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Richard Rawling
Richard Rawling,
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 731
Experience:  Veterinary Surgeon at Tameside Veterinary Clinic
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My dog has had food aversion for quite some time now. She

Customer Question

my dog has had food aversion for quite some time now. She cannot have dry food or she gets diarrhea. We were giving her fresh-pet, and she did well on it, but now she wont eat it. We tried a canned food that she also did well on, but now she's avoiding that and the second canned food we tried (alpo) she got diarrhea from (probably from switching food too quickly, but we had no choice since she wont eat!) and she's now refusing the alpo as well. She will sometimes eat potatoes which is good because they help her with her diarrhea, but we cannot figure out how to get her to eat a balanced meal. The vet recently saw her and said she's healthy. She does have hypoparathyroidism, however she takes medication for this and her calcium levels have been normal. Any suggestions?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: storm & 4years old
JA: How old is storm?
Customer: 4
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about storm?
Customer: she does have an appetite for people food, but we are avoiding giving her too many treats so that she does not get diarrhea. Also she often will lick the metal tag on our other dog's collar (not sure if that's relevant). She acts normal, but is SO stubborn about eating!
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Richard Rawling replied 2 months ago.

Hi, i`m Richard, a Veterinarian from the UK. Hopefully I can help today.

Expert:  Richard Rawling replied 2 months ago.

How long has she been like this for? When she eats the fresh-pet, are her stools normal?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
this isn't the first time she's been picky about her food but she did well on the fresh pet for 1-2 years. its been maybe a month or two since she's been giving us a hard time. I had her rechecked at the vet to make sure her calcium is normal, and it is. The vet just told us she's being picky. Her stools are normal with the fresh pet. and the potatoes also keep her stools more formed, we've usually given her these for when she eats something other than the fresh pet or also for some extra calories.
Expert:  Richard Rawling replied 2 months ago.

OK, great. We need to be careful with these guys as we can end up with a very fussy dog who starts to control us!

You have absolutely done the right thing in trying to find a food that agrees with her. As you have found out, changing foods can result in the return of the diarrhea. It sounds as if you have found a food that agrees with her system in the fresh-pet and I would recommend sticking to this. Some dogs struggle to find anything that really helps diet wise so consider yourself lucky to have found something that works!

Changing diets frequently can lead to problems as dogs are very intelligent. They soon learn that if they become fussy and refuse a certain food, they will be offered something else. She has a genuine appetite as you are aware she would be happy to eat your food if given it!

I know its not what you want to hear, but we need to be firm in these situations. Dogs can go for several days without food and suffer no ill health, so try not to let her dictate what she eats, otherwise you will always be on the back foot.

i`m not suggesting you starve your dog. However dogs become picky grazers in the face of plenty. They are descended from hunters, not knowing where their next meal is coming from. They should eat when food is offered and not be picky. If they have too much luxury in life they can become picky.

I would recommend offering the fresh-pet regularly, 2 times a day. Leave the food down for 30 minutes. Any food she doesn`t eat after the 30 minutes, pick it up. If she doesn`t eat it she does not get anything else. This is you taking back control and re-training her eating habits. She is like a toddler that won`t eat her greens and asks for ice cream instead! This should get her thinking that food should be eaten when its available, no matter whether its her favorite or not. Eating your less favorite food and not having diarrhea is much better than having your favorite foods and being uncomfortable all the time.

She will still love you just as much, it is the hand that feeds that is adored, rather than what you feed her.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
ok thank you!
Expert:  Richard Rawling replied 2 months ago.

You are very welcome. Hopefully things are becoming a bit more stable for you guys very soon!

I hope you have found this advice useful and please don`t hesitate to ask if you have any further questions.
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Thankyou so much,