I originaly posted this as a blog post, but it is probably best suited as a discussion:

 

 

So Buddy has really never had a problem with eating his meals until recently. We switched him to the adult kibble a few weeks ago and since then have noticed that he is not very interested in the food. We currently feed him VeRus Adult Chicken/Rice formula and the puppy food we used to feed him was VeRus Puppy Chicken/Rice formula. We chose this brand per the advice of our breeder and it has been great up until now.

 

We feed Buddy 2x a day, once in the morning, and once in the evening. We make him do his run of tricks, then he gets his meal as a reward. Now when we put the food down and tell him to take it, he sniffs it and usually walks away or just sits there. We started using time constraints and giving him 15min to eat then taking the food away per the advice of our breeder. I should mention that he has thrown up a couple times now, so I am wary about having him miss a meal (he has never missed a meal), so I usually end up putting the food back down for him and he usually eats it 30min-1hr+ later. He has thrown up two times now, both times really early in morning. It has been clear yellow in color. I have read that dog's tend to do that when they are anxious about a meal and their stomachs start producing extra bile.

 

I find it strange that he is acting this way in regards to his meals. To help "entice" him to eat, we started adding in a half tablespoon of Kong Butter to his food, and then its game on and he eats his food immediately. Is this bad? We really don't want to have to continue to do this, but again we are worried about him getting sick if he doesn't eat. We have also tried adding a little warm water to the kibble, but that only helped for a few days.

 

His behavior has been perfectly normal, even while recuperating after his neuter last Friday. He is the same happy, crazy dog as he has always been.

 

Could there be some underlying issue that we are just not seeing, or is he just being picky?

 

Let me say again that he is always SUPER excited when it’s time to eat, but as soon as that bowl hits the ground he doesn't want anything to do with it.

 

We would really appreciate your advice!

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Hi Rebecca and Kevin, you've done a great job in trying different methods! Sometimes when everything else fail, you just need to trust your dog senses. In my opinion, it is a good idea to have a back up / alternate food. Sometimes you travel, move to a new town...etc. It's great to have an alternative. There was a time when Mocha refused to eat, the expiration date was fine but turns out the bag was bad, so we returned it and got another bag, same brand, same flavour and there was no problem since.

Remember Dog's nose can smell at least 24 times better than human :)
I really hope we aren't feeding him bad food, i never even considered that as a possibility :(

Is there a way to tell if the kibble is bad?
Sometimes you can.

When manufacturer change ingredients, suppliers or manufacturing plants. your kibble may not look or smell the same. Empty your bag into an air tight container, check the bottom of the bag, and examine it carefully. I like to get a zip lock bag, put holes in it and put a few basil or bay leaves to keep the bugs out.
I just called our pet store and they said that there is a chance that there may have been a tear in the bag. We are going to return the food tomorrow for a new bag.

Hopefully this will fix the problem.
Quin doesn't eat her food right away. She will dig in her dish when she wants food but as soon as I put it down she will either just take a few and walk away to eat them somewhere else or sniff it and eat it later. I don't have another dog so i don't worry about leaving her dish down all the time. I just give her 1/2 cup in the morning and 1/2 cup in the evening. She eats it when ever she wants to.
I went through this with Tootsie - sometimes they just don't like the food...took me a few tries to find a food she did like ... she loves her food now but for a while there it was a total pain...
We feed him at 7:30am and 6:30pm everyday. When we were mixing the two, he ate both just fine.
Another possibility is certain intestinal parasites can cause no appetite. When was the last time he had a stool culture? I always give all my dogs a bedtime snack. A plain tums can settle nauseous tummies as well and its a good source of calcium. I also give my dogs probiotics and yogurt in their kibble daily. He may just be picky or just doesn't need to eat as much at the moment. With the heat, he doesn't feel like it. You know the old saying..You can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. Well its true. Put the food down..wait 15 mins. and pick it up. He will soon learn that is his time to eat..so gobble gobble or wait for the next chow wagon. Has he had vaccinations or a heartworm pill lately? Hopefully with all these good suggestions something will click and the question will have an answer.
We are taking his food back today for a new bag, just to rule out the possibility of bad food.

He had a stool culture done probably 3-4 months ago give or take.

Yes he got a heartworm pill on the 12th and is up to date on all his vaccinations.

I don't think its an appetite issue since when we add a little "goodie" in with the food, he gobbles it up in no time. I am going to try adding the yogurt in his meals and look into a bedtime snack for him.

Thanks for the advice everyone!
I was just mentioning the heartworm prevention because sometimes that can upset them a little and refuse to eat normal rations.

Hopefully it was just a bad bag of food and the issue is solved.

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