Staffy Diet Problem...
Well, we have our 1 year old Staffy, Tiny, sleeping alone now - right outside our bedroom door and she has settled in to the routine...with minimal crying.
Our only other MAJOR problem with her is that she won't eat. We don't give her scraps - even though she begs all through dinner.
We have tried complete dry puppy kibble, canned food in jelly or gravy, chub... we have even tried cooking meat FOR her (chicken, mince, turkey mince, beef you name it) and mixing it with her kibble. She has eaten boiled chicken and rice when she isn't feeling well, but will only eat it ONCE. That is the problem. She will eat most things - ONCE. We serve her food, she likes it, eats it all - we think we've hit gold - and then the next night - she won't touch it.
We have concluded that she is usually simply not hungry. Is it normal for a 13 month old puppy to eat every 48 to 72 hours?
We haven't made a huge deal out of it so that it isn't a way for her to get attention, although I sometimes think she understands our conversations about her!
I know all dogs are different and have different tastes etc... But I want to know, is it ok for her to go so long with out eating? Should we stick to ONE type of dry food and just MAKE her eat it by not serving her anything else? We even bought a dry "fishy" type of food recommended by the pet store - they said Staffys usually love it - she wouldn't TOUCH it. No matter how hungry she was.
She appears healthy, the vet said we should be able to feel her ribs, but not SEE them and that would be her ideal condition - she seems perfect in that respect. Her training is coming along well, she is a well behaved, loving, energetic, considerate (usually!!) Staffy. She plays well with other dogs, is easy to control and doesn't pull on her lead - just a great puppy otherwise.
Any advice about this would be greatly appreciated.
Tiny looks in perfect health and she's adorable! It sounds as though overall she's also doing great in terms of behavior and training... you're doing a fine job!
As for her 'picky' eating habits, actually they are fairly common and many dogs are erratic in their intake of food. You're right not to make a big deal out of it as that only leads to a battle of wills... one which you can't win. However, offering her different foods all the time and even cooking for her are only going to make the situation worse. I know this for a fact as I did the same thing with my first male Rottie, and learned the hard way :o)
Just choose a premium dog food and offer her that at the same time every day, if she doesn't eat it within about 30 minutes, pick up the bowl and don't offer her it again until the next mealtime. Continue to avoid giving her any snacks or 'human' food between meals.
She may not eat as much as you would like, but nature won't allow her to starve herself. Plus, your vet says she is healthy and the appropriate weight, so I don't think you need to worry in that respect.
Feeding puppies, and dogs, is sort of like feeding children. The parents responsibility is to provide high quality nutrition on a daily basis, and the kids (including the 'furkids') responsibility is to eat it. You can't MAKE them eat, and trying to do so only leads to all sorts of eating problems eventually.
However, if she ever begins to lose weight, or her health is being impacted in any way, then it's important to have your vet examine her again.
Hope this helps, best of luck with Tiny.