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#1054630 - 09/30/08 09:31 PM Furry friend help...
Ops Offline
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Georgia
My hubby and I took in a 4 year old Boston Terrier. We got her yesterday afternoon and she has yet to eat a bite! I know she's trying to get used to her new home, so I'm wondering if that's the problem. She seems to have settled in just find.. sleeps where ever she decides, and she's very loveable.

Windy's previous owner fed her a lot of table scraps, and my hubby and I don't want to get started doing that. She's overweight, and we want to get her weight down a bit.

ANY advice is welcome!

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#1054642 - 09/30/08 09:35 PM Re: Furry friend help... Ops
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Are you trying to feed her dry food or canned? When my dog gets stressed he wont eat dry food. He will never turn down canned food.
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#1054657 - 09/30/08 09:42 PM Re: Furry friend help... RR Jen
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My experience has been that quick, complete change is bad. Feed some of the old diet (scraps) with some of the new mixed in. Slowly increase the new and decrease the old. If you are feeding a good quality, complete dry food. Your friend will eventually thrive on it. I do this if I change brand or formulation on the dry food. Certainly helps to convert them over to the new.

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#1054664 - 09/30/08 09:47 PM Re: Furry friend help... RR Jen
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When I got Puka from the pet store, they said she coudl get stressed and might nto want to eat. They said try to feed her anything and mentioned chicken nuggets.

My guess is she is stressed, and especially if she is overweight, she can probably go a while without eating.

As far as a diet for trimming her down goes, try getting a good canned food and mix just a little with a lot of warm water to make a soup for meals. She'll get nutrition and will feel full. The soup diet and little walks mornign and night will trim her down in a few weeks.

My mom and I took in a Min Pin rescue that was severely overweight. She looked like a seal pup and her little tail was not visible at all (when she wagged it, you could see movement under her back skin!). She was 8 pounds when we got her and she has trimmed down to a healthy 4.5 pounds (yes, she is a runty Min-Pin).
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#1054665 - 09/30/08 09:47 PM Re: Furry friend help... Zebra 15
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The previous owner always left out Kibbles & Bits. I started out trying to mix it with Purina, but she wouldn't eat any of it, so we've been trying just the Kibbles. Maybe I'll try canned food if she doesn't eat anything this evening.

Her nose is dry, too.. what's that an indication of?

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#1054667 - 09/30/08 09:48 PM Re: Furry friend help... Ops
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She really seems to like taking walks, so I don't think that's going to be a problem.

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#1054669 - 09/30/08 09:49 PM Re: Furry friend help... Zebra 15
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Originally Posted By: netex rookie
My experience has been that quick, complete change is bad.


Sudden changes in dog food isn't necessarily bad...just means dogs with more sensitive tummies may have irregular bowels for a couple days. I can completely switch the type of meat my dog eats (say, from chicken to venison to duck to rabbit) and her tummy doesn't miss a beat.
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#1054673 - 09/30/08 09:51 PM Re: Furry friend help... Ops
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Originally Posted By: Ops
Her nose is dry, too.. what's that an indication of?


That could be stress also. Just keep an eye on her in case she does show signs of something serious...lethargy, vomiting, coughing up foam. I would say diarrhea too, but that could be the change in dog food
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#1054721 - 09/30/08 11:16 PM Re: Furry friend help... Dip
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Thanks, y'all!

No sooner than I typed that, I mixed part of a treat that the previous owner sent with her up with some of her food, and she ate. Go figure!

I'll keep an eye on her nose.

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#1054828 - 10/01/08 11:22 AM Re: Furry friend help... Ops
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One of the dogs my sister adopted didn't eat for three days due to stress. After that she was jsut fine. Is she drinking anything?
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#1055087 - 10/01/08 02:41 PM Re: Furry friend help... Skittles
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The nose could be a sign of dehydration. I had a dog once that wouldn't drink water when she was stressed unless it was really cold (it's funny the things you figure out ).

The 'new home, not eating' thing is pretty common. The adoption groups I work with always tell people it'll probably happen, especially with smaller dogs.

They often recommend mixing a little of the wet food with the dry. Try to keep dry food in the diet because it's better for their teeth than canned food.
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#1055143 - 10/01/08 03:02 PM Re: Furry friend help... MadisonCali
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When we got our two rescue pugs, it was hard to get the female to eat (no problems with the male). We started with the same food the previous owner was using (have since switched a few times) but she wouldn't have anything to do with it. Finally, the way I got her to eat was by hand feeding her. I kept moving closer to the bowl, then finally was able to just sit beside the bowl while she ate and eventually didn't even have to be in the room.

People thought I was nuts to do this, but I could only stand her not eating for so long--my "mommy" side couldn't handle it!
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#1055210 - 10/01/08 03:20 PM Re: Furry friend help... MadisonCali
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Originally Posted By: MadisonCali
Try to keep dry food in the diet because it's better for their teeth than canned food.


That is, assuming your dog actually chews its food. How many of us have dogs that just wolf their food down without chewing? Even my toy breed swallows larger kibble.

Dry food can actually be hard on dogs' digestive systems because it is hard and dry. If you do feed dry food, it is beneficial to your dog's tummy to mix it with just a little hot water and let it sit a few moments to let it soften a tad. That will help it digest better.
Last edited by Dip; 10/01/08 03:22 PM.
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#1055973 - 10/01/08 09:28 PM Re: Furry friend help... Dip
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Well, according to what I have learned through the dog food company that I work for, as well as through several vets I have asked over the years, I do not believe that to be correct, Dip.
Last edited by MadisonCali; 10/01/08 09:29 PM.
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#1055981 - 10/01/08 09:30 PM Re: Furry friend help... MadisonCali
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Curled up by the fire...
What I want to know is what does Ireland think of this new baby?
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#1056016 - 10/01/08 10:04 PM Re: Furry friend help... MadisonCali
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Originally Posted By: MadisonCali
Well, according to what I have learned through the dog food company that I work for, as well as through several vets I have asked over the years, I do not believe that to be correct, Dip.


Just because a company makes dog food, doesn't make them "all-knowing." And I know there are lots of cooky vets out there too...

From experience, I used to feed Puka just dry. There were times when I would feed her in the morning, then take her to the beach that afternoon, and she would get so excited she would puke, and the kibble would be fully intact and indigested. Proof that they can have a harder time digesting and moving dry kibble along when they don't chew it.
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#1056063 - 10/01/08 11:20 PM Re: Furry friend help... Dip
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Curled up by the fire...
I'd look at the wheat content also. Anything with wheat in it will make my dogs yucky sick!

My dogs eat dry food (IAMS) and sometimes they will just inhale it. It almost always comes back up unless they take their time to chew it up.

Maybe the newbie has a sensitive tummy???
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#1056239 - 10/02/08 01:38 PM Re: Furry friend help... Mrs. Rizzo
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Dip, I never said anyone was 'all-knowing'.
I just said I believe them over you.

Difference of opinion, and difference of personal experience.
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#1056288 - 10/02/08 02:13 PM Re: Furry friend help... MadisonCali
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I have to agree with MadisonCali. I adopted my miniature schnauzer when she was 5 years old. To that point she had been fed Gravy Train which is dry food mixed with water. She was only eating soft food. I switched her to dry food but the damage had already been done. Her teeth were horrible! The vet was pretty sure it was caused by her only having soft food her whole life.
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#1056321 - 10/02/08 02:32 PM Re: Furry friend help... RR Sarah
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Everyone has different experiences with their pets. My husband used to feed our sheltie canned food only. After the loss of our collie and we switched him to dry food it did take awhile before he ate it.

He is also a free-feeder and the dogs have dry food out all of the time AND they get a Meal Bone at dinner time. This is in direct contrast to my sister who only feeds her dogs once a day with dry food. They scarf it up quickly and they are also very health. I wish we did that - but I'm working on it. I will say, however, that the meal bones are making their teeth look better.
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#1056380 - 10/02/08 03:02 PM Re: Furry friend help... RR Sarah
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All 3 of the vets I have ever used with my animals over the years have said that both cats and dogs need to eat primarily dry food for their dental health and that if you're feeding ANY soft food, you MUST brush their teeth daily. I have a 16 year old cat with zero dental problems to show for the dry food wisdom - hooray!

Also, switching an animal's diet around isn't a good idea, according to my vets; animals aren't like people, who crave variety. They do best on a very consistent diet and when you may have to introduce new food due to health problems as the animal ages or develops health problems, it's best to do it very gradually over the course of at least 2 weeks, I've always been told. Switching out a pet's diet frequently simply to offer "variety" or because you the owner simply want to try something new causes digestive and behavioral problems and has no real value, according to those trusted vets I've had. I figure they know way more than I do, cuz after all, they've attended vet med school!

As for the not eating thing, pretty much every new animal I've ever brought home has gone through that for a few days, and yes it's awful for the animal's people! But it is, thankfully, very temporary; they will eat when they get hungry enough and get to feeling comfortable enough. Hang in there, and congratulations on your new family member!
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#1057250 - 10/02/08 10:57 PM Re: Furry friend help... BurntSienna
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It's been my experience from the vets I know and working at the animal shelter, that a mixture of wet and dry food is a good idea. Dry food for the teeth and some (not a lot) wet food to increase hydration (which could be causing the dry nose in your new pet). Some animals just don't drink water like they should.
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#1057314 - 10/03/08 03:17 AM Re: Furry friend help... Ops
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Originally Posted By: Ops
My hubby and I took in a 4 year old Boston Terrier. We got her yesterday afternoon and she has yet to eat a bite! I know she's trying to get used to her new home, so I'm wondering if that's the problem. She seems to have settled in just find.. sleeps where ever she decides, and she's very loveable.

Windy's previous owner fed her a lot of table scraps, and my hubby and I don't want to get started doing that. She's overweight, and we want to get her weight down a bit.

ANY advice is welcome!


1. Get her off table scraps right away, and put her on a good food. I recommend California Natural, but the top end Nutro is very good too. I know that bag of food looks a lot more expensive than the cheaper dog foods, but honestly, you save money feeding it. The dog will eat less, because the food is more nutrients, less filler, and you'll save on vet bills too. Another important hint is to not just put the food down and leave it there. Instead, when you eat, put the proper amount of food for her size based on the food you are feeding her, in a bowl when you eat. It's a pack thing, we might not understand, but if a dog sees it's time for you to eat, most will recognize that when you, their pack leader, are done eating, you will provide for them.

2. Don't worry about her not eating for a few days after you got her. Dogs will do that. You may try hand feeding her kibble as "treats" and see if she'll take it.

3. Take her for daily walks if at all possible for a while. Make sure that you lead her, and don't let her lead you. (stay in front of, or at worst, beside her while you walk) Not only will this reinforce that you are the leader, and help you to keep a submissive, balanced dog in your life, it sounds like she could use the exercise!

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#1057315 - 10/03/08 03:21 AM Re: Furry friend help... BurntSienna
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Originally Posted By: Cerulean
Also, switching an animal's diet around isn't a good idea, according to my vets; animals aren't like people, who crave variety. They do best on a very consistent diet and when you may have to introduce new food due to health problems as the animal ages or develops health problems, it's best to do it very gradually over the course of at least 2 weeks, I've always been told. Switching out a pet's diet frequently simply to offer "variety" or because you the owner simply want to try something new causes digestive and behavioral problems and has no real value, according to those trusted vets I've had. I figure they know way more than I do, cuz after all, they've attended vet med school!


That is a very old school concept based on dogs being fed foods of lower quality, rather than premium foods that have advanced with time. It's not the protein or the grain that is a problem for dogs to adjust to new foods. It's the fillers and junk in poor foods. Working with a rescue, we take whatever food we can get for our fosters, and our vet actually recommends that you change the brand of the food you feed your dog every 3-4 months. He recommends a cycle of four different premium brands, each with different protein and grain bases to best fit a pet's needs. The exception is there for dogs that have allergy issues, or who have sensitive stomachs. There has been a lot of research, and it has been found that yes, if you feed your dog the same thing all the time and quickly switch them, they can get the runs, but there's no harm. On the other hand, if you cycle the foods, and use good quality foods, they get better nutrition from the cycling than simply staying on one food, and have fewer health problems long term.

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#1057331 - 10/03/08 11:03 AM Re: Furry friend help... B_F
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Thanks for all the advice! Windy is doing wonderfully, and her nose is starting to get wetter. We haven't decided what kind of dog food to switch her to, but we may do that this weekend. She's eating good, drinking plenty, and we're getting her some much needed exercise. I think hubby, doggy, and I will all be very happy together.


When I needed furry friend advice, BOL was the first place I knew to come.

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