dog scared to eat

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by suewhite, Jan 17, 2010.


  1. suewhite

    suewhite PetForums VIP

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    Anyone got any ideas on how to get a dog to eat she is a foster dog and she will not eat although she seems to want the food on the plate she walks round the plate and tries to get food but shakes as if she is really scared,she then sits down in front of the food staring at it,she will sit for an hour looking at the food until I take it away dont know whether I should leave it down but scared one of the other dogs will pinch it,I know she has had a very bad life of abuse but just want her to eat,she is ok health wise loves walks been checked by vet,any ideas at my wits end,this is not just food plate but also water bowl :eek:hmy:
     
  2. simplysardonic

    simplysardonic Look! Look at all the f***s I don't give!

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    Poor girl:(
    Will she take food if you try feeding her by hand? At least if you do this it will be a start to build up her confidence
     
  3. Johnderondon

    Johnderondon PetForums VIP

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    Some things to try...


    Try handfeeding.

    Change the plate for a bowl.

    Remove the plate and put the food on the floor.

    Leave her alone with the food.

    Change feeding/watering location.

    Multiple water bowls.

    Good luck. Lets us know how it tuns out.
     
  4. suewhite

    suewhite PetForums VIP

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    She is fine if you put the food straight on the floor she will eat it also if you tip the water on the ground she will drink,I"ve been through every plate and bowl but no luck,if you speak to her softley she will hand feed but flinches all the time,it would have helped if I knew what had happened to her,but she will be rehomed so really want to try and sort this out in all other ways she can be quite a bossy dog:confused:
     
  5. RachyBobs

    RachyBobs PetForums VIP

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    My collie is a nervous wreck with everything. The things we relised triggered it were

    Her collar tags touching the bowl, we took the tags away and put them back on after her meal. Also she used to avoid the bowl by walking around it so to combat the fear we put a piece of steak fat in the bowl and she couldnt resist and had to go near it to get the fat, she used to run to it and then run away but after so many times, she eventully relised that the bowl wont hurt her.

    As he is a foster you dont know his background he may of had a awful experience with his food bowl..

    This is also a good method

    Put the bowl near him.
    Feed him 2 small treats
    Take the bowl away
    Give him no treats.

    Keep repeating this until he gets the idea.

    Also try feeding him from a plastic bowl instead of a plate the noise of the kibble may worry him x
     
  6. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife PetForums VIP

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    i would feed her in a crate -
    she needs to learn to eat from a bowl at some point, and now is as good a time as any! ;) no adopter will want to throw dog-food on the floor, and that is neither sanitary nor safe for the dog, given what we use to clean floors, what we walk in + bring home, etc.

    give her 30-mins of peace to attempt eating each meal, UN-interrupted; as there are other dogs, do not let them bug her in her crate. just give her time; she should be eating a normal portion for her size in approx 5 to 7 days time, and she will not starve in that time.
    re water, i would make it available all the time; if she is crated at night, hang a puppy-sized bunny bottle on her crate, and MARK the water-level before she *goes to bed* with masking-tape, so that U know what she drank.

    learn how to estimate her hydration-level by picking-up a hump of skin over her shoulders, and count the number of seconds before it is invisible + flattens out, merging with the body smoothly.
    if she is well-hydrated, her skin will be well-lubricated under the dermis + very flexible; it will snap down + leave no fold whatever. the more dehydrated she is, the LONGER the skin stays folded, and the HIGHER that fold remains, as the opposed subdermal surfaces glue to one-another.

    with the other dogs modeling how to drink + eat from bowls, she should get past this pretty quickly. if at any time U are worried about her hydration, sub-dermal hydration by creating a pouch of water under her skin, will keep her hydrated for several days, while she learns to drink from a bowl. the vet can do this, and show U how to do it at home, if need be.
    cheers,
    --- terry
     
  7. rona

    rona Guest

    Have you tried all possible commands to release her to eat. There may be just one word that she associates with being allowed to eat.
     
  8. suewhite

    suewhite PetForums VIP

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    Thanks for that as this dog is a collie,my own dogs are collies and I know they can get weird ideas at times but never with food they are so greedy:D
     
  9. Johnderondon

    Johnderondon PetForums VIP

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    If she handfeeds then I would go that way until her confidence is better. If you handfeed by taking food from the bowl you should be able, over time, be able to coax her closer and closer until she's taking from your hand in the bowl.

    How long have to had her with you? Will she drink overnight?
     
  10. suewhite

    suewhite PetForums VIP

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    Hi Rona yes have tried she just seems scared as if she is doing wrong,OH now sits on floor with her and encourages her but as she will be moving on (I think!!OH getting very attached to her)would like to sort this out as dont want her returned she"s been through enough:)
     
  11. suewhite

    suewhite PetForums VIP

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    thanks lovely lot of advise,I have had her about 4 weeks,no she does"nt drink at night she sleeps by the side of the bed and never moves really feel for her
     
  12. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife PetForums VIP

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    good grief! :confused:
    U have had her for a MONTH?! i thought she just arrived a day or 2 ago.

    she has not starved nor died of thirst in 4-weeks; :rolleyes: i would stop handfeeding, and crate her for meals in a quiet area. monitor her consumption AND watch her hydration-level with a skin-test, also her urine output.
    cheers,
    ---- terry
     
  13. suewhite

    suewhite PetForums VIP

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    Hi Terry All the dogs I take come with problems caused by humans she came with rather more than most which I have worked through with her,she is 12 years old and has had a life of abuse,last night my OH sat and fed her by hand and she finally took some food from her bowl:)she has"nt starved as we have been feeding her while she was out on her walks and she will drink from an outside running tap.It can take me months to get some dogs ready for there new homes some dont make it hence I have 6 that will be with me for the rest of there lives,I suppose I do come across as a bit of a dog nutter but have fostered over 78 dogs,72 have gone on to new homes,thanks for advise as I certainly dont know all there is to know about how dogs minds work:wink:Sue
     
    Michelle.... likes this.
  14. cavmad

    cavmad PetForums VIP

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    Puppy farm bitches often only eat off the floor as thats what they're used to usually just get food chucked in.The ones i've had i tend to let them feed off the floor until they are confident and dont make an issue about it. As i have cavs that are greedy and have other dogs as well they soon learn. I put really interesting treats in the bowl cheese or meat and feed them out of the bowl until they realise that the bowl means treats then try and get her to eat the treat out of the bowl it takes time but they do learn.
     
  15. GillyR

    GillyR PetForums VIP

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    Poor baby - god, makes my blood boil !! what have they done to her :mad:
    Really hate humans at times :mad:

    Cant add anymore, if it were me, i personally would hand feed to start.
     
  16. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife PetForums VIP

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    hey, sue! :--)

    i am sorry to have made U feel badly, i was not trying to be critical, i was just astonished - and blunt, ;) which is ever my failing. when i am truly surprised, i tend to blurt my first reaction... which as U have seen, is not always diplomatic or well-phrased. :blush:
    i am sure she came loaded with issues, and has made progress in other areas - but after a month of either eating off the floor, eating as a scavenging activity (fed by U) during walks, or hand-feeding, it is time to move the goal-posts a bit! :D

    she cannot (or should not, IMO) eat off the floor or from someones hand for the rest of her life - so feeding OUT of a bowl by hand, BESIDE that bowl, and transitioning to having her eat directly from the bowl, is fine.
    tidbits in the bowl, adding food from ones hand to the bowl, etc; anything to get her to explore it, or eat from it.

    fears can be tremendous blocks to change - in us as much as any animal.
    but until we begin to change the way we deal with those fears, whether in ourselves or others, no other change is possible. catering to her long-term will not help her to change, it just maintains the former behavior. i hope i explained that halfway clearly, :lol: i have not had my coffee yet, and the neighbors dogs raised a row at 2-am that went on for hours (literally - father and son Saints, and an AmBull-X-hound who is over 70# - thats about 300# of dogs barking... - Oy :rolleyes:).

    anyway, do not take it as criticizing Ur motives, nor undercutting Ur achievements - no one can take away Ur successes, U should be pleased and proud of them! good on U for every one, and brag about it, too! :thumbup1:
    i am happy to hear that she is starting to think bowls do not eat dogs, :lol: that is step One, keep it up! ;)
    all my best,
    --- terry
     
  17. suewhite

    suewhite PetForums VIP

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    Hi Terry No offence taken I am happy to take on board any advise which could help.Hope you have a better nights sleep.Cheers Sue
     
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