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Ever since I rescued my dog, he has had issues with food. He is world’s pickiest eater!

After finally finding him food that he actually tolerates, he still doesn't seem to eat enough. He is one year and weighs about 40 lbs. I feed him 100g of Taste of the Wild dry mixed with 100g of wet Taste of the Wild, twice a day. He barely eats breakfast. Am I over feeding him? Should I just feed him once a day? I know Border Collies aren't the most food obsessed dogs but he keeps this up, I'm afraid he'll start loosing weight! What amounts do people feed their dogs?

 

-Matt

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Border collies can be very picky eaters.

 

My girl is 16 kilograms (35 lbs), she gets Orijen kibble (three full hands, twice a day), or raw meat (complete fresh food, about 300 grams / 11 ounces a day). Every day she gets some kind of dried animal chew. With this diet, and a good amount of exercise, she stays on this weight.

 

How long ago did you rescue him? What did he get fed before? Have you tried feeding meat instead of kibble?

Do you take the bowl away after 10 minutes, or is food available all the time if he doesn't eat it?

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None of my border collies have been picky eaters. They love mealtime. Thetwo older dogs get about 2 cups of Fromm a day in winter. Less in summer. The young dog gets over 3 cups. He runs a lot and it is hard to keep weight on him.

 

They all get a lot of exercise every day.

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My youngest doesn't touch food until after she has been out and had a good walk or run. I feed my older male once per day though he gladly eats anything at anytime.

 

I am one who thinks picky eaters are made. Unless there is a health issue he sounds normal, given the info you have provided. Try feeding once per day or feeding in the morning after he has been out for some exercise.

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I don't know what he ate before. I imagine it was low grade kibble. In fact I think it was just left for him on the floor because he was very skeptical of a bowl for the first month.

 

I rescued him when he was 4 months old. He is now 13 months.

 

Every morning he goes out for a quick walk before eating. I feed him and let the bowl stay out for about 15/20 mins. During the day, he runs around a lot and usually has a dried animal chew toy plus treats for training. When dinner comes, He has the same routine, a quick walk, then fed, the bowl is out for about 15/20 mins. He usually finishes his dinner in a few minutes. We rarely feed him "human food".

 

I have thought about switching to a raw food diet. Once I mixed in a bit of liver but he didn't like it.

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I agree that picky eaters are usually created, not born.

 

If he's otherwise healthy (has he had a health check?) I wouldn't worry about it.

 

Adolescent border collies can be notoriously skinny to the average pet owner. My first guy was one who wasn't very food oriented. My (then) in-laws were always scolding me because he was so rangy. But he was healthy and the only way I could have gotten him to eat any more than he did (not that I was concerned) would have been to force feed him. He filled out a little as he matured, but he always remained a very slim dog. So much so that we almost lost him once to anesthesia back when vets were still using anesthetics that can't be used on sighthounds. The only reason he didn't die was that this vet always only injected enough anesthetic to keep the dog under (IOW he didn't inject the full volume based on weight) and would add a little more if the dogs started to stir. If he'd given the full dose we would've lost him for sure. As it was he didn't fully recover from the anesthesia for almost 3 days. To this day, even though most vets don't use that anesthesia regimen any more, I always insist that they have a bog note on my dogs' charts to use the sighthound protocol on my dogs in case I'd forget to remind them in an emergency.

 

So my opinion is if he's healthy, don't sweat it.

 

ETA: I'd also offer food only once or twice a day and pick it up after 15-20 minutes. I've never free fed (I've always had at least one dog who would over eat if given the opportunity) but have heard that this can sometimes lead to dogs appearing to be picky about their food.

 

Another thing is that the feeding recomendations dog food labels are often too much food. They're in the business of selling more food, not necessarily keeping dogs at a healthy weight.

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I have thought about switching to a raw food diet. Once I mixed in a bit of liver but he didn't like it.

 

Some dogs don't take to raw liver right away. I think it might be the texture.

 

I feed raw and had one who started out refusing liver. But it's an integral part of a raw diet, not optional. So I started out by searing it in a screamingly hot pan, at first till it was ever-so-slightly cooked. Cooled, she'd eat it that way. I'd gradually cook it less and less until it was just barely seared. Eventually she learned to love completely raw liver.

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Ever since I rescued my dog, he has had issues with food. He is world’s pickiest eater!

After finally finding him food that he actually tolerates, he still doesn't seem to eat enough. He is one year and weighs about 40 lbs. I feed him 100g of Taste of the Wild dry mixed with 100g of wet Taste of the Wild, twice a day. He barely eats breakfast. Am I over feeding him? Should I just feed him once a day? I know Border Collies aren't the most food obsessed dogs but he keeps this up, I'm afraid he'll start loosing weight! What amounts do people feed their dogs?

 

-Matt

 

 

What makes you think he's not eating enough? Is he thin? Is he genuinely skinny or just kind of a lanky teenager?

 

The measure of whether he's eating enough is whether or not he's under weight. If he's not losing weight, then he's fine. At 1 year old, my now-9-year-old border collie male didn't eat a whole lot, either. But he wasn't skinny and he was healthy as a horse, active and normal.

 

40 pounds can be a little light for a male dog, but how big is your boy? If he has a larger frame and he feels bony all over, that's one thing. But if he's a lighter framed dog, then 40 pounds may be just fine. My male is a solid guy who weights 48 pounds. My female is a long, lean 2 year old and she weighs 32. So weight alone is not an indicator.

 

Here's an easy test. Make your hand into a loose fist, then run your fingers across the backs of your first knuckles. Feel those ridges? If your boy's ribs feel like that, he's too thin.

Now lay your hand flat and loose on table, totally relaxed, and run your finger across the back of your first knuckles again. You can still feel the bumps of your knuckles but they are under a thin layer of flesh. That's more like what a healthy young border collie's ribs should feel like.

 

See if that helps. :) If you do find he's a bit thin, you can add canned food to his kibble as well, which is what I do for my guys, as well as adding fresh meats or even sardines to his meals.

 

BTW, my 48 pound male eats 2 cups a day, while my skinny 32 pound girl eats 3 cups a day because she loves to RUN. :P

 

~ Gloria

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Found with border collies a pickiness is often a food intolerance of some kind bothering their stomach. Took mine off of food with chicken in it and he stopped eating grass and itching more than normal. Now he eats like a horse, but if he gets chicken again, he goes off his feed for a few days. He refuses scrap too until his stomach calms down again. As long as no chicken in his diet, he'll eat anything.

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My older dog only likes to eat at night, he does not like eating breakfast so I only feed him once a day. He has always been a fussy eater, he won't eat some kibble, and I do mean would rather starve, if another dog is in the house and applies any pressure or perhaps just looks at him even from 20ft he just walks away from his food, with a toy he would never back down and is a dog that wins squabbles but he just doesn't care about food.

My 11 month old is very skinny, he eats plenty, I have offered him more but he doesn't eat it so I am not worrying it about. He is still growing and will be a big boy, but he is always going to be slender it is his build.

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my BC is also about 40-42 pounds. I think it is a very healthy weight, he is slim, but I cannot feel his ribs much. what Gloria suggested is a very good method to make sure he is not under-weight.

my dog runs with me quite a bit, and he gets about 1-1.5 cups of food twice a day, and treats during the day, but occasionally.

if you want try something different, you can try with dehydrated base mix and add meat to it. this is what I give to my dog.

I was not able to feed him dry food. he would not eat it or eat just a bit, and also not digest well, with a lot of belly issues. it would made him drink a lot. I had good results with Acana for a period, but I was still feeling that it was making him quite dehydrated.

since I changed his food, he now licks the bowl clean and keeps looking if there is more food around.

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IF your dog is genuinely not eating enough, there are ways to get him to ingest more calories, such as feeding him Satin Balls (a mixture of ground beef, cream cheese, eggs, peanut butter, and oatmeal). 40 pounds sounds pretty good for a border collie, though, unless he is 40 pounds of very skinny.

 

If it really is just being picky, I have a formula that has worked very well with a number of dogs. If the dog refuses a meal, that dog doesn't get fed again for 24 hours. Then, he gets offered 1/2 of the normal amount. Refuse that, and next mealtime the offer is 1/4 of what is normally fed. If the dog eats a meal and refuses the next, it is back to 24 hours without food and the cycle starts over. Each time, the food is left down for 5 to 10 minutes, then taken back up. Sometimes I have had to do this a few times but it cures a dog of being picky.

Offering different foods to a dog who refuses a meal creates a picky dog.

 

All this is assuming the dog has been checked by a vet and is healthy and is not refusing food for a medical reason, and what you are feeding is good quality. It is also assuming the dog is not elderly. My 15 year old gets coddled. If she doesn't eat a meal she gets special food offered to her, like the aforementioned Satin Balls, cooked chicken, hard boiled eggs, canned dog food, oatmeal with butter and milk, scrambled eggs, whatever she wants. She is skinny and elderly and while I don't want her to get pudgy (would only make her arthritis worse) I do want her to eat enough.

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What makes you think he's not eating enough? Is he thin? Is he genuinely skinny or just kind of a lanky teenager?

 

He isn't too skinny, in fact I think he is a healthy weight for a small framed Border Collie. He's about 23 inches tall weighing about 40 lbs. I think to most people he looks skinny only because he is at the adolesent stage. I guess my concern is, he hasn't put on any weight in months. About three months ago, he weighed an even 42 lbs. Now his exact weight is 39.6 lbs. He has always ate the same amount though, maybe a little less now than before but it seems burns more calories than he eats therefore he has slowly been loosing weight.

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If it really is just being picky, I have a formula that has worked very well with a number of dogs. If the dog refuses a meal, that dog doesn't get fed again for 24 hours. Then, he gets offered 1/2 of the normal amount. Refuse that, and next mealtime the offer is 1/4 of what is normally fed. If the dog eats a meal and refuses the next, it is back to 24 hours without food and the cycle starts over. Each time, the food is left down for 5 to 10 minutes, then taken back up. Sometimes I have had to do this a few times but it cures a dog of being picky.

Offering different foods to a dog who refuses a meal creates a picky dog.

 

I'll try this method out!

 

 

Does anyone have a easy raw food recipe? I'm thinking about changing. I know there are some important meats that dogs must have in their diet. Is there anything else?

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I would suggest joining some FB groups. One particularly good/welcoming one is "Raw Feeding (RF)".

There is also the yahoo group Rawfeeding where you can search through years of old conversations.

There are no recipes. Most people aim for 80% meat, 10% bone and 10% organs, over time (certainly not necessary for every meal). Most new people seem to way over feed bone, feed unsafe choking hazard pieces/teeth breaking pieces and don't feed enough variety or feed no organs because they can't find any.

 

I would spend a good amount of time reading Before starting. It can be as easy or as complicating as you make it. After years of feeding raw I find it to be no different than scooping kibble out. But it can take time to get there and understand what to feed your dog.

 

Yesterday my dogs ate a chicken quarter and liver. Today it is a pork heart for each. Tomorrow is probably venison scraps with some kidney. I keep a chest freezer full of meat and ice cube trays full of organs. I just randomly pick bags out of the freezer trying to aim for bone-in pieces every other day or so and pop out some organ pieces a few times per week. It all becomes routine after time and I can eyeball the weight without needing a scale.

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I've posted basics of raw feeding before. You should be able to find it if you do a search.

 

Waffles' 80%/10%/10% is the basics of the prey model diet, which is what I follow. I believe it should be written as 80%/10%/5%/5% though, as 1/2 of the organ component should be liver and the other half other non-meaty organs like kidney, pancreas and/or spleen. Things like heart are considered meat, not organ for feeding purposes.

 

The other important consideration is that you should offer a variety of meats in order to fill any nutritional gaps. E.g. don't just rely on chicken. And red meats are more species appropriate than fowl, so try to include as much red meat as possible.

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He isn't too skinny, in fact I think he is a healthy weight for a small framed Border Collie. He's about 23 inches tall weighing about 40 lbs. I think to most people he looks skinny only because he is at the adolesent stage. I guess my concern is, he hasn't put on any weight in months. About three months ago, he weighed an even 42 lbs. Now his exact weight is 39.6 lbs. He has always ate the same amount though, maybe a little less now than before but it seems burns more calories than he eats therefore he has slowly been loosing weight.

 

 

Well, I wouldn't worry too much about 2 and a half pounds, at that age, unless you see the weight loss continuing or escalating. Until he starts filling in a little more muscle as he matures, getting towards 2 years or so, he may just be kind of ribby. If you can add meats and tasty calories such as a quality canned food to his regular meals, that may encourage a little weight gain. Border collies can really be gangly things for the first couple years or so of life! :P

 

If you decide to feed raw, please do a lot of research and look for some online groups that you can learn from. It's important to get the right proportions of meats, organs, fat, bone etc. and you don't want to just start putting meat in front of him without educating yourself on that. A raw feeding group would also be able to answer any questions you have along the way. Also, you have to be pretty dedicated, I think - a friend of mine does it and she is regularly grinding meat and bones and filling her freezer. Her dogs eat better than most humans. :D

 

Best of luck!

 

~ Gloria

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a friend of mine [feeds raw] and she is regularly grinding meat and bones and filling her freezer. Her dogs eat better than most humans. :D

 

Unless there's some special consideration for her particular dog(s), it sounds like your friend is doing a lot of unnecessary work, IMO. There's no need to grind meat or bones for most dogs, and most dogs enjoy being able to chew larger edible meaty bones. It give their jaw muscles a good work out* and it satisfies their innate desire to chew. Some people believe that ground meat provides more surface area for unwanted bacteria to flourish on, so it might not be a healthy option either.

 

Filling a freezer is just an economical way to feed raw by purchasing in bulk, especially if, as it should be, you're trying to provide as much variety as possible. Personally I can't imagine feeding raw well for a couple medium sized dogs without having a freezer for them. The more dogs you have, the more important the freezer becomes. ;)

 

* Friends recently switched their older Shiba Inu to raw and found he was having trouble eating chicken bones. His jaw muscles were so underdeveloped from never having to use them in a lifetime of eating kibble that he just couldn't manage them. They had to start out only feeding the smaller rib bones that he could handle, then graduating to backs. In time his jaw muscles toned and now he can chomp through chicken leg bones just fine.

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I don't know that she grinds everything, but she does get large lots of whole chicken and she tends to grind those, bones and all. She feeds a wide variety of things and all I really know is that her dogs eat better than I do! ;)

I've never heard of a dog having under developed jaw muscles from eating kibble, though. :blink: My dogs for 30 years have always eaten kibble, but you give them anything hard and chewy, bones or whatever, they have no problems with it.

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If the dog is genuinely underweight, which I don't think yours is, talk to your Vet first to eliminate medical reasons. Abbie, my little girl, was only 18 lbs when I rescued her at 9 months. The Vet cleared her medically, and then recommended baby food mixed with her kibble to increase weight and get her eating. After a month of that, she gained to 30 lbs. Now, though still a picky eater of wet food, she readily eats kibble and some raw foods (my feeding method for decades), and occasionally steals canned food from my lab (who's a bit overweight, so though I work to stop this, it doesn't threaten). Abbie has maintained 30 lbs for 2 months now on her diet.

 

BTW, the lab gets canned food as she consistently refuses raw. I'm still working on that...

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I don't know that she grinds everything, but she does get large lots of whole chicken and she tends to grind those, bones and all.

 

Still, grinding chickens isn't necessary either, so just unnecessary work. I routinely cut whole chickens in half or quarters if it's a large bird (a whole one is too big a meal for my dogs) and just hand the half chicken to my dogs who eat it just fine as it is.

 

I think some people are still afraid of chicken bones because it's been drilled into them for so long that they're dangerous and could kill their dogs. And that's true . . . of cooked bones. Heat changes the molecular structure of the bones making them not only more brittle but also indigestible. Raw chicken bones are fully digestible and a dog's stomach acids blunt any sharp points quickly.

 

I'm not meaning to beat a dead horse about your friend's practice, but rather for information's sake for anyone else reading who may be thinking about feeding raw. One of the big arguments I hear against feeding raw is that it's too much work. Yes, it's definitely more work than opening a bag of kibble and dumping it into a bowl, but it really doesn't have to be nearly as much work as some people make it.

 

And yeah, my dogs eat better than I do, too . . . but that's kinda the point, isn't it? :)

 

About jaw muscles: It only stands to reason that when muscles aren't being used they aren't as strong as when they are. The Shiba's probably a fairly extreme example; most dog owners give their dogs things to chew. I don't recall ever seeing Ronin with any chew toys or other chewies -- even when he had one he didn't chew it. But I've seen other new-to-raw dogs give up on edible bones before they'd consumed them, but later on when their jaws were stronger chomp right through them. OTOH I've also seen some new-to-raw dogs chomp right through their bones, so maybe it's an individual thing.

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Still, grinding chickens isn't necessary either, so just unnecessary work. I routinely cut whole chickens in half or quarters if it's a large bird (a whole one is too big a meal for my dogs) and just hand the half chicken to my dogs who eat it just fine as it is.

 

I think some people are still afraid of chicken bones because it's been drilled into them for so long that they're dangerous and could kill their dogs. And that's true . . . of cooked bones. Heat changes the molecular structure of the bones making them not only more brittle but also indigestible. Raw chicken bones are fully digestible and a dog's stomach acids blunt any sharp points quickly.

 

I'm not meaning to beat a dead horse about your friend's practice, but rather for information's sake for anyone else reading who may be thinking about feeding raw. One of the big arguments I hear against feeding raw is that it's too much work. Yes, it's definitely more work than opening a bag of kibble and dumping it into a bowl, but it really doesn't have to be nearly as much work as some people make it.

 

And yeah, my dogs eat better than I do, too . . . but that's kinda the point, isn't it? :)

 

About jaw muscles: It only stands to reason that when muscles aren't being used they aren't as strong as when they are. The Shiba's probably a fairly extreme example; most dog owners give their dogs things to chew. I don't recall ever seeing Ronin with any chew toys or other chewies -- even when he had one he didn't chew it. But I've seen other new-to-raw dogs give up on edible bones before they'd consumed them, but later on when their jaws were stronger chomp right through them. OTOH I've also seen some new-to-raw dogs chomp right through their bones, so maybe it's an individual thing.

 

 

Thanks for the more detailed info about raw feeding! I suspect my friend just likes to do it that way, which is way more work than I'd want to do. ;)

 

I still find it interesting that dogs could have weak jaw muscles from eating kibble. But maybe it's if they had nothing to chew whatsoever? My guys all have hard chewies they work on from time to time, and all my dogs have made short work of raw bones when given them. So, yeah, maybe it's dogs who have nothing to chew at all. Like you say, an individual thing. :)

 

~ Gloria

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