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Discussion Starter #1
How do you tell? Since Zoey has been back on 'real' meat instead of grinds she's been only eating pretty much once a day, refuses dinner, then by the time breakfast comes around she's so hungry she forces herself to eat it & snarfs like it's going out of style. I cut her chunks up to about the size of a pea maybe slightly bigger so it's not the size. She will lick the food, then start at me like "This is it? What else are you going to give me?" So I leave it out for about 15 minutes, and she just stands there and stares at me licking it ocassionally. She does this with any meats, pork, beef, chicken, mice. So how do I tell if she's genuinely not hungry, or if she's just being a fussy butt about eating? Is it okay to just offer her food like this? If she doesn't eat after 15 min put up until next meal time? She's driving me bonkers. I HATE fussy eaters, always have. So do you think I should just offer to feed her in the mornings? Granted she will eat treats if I offer them (which I haven't been as I don't want her to think if she doesn't eat dinner she can eat treats instead).
 

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I would be baffled too b'c of her throat trouble she seems to have so often...part of me says she's just being stubborn. I also wonder if maybe she's just getting too much food? Maybe bring her to work and have them check her throat if it looks good, you can know shes being a pill ;)
 

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I have found some dogs, after experiencing discomfort, are wary about that part of their body hurting them again. Like, for instance, a dog who has hip or knee issues will take significantly longer to begin to fully use that limb after reconstructive surgery than the healing process requires. They're really leery of using a part of their body that has caused pain for so long, until they gradually realize that using it won't cause pain any longer.

Perhaps, if Zoey has been having sore throat issues off and on for a while, she's become protective of her throat and leery of the types of foods that hurt going down when her throat hurts?

One of my dogs, Phoebe, went through a phase where she didn't want to eat bone at all. She'd strip all the meat off a drumstick and leave the bone behind, and if she couldn't easily strip the meat off the bone, she'd forgo the meal. She's also got one of the worst mouths (and consequently the fewest teeth) of all my guys, so I thought maybe her mouth (or lack of teeth) was giving her trouble. We switched to bone-in grinds, which she ate happily for about a month. Then, one day, I was holding a chicken neck out to one of the other dogs, and she snatched it up and crunched it down, bones and all. Since then, I've been able to bring her back to eating bone-in chunks of meat and normal hunks... no more grinds. I don't know what made her stop eating hunks of meat nor what made her start again, but I suspect it had to do with mouth discomfort that she ultimately realized was no longer real.
 

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Smith that makes a lot of sense to me! I bet her throat is either still sensitive, or shes just being overly cautious as Smith suggested since shes had so much discomfort recently.
It might also be worth a try to put her in a pen or crate or whatever with her dinner, leave, and come back after the 15 minutes or however long youre giving her to eat. Maybe without realizing it, your anxiety about her eating is transferring to her and making her feel stressed about meal time. Poor Zoey. It can be so hard to know when they need tough love and when theyre trying to tell you somethings wrong.
 

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I agree with Katy, her throat still could be sore, but then again maybe she just wants the food she was given when she was sick?
 

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I agree with the others. I think she's been coddled for so long that now that her food is presented - she's like, hmmmmm...... ;) That's OK! I would have coddled her too!! But I don't like picky eaters either after having dealt with Brody's picky eating for MONTHS.

Now I don't stress. Brody fasts himself from a meal about twice a week on average. He will just give a sniff and then walk away. I leave it down for about 15 minutes then pull it and throw it in a baggy for the next time. He's 5 pounds and has never had blood sugar issues so I don't worry about it.

If I REALLY want him to eat, I add a teaspoon of tripe to his food and he will eat it. Like if we are leaving on a trip or something, or I'm going to be gone several hours. Otherwise, I just let him decide. Not sure if you could do that with Zoey because of her medical history or not.
 

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It might also be worth a try to put her in a pen or crate or whatever with her dinner, leave, and come back after the 15 minutes or however long youre giving her to eat.
This is a really good idea. If there is an element of 'performance art' in Zoey's refusal to eat, if you're not in the room, there's nobody to play up to or offer plaintive 'I don't want this' food licks or sad eyes. If left alone, maybe she'll just get on with it?

Worth a try, at least...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
OMG, someone is SUCH the drama queen.....so she didn't eat friday night, saturday morning or last night, but this morning wouldn't eat either, so hadn't eaten for almost 36 hours, I tried leaving the room for 20 minutes and she still didn't eat, so I put her in a small crate on top of the freezer, as she'd lick her food then see if I was watching her then ignore it....it worked she gobbled it all up and it was a boney meal....then tonight I put her food in her large crate she smelled it then licked it then turned away, so I put her in the smaller crate again so the door wasn't facing me and she gobbled it up. What a pill she's being....so dramatic! Won't eat in her large crate if mom is in the same room even if she's not watching, Are your chi's this dramatic?
 

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Lyra's not super dramatic, but Phoebe, one of my Italian Greyhounds should win a friggin' emmy. When she's upset or irritated about something, she doesn't bark. She screams.
 
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