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Rommie rescue eating issues

Discussion in 'Dog Health and Nutrition' started by Beth Kate, May 16, 2019.


  1. Beth Kate

    Beth Kate PetForums Newbie

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    Hi,
    We got our Romanian rescue Flora around mid January this year. She's a 5yld cross breed. For our first rescue she has been an absolute God send, we've had no massive issues with her from the day we got her, even with her incredibly nervous nature. Which we anticipated she would have, but all in all a very well behaved dog, who is a quick learner and adapts very quick.
    The only real issue we have found her to have is her eating. We have tried her on a variety of different foods, wet, dry, raw. Different brands. But for some reason she often refuses to eat her food. To the extent she has began to drop weight quite significantly. I study animal behaviour myself and I thought perhaps it was something to do with the fact our house has an open plan downstairs, and perhaps she feels exposed or vulnerable when eating in such a open space, anyone else had an issue like that? as its noted she does eat quickly when she does and she's constantly on alarm. But to this we have tried to feed her in our smaller bathroom with the door shut, this is where she loves to stay any other time but still then, the only place we have noted she will eat usually all the time is the bedroom, it's not an issue of feeding her in here, but we would much prefer her to learn to trust eating downstairs as we have to shut all doors when we go out as she isn't 100% toliet. She is also much alike with her water, which to me she drinks even less than she eats. I'm monitoring her for dehydration and watching her water intake but at this point it's becoming a worry for both me and my partner. Can anyone offer any insight or perhaps a solution.
     
  2. Sarah H

    Sarah H Grand Empress of the Universe

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    If she eats and drinks in your bedroom then I'd just build up her confidence (and weight) by letting her eating in there first. Once she is eating well then you can start trying in another quiet room. As a street dog she will probably eat anything so stick to what you feel she likes and eats best (and you are happy feeding) and add some water to it to help keep her hydrated.
    They can take a very long time to come round fully, so don't rush her and just go at her pace.
     
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  3. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    It does sound like an anxiety thing, I agree.

    Maybe in time she will learn she’s totally safe to eat in your home and 5 months isn’t that long for rescues in general but particularly one that has potentially had a very hard life previously.

    Will she take food from your hand? I know you don’t want to make a rod for your own back but if you’re concerned about her weight/hydration, maybe in the short term it’s worth doing?

    Jack only seems to drink in the evening and only a fairly small amount.

    If I want him to drink, I find putting a few splashes of milk in day a cupful of water usually encourages him to drink it all up.

    You could try making a meaty broth?

    Perhaps she might treat the whole food thing differently if it was put in a puzzle?
     
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  4. Beth Kate

    Beth Kate PetForums Newbie

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    Thankyou for your advice!
     
  5. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    I wonder if she has had to scavenge food in the past. It might be worth a try to leave little piles of dry food in various places around the house to see what she does when she finds them. Similarly, several bowls of water. I have absolutely no idea if this will help, I'm just trying to think the way she might be thinking - eat/drink whatever you can, when you can?
     
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  6. Mum2Heidi

    Mum2Heidi PetForums VIP

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    As mentioned, I would go at her pace until she gains confidence.

    Years ago I rescued a collie x from a local sanctuary. She was 2 and we were her third home. She had very minor confidence issues which resolved when we gained her trust.
    Eating was an issue for her. She wasn’t interested. My young son’s (and I) would use our cutlery, lie on the floor with her and pretend to eat her food, offering her some. She ate but it wasn’t her priority. She seemed so happy with the love and attention of and being part of a caring family, eating was way down on her list. It wasn’t long before she was eating properly and loving it.
    Another thought, perhaps offer her food and afterward pretend to eat some yourself or offer her food prior to eating your meals. It may boost her confidence to feel she comes first. (If she’s a sensitive soul).
    Just to add, Jenny was an amazing family dog and their wasn’t a day go by that we didn’t feel how happy she was to be with us. She made our family complete and was the little girl I never had.......
     
  7. Silverpaw

    Silverpaw PetForums Member

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    It sounds like Flora (and you) are doing brilliantly.As others have said,it sounds like a real anxiety around eating.Taken in the context of her previous life,where finding food was essential to her survival but might also draw the attention of other hungry dogs,it's not surprising.From my experience of our Rommie rescue,I would say be guided by her and go at her pace.It's a real journey with these dogs and their behaviour gives such a window into their previous experiences.Try not to worry about feeding or she'll pick up on that and add to her anxiety.
     
  8. Beth Kate

    Beth Kate PetForums Newbie

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    Thankyou everyone for the replies!
    We don't know much about Flora's past. We just know she was rescued from a public shelter with her mother, she was the only surviving pup which gives us indication her life wasn't that easy up until being placed in the rescue we got her from. We've tried many different approaches, for a while we stuck to hand feeding her just to ensure she ate something, she was really reluctant to try any human food when we got her. Now she will eat almost anything which shows she's gaining some confidence with food. We know at the rescue she shared a kennel with a few other dogs, maybe because of her submissive nature she was bullied out of her food or made to eat last which is why she is so nervous. I'll be definitely trying a few of your recommendations, but the most thing seems to just give her time and allow her to do things in her own pace. Which we have so far and it's worked wonders. She's incredible both on and off the lead, gentle, smart and learns quickly. She already knows a few tricks!
    Thankyou!
     
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  9. Beth Kate

    Beth Kate PetForums Newbie

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    I don't know if anyone followed this thread but I just wanted to give an update that in the previous days or weeks since I posted this she has come on leaps and bounds. Its almost like she knew we were at our wits end and she just knew that it would help both herself and us.
    She now sits in her bed every morning and every evening awaiting her food and finishes her bowl each time. We did find switching her food did help and she much preferred wet food in jelly, than gravy. My partner won't relent that it was him who saved her by making the switch to jelly she is still wary of her surroundings and will stop every now and again to survey around but it's not so bad she stops eating and rushes away. I hope anyone who finds this thread in the future looking for answers see that it just takes patience and experimenting with things!
    Much love! Beth Andrei and our little rommie Flora! X
     

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  10. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    Beautiful Flora.. she is absolutely gorgeous!
     
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  11. Jackie C

    Jackie C Cat slave

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    Only just read this thread, pleased to see her making progress, she's such a good girl. She's a bonnie thing. x
     
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  12. Silverpaw

    Silverpaw PetForums Member

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    So pleased to see this,well done to all of you.Flora's a lucky girl to have come to people who are willing to see the world from her perspective.In the right environment,these ex Rommie's thrive and are remarkable dog.Brilliant news.
     
  13. Heléna Weeks

    Heléna Weeks PetForums Newbie

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    Dear of her! I would agree it sounds anxiety related. We rescued our staff from the rspca a number of years ago now and she has suffered from separation anxiety ever since. She won’t eat a thing if we aren’t at home or if she knows we are getting ready to go out. She often won’t eat her breakfast on the mornings I have to go to work, I will leave it in the kitchen with her and it will still be there when I get home but she will happily tuck in once I’m back.

    Maybe putting your little rommie in the bathroom was making her think you were getting ready to go out? (if I understood that that’s where she stays when you are out of the house).

    Glad to hear she is eating well now though and sounds like she is really starting to settle in bless her!
     
    niamh123 likes this.
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