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Do Shelties Need to Eat Evey Day?

Discussion in 'General Health' started by Fasb's Owner, May 10, 2014.

  1. Fasb's Owner

    Fasb's Owner Forums Enthusiast

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    Jan 21, 2013
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    As I've mentioned in other threads, Fasb hasn't had much appetite for six or seven months now. Vet thinks it's mostly a behavioral issue - he's getting too many treats - and I also wonder if he's getting too many calories. He's nearly 12 yrs. old, so he sleeps and lays around a lot. Things have kinda come to a head this weekend. He ate somewhat well last night, but didn't finish his dry. I fed him some moist food instead. Usually, he acts like he isn't that hungry, but does eat with a little cajoling.

    I'm thinking we need to change his diet. He eats twice a day like clockwork. Vet has told me a few times over the years not to worry if he misses a meal, but it does worry me. Today, at the local pet store (small store, not big chain), I got to talking to the owner about changing to better tasting foods and she told me her dogs often miss a day or two of eating. One doesn't eat on hot days, sometimes. Appears not to concern her, and I know she takes good care of her dogs.

    Fasb will eat some. He picked at his food this morning, but ate a little. Didn't seem to interested in the smell. Was interested when I offered him treats and he came to hang out when I had lunch (though he might get something).

    Anyway. just curious if your dogs eat every day, twice a day, and if you worry if they skip a meal or a couple meals. Did their habits change as they got old(er)?

    Thanks.
    Anyway
     
  2. Mom2Melli

    Mom2Melli Forums Enthusiast

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    All mine have been religious 2x a day eaters from the beginning to the end. I did have cats go finicky on me though during decline, but they are very different creatures.
     
  3. Fasb's Owner

    Fasb's Owner Forums Enthusiast

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    To clarify, Fasb does eat. He hardly ever does not finish what I put out for him. I haven't been letting him starve for six months. But he doesn't seem very interested in his dry food anymore and occasionally doesn't seem interested in canned food. He is always up for treats or table scraps, though. He gets a good number of calories. Until this weekend, I wasn't too concerned. Today, he seems willing to eat but wants people food or treats, not doggie chow.
     
  4. BarbV

    BarbV Premium Member

    When Bacca started getting really sick with his liver condition, he would often miss a meal (I feed twice per day).....but rarely would he miss two meals in a row.

    I'm really confused now.....you say he eats treats but not his meals....but you also say he its two meals a day like clockwork....then you say he picks......can you please clarify what he's eating and when? Its really hard to get a handle on whats going on here...:confused2:
     
  5. Mignarda

    Mignarda Forums Enthusiast

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    With the dry dog food there could be dental issues, since dry food has to be chewed.
     
  6. Fasb's Owner

    Fasb's Owner Forums Enthusiast

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    Sorry. Fasb gets fed twice a day - morning and evening. About six months ago, he started to show less interest in food. He'd walk over, sniff the bowl, walk away, walk around the room, etc. To get him to eat, I'd have to mix some canned food on top of the dry. I'd also have to work at it to get him to eat. Sit with him, call him over, show him his bowl, etc. Cajole him a bit. He didn't seem into eating, but he would almost always clean his bowl.

    During this period, he'd enthusiastically eat whatever treats or people food we offered him. No change in that.

    This weekend, he seems like he really just doesn't need to eat. Not that he's ill. More like he's not hungry. I probably got about half a cup of food in him today, plus some treats and what-not. He normally eats a cup of dry food a day (lately it's been a bit less. 9/10 a cup, possibly).

    Tonight, I gave him a different brand of food flavored with some Mixables (a soupy broth). I gave him about a fourth of a cup (didn't want to give him more since he's not used to the brand). He ate that fairly well. I then tried to give him 1/4 of a cup of his normal brand of dry. He ate a little, but didn't show much interest. If we offer him a treat, he eats that readily.

    Yesterday, he ate normally in the breakfast, ate a little bit of dry plus several scoops of canned food in the evening. He ate more canned food yesterday than usual. Maybe he's not hungry? Maybe he wants treats or table scraps and is trying to wait me out?

    He's not showing any more interest in moist food than dry, so I don't think it's his teeth. He eats hard treats without a problem. Additionally, he had a teeth cleaning a couple months ago. Vet feels his teeth are in good shape.

    Aside from not being hungry, he seems fine. Playful, happy. Bathroom habits and water consumption are normal.

    He's been eating the same quantity of food for about five years now. Given his age, maybe he's getting too much and isn't very hungry. He's around 30/31 pounds. Vet feels he's a good weight, but he stayed around 26-28 when he was younger.

    If he doesn't snap out of it by Monday, I plan to call the vet. Not sure what to make of this. Kinda concerned.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2014
  7. Caro

    Caro Moderator

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    Some years ago when Deska was chubby the vet behaviourist told me dogs have a feast/famine metabolism. The can consume large amounts of food at once then not eat for a while, unlike humans that do better with small, regular meals. So it is quite reasonable to feed a dog every second day.

    It sounds to me like you are feeding Fasb too much. If he doesn't want bigger meals then cut them right back, if he's regularly only eating half then halve the meals you give him. He's elderly, he doesn't need much food.

    He must be getting enough calories, given the vet comment. I'd suggest cutting out the treats - better he gets something more balanced. Table scraps are fine (as long as it's not junky food) but it probably makes a whole meal so you could just give him the scraps (in his bowl) as a meal.

    You're lucky he is pretty good at regulating his intake.
     
  8. Fasb's Owner

    Fasb's Owner Forums Enthusiast

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    As I posted in a thread in the senior shelties sub-board, Fasb is about 31 lbs. (22" tall, 24" from nose to tail). When he was younger, he hovered around 26/27 lbs., put on 5 pounds after age 5 or 6, never really lost it. He eats about 1 cup of dry a day, plus some moist food to flavor dry, plus several treats a day. I don't really know how many calories he takes in a day. For one thing, I don't know what the other people in the house slip him (my elderly father lives with us and slips him a spoonful of ice cream when he thinks we aren't looking).

    I'll have to try to figure out how many calories he's getting from treats. I kinda feel like he could stand to have portion size cut back, but I hate to cut back too much. I don't want him to be hungry. 1 cup/day is about 1/2 what the labels on the boxes recommend. 1/2 a cup a day seems like nothing.

    How many calories should does a sheltie need? Might be better to gauge his intake if I had an idea how many calories he needs.

    Personally, I'm thinking he's getting too many treats and trying to wait me out, combined with getting enough calories that he's not hungry enough to give in and eat doggie chow. Not sure of that though. He certainly doesn't appear to be ill or hungry.
     
  9. Mom2Melli

    Mom2Melli Forums Enthusiast

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    Could he maybe be a little put off by the vet visit the other day? Did they sedate him for images or really kind of struggle for blood work etc? Is he on any meds right now? I forget. Did he get the Adequan shot or maybe his arthritis is acting up just short of the shot? Maybe he's just feeling kinda crummy?
     
  10. Justicemom

    Justicemom Premium Member

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    Have you done blood work on him lately? The decreased appetite and leg trembling you mentioning in another thread make me worry about kidney issues or eletrolytes imbalances. If you have not done that recently do it and rule those types of things out. You can also see appetite decrease with pain. The muscle tremors could be a sign. Dogs are very good at hiding pain.

    I know my dogs they are foodies and a missed meal out even slow eating is a bad sign. Justice had missed one meal in his life and broke with HGE 3 hours later and almost died. Diva missed one meal the day she passed from GME. Ember and Birch have never missed a meal voluntary and hope they never do. Some dogs just don't care about food that much but if your dog has up to this point in his life readily ate and that has changes something is going on in my opinion.It depends on your dog.
     

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