Dog is starting to become disinterested in kibble. Suggestions?

Here’s the scenario, my S.O. has 2 dogs and she feeds them twice a day. In the morning they get about a cup of kibble (some high-quality, organic brand. only the best for her babies) and in the evening they get some home-made dinner which consists brown rice and chicken thigh meat.

Dog A is very food motivated and scarfs down both meals (we then have to stand guard while Dog B finishes so that Dog A doesn’t come muscle him out). Dog B is not very food motivated but he does eagerly come for mealtime and finishes in short order.

Lately however, Dog B has been eating the breakfast meal with less and less gusto over the past couple weeks. He needs encouragement to start and frequently pauses mid-meal to zone out and check out the rest of the room or what we’re up to but he still goes at the evening meal with fervor.

This morning he decided to not finish the morning kibble at all and left it halfway through and hung out in the living room.

Any ideas here? His evening appetite is undiminished. He shows no other symptoms of illness. Still as happy and playful as ever. The S.O. is taking him to the vet this evening as she thinks his teeth might be bothering him (he’s only 8-9 yrs old though).

Anyone have a similar experience?

I think he might be fine. He’s 1.) Still eating at least a little and 2.) Still scarfing food down like crazy in the evening. I think his appetite might just be slowing down as he gets older. Not sure.

Also:

Organic food isn’t any healthier than non-organic.

He’s probably doing what mine do sometimes. They get breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sometimes they’ll go through a phase of not eating their breakfast and lunch because they’re waiting for the good stuff that comes at dinner. After a few days of being a bit hungry while they wait for dinner, they go back to eating breakfast and lunch.

As long as he happily eats his dinner, I wouldn’t worry too much.

Yeah, “tooth problems!” are the 1st thing I thought of when I read it. Still having a full appetite while not wanting to eat hard/crunchy food often points to tooth or gum problems, though not always, of course.

Does your SO ever brush her “babies’” teeth?

8 or 9 could be getting kinda senior or still solidly middle-aged, depending on breed. Little miniature and toy poodles routinely live past 15, IME, but 8 is positively decrepit when it comes to the giant Irish wolfhound.

Thanks for the responses! My hunch is that he’s probably ok too. I think he’s just starting to prefer the homemade meal in the evening. I’ve just never known a dog to actually give up on a meal halfway through.

He was picked up from the pound so we don’t know his breed but he appears to be a black lab/border collie mix.

AClockworkMelon is that true about organic/non-organic dog food or food in general? Cursory searches aren’t coming up with anything definitive for me.

The S.O. wouldn’t countenance anything other than organic dog food.

purplehorseshoe yeah she does brush their teeth. Its quite a sight watching this tiny chinese woman that can’t weigh over 110 pounds manhandle her 40 pound dogs to brush their wittle teeth! :smiley:

Food in general.

The two things that people tend to talk about when they’re discussing organic food are:

1.) No genetic modification
2.) No pesticides

1.) We’ve been genetically modifying food for thousands of years. Our ancestors would breed the crops that produced the most with one another. That’s genetic engineering. A food being tampered with in the lab isn’t like some science fiction movie. It’s perfectly safe.

2.) Trace pesticides aren’t harmful to people, I can assure you. In the era of DDT perhaps we should have been worried, but nowadays things are fine.

I’ll find cites in a bit if you’d like, but don’t worry: The FDA and the EPA, among others, have investigated all this crap in detail and the green movement, as admirable as their cause is, are simply wrong when it comes to the “dangers” of non-organic food.

I’m sorry about going off-topic, but you mentioned it and I thought I’d let you know. There are a lot of people out there who buy into the myths of recycling, organic foods, etc because it just sounds right. Save your SO some money and buy normal dog food. It’ll be what, 70% cheaper? And the dogs won’t notice or care.

Cheap dog food produces way more poo because of all the fillers. The expensive stuff costs more initially but they eat less of it. Get the good stuff. The best kind of dry kibble is Innova. Homemade food, like your SO does, is the best kind of food though. When I make my dog’s food, their coats just glisten. But I’m a bit too lazy these days.

Funny you mention that. My dog recently stopped eating his IAMs after many years on it. I bought a bag of Beneful and he really likes it. It’s much cheaper and did notice he is going more and they are larger. More waste.

Can you get Innova at Petco? We just got one in town so I can get a better deal on the good stuff.

Also, the cheap food uses whatever kind of grain is cheapest at a given time, so their recipe varies from time to time, causing more stomach upsets. The good stuff sticks to one recipe so the dogs get used to it easier. That said, I have a small dog with a small appetite. If he was bigger, he’d have to make do with something cheaper.

http://www.naturapet.com/where-to-buy/

Here’s a link to show you were you can buy Natura products. If it’s not available in your area, to pick a good kind, just read the ingredients.

A couple of times I’ve run out of food and it’s mealtime and I don’t feel like driving all the way into town, I’ve gone to the corner store down the road and purchased a small bag of Beneful. My dogs go crazy for it, it’s like candy to them.

Thanks for the information! If it doesn’t take too much time I’d love to read your cite’s. I’ve searched the board and the couple threads I’ve found seem to support your points though. Still like to read the supporting docs however…

Sure, I’ll get some cited quotes and post 'em for you. I’ll have 'em by tonight or tomorrow morning.

My dog did this - I eventually worked out that he didn’t like the taste of his kibble when I saw him carefully licking the pet mince of the side of each piece, rather than scarfing the lot.

Note that cheaper dog foods tend to have more salt in them, which makes them tastier for dogs than the expensive stuff. I was warned in puppy pre-school that when a dog comes back from the vet’s they’ll often be a bit tentative about chowing down on their regular food because it doesn’t taste as good as the Chum they were getting while they were boarding.

If the dog is having difficulty with the hardness of the food, how about mixing in water with it? On the bag of food I have for my two dogs, that is given as one way of serving the food. That should make it softer for the dog to eat.

Secondly, if the dog is maintaining weight on the food that it is eating, maybe it’s eating enough anyway.

I doubt if brown rice and chicken is providing as balanced a diet as the dog kibble. Nice for a treat, but not something to feed all the time.

The generally accepted meaning of GM is the direct manipulation of genetic material, i.e. DNA. The modifying-food-for-thousands-of-years method is generally referred to as hybridisation. Tampering with food in the lab involves inserting markers to be able to see where GM has taken place. The problems people have with GM food, if there are any, involve the markers as much as any changes to the donor organism.

I just wanted to ask if you can produce cites. Your broad brush “It’s all a load of crap” seems to rely too much on the FDA and EPA being right. They aren’t right all the time, are they? My cite being the case of DDT effects that you had mentioned.

This is an interview between Norman Borlaug (yes, THAT Borlaug, the one who received the Nobel Prize for saving over a billion people worldwide with his genetically-modified crops) and Ronald Bailey from Reason Magazine.

This is taken from the Mayo Clinic, a not-for-profit medical research group.

I can get more in a bit.

Serious error here. You are trying to figure out dogs. I bought some Kibbles and Bits a few years ago . My German Shepard ate all the kibbles but left the bits. Or ate the bits, leaving the Kibbles. I am not sure which. But he showed great patience.
When we had the Chinese dog food poisoning a couple years ago, the factory that was guilty made about 60 different brands. It would be hard to convince me that you know what you are getting when you spend more. If they will eat it, i will buy it. The prestige type brands are being brought up by conglomerates anyway.
Iambs was bought by Proctor and Gamble in 1999 for instance.

Are you sure he’s not getting food elsewhere. When I was a kid we had one of two in the neighborhood and he used to get fed by the neighbors…

“But he won’t like me if I don’t feed him.” “But he looks so hungry.” “I don’t want to waste the food.”

He got so fat. We had to tell the neighbors to STOP IT. It’s fun to feed a dog but really…LOL

I recall a poster on here awhile back was worried when his cat stopped eating then he found out it was in the basement feasting on a whole mess of mice it was catching

Nope. The dogs are never outside unless they’re being walked and constantly supervised. Dog A routinely eats the weeds in the garden if you let her out off leash but Dog B gets nothing but what’s fed to him by the SO.