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Dog Food (Canine Diet and Nutrition)/<16 Months old Labrador not eating food>



We have a lab who is 16 months old now and his diet is alarmingly low. He used to eat at least OKAY for one year. Now He has drastically reduced his diet. He is below average in size and shape, as compared to other labs. We usually feed him milk, pedigree, egg and rice.Sometimes, chicken. Since 4 months, he has developed a strange routine. Someday he eats, and for another 2-3 days, he doesn't even touch his food. No matter what we feed. All other activities are normal. He plays, barks, and is quite energetic but he won't touch his food for days. Sometimes we have to forcefully make him eat his food. I don't know what is wrong. He is getting thinner. The strange part is, how does he gathers so much energy without eating or eating so less. Sometimes he doesn't touch the food for days. Vet says he is not sick and pets this age have this moody behavior with the food. Yes, he is a bit moody. If he likes something, he will eat that thing for a couple of weeks and then won't even touch after that. For eg, now past few days he is drinking only milk and nothing else. But is that really a moody behavior? Is he sick or has some disease from the birth? We are very much worried about him. Considering his breed, he should be a well eating dog and should have developed in size and shape by now. We are planning to consult another vet but I just want to know is there something wrong? If yes, what could it be?
Thanks in advance.

Hi.  Your concern is understandable.  I am not a veterinarian and agree that it may be wise to get another opinion, or seek the advise of a veterinary nutritionist.  However, first you may want to try cooking for him and varying his diet. If he doesn't lose interest in eating when you this, you can pretty much rest assured that he is just picky or not hungry.
It is relatively easy and inexpensive to cook fish, chicken or beef with vegetables and grains for dogs.  Buy whatever meats are on sale and vegetables that are in season or frozen. A good rule of thumb is 1/3 meat 1/3 veggies 1/3 grain.
Lightly saute the meat or fish in olive oil or coconut oil and cook brown rice, barley or couscous as normal.  Throw some veggies in with the grains at the very end to gently cook them and mix it all together.  Freeze smaller portions in baggies and rotate his diet by adding these meals to his kibble daily.  You may also want to try a different brand of dry food that has better ingredients than Pedigree.
I hope this works.

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Karla Haas


Welcomes questions regarding cooking for dogs, and may be able to provide information regarding pet food quality and ingredients. Not qualified to answer medical questions.


Founder, Rudy Green Inc., manufacturer of a frozen, all natural "people food for dogs". I have been an animal rescue worker for over 20 years and have extensive knowledge of pet food and nutrition.

Bachelors degree in Social Sciences. 20+ years of active volunteerism within Animal Welfare organizations. Over 6 years of studies and hands on research in pet nutrition.

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Retail customers include Whole Foods Market, Kroger, Amazon and independent pet supply and grocery stores

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