December 23, 2008

How do I get my dogs to stop eating puppy food?

I have 3 adult dogs, one Great Dane, one German Shepherd, and one Rottweiler. After we tried to change them to adult food, they wouldn't eat it. They only ate their old puppy food. We've tried a lot of different brands too, and they won't eat it.

Put it down and do not give them anything else. They will not starve themselves, they will eat it when they get hungry enough. It's time to practice a little tough love.

Make sure you're feeding a high quality brand of dog food.

Not all pet food is made equally. A lot of it is full of corn, by-products, dyes, unhealthy preservatives, filler grains and all sorts of nasty stuff. A lot of pet food companies are perfectly happy to the dump cheap leftovers and things that aren't safe for human consumption (from human food processing plants) into their foods. Will it kill your dog? No, it has to be nutritionally complete and safe to even be marketed. Is it healthy? Not by a long shot.

Corn is a low quality ingredient you never want to see in your pet food. Corn and low quality grains are two of the biggest culprits when it comes to food allergies in our pets.

Thankfully, there are some excellent dog foods being made these days that include organic, human grade ingredients rather than trash not fit for human consumption.

Examples of low quality foods to avoid: Anything you can find in a grocery store will be low end, Purina, Iams, Eukanuba, Science Diet, Royal Canin, Pedigree, Kibbles n' Bits, Beneful, Ol'Roy.

Examples of high quality foods to look for: Innova, Wellness, Solid Gold, Canidae All Life Stages, Fromm Four Star, Merrick, GO Natural, Nature's Variety Prairie, Nature's Logic, Artemis Fresh Mix, Timberwolf Organics.

Although the high quality foods are more expensive, you're getting what you're paying for. Less filler material means more concentrated nutrients… this means you typically need to feed far less of the high quality food than you would of the low quality one. Which also means less poop!

Seriously on a budget? Two of the most affordable of the high quality foods would be Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover's Soul and Canidae All Life Stages.

Before following your vet's food recommendation, keep in mind that vets get /very/ little nutritional training during their schooling. Besides that, what training they /do/ get is usually sponsored or taught by the crappy pet food companies! They also often get paid to sell some of their products at their clinics (Science Diet, Royal Canin etc.)

A great option is to go with an entirely grainless diet. Many of the high quality foods now put out grainless formulas. Some good grainless diets include: Innova EVO, Wellness CORE, Blue Wilderness, Nature's Variety Instinct, Orijen, Horizon Legacy, Merrick Before Grain, Canidae Grain Free All Life Stages, Fromm Surf & Turf, Now!, Sold Gold Barking At The Moon, Ziwipeak, and Taste of the Wild.

Some pretty decent foods can even be found in common pet stores. Petsmart carries Blue Buffalo products (such as the excellent grain free diet Blue Wilderness). Petco carries Wellness, Solid Gold, Natural Balance, Eagle Pack Holistic Select, Blue Buffalo, Castor & Pollux Organix, Pinnacle, and Halo. If you can't find a food, most of the high quality food brands have websites with store locators on them.

Another option, if you can't find anywhere around you that sells good foods, is to order your pet food online. Here's an excellent place to do so: http://www.petfooddirect.com/store/

Remember that foods should be switched gradually (mixing new slowly in with the old over about week or so), especially when switching to a higher quality one, so as not to upset tummies.

Another option for feeding dogs is to feed raw. This is something that should be thoroughly researched before being attempted:
http://www.rawfed.com/ (Excellent raw feeding information)
http://www.rawlearning.com/ (More excellent raw feeding information)
http://rawfeddogs.net/ (Even more!)
http://rawfed.com/myths/preymodel.html (Raw Prey Model Diet Vs. BARF Diet)
http://www.rawfed.com/myths/index.html (Myths about raw feeding)

Also remember that freefeeding (leaving food down) is the fast lane to canine obesity. Make sure to have scheduled feeding times based on the feeding instructions on your dog's food.

More on dog food:
http://www.dogfoodproject.com/index.php?page=main (Learn how to determine the quality of your dog's food.)
http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/dog_food_reviews/ (Dog food reviews. Four stars is a decent food, five stars is a great food, and six stars is an excellent food.)

Darksong~

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Comments on How do I get my dogs to stop eating puppy food? »

December 22, 2008

Santa Basset @ 12:04 pm

If you don't give them anything else, when they get hungry they'll eat it.
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richard h @ 12:04 pm

Dont feed them anything else. If you leave the food out there long enough, they will get hungry enough and eat it.
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info seeker @ 12:05 pm

Dont give in. They have you tricked. Give them their food and dont change it. They may hold out for days (mine did).
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??????? ¢??? @ 12:05 pm

Stop giving it to them as an option and get some good stuff that they will like or stuff that is sort of like the other kind. Answer my 3rd question by clicking my name please! Thanks a bunch! Good Luck! I hope this helps! Merry Christmas!
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2Bor02B @ 12:05 pm

they will eat it when they get hungry
no dog will starve itself
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MJ @ 12:05 pm

mix it in with the puppy food, starting off with adding a tiny amount of big dog food.Every few days increase the amount of adult dog food
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Tina T @ 12:05 pm

Gradually wean them off of it by mixing adult food with the puppy food for about a month…once they get used to it, they wont' realize it's the adult food (hopefully).
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Susan C @ 12:05 pm

mix puppy food with adult food…
slowly increase the amount of adult food, until it's only adult food…
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nowthatsclassy @ 12:06 pm

Hmm…Try taking the food they like and over a few days mix a little bit more of the adult food until they're eating straight adult food. That's what worked for my dog! (:
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Dakota Robbins @ 12:06 pm

Don't let them have the puppy food. let them get used to the new food by not giving them anything else. they'll go hungry and eventually eat it. My parents used the same technique on us kids lol
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Life

BAM! @ 12:06 pm

Starve them….and they will eventually eat their big boy food or theyll just DIE
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ncisrocks498 @ 12:06 pm

What are you feeding? A dog knows when someting isn't good for them?

Here are some real good healthy brands:

Innova, California Natural, Blue buffalo, wellness, Evo and there are many more.

Don't feed them that crap you can get at the grocery store (or anyting you can get at walmart or target) Science diet is pure junk too.

My dogs wouldn't even touch Purina, Pedigree, or Science diet.

We feed california Naturals after having to force feed our poodle for over a year and him almost dying from that crap food.

Good luck
They get real excited at meal time now. And our poodle has got himself back up to a proper weight. They know when something isn't good for them
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davo107 @ 12:06 pm

duno
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tiger_kttn @ 12:06 pm

Just don't feed them there puppy food or anything else. Leave the dog food out and eventually they will get hungry and just go eat. That's what I do with my puppy and it always works!
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Lioness @ 12:07 pm

mix it together, and only offer that food - nothing else
they'll get over it
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CC(Happy Holidays) @ 12:07 pm

Dont give in to them, tey will eat if they are hungry. Try Canidae, Taste of the Wild, Blue Buffalo, or Innova.
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darksong17 @ 12:08 pm

Put it down and do not give them anything else. They will not starve themselves, they will eat it when they get hungry enough. It's time to practice a little tough love.

Make sure you're feeding a high quality brand of dog food.

Not all pet food is made equally. A lot of it is full of corn, by-products, dyes, unhealthy preservatives, filler grains and all sorts of nasty stuff. A lot of pet food companies are perfectly happy to the dump cheap leftovers and things that aren't safe for human consumption (from human food processing plants) into their foods. Will it kill your dog? No, it has to be nutritionally complete and safe to even be marketed. Is it healthy? Not by a long shot.

Corn is a low quality ingredient you never want to see in your pet food. Corn and low quality grains are two of the biggest culprits when it comes to food allergies in our pets.

Thankfully, there are some excellent dog foods being made these days that include organic, human grade ingredients rather than trash not fit for human consumption.

Examples of low quality foods to avoid: Anything you can find in a grocery store will be low end, Purina, Iams, Eukanuba, Science Diet, Royal Canin, Pedigree, Kibbles n' Bits, Beneful, Ol'Roy.

Examples of high quality foods to look for: Innova, Wellness, Solid Gold, Canidae All Life Stages, Fromm Four Star, Merrick, GO Natural, Nature's Variety Prairie, Nature's Logic, Artemis Fresh Mix, Timberwolf Organics.

Although the high quality foods are more expensive, you're getting what you're paying for. Less filler material means more concentrated nutrients… this means you typically need to feed far less of the high quality food than you would of the low quality one. Which also means less poop!

Seriously on a budget? Two of the most affordable of the high quality foods would be Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover's Soul and Canidae All Life Stages.

Before following your vet's food recommendation, keep in mind that vets get /very/ little nutritional training during their schooling. Besides that, what training they /do/ get is usually sponsored or taught by the crappy pet food companies! They also often get paid to sell some of their products at their clinics (Science Diet, Royal Canin etc.)

A great option is to go with an entirely grainless diet. Many of the high quality foods now put out grainless formulas. Some good grainless diets include: Innova EVO, Wellness CORE, Blue Wilderness, Nature's Variety Instinct, Orijen, Horizon Legacy, Merrick Before Grain, Canidae Grain Free All Life Stages, Fromm Surf & Turf, Now!, Sold Gold Barking At The Moon, Ziwipeak, and Taste of the Wild.

Some pretty decent foods can even be found in common pet stores. Petsmart carries Blue Buffalo products (such as the excellent grain free diet Blue Wilderness). Petco carries Wellness, Solid Gold, Natural Balance, Eagle Pack Holistic Select, Blue Buffalo, Castor & Pollux Organix, Pinnacle, and Halo. If you can't find a food, most of the high quality food brands have websites with store locators on them.

Another option, if you can't find anywhere around you that sells good foods, is to order your pet food online. Here's an excellent place to do so: http://www.petfooddirect.com/store/

Remember that foods should be switched gradually (mixing new slowly in with the old over about week or so), especially when switching to a higher quality one, so as not to upset tummies.

Another option for feeding dogs is to feed raw. This is something that should be thoroughly researched before being attempted:
http://www.rawfed.com/ (Excellent raw feeding information)
http://www.rawlearning.com/ (More excellent raw feeding information)
http://rawfeddogs.net/ (Even more!)
http://rawfed.com/myths/preymodel.html (Raw Prey Model Diet Vs. BARF Diet)
http://www.rawfed.com/myths/index.html (Myths about raw feeding)

Also remember that freefeeding (leaving food down) is the fast lane to canine obesity. Make sure to have scheduled feeding times based on the feeding instructions on your dog's food.

More on dog food:
http://www.dogfoodproject.com/index.php?page=main (Learn how to determine the quality of your dog's food.)
http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/dog_food_reviews/ (Dog food reviews. Four stars is a decent food, five stars is a great food, and six stars is an excellent food.)

Darksong~
References :

Apricot Toy Poodle Lover @ 12:08 pm

See, you are changing it too fast, one from the next. The way to change a dog's food is to start by having it mostly old kibble for a couple days with a little new kibble mixed with it. Then slowly decrease the old stuff and increase the new stuff until it's all new kibble. It's about a 10 day process.

After that, any time dogs won't eat, just feed them morning and evening, and nothing in between. They might skip one or two meals. No biggie. They won't let themselves starve.

The dog food police will tell you to buy the most expensive stuff. My first three dogs did just fine on Purina. This dog I have now eats Eukanuba Naturally Wild, which has no corn in it. Feed what works well for your dogs.
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DoMePixelz @ 12:08 pm

Place the food out and leave it there. They will come to a point where they are starving so they have to eat what's out in their bowl
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shawnLacey @ 12:09 pm

You do not have to be a rocket scientist to know that you only have to stop giving it to them.

Even children will continue to eat what is not healthy for them if adults continue to give them snacks morning, noon, evening and night.

You do not have a dog problem; you have an owner problem.

STOP GIVING IT TO THEM, EINSTEIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Wobbily @ 12:09 pm

trust me if they get hungry they will eat it.
refuse to give them anything else. they will give in and realize its not so bad afterall!

sound similiar to my spoiled kids!
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dmarie1965 @ 12:10 pm

just take the puppy food away they will get hungry and eat the other stuff promise
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leilah @ 12:10 pm

The first answer is right it works with my dogs
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Crysania @ 12:11 pm

Did you try transitioning them slowly over to the new food? Mix a little bit of the new food in with the puppy food for a few days, then keep putting more of the new food in and less of the puppy food until they're properly transitioned.

If that doesn't work, put the food down and refuse to feed them anything else. They'll learn soon enough that it's that or nothing.
References :

Blue Nose Lover @ 12:13 pm

These are VERY beautiful dogs!

If you're feeding them Puppy Chow….
Mix the Puppy Chow with the Dog Chow (half/half).
You shouldn't switch their foods so fast.
It is a slow process and you must feed them half/half for about a week.
If your dogs are a year old, they should still be eating Puppy Food since they are a larger breed. Only until they are 2 years old.
After a week, give them just the Dog Chow (adult food).
They will NOT starve. It will take a while though and since they know you will give in…they will not eat it until you do AGAIN.
Good luck with this and have a merry Christmas!
References :
Mother of four kids.
Pack leader of 3 dogs.
Flock leader of 2 parrots.
Owner of 18 rabbits.
And owner/breeder of 7 fish.

Rsmith @ 12:15 pm

I had the same problem. Just start mixing it together a little at a time. My dog is nowhere the size of yours. But, I feed my dog 2 cups of food. So, the first 2 or 3 days I fed her 1 1/2 cups of puppy food and 1/2 cup of the dog food and mix it all together.. Every couple of days I would add a little more dog food and a little less puppy food. It took about a month to completely switch over. I had to do it this way because my dog would just not eat if I switched it all at once. If you notice they're spitting out the dog food you may need to try a different kind or use a little less when you start to mix it. It took awhile but it eventually worked. I even had to do this with my cat. Good luck!
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kandy @ 12:17 pm

just switch it, if they get really hungry they will eat it.

they wont starve themeselves to death.


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Valeriano B @ 12:20 pm

I had this problem with my dog, well similar problem. We fed our dog chunky stew and hard food and I warmed his food up since he was dog that was outside to soften the hard food a tad bit and add something different to it. Needless to say, he ate the soft food more and the hard food that was mixed the most with the flavor and had gotten softer he demolished it, but once it got cold he left it to sit. However, when I noticed that he only ate it right then and there I started to see that when I came out later or the next day the food was still seating there. So I left it out there for two days and realized that he would eventually get hungry and eat, which he did. And I got rid of heating up his food and just mixed it since I kind of spoiled him, on top of that I was only at home for a small amount of time, in between school and I made it hard on the rest of the family because he wanted his food hot. (I mean I would TOO!!) But it wasn't normal.

I have a little "yo quedo taco bell" haha but when we changed his food and he let it sit, we warmed it up and he KILLED IT!!! Shocked me, but I think warming food up for your dog is good, its just that its something that you would have to continue to do, unless they would let it sit and sit. But if its warm they would more than likely eat it all…
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DeeDawg @ 12:21 pm

don't try a bunch of stuff. tell them what they are going to eat and give it to them. if they don't touch it, pour it back in the food bin.

once they skip a meal they will learn to eat it while it's out.
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please please don't let your dogs train you!

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