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Hand feeding a senior dog

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Danita

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I have to hand feed our 14 year old GSD now. He has become so fussy, the last couple of days I have been sitting on the ground with him and feed him out of my hand. He won't eat any other way :confused:

Has anyone else had to do this with their dog?
 

birdlover82

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I had to do that with a cat. It was a very sad day when she decided she wasn't going to eat anymore.
 

KimKimWilliamson

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Typically, we tell people "If a dog is hungry, it will eat when its ready" and ask that they not adjust thier feeding habits until the animal has not eaten on thier own for three days. This is because a dog can be accustomed to your "pampering" or "spoiling" or gentle encouragement, making unhealthy eating habits a regular thing for the future.

But with elderly pocches, it can be risky. I suggest feeding him soft/wet food, warmed slightly in the microwave if you can. Or adding H2O to the kibble, and warming it. Can make it more palatable!

With cats, its super BAD when they dont eat anything at all for three days or more as they actually begin to experience kidney failure as a result. We always put in a feeding tube on a kitty who wont eat. Cats are alot more finicky than a dog though, LOL
 

Kathy

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We have to do this with our little chihuahua most of the time but she's not old. She's just so spoiled and sometimes refuses to eat otherwise.
It is sad when it happens with older dogs. :hug8:
 

Danita

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He isn't eating because he is dying, it's because he is fussy! If he doesn't eat, I feel like I am starving too, I can't relax.
To get him to take his pills now, we wrap them in cheese, take him outside and throw it on the ground, he thinks it is sidewalk scraps and eats it!
Kim, he gets, warm foods, homemade foods, junky dog food, good dog food, everything, just to get him to eat!
He has always been fussy
 

KimKimWilliamson

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Aww yeah, they can get like that sometimes, little buggers. Having a fussy pet must be torture! Like you, Id never relax. Luckily, that isnt an issue as of yet....~crosses fingers~
 

Thugluvgrl187

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Yes, towards the end my Dad had to feed our dog by hand until she no longer wanted to eat that way either. I say if that is the way that he will eat then go for it.
 

BraveheartDogs

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I have to hand feed our 14 year old GSD now. He has become so fussy, the last couple of days I have been sitting on the ground with him and feed him out of my hand. He won't eat any other way :confused:

Has anyone else had to do this with their dog?

Yes, I have had to do it, not so much for seniors but for rescues and for sick or recovering dogs. I usually use canned food or homemade food to do this. What are you feeding or have you made that decision. You can use canned food or ground hamburger to make little meatballs. You can also freeze them and just pull out and microwave what you need.
 

Kathy

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He isn't eating because he is dying, it's because he is fussy! If he doesn't eat, I feel like I am starving too, I can't relax.
To get him to take his pills now, we wrap them in cheese, take him outside and throw it on the ground, he thinks it is sidewalk scraps and eats it!
Kim, he gets, warm foods, homemade foods, junky dog food, good dog food, everything, just to get him to eat!
He has always been fussy
Whew! That's a relief! I'm glad he's just spoiled.:)
 

crystaljam

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Gideon was like this until he was 6 months old. It started out with us pretending to eat with him the first few days he was with us (in order to discourage food aggressiveness at a later age), and well...yeah.

We would sit with him for breakfast & dinner on the ground feeding him small handfuls of kibble until it was done.

Eventually the spoiled one started eating without our encouragement.

Now Mr. Finicky tends not to eat his food without some sort of allurement - the other day I put a small spoonful of rice on top, and he started eating; the other day it was ONE Itty Bitty Person treat mixed in, and he started eating. What a weirdo.

Fynn, on the other hand, due to his lack of food his first 14 weeks of life (sad start to life, and thankful rescuers found his litter in a kennel in a dark basement via the breeder having dementia & realizing the pups needed to go to the vet! They literally flew him from Calgary to Ottawa to be with us via our super rescue co-ordinator) eats his 2 cups in less than 1 minute. Then sits and waits impatiently for Gideon to finish. He's never ending hungry. And KNOWS 5:30am & 6pm are feeing times - he starts flipping his bowl, and we know what time it is.

Yay weirdo eaters!
 

suncoast

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Your a wonderful person Danita.

Ginger
 

rocabird

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I did it with my 15 year old dog, Geo. He had Canine Cognitive Dysfunction and started having problems with swallowing so that's when I began hand-feeding him anything he would eat.

Older dogs can loose some of their sense of smell. This makes food taste different (like when we have a cold) and can affect their appetite. Strong smelling foods might help.

Cats were mentioned. I've never heard of cats developing kidney issues due to lack of eating, but hepatic lipidosis is a life threatening concern especially with overweight cats. Their bodies try to metabolize their fat reserves, but the liver isn't able to handle it. My cat, Woody, has liver problems and we thought it was hepatic lipid at first. Fortunately, it has turned out to be a more chronic problem.


Good luck! The older ones are so special.
 

birdlady

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Luckily now that we treated Coco's coccidia, she has a great appetite and has gained back a lot of weight:). But at her age if she wanted to be hand fed, I would do it in a heart beat.
 

saroj12

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I spoon fed Misty my cat as a finicky baby for two years! Otherwise she wouldn't eat. I left her for a week at the vet's and they had to tubefeed her!:eek:
 

Danita

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Tube feed? Yikes!!!
We are going away, I hope my daughter will hand feed him for a week LOL

Now I am starting to wonder if he doesn't have an appetite? He scrounges for food all the time, so if he didn't have an appetite, he wouldn't do that.

My boss says I am in denial :(

Well, we first were feeding him his favorite expensive dry food mixed with hamburger stew we make for him.
Nope, stopped eating that.
Then we started adding cheese.
Then he stopped eating that.
We ran to the store one night and bought Purina 1, he loved that :heart: plain!
Stopped eating that.
Then we tried the Beneful, he loved that.
Stopped eating that lol
Then we added hamburger stew to that again, loved it.
Stopped eating that!!!
Added cheese, loved it
again, stopped eating it.
Now we are on plain Beneful kibble out of my hand.
Loves it.
The cheaper the food, the better he likes it.
 

crystaljam

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The cheaper food is kind of like....a hamburger or poutine (for us Canadians, eh!) - You don't care that it's not that salad, chicken breast, and broccoli dinner, but it tastes so good and fills you up anyhow!

Oh god it's been over a decade since I went to school for my veterinary assistant diploma, but from what I can recall about nutrition class, they basically spray the food with yummy fat or other tasty coating to encourage your dog to love eating it.

But as long as it's supplemented with veggies and stuff and nice walks daily, he should be good to go :)

What a pain though, when your dog just refuses to eat. It's not like the parrot where they can tell you, "It's not yummy."
 
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rikkitikki

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Only once, my dobie when she had cancer of the mouth. Unfortunately once handfeeding started, she went downhill fast and we brought her in for her last visit about two weeks after that... :( :heart: will always miss her :hug8:
I wonder if your GSD does it because it gets her more attention and she's associating her rejecting the food with your love and concern? :huh:
 
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