind knowing that someone else has gone through the same situation.
So glad to hear that Orijen was the one for Bogart, did you notice a big change in his coat when feeding Orijen to him? I have heard such great things about Orijen but the price will be hard for me to maintain... how long does a 29.7lb bag last for you? I've read that you feed less with the higher quality grain-free foods, so in the long run... it comes out to be the same, may have to bite the bullet if things don't get better with Stumpy :\
What about pouring just a small amount of low-sodium chicken broth on the kibble? My corgi eats like a vaccuum but my rat terrier has his moments when he is off his food (usually a new situation or environment, or when I'm out of town). Makes the kibble smell a little more enticing, I think.
Thank you, I actually have not tried chicken broth! May I ask what does Ginny eat? Or was she always a vacuum? :)
Ginny eats Blue Buffalo. But yes, she'll eat anything that isn't nailed down, so she's never been a problem eater. She literally wolfs down her food in 3.8 seconds flat and then moves on to try to steal her brothers food because he eats so slow! So I have to supervise to make sure she isn't getting seconds! :)
Picky eaters are made, not born.... Dogs will overeat, but I don't know of ANY dog that will not eat food when hungry, unless sick, having a painful mouth/tooth, or very old. The solution for picky eaters is to give less food, not more. If the dog does not eat readily, the food is removed and food is again offered, in slightly smaller quantity, at the next meal. It's simple and will work. You just have to trust that the dog will not starve to death with food available and decide that, for a few days ( it will not take longer than that) you may have to wait it out since you have created certain habits and expectations meant to bypass the dog's natural instinct to eat less, thus creating the picky eater. At 7 months the growth rate of a pup is really slowing down, the worst thing for that pup is to overeat and become fat. Your life will be a lot easier, your pup healthy and eager to eat and you'll feel like a weight has lifted off of you when you give up this struggle to make Stumpy eat when Stumpy is telling you " I'm not really that hungry" Stick with the dog food brand you've chosen, add a little water and nothing else and greatly limit treats of any kind. 99% of the food should come at mealtime and in the food bowl, at least until you're well over this hump.
Thanks Anna, reading your post really made me feel more determined to make this work. I think when we first got Stumpy we were so concerned and focused on whether or not she was getting enough food and nutrients for her to grow into a strong, healthy pup. In time, it eventually felt like "maybe she really doesn't like this food" and I'd feel terrible if I was forcing her to eat something she didn't like every day of her life :\ I will definitely make sure to limit treats(we used a lot of treats to housebreak and during puppy class)