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My dog has turned into a cow. need help

Posted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:31 pm
by Boo8mymoney
Ok... Boo has decided being a cow was better than being a dog. Every time we go outside she eats grass. She will stop playing to eat grass! I have tried correcting her and she just waits for me to not pay attention and goes back to grazing.
I have a hard time getting her to eat her normal food... But she will eat grass all day long. Kinda hurts my pocket book knowing she rather eat grass than her expensive food. This has been going on for about a week now. She has been on Tast of the wild (pacific stream) for a couple of months. I also have to add goodies to it so she will eat it. She is by far the pickyest eater I have ever known.
I need to figure this out. The lawn does get fertilized and I don't want her to continue this

Should I try to switch her food again? Maybe she needs more fiber? If she get high protein... She gets very gassy!!!
She doesn't vomit and had a clean bill of health on Friday from the vet. Please help if you have any suggestions for us.
Thank you for all :-)

Re: My dog has turned into a cow. need help

Posted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:42 pm
by Curly_07
Dogs eat grass for a few reasons. The most common is because their stomach is upset, another reason is because they aren't getting a nutrient they need. How old is she? Switching up her food may be in order, or you could try some of those treats that help calm acid reflux issues if she's eating grass because she doesn't feel well.

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Re: My dog has turned into a cow. need help

Posted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:44 pm
by AllisonPitbullLvr
My dogs have always loved eating grass. Especially just after a summer rain.

If she's otherwise doing well on her diet, I wouldn't change it just because she is eating grass. To my knowledge, there are no proven correlations between dogs eating grass and those having nutritional issues.

Don't "correct" her for eating grass, it's a natural behavior. Rather, manage the situation so that its safe. Stop putting down fertilizer or have her on a leash so you can redirect her when she starts to crave a salad.

Re: My dog has turned into a cow. need help

Posted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:13 pm
by Boo8mymoney
I have to find a way to stop her. I rent and the landlord isn't going to not fertilize the lawns. I wish I could... But that just isn't gonna work.
This is something new. She was wormy and I got that taken care of. :-)
I am thinking about changing her food. What is food has food fiber in it?

Re: My dog has turned into a cow. need help

Posted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:47 pm
by Mooresmajestic
Any time a dog has a sudden change in behavior, it is best to see the vet to rule out medical issues.
If your dog was previously a voracious eater and is suddenly turning her nose up at food, a trip to the vet is in order... asap.

Also, a healthy dog will not starve themself. Stop giving in and adding "extras" to her food to entice her to eat. The more frequently you give in, the more she will expect it. Done often enough, she will learn that if she doesn't eat her "boring" food and you will always dress it up. Unless you plan to home-cook her food or continue adding things forever, stop this behavior before it becomes habit. It may take a few days (though I have never had a dog hold out longer than 2) but it is a fairly easy habit to break. I've done this a ton of times with fosters that were considered picky eaters and others that were free-fed, and it works every time.

Measure out her breakfast into her bowl. I like to do this with the dog in the room so they see me getting their food.
While holding the bowl of food (even giving it a little shake to rattle the food around) have her do some very simple commands. Make sure the commands are ones she is really good at. If all she knows really well is sit, just do that. Only have her do the command 1-2 times at first, gradually increasing the number and difficulty over time.
Once she has successfully completed her task, mark the behavior (with a clicker or verbal cue like yes), and put her food bowl down and say (something like) ok, eat.
If at this point she doesn't eat her food, leave it down for no more than 15 minutes, then pick it up and put it away. Don't give in now or later and slip her treats or people food. Unless you are trying to put weight on an emaciated dog or the dog has other health issues, they aren't going suffer any ill effects from missing a meal.
Do the same thing all over again with her dinner (at dinner time).
Most dogs will eat at this point. I've only had 2 hold out longer, and that was mostly because they hàd years of habit to break. By the next morning they ate, and ate every time I put the bowl down. A few needed to have the senario repeted a couple mornings in a row, but they quickly realized that if they didn't eat what/when I fed them they weren't going to get anything else.

The sooner you begin to alter the behavior, the easier it is to fix. The most "stubborn" dogs I have worked with have had the longest amount of time (in a few cases 5 years or more) to develop their habits.

Re: My dog has turned into a cow. need help

Posted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:38 am
by Boo8mymoney
We just had a vet visit on Friday. She is healthy. :-)
This isn't the first time she has done this.. she does this every couple of months. And I am always trying to find a way that she will just eat without being so picky. I have tried more than 4 or 5 different foods. And for some reason.. at about the 2month mark... She doeant want to eat her food anymore. She has gone 3 days without a meal in the past. I didn't want to change foods again, so I decided to dress it up. Well, now she doeant want to eat that. She rather eat grass! But again, she is healthy.... That's what the vet says. No changes in her behaivior at all at home other than her eating grass.
She was dewormed, then she got her yearly shots, and heart worm meds. Could all this be making her want to eat grass and not want to eat her kibble? I am at. Loss :-(
I am not gonna add anything to her food anymore and I will give her 15-20 mins to eat. The last time I did this... Again... She went without food for 3 days and I caved in by changing her food.
Thanks again for all the advice.

Re: My dog has turned into a cow. need help

Posted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:46 pm
by Boo8mymoney
Boo has stopped eating grass :-) however, since I stopped adding goodies to her food... She is not eating it at all. She is going on day 3 of no food. How long will this go on for? I know she is hungry cause she will go to her dog dish and sniff her food and walk away. She is starting to beg from me and my Son... Which I do not allow.