Breeding Hearty Eaters

Discussion in 'The Breeding Ground' started by Michiyo-Fir, Mar 17, 2011.

  1. Michiyo-Fir

    Michiyo-Fir New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2010
    Messages:
    2,494
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I know quite a lot of small(toy) dogs very well, at least 40-50 of them, one thing I've found is that many of them have very very poor appetites which concerns me.

    For example, a lot of Papillons are poor eaters. Nia is one. She'll often not eat for 2 days at a time even though she's doing better recently. When you put food down she just pushes it around and we've tried 10 min 2 meals a day, remove if not eaten and she'd just starve and starve and starve until she lost dangerous amounts of weight. She also refuses to eat 2 meals a day no matter how small the meals are and I've come to accept it. She's not fed 1 meal a day, left there until she decides to eat it/finish it. I don't leave piles of food lying around though, just enough for her one day's worth.

    Same with a few of my friends' Malteses. They just don't eat. You can entice them with other foods and stuff and they will eat a little but it's so difficult. They lose weight a lot and it's very inconvenient imo.

    I think if I were breeding, I would be looking for good examples of the breed but also with good eating habits. For example, if I need to put Nia on a 20 hr flight. Lets say the flight leaves in the afternoon, and she ate the night before. I'm supposed to feed a meal, poop the dog before boarding her for the trip but if she refuses to eat and they don't let you keep food in the carrier, she will be starving for almost 2 days without food.

    Same thing with if they need surgery or something. They tell you to feed at a certain time, if your dog doesn't eat, they'll just have to wait until post-op and after the period the vet says.

    I just find it a huge hassle, plus it's more dangerous to the dogs' health because of low blood sugar if they're going on a plane ride or surgery that complicates the task at hand.

    What do you guys think?
     
  2. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Messages:
    6,403
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Two dogs, three cats
    Location:
    Central Texas
    I completely agree. It drives me crazy to have a dog that doesn't care about food, and as you said, it's dangerous.
     
  3. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Messages:
    6,215
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Funny you should mention this -- a LOT of the Papillons I know are also terrible eaters...

    I've not dealt with this issue personally, thank heavens, but I can see how it could be anywhere from annoying to a real nightmare depending on severity and logistics...
     
  4. PWCorgi

    PWCorgi Priscilla Winifred Corgi

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    14,854
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    1
    Location:
    Twin Citay!
    I work at an upscale pet food supply outlet, and most of the people who come in have very small dogs. I cannot even tell you how many returns I do in a day for dogs that simply will not eat anything. Or they eat it for a few weeks than want something else.

    We should (crossing fingers here!) be getting a baked food in soon that smells REALLY good, and I am hoping that a lot of our problem dog customers will do well on it. Other than that a lot of them have gotten stuck on Bil-Jac, bleck.
     
  5. darkchild16

    darkchild16 We are Home.

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2004
    Messages:
    21,880
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    3
    Location:
    Tallahassee Florida
    Moms Havanese is that way. She will literally have to get down on the floor and hand feed her some days because she refused to eat for so long.
     
  6. Michiyo-Fir

    Michiyo-Fir New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2010
    Messages:
    2,494
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I remember that Laurelin said that some of the lines produce Paps that appear to eat quite well and that one of Mia's parents eats well and she does too. That's what made me bring it up.

    Picky eating habits is so big in the Pap breed and I'm wondering if it could be counted as a very mild health issue.

    Nia has not had any problems starving and becoming hypoglycemic or anything like that but she has lost a lb in a week from not eating. Her total body weight is only 6.5 lbs so for her 1 lb is a lot. I think it's a real concern for me especially since Nia didn't eat well before she was about to get spayed. The vet almost refused her spay after waiting for more than a month for a spot because she was so thin.

    Exercise really helps her eat. When she gets 2 hrs of running or so a day, she has a pretty good appetite most of the time but just getting a dog to eat shouldn't be this hard.

    I don't mind a non-food motivated dog but if a dog is starving itself and losing weight quite a lot then I find that to be a problem.
     
  7. Michiyo-Fir

    Michiyo-Fir New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2010
    Messages:
    2,494
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hmm I don't honestly know if it will help. I know for a fact that Nia doesn't eat any food on time, the moment I put it down for long. I've tried like everything. At least 6 brands of kibble. Freeze dried, raw, cooked, just chicken, air dried, canned and everything else you can think of.

    In the end, I just make her eat whatever I choose and I don't really worry or fret about her not eating on time anymore. I just put it down when it's dinner time and she can eat it whenever or not eat if she doesn't want to.

    But I'm just thinking about how a lot of dogs lose weight during old age and eat less, etc. For a dog that already doesn't eat, having some kind of small illness and not eating or maybe from age could kill her.
     
  8. JustaLilBitaLuck

    JustaLilBitaLuck New Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Messages:
    1,945
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    1 Cat, 2 Dogs, 2 Parakeets
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I don't know what I'd do with a picky dog. Jack is choosy about his food, but not to that extent. He just refuses to eat hard biscuit-type treats, and he won't eat kibble plain.

    Which brand?

    Have you tried a dehydrated food, like The Honest Kitchen or Sojos? I've found that this works really well for some pickier dogs at work.
     
  9. Michiyo-Fir

    Michiyo-Fir New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2010
    Messages:
    2,494
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Yup I've tried dehydrated, she doesn't like it. For her, I honestly don't think it's about brand or what food she's getting. It's been the same with every single product.

    I literally mean I gave her chicken (raw) continuously for 3 days. She ate it for the first 2 days and refused to eat it for 48 hrs. Chicken. LOL. I don't really worry much about it anymore. She does fine on high quality kibble and I can leave it for her to finish later if she didn't eat whereas I can't with dehydrated raw, or raw.
     
  10. PWCorgi

    PWCorgi Priscilla Winifred Corgi

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    14,854
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    1
    Location:
    Twin Citay!
    Lotus.

    I am really hoping that they decide we can carry it, it looks really good. Plus, they are offering an employee feeder program :p
    I know our store manager and a few other managers have been sending emails to corporate in support. RFG is going to start stocking it. I have some samples and Frodo thinks they are doggy crack, lol.
     
  11. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    Messages:
    6,405
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Believe it or not, Maisy is like this. Drives me nuts, and no one really quite understands how frustrating it is unless they have a dog like this, too. Especially up here in the land of labradors. So yea, if it's something that can be bred for I'm all for it!

    A couple of times she's gotten too thin for my comfort skipping meals, I gave up and started mixing canned food in with her dry long ago. She still skips a couple of meals a week, but I seem to have found a dry she likes better and her weight has been pretty stable for a while now. Silly girl.
     
  12. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Messages:
    6,403
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Two dogs, three cats
    Location:
    Central Texas
    This is exactly what I was thinking. Especially in dogs that starve themselves to the point of dangerous health problems, I tend to wonder if there are other health problems that are just much harder to identify....
     
  13. Kat09Tails

    Kat09Tails *Now with Snark*

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    3,452
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    6 + finches
    Location:
    Upper Left hand corner, USA
    Well some are easier keepers than others that's for sure. My girls eat anything, my boys tend to be the picky ones. I like to think I've gotten a little better about getting them to eat as well with less stress on all of us. Honestly now I just put down the dishes for most of them and walk away.

    Things got better when I went to raw, when I calmed down about letting them eat at their own pace, and when I made it a bit more of a social activity for them.
     
  14. Michiyo-Fir

    Michiyo-Fir New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2010
    Messages:
    2,494
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    In our house, things were the absolute worst with raw. Starting raw, you're supposed to use the same protein for a while so we chose chicken like most people. After 3 days of eating chicken, she just absolutely refused to eat it again. 48 hrs, she ate one meal of chicken (actually half a meal's worth because I fed 2 times a day) went another 36 hrs and ate another half a meal's worth. So during that time in a total of 3.5 to 4 days she only ate one actual day's worth of food.

    In the end I just went back to kibble because I can't leave raw meat lying there for her to eat whenever she wants.
     
  15. UniquityBelgians

    UniquityBelgians New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Messages:
    164
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Belgians are known to be anorexic at times. I've just learned to embrace it (hey, it's easier on the budget). ;) No, but seriously -- I have gotten the odd young dog that just never wants to eat. Visa was terrible for this, for her first 5 years of age she was 32 lbs, which is 16 lbs underweight for her. After I bred her she suddenly started to eat and keeps weight on easily now. Of all of her pups, only one was the same way. But even when they eat regularily, my dogs have such a high metabolism, they are still on the lean side, which I'm definatly ok with. They say that underweight dogs live a great deal longer than normal or overweight dogs. They are alot less likely to get cancer too. So if my dogs want to be skinny, I'll let them. The only time I'll bribe them and try to fatten them up is when they're entered in a show. Otherwise they can be as anorexic as they want to be. I guess with my dogs, they have so much coat that people can't really tell when they're thin. I'd get some pretty nasty looks when people would feel Visa and Solo (her RB son) when they were skinny -- and at that time, I worked SO hard to put weight on them, tried to find the highest fat/calorie foods and treats. People thought I was starving them. I don't have that problem anymore, but even if I did, I really don't care what people think anymore. If my dogs are light eaters, they're light eaters.
     
  16. Michiyo-Fir

    Michiyo-Fir New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2010
    Messages:
    2,494
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The problem is sometimes it's a health issue.

    I think I remember puppydog's Riley collapsing from not eating for so long. I've heard of a lot of people's small dogs becoming hypoglycemia from lack of food or just plain old refusing.

    I don't bribe Nia to eat these days either. She can eat when she wants and I know she won't starve to death but sometimes it's hard to see her being so hungry (stomach growling) and looking so thin but still refusing her food. Unless she hasn't eaten for more than 48 hrs, I let her eat at her own pace and she's pretty much fine with it.
     
  17. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    Messages:
    6,405
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I just can't have an underweight, short-haired dog here in the winter. She'd freeze her hiney off just going out to pee.
     
  18. Xandra

    Xandra Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Messages:
    3,806
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    I think general robustness should be a breeding criterion. Dogs should eat well, have a good immune system and natural birthing is a huge plus...
     
  19. Kat09Tails

    Kat09Tails *Now with Snark*

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    3,452
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    6 + finches
    Location:
    Upper Left hand corner, USA
    I'll remember that when I'm selecting (if I'm lucky) my next breeding dog at 8 weeks old from a litter of 3. :rolleyes:

    In all seriousness I select the best I can from what I'm offered, turn those down most of the time, and wait.... wait... negotiate ... wait... wait... wait some more. I raise the dog, rub a little prayer stone that their bite comes in correctly as an adult, pray again that ofa and cerf tests come back ok, wait for the dog to grow up to see what they really look like and if they meet my standards for a papillon, wait until 2 years old and then try to find a match to compliment my dog where the stud's owner doesn't have a crazy contract.

    While I would love to be as picky as must eat like a lab frankly it's hard enough to get a dog that looks balanced as an adult, has a decent temperament, and is meeting written standard as well as my standard without selling a kidney to not have to co own the dog with four other people.
     
  20. Michiyo-Fir

    Michiyo-Fir New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2010
    Messages:
    2,494
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I don't agree.

    I think eating well should be part of being healthy just like OFA tests and CERF tests. Would you breed a dog that came back OFA borderline for hips just because you couldn't tell at 8 weeks old and waited and waited and waited to see if they had a correct temperament, bite, coat, head, etc. etc?

    Waiting a long time is not an excuse for neglecting certain other qualities. Again, I'm not saying that you are neglecting health but it's just my personal opinion that dogs with really really poor appetites that have to be enticed to eat all the time or else loses a lot of weight shouldn't be bred if that means it could be passed down to the puppies.

    I'm just saying if I were breeding, I wouldn't breed a dog that has an especially poor appetite like Nia. She wouldn't qualify in my own standards even if she turned out great in every other aspect. I would properly breed a dog that at least has a moderate appetite.

    Of course, I'm not a breeder and finding quality dogs may be much harder than I know from watching shows and talking with breeders but I have my own opinions on the matter. My opinions may change if and when I actually get into breeding my own dogs (I don't think I will) but for now, they are set on eating at least moderately well as a criteria for myself.

    Edit: I remember some people were talking about their Chi breeders valuing natural whelping. That is an important factor to me as well and I love that they take that into account. Just because a dog turns out perfectly but has difficulties giving birth doesn't mean they should continue to be bred and pass it on to their offspring.
     

Share This Page