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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all, forgive me if theres already a thread similar to this but I feel my case is a bit different so I thought it only fitting to start a new one.

Anyways, my problem begins with my 6/7 year old extremely finicky chi. For all the years I've had her, finding foods to her liking has been especially challenging because there seems to be nothing she DOES like. Her diet started with hot dogs(this is what the breeder was feeding her and at the time I didn't think much of it and continued through her earlier years) and as she got older, she progressed into dry foods(that of which I don't remember the brand, probably Science Diet as we were worried about her lack of appetite and the vet recommended it). Now, as she's getting up there in years, I've tried every which way to stabilize my chi and get the nutrients much needed before she's older and has more health problems on top of it.

My baby also suffers from some sort of stomach problem, which I have had no luck in getting to the root of or even knowing what it is. When Coco does not eat, which started when I would go the tough love route and leave her food out and wait for her to come to on her own, she experiences a hard/tense belly with gurgling of built up gas which she is extremely afraid of and as a result, she paces and runs about, tail tucked between her legs, terrified. As you can imagine, this is very distressing for both her and I. This also makes it even more difficult to try to get her into a proper diet as I am forced to feed her or she will get sick.

Which brings me to my next point. In the last months or so, I have had her on Blue Buffalo dry food(at the time did not know of the health issues it was giving pets), and with no luck on that(she was eating in the middle of the night and not enough to hold her over, thus inducing her upset tummy), I decided to switch to a wet food, Caesar, in hopes I could hand feed her the paste and at least get something in her, that wasn't boiled chicken(which I feed in between the switch of the BB dry to Caesar wet and it just stuck for a bit). This turned into a sort of force feeding where I would tilt her head back and put a small ball of the past onto her tongue, mushed up even for her to swallow without problem as she does not like to chew a lot of foods. After being on that for about 2 or 3 weeks, I decided to do my research and discovered just how bad of a food Caesar(and a lot of drugstore brands actually) was. I promptly went on a rampage of discovering healthy well-made foods and decided on Merrick's wet food.

This is the phase I am currently at and I quite like the quality of the food. My dog is back to healthy stools(she had a few episodes of diarrhea while on Caesar) and she's only gotten her stomach ache once when I did not feed her her second helping.
My problem is this though. I don't like the idea of force feeding, which I also found out recently can cause aspiration pneumonia(which I fear of her having as she does have slight respiratory issues it seems as she sometimes coughs and has fits of choking) and tooth damage, and I found that she will happily eat the cat's dry food when she gets hungry at night. So it brings me to this. I am going to try to put her on Merrick's dry food and see if she will eat on her own and if she will eat enough to keep her stomach pains away.

I have 2 questions now. Does anyone have a case similar to this? I have been dealing with this a while now, and it brings a lot of stress onto me and I'd like to know I'm not alone and if someone can help. My second question being how would I work the transition of her wet food to dry? It's not like she's eating alone and will just gobble up random pieces mixed in with her wet food.

Anything will help at this point as I care so much for her and would go to the end of the world just to keep her happy. I've taken her to the vet as much as I can as my mum is going through a divorce and we don't have much money and I'm only 18 and trying to find a job.

Thank you so much for reading and for any advice you offer.

Amanda
 

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When I bought my 10 week old 1# puppy home, she wouldn't eat. Period. She would vomit bile. Vet said she had to eat 4x a day. HaHa. We decided to have her bowl on the table, as with other dogs, and me and my roommate with arthritis it made it easier. She was fed a high quality food, and we had to spoon it into her mouth. It took awhile before she started to eat by herself. I told her 'eat it' everytime I put the food down. Even now at 8 years she is fed on the table 70% of the time. She knows she is supposed to eat, 'cause I tell her, 'eat it' when I put it down. She may eat at 9 am, noon, 5 pm or later. We only offer it to her 4x a day. Waves her head around, sniffs it many times, finally eats. Hard to ignore the 'before eating' actions!! We have 3 other dogs, so the table is still used.

Try the dry food and leave it down at night, if need be. Do you have other dogs? They do better with compitition!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I praise her after every bite or lick, similar to your "eat it" concept. She's so easily frightened even in frustration I have to be patient and gentle voiced. I know on top of her pickyness, she's just being a brat as she turns her head and pratically scowls at the food. Anyways! No, I only have her. When with my dad, we had 3 other "big" dogs. So even then, eating with them would only bring trouble. I will try the dry food and see how she does. Even if I have to mix the wet in to transition. Thank you!
 

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Zarita will look around to make sure someone is 'watching' her! If we are, she'll put on an act, weaving her head back and forth, up and down, sniffing the food many times. If we do NOTwatch her, she usually eats!!! This I call her 'bratty' behavior. IF you think your pup is doing this, then put the food down, and leave her alone. Leave her alone with the food for 10 minutes; pick it up and offer it several hours later. I do this with Zarita when she gets bratty. Eat when you are supposed to, or it goes away for awhile. You can do this with a baby, just keep a eye on her, so she doesn't get low blood sugar!
 

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I just reread your original post. If your dog is having pain etc, when she doesn't eat, and gets a tense belly, I'd gently but firmly message her belly when she gets this way. Sounds like Zarita. My vet also prescribed 1/4 tablet of Pepcid. Make sure you get this pup to the vet. Zarita has GERD and brings up her food sometimes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey Susan, sorry for the late response ! I've tried the no "watching" thing with Coco, and it worked well omce ! i haven't had much sucess after but it's only been a day so, and she gets very easily distracted. I'm im the process as well of training her with words much like your "eat it", still heavy on the praising, and a new one, treat ! She's learning that eating gets her a walk outside after breakfast/lunch, and also some small human food treats(I know this could spoil her appetite but my mum and I fall victim to her begging face). I also think she may also have acid reflex as recently, she's been reguritating during and after eating. Do you think I should try the Pepcid out on her ? I'm at my limit with the vet unforunately. I've taken her already twice to discuss her diet and stomach problem and to no avail. Of course, if it worsens or something new comes up, I will find the money. Also, an update on the food ! There's hope :D Today I went out and purchased Wellness dry food, after seeing good feedback, and mix a few pieces in with the Merrick's. She gobbled up most of the wet food just to get to the dry pieces ! Things are looking good for the Wellness. I pray it doesn't turn out to be a flop. Thank you again !
 

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I'm not sure you should start pepcid (I get the generic) now or get the vet's advice. Zarita does NOT gag, or retch when she reguritates. It just comes up. Maybe you could call, since you've seen the vet for this problem. Ask if you could try a month or so. I give 1/4 of a tablet and Zarita is 6.#'s.

Glad she is trying Welllness and that it is agreeing with her. Some people think it is lower in qualilty than some of the 5 star foods, BUT if it is agreeing with her, then great.
 
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