A dog has gone off their food
A dog has gone off their food
There are a lot of humans worried that their dogs have gone off their food.
It is always a worry when a dog stops eating, but before humans start rushing around in a panic there is something they need to consider...
From the moment a dog is born there is always a competition to eat. They have to compete with their siblings.
Even rescued dogs that are kennelled individually will still eat everything they are given as fast as they can because they know other dogs are around.
Lets face it humans don’t even think of how dogs think while eating, so don’t consider it to be a problem. They think it is cute when dogs grab food or a treat and try to bury it in their bed or in the garden. This is still quite an unhealthy grab and own attitude towards food.
Does this mean humans are wrong and should be doing something about it?
Not necessarily but it will explain why the kitchen is cleared of everything edible when no one is around or unguarded meals suddenly disappear and could further explain why bins are raided.
That is until some dogs decide that it is not a race and take a more leisurely attitude towards eating naturally.
Then the humans panic something is wrong and start trying to rationalise by changing the food and making a fuss, which in reality can cause stress to the dog as they are picking up on the human’s stress.
Which in turn makes the dog think there is something wrong with the food so they stop eating altogether.
So wait and watch to see if the dog eventually eats their food throughout the day. If they do then there is nothing to worry about, the dog has just decided they will eat when they are hungry and not just because there is food around.
Let me tell you of my first few days of finding my sofa here and what my human did.
First of all neither myself nor my human are experts, I am only sharing my experience. If it helps someone then great, if not then it was an interesting article to read.
My first meal here consisted of me grabbing great mouthfuls of dried kibble and swallowing as fast as I could. Even to the point of choking and coughing. My bowl was mine and I was going to guard it and no one was going to take it while I was eating.
I was also a constant food hunter and no surface was safe. Not to mention fingers when I was handed a snack or treat.
My human totally changed my thoughts about food.
They portioned up my daily kibble allowance and added 10% due to the way they were going to feed me.
I will point out I was making regular visits to the vet due to being newly rescued. My human explained what they were doing and my health and weight was monitored.
All food scraps and treats were put into my bowl to make me realise that is where I was fed from.
Every time they went into the kitchen, even just making a coffee, three bits of kibble were dropped into my bowl. Yes dropped so that they made a noise.
Then at ‘proper’ meal times (breakfast, lunch and dinner) my human put more than three bit of kibble in to try and teach me when actual meal times would happen.
For the first week of being here I raced into the kitchen every time my human headed there and stood by my bowl in eager anticipation of those few bits of kibble.
I even got underfoot when my human was cooking and nearly tripped them up a few times.
By the second week I was getting the hang of this feeding schedule and started to get wise to it. I even started to leave the three bits of kibble put in the bowl while my human was cooking as I knew a ‘proper’ meal was coming soon.
I also got taught wait and was expected to back off from my bowl while eating so that my human could put something else in there.
I even started letting my human touch and stroke me while I was eating as I had realised they were not going to take my food away.
Apart from helping me to eat more slowly it also helped us bond, so it was a win - win all around.
Without prompting or training from my human I started to either stand back or out of the way while my human was cooking so I didn’t trip them up. Much to their relief.
By the third week I was so over this rush to the kitchen and had realised if I didn’t eat those bits of kibble they would still be there when I did go and look.
This was the point that my human only put the three bits of kibble into my bowl every other visit to the kitchen, unless I did happen to wander in with them. Even then I did not always eat it straight away.
By the end of the third week my human had stopped the three kibble thing and had started to put proper portions out at the set meal times.
I even started to grab a mouthful of food and bring it into the sitting room so I could spit it all out and eat near my human. Returning to my bowl to get the next mouthful. Yes I know that sounds disgusting, but it was a great breakthrough from being food obsessed.
Once the panic for food was over I was taught how to take treats gently and regularly get praised for being so gentle by my pals humans when they give me a treat.
Today my daily food schedule is very predictable.
I am fed from a double bowl raised feeder. One bowl is for my kibble and the other is for food scraps from my human’s food.
My daily kibble allowance is put in one bowl and I will take all day to eat it by take a munch now and again throughout the day.
At my human’s meal times I now can be found snoring on the sofa or playing inside /outside with my toys while my human cooks and eats in peace.
Then when they are finished I follow them to the kitchen to see if I have been given anything.
Which I always do, even if it is the smallest amount.
It shows me my human is happy to share and reward me for my patience.
It was a confusing first three weeks during this strange feeding schedule but I now have a much healthier and relaxed attitude towards food.
I even left my human’s dinner untouched when they went to answer the door once when they were eating and casually left their plate on the coffee table.
They even let me pick out my treat myself from the treat cupboard now. I sniff all of the treat options and carefully select one for myself.
I feel really spoilt and lucky.