scared to eat-new behavior

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scared to eat-new behavior

Postby JSANTA26 » Mon Oct 27, 2014 7:28 pm

I was hoping to get some help/suggestions with a new issue regarding my 12 y/o brittany. In general, she is a bit of a timid dog- not super socialized with other dogs, more of a people person, has thunder and gunshot fears, and can be a little nervous when cornered by little children. She also is hypothyroid (which is managed by medication).

So- the story. About a week or so ago, she refused to eat. She does this on occasion, and I chalk it up to an upset tummy which usually resolves itself within a day or two, some grass eating and a big poop. She is fed Halo dry food mixed with wellness wet food, fed at the same time every day, and usually is doing the "brittany prance" when she is hungry and ready to eat. However, she is still turning her nose up at her food, and doesn't seem to excited to eat. I thought stomach bug at first, however she is pooping normally, and with alot- I MEAN ALOT of persuasion (cheese, chicken stock, treats, tuna juice) will finally eat her food. She is also just sitting in the same spot on the couch during the day and sometimes shivers with nervousness. However, walks have the same amount of enthusiasim as well as running around in the yard. She is also drinking water ok.

I think something happened in regards to our routine/behavior to make her not want to eat from her bowl in the kitchen. If I bring the food out to her on the couch, she will eat it. She gobbled up some treats and rogue pizza crust no problem yesterday. So she is eating.

The only thing that I can think, is now my 9 month old daughter is crawling all over the place and we have to try to gate areas off. She does have access to the kitchen, just from the dining room, not her usual entry way from the living room. And I also will take up her bowl if the baby is crawling in the kitchen. I think she might just be afraid of the kid? and is now just staying on the couch to avoid the baby chasing after her (I do my best to never leave them alone together). I am really at a loss on how to manage/correct this, make her feel more comfortable about eating normally. At this point she is only eating 1 meal a day, and we have to really work at gettting her to eat it. Its making me and my husband super concerned. Any advice would be helpful, appreciated, since of course we are keeping the baby and the dog and we have to find ways to keep the baby out of certain areas of the house. Thanks!!
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Re: scared to eat-new behavior

Postby Barb Wright » Tue Oct 28, 2014 11:37 am

Hmmm.....tough one. Wondering if the dog has any hearing or vision issues, might explain some of the discomfort with the baby. On the eating, perhaps just the changes in routines....that is, giving her her food in different places has become a little confusing for her, or her bowl getting moved when the baby is crawling around, or the baby gates making her change travel habits, just all the differences surrounding meal time are affecting her sense of compliance. Since she is 12 you might be starting to see some minor changes in her mental acuity and perceptions of what is going on around her. Since she is also somewhat a sensitive type, all the seemingly small changes might seem huge to her. Just sort of guessing here.....it seems you probably just have to keep cajoling her to eat, though I imagine she is plenty smart enough to maybe be manipulating you into adding goodies to a humdrum meal, or the attention she is getting by not eating :P :wink: Maybe just find the place that she will eat without drama and continue to feed her there.

Hope some of the others with older dogs and/or new babies can come up with some ideas :)
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Re: scared to eat-new behavior

Postby Cindy » Tue Oct 28, 2014 6:11 pm

Our dogs, both young and old, really do not like to have their habits changed up. We were at a friend's house the other night and had to bring along their dinner. OMG, none of them could figure out where, or why, and just totally spazzed out. I really do notice the importance of routine with Kayla as she's gotten older (13). I also wonder if a little jealousy might be playing into this. I don't know about kids since we don't have any, but certainly a new dog is sometimes the reason someone gets their nose out of joint.
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Re: scared to eat-new behavior

Postby JSANTA26 » Sun Nov 02, 2014 3:47 pm

Thank you both for the reply. Just an update- we concluded that it was the baby gate from the living room to the kitchen that was causing the issue. I've been keeping it down, unless the baby is being really unruly and won't stay in the living room. After a day or two and some coaxing, Tessie is back to herself, even doing her hungry dance and running back and forth from kitchen to living room at dinner time. As long as the baby is cooperating, we will continue to only use that gate when absolutely necessary.

oh these dogs!!
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