Is it normal she's being picky?
March 23, 2009 2:11 AM   Subscribe

Why has our new dog stopped eating her dry food?

My partner and I (well, ok, me) adopted a new dog a few days ago... she's a 3 year old Staffy x Mini Foxy named Hope, sweetest little thing.
Her previous owner gave us all her current food that she's been eating and explained that she pours a little hot water over her dry biscuits and lets it sit for a few minutes to soften up before adding her meat, and that Hope is normally quite a little guts!

However she doesn't seem to be eating her dry food and is disinterested in it all together. I know because she's in a new environment she may just be a little nervous about eating, but she's eating up her meat with gusto, so I'm not too sure why she is turning up her nose at it. I've never had to soak dry food for any of my previous dogs so am I soaking it too much? Too little? Or am I just overanalyzing? She has regular meals times and is healthy and happy in every other way.

(FWIW her dry food is Optimum "Heathly Weight Management - with chicken, rice and vegetables". She's been eating it for most of her life, and is a little bit chubby)

This is probably a really duh-brain question, but thanks in advance!
posted by sunshine arakhan to Pets & Animals (8 answers total)
Are you just putting the meat on top? Maybe the previous owner mixed it in with the "dry" food. I know if we put meat on top of dry food our dogs would eat the meat and leave the dry food.

We also used to soak our dogs' dry food. Are you using boiled water from the kettle or hot water from the tap? We poured a little boiling water over the food and let it cool (not completely, just cool enough to eat). The food was moist but all the water was soaked up.

Our dogs also frequently went off foods that they'd previously enjoyed but given the timing it seems likely you're just doing it differently.
posted by missmagenta at 2:49 AM on March 23, 2009

I am dealing with a fat cat. I was told that he should not be on diet food for more than 3 months (alternate from regular food to diet one every 3 months or so). I don't know if this could apply to dogs? It is probably not the core of the problem you are facing though...
posted by Ahhhnouck at 4:39 AM on March 23, 2009

Our dog will stop eating her dry food for several days when she's in a new situation. Actually, we only feed her dry food, so this means she'd stop eating her food entirely, except that she'll never stop eating treats.

Seconding missmagenta's suggestion to mix the meat in with the food; otherwise I'd just wait a few days to let Hope settle in. She'll get hungry and calm and she'll start eating. :-)
posted by wyzewoman at 5:09 AM on March 23, 2009

Is she drinking? Maybe your water is different than her former owner's water? Your water might have a different smell and taste (when combined with her food) than she's used to. I think the only thing to do is give her more time. I suppose you could go get a couple of jugs of water from her previous owner, and gradually mix in your own water in greater and greater ratios, but that might be a last resort.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 6:19 AM on March 23, 2009

I agree to try mixing the wet and the dry, and maybe experimenting with making the dry food more or less mushy (although I also want to say to keep to a routine as much as possible - so can you call up her former owner and talk it over?).

This is going to sound crazy - but she could totally be testing you. My little one will try to scam more of the "good" food by ignoring her dry food when she's with someone she thinks might let her get away with it.
posted by KAS at 7:00 AM on March 23, 2009

I got my dog as a rescue and also got the food that she had been eating with her previous family. She turned her nose up at it too. She was sad and depressed, but after about a week or so she realized how much fun it was to live with me and she started eating again.

My dog also has a back problem and when her back is sore, she is not interested in her dry food. But she will eat rice cooked in chicken broth. So maybe Hope is just a little sad and nervous about her life change and while not interested in kibble, the meat still seems too good to pass up. Perhaps she just needs a week or so to start to get adjusted.
posted by sulaine at 9:33 AM on March 23, 2009

I am dealing with the same issue with my newly adopted pug mix. He's overweight, and is also on a diet food. I put about half a teaspoon of olive oil on top of the food, and he gobbles it down. I assume that this small amount of oil, twice a day is not going to add too many calories to his daily intake, and I will start making the amount smaller, until I stop completely. I also assume that he will eat when he is hungry, and try not to worry about it too much.
posted by lemonwheel at 9:54 AM on March 23, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for the great answers!
I'll try using boiling water instead of hot and also mixing it in with her meat... I gave this a bit of thought but I guess I just needed some verification from other dog owners that it would be a good idea :) As her old owner and I live in very different areas quite far apart, the water is most likely smelling/tasting different (though she is drinking which is good), not to mention she previously lived in a 4 dog household and regularly finished off their dinners as well. Thanks for the peace of mind! :)
posted by sunshine arakhan at 3:25 PM on March 23, 2009

« Older Used Wii Issues?   |   Real life experiences with Facebook apps, Amazon... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.