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?!
Thank you all SO very much for your wonderful suggestions! I was such a wreck when I posted this and all of your replies have helped us immensely. A little of an update, Stumpy is now more inclined to eat and finish her food after skipping a few meals the first few days, plus we've given her less and it's coming along, slowly but surely. She still isn't going to the food bowl to eat on her own, we still have to have her on leash & sit beside her but at least she's eating.
@Heather, I make a big deal out of meal time too! I say it in a really sing-song happy voice and say "yum yum time!". When Stumpy finishes the food in her bowl without any pressure from me, I give her tons of love and praise and put two small treats in her bowl.
I've also done more extensive research into other dog foods as a back-up plan and found that a local pet store called Pet Club in my area sells 30lb bags of Taste of The Wild (highly recommended on the forums here and grain-free it appears) for only $39.99! After calculating tax, it comes down to $1.45/lb for TOTW vs $1.23/lb for Canidae ALS. I still prefer for her to be on Canidae since it seems more balanced with a higher kcal/cup but I have NO problem playing just 22 cents more a pound for a food that she *might* find more palatable and love. Will continue with this and see where this takes us!
I have to sit beside Ellie too. I feed her by my desk, so I just check e-mail or watch cute puppy videos while she's eating. I think it's really stressful for her to not know where I am. She checks up on me occasionally if I'm doing dishes or laundry in another room, and that's when she's just playing. I imagine it's much worse if she's trying to eat and worrying about me. If she can see me and keep an eye on me, then she chows down.
She also does better if I'm eating too or just ate. Someone on here speculated that it's an Alpha thing. The Alpha eats first, and Ellie thinks of me as the Alpha. If I'm not eating, she probably feels really conflicted about enjoying her food. In the morning, I eat breakfast with her. In the evening, I have a snack when I feed her. As long as she sees me take a bite, she's good to go.
It sounds like Stumpy is coming along, and that's good news! I was baffled by a Corgi that doesn't like to eat when everyone said they were vacuum cleaners, so I understand how worrisome it is and how wonderful it feels when you finally figure out what that adorable little bunnybutt needs from you.
hi HI!! Also a first time dog owner here! :)
I have a 7 month old Male corgi (on 9th,is his actual 7 month bday), MOMO, too. He too is... "picky" about feeding time, but rather than the 'brand' of the food, i take it more of a growth spurt. Around 3-5 months, he'd eat EVERYTHING in sight, but now that he's slowing down on his growth spurt, he barely touches his food.
Honestly tho, I would not worry too much about your dog not "eating". A dog will NEVER EVER starve itself, if it's a healthy dog. The way i see things, ur puppy may be trying to play a mind game with you.
**Whoever controls 'meal time' is the boss of the house (pack).**
Put the food down, (if you give your dog a time limit, say, 15-30 mins) if the dog doesn't eat within time limit or walks away from her food and goes to play with toys, TAKE AWAY THE FOOD and it has become " too bad so sad, you gotta wait til the next feeding time period". Once this happens 2-3-4 times, your dog will LEARN TO EAT her food, when you give it her.
I was a bit worried about momo before, cuz he's a bit small for his age. He's only 18 pounds at 7 months, but the vet said he's healthy, no bones/ribs showing and his active (with all shots up to date), so don't worry about it his eating patterns. Just continue doing whatever it is we are doing for momo.
My hubby is all about "natural organic" so we buy our corgi blue buffalo wild puppy chow. LOL... Sometimes i'll water it down to ease his gums (which could be a bit sore from teething) or one or two SPOON full of soft puppy food to mix into the KIBBLES and have a mixture of soft/hard food and slowly trying to fade him to HARD KIBBLES.
So i'd suggest taking away the food if she walks away from it, a few times, and she'll GO BACK TO EATING her food, when you give it. A dog's primal instincts is always to find FOOD FIRST for survival (at least thats what i've been told) .... and then they will have fun after they have been fed or are full :)
Good luck! :D
At my house, since I first get the dog ( some as pups, some adopted at various ages) if you walk away from the bowl, it gets taken up...and no food offered until the next meal. No waiting 15-20 minutes. As a result I've never had picky eaters so now, if one of my dogs does not want to eat, I know there is a problem and I will keep a watchful eye. For me that would be a reliable sign that something is going on that is out of the ordinary. It is indeed a valuable indicator.
Hi Kim, it sounds like stumpy had you trained well :) I think the culprit is holding out for treats, it is okay for our dogs not eat for a few days, after that he will learn to adhere to the new structure.
Yes, there are times you'll need to rely on his feedback to determine if the food has gone bad, but I doubt this is the case. I'll suggest you to re-visit the FAQ on food, remember every dog is different, what worked for other dogs doesn't mean the same for Stumpy, don't be brand loyal and take user generated content website with a grain of salt. Hope that helps!
Hi all! A bit of quick update regarding Stumpy's eating habits thus far. We've continued with the strict feeding schedule and limiting of treats but after a few more skipped meals here and there, I decided to transition her to Taste of the Wild. She LOVES it! She gets right to meal-time when we set it down and doesn't even bother stopping to play with whoever happens to come home while she's eating(which she usually does!) We are currently doing a 2:1 ratio of Canidae to TOTW just so we can get through the end of the Canidae bag. She's doing so great on the TOTW(wetlands formula) for the past 2 wks that I am so thrilled. Thank you all for your help! :)
Yay! I just caved and bought a bag of TOTW too (prairie) and my Nellie loves it better than her old food (Wellness). I think the mix also encourages them to like the lesser kibble more because they don't know if they're getting a mouthful of what they like or what they don't mind. Plus the TOTW is pretty affordable compared to other grain-frees so it's a good thing she likes it!
oops just saw your response after I posted mine!
You have gotten a lot of good advice already, but want to share my experience with Lance when he was a pup. He always was very excited about eating, and then one day he wasn't interested in eating, which seemed very strange. Forgive me, I don't remember his exact age, ( I want to say he was about a year old maybe a 1 1/2) since he is now 7 1/2. I called my vet and he immediately had me switch him to another food, as the food he was eating, was on the recall list...which was Iams at the time.
We switched cold turkey, which isn't recommended but my vet said we had no choice, since it was on the recalled list, luckily we didn't have issues switching over so fast. We switched him to Natural Balance Duck and Potatoe. His enthusiam instantly came back to eat, holy cow......he was estatic, problem solved!! Now this may not be your issue, but I wanted to bring it up as a possibility. Lance apparently must have sensed something wasnt right with his food, therefore refusing to eat it, pretty smart, I think. I wouldn't have even of thought of that!!