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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yes, as unbelievable as this sounds, it's true and I am at a loss as to what to do. Her vet has checked everything possible, but Brie seems to treat mealtimes as a necessary evil and I am worried that at this stage of her development that this picky eating will result in problems down the road. First of all we started her on Wellness Just for Puppy when we first brought her home and at first there were no problems, she was a good eater. Then we had to rush her to emergency for vomiting in December and 1300 dollars later they determined that she might have had some irritation in her intestinal tract. She hasn't eaten good since then, but the vet can't find anything wrong. We tried all the usual tricks, taking the food up after 20 minutes, adding water,or canned food to make it tastier, etc. but nothing seems to work. Even hand feeding her has failed. We are now transitioning her to adult food(she will be a year old on May 28) and none of the adult samples that we got interest her either. She gets plenty of exercise so you would think that she would be hungry but she just ignores her food. There is one peculiar thing that has happened in the last month though. We are now able to take her to the dog park in the evenings more often and strangely enough when we get home she will beg for food, so we started putting her bowl down for her and she ate every bit of food. Now the dog park is not her only exercise. I take her for a mile walk every morning at the park across the street and she is able to run and sniff to her heart's content, but she doesn't beg for her breakfast before or after these walks. Just after we return from the dog park. The only big problem with that is that we don't get home from the dog park until 8 or 8:30 pm and I think that that is too late to be giving her a cup and 3/4 of food, which is what she is supposed to get a day. It's not possible to take her to the dog park at any other time other than the evenings and we can't go every evening. The evenings we can't go she won't eat!
Does anyone out there have any suggestions for me, because I am really beginning to run out of ideas here.
 

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Have you asked your vet? The common wisdom is that "no dog will starve themselves to death if there is food in front of them". If she's not hungry then she's not hungry. Only if she were underweight and dropping would I say there's a cause for concern, on this symptom alone. It sure is odd, though... The one thing you might want to investigate with the vet is her thyroid, since a hypothyroid disorder can cause loss of appetite and is all too common in dogs, especially Beagles. It's accompanied by a steady or increasing weight (since metabolism drops through the floor), excessive sleeping (which is probably hard to tell from 'normal' in most dogs) and a general lack of energy/interest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, she has been checked thoroughly by her vet and they can't find anything wrong. Her weight fluctuates between 18 and 21 pounds and her energy is great. I guess I should have mentioned that she will eat carrots and she loves cucumber slices and she will eat her dog food, but only after we come from the dog park!
 

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I really have no suggestion, unfortunately; but have you considered getting a second opinion? Maybe there is something the vet missed. This is not to say the vet is no good, as I get the general feeling from the post that you are satisfied with him/her.

Just a thought.
 

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I agree with Eleanor on maybe looking into a second opinion. It is odd for a beagle to not care about eating! Does it do any good to feed in the morning? Or, what about breaking it up into two feedings, have you already tried that?
 

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The association with the dog park and eating has me baffled but there must be something about it that excites her appetite.

Could it be that it is the only time she gets to play with other dogs? Why that should increase her appetite I don't know but I can't think of anything else.

As you have tried just about every trick in the book to get her to eat I've no other suggestions really.

Maybe it's a psycological thing. She remembers when she had a problem back in December and it hurt to eat and now she's scared to eat. But then I don't know if dogs actually think like that...I know kids do lol.
 

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When Sadie and Pooh Bear were little they didn't eat their dry food good either. I would sit on the floor with them and their bowl and take pieces of food and throw/roll them across the floor. They would run and chase the rolling pieces and gobble them up. It was the only way I could get them to eat. I made it into a game for them. (This is probably not the proper method, but it worked for me) When they got a little older they didn't have any problems eating from their bowls.
 

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Is there no way you could go to the dog park before breakfast? Just to try it out. If she gobbles her food down after that maybe its a case of 'those dogs at the park might get my food if I dont eat it' If she still prefers to eat in the evening, then maybe that is 'her time' to eat. Have you tried her on home cooked meat? Chicken and rice for example?
 

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I don't think 8 or 8:30 pm is too late to eat. If most dogs had free choice they'd eat round the clock, lol! It sounds like you've tried everything, except maybe hiding her dry food around the house and letting her 'find' it. Do you have other dogs? Maybe she doesn't understand mealtime... Has she ever eaten around other dogs? That is a bit baffling. Maybe try another vet if possible, and just keep doing what works. Henry went through a picky stage despite a clean bill of health and after about 4 days of refusing to eat he was starving. When I put down the food on the 4th day he went at it. But I only gave him a moderate amount, and then fed him again at dinnertime. After his hunger strike, he was fine, lol.
 

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Since you mention Brie eats cucumber slices and carrots, I am wondering what exactly she is getting to eat during the day. If she thinks something better than dry dog food will come along, then she might be holding out for that. If you are giving her anything else, then I would suggest that you stop absolutely everything but the dog food. She may "go on strike" for a bit but, if hungry enough, she'll eat the dog food. I also don't think you ought to try too many samples -- pick a high-quality food and stick to that. Brie can't/won't decide what is good for her -- you need to do that for her. Stick to a set feeding schedule -- she needs to learn when to expect her food. If she picks at the food or walks away from it, pick it up after 20-30 minutes. Nice thing about dry food is you can re-cycle it for the next meal!
 

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Duke wasn't that interested in his dog food as a pup either. But he has always been very interested in our food and treats! Eventually he would eat his, but sometimes it sat uneaten for 2 days. His weight was fine and when he did finally eat, he scarfed. Now he eats normally, but there were times that I had to add dog gravy to get him to munch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all the great suggestions. As I said, I have tried practically everything to tempt her and I sometimes think that since she has to stand still to eat,that she views mealtimes as pretty boring. I did try to toss the pieces as sort of a game and it worked great the first day. When I tried it on day 2 she brought each piece back and dumped it piece by piece at my feet and just looked at me!

Right now it is not possible to go to the dog park in the morning but I am going to try it in June, when I am home, just to see if there is any connection. Otherwise her health is great. Judy, if Brie doesn't eat she doesn't get any cucumbers or carrots until she does. Unfortunately, she just hasn't made the connection that if she eats her dog food first her treats will follow throughout the day. I give her 20 minutes to begin eating and after that I take it up until dinnertime. None of this seems to phase her at all. She will beg for people food but we never give in to her. I am very firm about that!! I guess that we will just plug along. This is bound to right itself in time
 
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