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my Shiba has a drinking problem
  • Ginger, when a stumpy legged fluff ball, had a problem where she would drink and drink and drink water until....
    BLEHHH!!!
    So we had to start regulating her water at measured amounts at a time so that there would be breaks in between, but still getting the water she needed.

    As she got older she stopped having this problem except about twice after a long outing and it was hot out. She'd drank too much and then ran around instantly after which resulted in her throwing it up all over the carpet.

    Recently she has started to do it again, she hasnt vomited yet, but she will drink and drink and drink.... and I have to pick up her bowl and make her wait a minute or two and then return it to her.
    The vet says it's not because she is dehydrated, but rather the opposite of an eating disorder.

    She doesnt eat a whole lot of food, to the point we worry sometimes if she eats enough. We keep her bowl full at all times, and she gets little treats throughout the day now, since she just wont seem to really ever eat.

    If it's in your hand
    WANT!
    If its in her bowl
    meh...

    he said that she is trying to fill up her stomach with water to feel full because it's faster than eating, and she may not realize that the food is always available to be eaten. (or she feels its off limits for some reason)

    Ive thought about moving her bowl next to us when we eat so she knows "food time"
    and may have to regulate her water bowl again.

    But even though I know she gets enough water (hell she drinks more water in a day than I do in 3 months)
    I tried putting tiny tiny bits of sliced turkey mixed into her food and sometimes she would eat it.

    Any advice or similar problems?

    image
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8589
    Stop leaving food out.

    Free feeding can be the source of all sorts of problems, including obese dogs and dogs that do not understand the value of food (it is always there, it will always be there, why should I eat it?).

    Start feeding her at the same time every day (twice a day). Leave the food bowl down for 15-20 minutes, then take it away, even if she has not eaten. As long as she is healthy, she will not starve herself and will pretty quickly figure it out.

    I transitioned both of my Shibas from free feeding to meals a couple of years ago when my youngest got really sick. It only took 2 or 3 days for them to figure it out. Now they eat their food in less than 10 minutes at each meal time and rarely ever skip a meal.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • sunyata said:

    Stop leaving food out.

    Free feeding can be the source of all sorts of problems, including obese dogs and dogs that do not understand the value of food (it is always there, it will always be there, why should I eat it?).

    Start feeding her at the same time every day (twice a day). Leave the food bowl down for 15-20 minutes, then take it away, even if she has not eaten. As long as she is healthy, she will not starve herself and will pretty quickly figure it out.

    I transitioned both of my Shibas from free feeding to meals a couple of years ago when my youngest got really sick. It only took 2 or 3 days for them to figure it out. Now they eat their food in less than 10 minutes at each meal time and rarely ever skip a meal.



    Even when scheduled, she would just go over, sniff it, go to her water, drink some water, and walk away.

    Would we have better luck adding something to it...?
  • shibamistressshibamistress
    Posts: 5171
    Yeah, I'd suggest stopping the free feeding too.

    I've had puppies do the drinking all the water thing, and my vet said the same thing yours did. They usually grow out of it, but your girl may need a nudge. Try set feeding times. And you know, if she's not eating, you might have to try some more palatable food. What do you feed?

    And some people will say don't change foods because a dog will get spoiled and finicky about food, but I've lived with more than one dog who very much would starve themselves, and lost dangerous amounts of weight (one was healthy, one not), so if a dog really isn't eating, I'm willing to try to find something they will eat. You may have to do this too if you're worried about her eating habits.

    Also, just a thought: does she seem sick otherwise? Because my dog drinks constantly (til she vomits) when she has flare ups of her kidney problems. But she is clearly sick: tail down, lethargic, etc. Also, Cushings can cause excessive drinking. There is also hair loss and a pot bellied appearence though. And finally, excessive drinking can be from diabetes, but the dog will usually be thin too. So if she's also got this paired with other new health issues, have your vet check into some other possibilities.
  • DeacDeac
    Posts: 14
    My Zyere drinks his water fast and throws it up. What we noticed was that he does not do it when he drinks from his portable collapsible bowl which is smaller in diameter and doesn't allow him to suck down a lot of air. We are going to try switching his indoor water bowl to something similar. Maybe worth a try for you. I'll keep you posted.
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    I agree with @sunyata ... don't free feed. They should be offered 2 or 3 meals a day (depending on age ... puppies more meals) and if they chose not to eat pick it up after 10-20 minutes.

    Also if they don't eat try to keep treats minimal as otherwise they just learn if they don't eat you will give them all sorts of other goodies during the day instead.

    Dogs do not die missing a few meals in a row and eventually if hungry enough will eat when the meal is offered.

    In regards to the water here are some suggestions:
    1) what you are doing, small amounts at a time topping it off as needed
    2) putting golf balls in the water (or use a slow feed bowl) that slows down the ability to gulp at the water
    3) use ice cubes instead of water as this will slow down her water intake and/or put in small amount of water in bowl and lots of ice cubes that she either has to eat or will melt slowly over time
    4) if you are not always there to regulate you can use a small amount of water and use a very large chunk of ice that will melt slowly through the day
    5) there are water bottles, like you would use for a hamster or guinea pig, where they have to lap at it from a spout that has a ball bearing in it. I have seen people use these most often for crates, but could be used as a regular water source too in order to slow her drinking down.

    Good luck.
    Post edited by redcattoo at 2013-06-13 14:29:48
  • tatonkatatonka
    Posts: 1210
    Your Shiba not eating can be v. stressful! I would suggest the following, though everyone's experience is different:
    1. Do not leave food out. I think it's better if your doggie figures out that food is available only when the owner provides it and that it will be gone if she doesn't eat it semi-immediately
    2. Experiment with different foods. Buy small samples so that you can figure out what your Shiba might like (at the moment)
    3. Try raw food - there are lots of threads on it here. My Shiba was a picky eater but he'd never let a serving of raw sit out without him finishing it. The simplest raw for me has been pre-made raw or chicken necks (2x are small enough for a Shiba meal).
    Monkey!
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960



    Even when scheduled, she would just go over, sniff it, go to her water, drink some water, and walk away.

    Would we have better luck adding something to it...?



    You can always try different kibbles. When I fed kibble (I now have chosen a raw diet instead) my picky eater was more interested if I added a bit of canned food. He was really picky though and the kibble and canned food had to be quality. I tried down grading within the Wellness line from Core to the next canned food option down with failure, he only liked the Wellness Core canned line. You can also try adding yogurt, peanut butter, maybe just wetting down the kibble and moistening it, eventually you will find what becomes interesting.
  • Yeah, I'd suggest stopping the free feeding too.

    I've had puppies do the drinking all the water thing, and my vet said the same thing yours did. They usually grow out of it, but your girl may need a nudge. Try set feeding times. And you know, if she's not eating, you might have to try some more palatable food. What do you feed?

    And some people will say don't change foods because a dog will get spoiled and finicky about food, but I've lived with more than one dog who very much would starve themselves, and lost dangerous amounts of weight (one was healthy, one not), so if a dog really isn't eating, I'm willing to try to find something they will eat. You may have to do this too if you're worried about her eating habits.

    Also, just a thought: does she seem sick otherwise? Because my dog drinks constantly (til she vomits) when she has flare ups of her kidney problems. But she is clearly sick: tail down, lethargic, etc. Also, Cushings can cause excessive drinking. There is also hair loss and a pot bellied appearence though. And finally, excessive drinking can be from diabetes, but the dog will usually be thin too. So if she's also got this paired with other new health issues, have your vet check into some other possibilities.



    We give her chicken and rice organix.
    If you hand feed it to her (because its in your hand) she'll eat and eat and eat til the bowl is done. lol

    Ive learned that if you just wait them out "when theyre hungry theyll eat" unless theyre extremely extremely stubborn in which leads to drastic weight loss, which ive never seen but have read stories of and it blows my mind. Isnt it a basic instinct to eat...? it amazed me to hear about that.
    She was on eukanuba from the bag they gave us, but we switched her over gradually and she seemed to be eating fine for a while. But now it's like we refill her bowl once a week. And I feel she should really be eating more than that... especially at four months old. She's still got a healthy chub on her that puppies have and shes got some muscle. She hasnt been sick. When we got her she had a tiny cold, but hasnt been sick since then.
  • redcattoo said:



    You can always try different kibbles. When I fed kibble (I now have chosen a raw diet instead) my picky eater was more interested if I added a bit of canned food. He was really picky though and the kibble and canned food had to be quality. I tried down grading within the Wellness line from Core to the next canned food option down with failure, he only liked the Wellness Core canned line. You can also try adding yogurt, peanut butter, maybe just wetting down the kibble and moistening it, eventually you will find what becomes interesting.



    Im trying to avoid giving her dairy products honestly. But peanut butter may just be her thing. She does love it. I havent tried moistening it, but I may start or try it.

    We thought about doing "dog meals" where we would just prepare food for her, but havent really known what kind of meals to make for her.
  • tatonka said:

    Your Shiba not eating can be v. stressful! I would suggest the following, though everyone's experience is different:
    1. Do not leave food out. I think it's better if your doggie figures out that food is available only when the owner provides it and that it will be gone if she doesn't eat it semi-immediately
    2. Experiment with different foods. Buy small samples so that you can figure out what your Shiba might like (at the moment)
    3. Try raw food - there are lots of threads on it here. My Shiba was a picky eater but he'd never let a serving of raw sit out without him finishing it. The simplest raw for me has been pre-made raw or chicken necks (2x are small enough for a Shiba meal).



    Raw chicken...? Id be worried about her getting salmonella ._.
  • redcattoo said:

    I agree with @sunyata ... don't free feed. They should be offered 2 or 3 meals a day (depending on age ... puppies more meals) and if they chose not to eat pick it up after 10-20 minutes.

    Also if they don't eat try to keep treats minimal as otherwise they just learn if they don't eat you will give them all sorts of other goodies during the day instead.

    Dogs do not die missing a few meals in a row and eventually if hungry enough will eat when the meal is offered.

    In regards to the water here are some suggestions:
    1) what you are doing, small amounts at a time topping it off as needed
    2) putting golf balls in the water (or use a slow feed bowl) that slows down the ability to gulp at the water
    3) use ice cubes instead of water as this will slow down her water intake and/or put in small amount of water in bowl and lots of ice cubes that she either has to eat or will melt slowly over time
    4) if you are not always there to regulate you can use a small amount of water and use a very large chunk of ice that will melt slowly through the day
    5) there are water bottles, like you would use for a hamster or guinea pig, where they have to lap at it from a spout that has a ball bearing in it. I have seen people use these most often for crates, but could be used as a regular water source too in order to slow her drinking down.

    Good luck.



    A trainer suggested a rabbit water thing (hamster? gerbil rat? whatever you know what they are) with the ball in them. We hadnt really looked into trying it yet, but we may for a day we may be away a while so she isnt in her cage without water.
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960


    Raw chicken...? Id be worried about her getting salmonella ._.



    Please note there are several of us on the forum who chose to feed a raw diet, myself included. I am not saying you have to chose a raw diet, but before you judge you should educate yourself on the option.

    My picky eater still skips meals now and then even with raw, but is much more excited by his food now than he ever was with kibble. His energy is better, his teeth are better, and his poos are very indicative of his system's happiness.

    In my case I feed chicken quarters, chicken gizzards, chicken hearts, chicken liver, pork shoulder, pork stomach, pork liver, pork necks, beef loins, beef liver, beef intestines, ect .... all raw.

    If you want to read the myths from a raw feeding perspective, including the one you refer to about salmonella here is a good link to get you started on educating yourself on this choice that some of us have made ... http://rawfed.com/myths/#articles

    Edited to add the link directly to the salmonella article about raw feeders perspective on this issue http://rawfed.com/myths/bacteria.html
    Post edited by redcattoo at 2013-06-13 15:33:13
  • shibamistressshibamistress
    Posts: 5171
    Yeah check out the raw diet threads. It will give you lots of info. You may not want to do it, which is fine, but it is an option. Salmonella is not much of a concern; I've been doing this for 15 + years and never had a problem with people or dogs, and I feed raw chicken, not a pre-prepared meal.

    I'm always surprised when people say dogs won't starve themselves. They can and will. I had an Akita who let herself get so thin that people thought we were starving her. She just wouldn't eat, and she'd start to eat ok with a new food, then stop again. Nothing wrong with her; she just didn't eat, and it got quite dangerous.

    And my girl Shiba is basically starving herself to death. She's not eating enough to maintain her weight. Our vet has said, basically, we're going to have to euthanize before she dies of starvation, because that's a terrible way to go. But she will not eat enough to maintain her weight (she has a host of health issues, however).

    Honestly, though I'd be concerned about a 4 month old puppy not eating. She likely will grow out of the water drinking thing, but you do need to make sure you maintain her body weight for healthy growth, so I'd be working on finding something she finds palatable to make sure she is eating.

    Right now the only thing my girl will eat is Stella and Chewy's Duck Duck Goose, which is a very very expensive dried raw food. I'm buying it for her, though, to make sure she eats something, though she's still only consuming about the amount for a 10 pound dog, and she's 30 pounds now (used to be 35). But I want her to eat something!

    Oh, one other thing (a mod comment): SabineAstrophe, you can multiple quote people in one post instead of posting several posts back to back. It's better to get it all in one post rather than double post.

    Post edited by shibamistress at 2013-06-13 15:46:20
  • Whoa, I consider myself a free feeder (we leave the food down until it's gone), but we stil only put down about a day's worth of food at a time (at most, usually he gets a refill twice a day, or when he asks for it). A week seems like a really long time. I would definitely try for something at least a bit more regimented.

    As far as raw goes, if you're worried about disease, then be aware of two things: first, kibble has salmonella on it, and there's no evidence that raw has any more salmonella on it than the the kibble. Second, if you're worried about it, go with a pre-made formula that goes through high pressure processing. It's more expensive but high pressure processing has been shown (by scientific studies) to be very effective in getting rid of bacteria on raw meat. Honestly, the only real downsides to pre-made raw is the cost and the fact that you vet may freak out (which is why we don't feed raw).
  • redcattoo said:



    Please note there are several of us on the forum who chose to feed a raw diet, myself included. I am not saying you have to chose a raw diet, but before you judge you should educate yourself on the option.

    My picky eater still skips meals now and then even with raw, but is much more excited by his food now than he ever was with kibble. His energy is better, his teeth are better, and his poos are very indicative of his system's happiness.

    In my case I feed chicken quarters, chicken gizzards, chicken hearts, chicken liver, pork shoulder, pork stomach, pork liver, pork necks, beef loins, beef liver, beef intestines, ect .... all raw.

    If you want to read the myths from a raw feeding perspective, including the one you refer to about salmonella here is a good link to get you started on educating yourself on this choice that some of us have made ... http://rawfed.com/myths/#articles

    Edited to add the link directly to the salmonella article about raw feeders perspective on this issue http://rawfed.com/myths/bacteria.html



    Oh no I meant no offense to it! It's just the first thing when one thinks of raw chicken is salmonella. Id gave no problem giving her some raw store beef, or do a very light heat on some meat.

    The last thing Id want to do was get her sick, so I'd want to really make sure I knew about something before I tried it you know.

    It's like someone (ive actually had this discussion)

    "Yeah I give her all the things she begs for, onions, chocolate, eggs, burgers, shes so spoiled"

    me: did you just say you give your dog chocolate...?

    "yeah, all the time! I carry a little bag of M&ms sometimes for them."

    me: chocolate is toxic to dogs....

    "oh no, they said that about humans too but dont buy into that stuff. look!" SHE HANDED HER DOG SOME M&MS (a man behind her yelled at her 'wtf are you doing?' she didnt bat an eye)
    "see he loves them"

    two minutes later it was coughing and vomiting hard.
    "oh, he's just been sick. he has tummy problems"

    I wanted to call the police!

    anyway, before I ever buy into something someone suggests, i always want to know about it. I didnt mean it in a way like "ew you give your dog raw meat you tryin to kill them" way. it was more a wow, I would of never thought of that because of my own fears of raw meat

    Post edited by SabineAstroph at 2013-06-13 15:56:54
  • Yeah check out the raw diet threads. It will give you lots of info. You may not want to do it, which is fine, but it is an option. Salmonella is not much of a concern; I've been doing this for 15 + years and never had a problem with people or dogs, and I feed raw chicken, not a pre-prepared meal.

    I'm always surprised when people say dogs won't starve themselves. They can and will. I had an Akita who let herself get so thin that people thought we were starving her. She just wouldn't eat, and she'd start to eat ok with a new food, then stop again. Nothing wrong with her; she just didn't eat, and it got quite dangerous.

    And my girl Shiba is basically starving herself to death. She's not eating enough to maintain her weight. Our vet has said, basically, we're going to have to euthanize before she dies of starvation, because that's a terrible way to go. But she will not eat enough to maintain her weight (she has a host of health issues, however).

    Honestly, though I'd be concerned about a 4 month old puppy not eating. She likely will grow out of the water drinking thing, but you do need to make sure you maintain her body weight for healthy growth, so I'd be working on finding something she finds palatable to make sure she is eating.

    Right now the only thing my girl will eat is Stella and Chewy's Duck Duck Goose, which is a very very expensive dried raw food. I'm buying it for her, though, to make sure she eats something, though she's still only consuming about the amount for a 10 pound dog, and she's 30 pounds now (used to be 35). But I want her to eat something!

    Oh, one other thing (a mod comment): SabineAstrophe, you can multiple quote people in one post instead of posting several posts back to back. It's better to get it all in one post rather than double post.



    it will take me a while to get used to thread forms haha

    But my gosh i hope you dont have to euthanize her D:>

    my boyfriend would always joke on nights we had steak because she would bark at him for some, and he would look at her and go "the only time youre getting a (whole) rib-eye is if you do something so amazing that it makes me want to buy you one, or I know youre going to be euthanized and i want your last meal to be something great."
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    Here is one of the good chains, quite long though, on this forum those of us who feed raw have posted in ... http://www.shibainuforum.org/forum/discussion/9663#Item_528

    I quite believe raw, especially for the Shiba breed that is still so closely linked to their ancestors DNA, is the best diet. I understand though it is not for everyone and I don't believe dogs on kibble are prone to a bad life, my cats have been happy on kibble all their lives ... I have yet to consider transitioning them as they are free feederes.

    I like to think both of my dogs physical health and mental health though ... would I want to eat day after day after day the same thing in tiny hard pellet form just because some organization says it has the best balance of daily nutrition? Do I want to depend on some company who's only goal is to drive revenues to care about what works for my dog? Do I want to constantly worry about kibble recalls, especially in light of recent trends?

    With raw I completely control what their diet is and can give them lots of variety ... actually with raw the more variety the better for overall balance. I can adjust the meat, bone, organ content to best suit what their system handles. With raw my dogs have the mental stimulation of chewing just like their ancestors did. With raw the work put into eating keeps their teeth naturally more clean. At the end of the day my boys seem to enjoy raw much more than kibble.

    I do believe dogs shouldn't free feed and instead be treated more like human children and fed at given meal times, under 6 months at least 3 meals a day and up through a year at least 2 meals a day. I do believe you do have to put away food if the dog doesn't eat after a given period of 10-20 minutes, but I also do believe if they are skipping more than a couple meals in a row with no real reason then you do need to find something to encourage them to eat.

    You can also buy something like Grizzly Salmon Oil which is a good supplement for them and put it on their kibble (or raw food) to see if that encourages them too.

    The reason I suggest yogurt is because it is a good natural probiotic that can help if the pup is having digestive issues which are leading to discomfort and a lack of wanting to eat. You can also use Ark's Natural Digest to add a pre and probiotic to help with digestion, but that is a pill so wouldn't necessarily encourage them to eat a meal.
  • RikkaRikka
    Posts: 1501
    Heh, I'm also a free feeder like @notoriousscrat. Sagan has always eaten the appropriates amount of food every day. I've never had any over-eating or starvation problems.

    Raw food is the bee's knee's, though. ;-)
    image
    Lauren, living with a 4 y/o Shiba named after a scientist. ☆
  • Rikka said:

    Heh, I'm also a free feeder like @notoriousscrat. Sagan has always eaten the appropriates amount of food every day. I've never had any over-eating or starvation problems.

    Raw food is the bee's knee's, though. ;-)



    I wouldnt say that she starves herself.
    But she certainly doesnt eat much and it worries me sometimes.

  • ShibaLoveShibaLove
    Posts: 554
    Nikko sometimes chooses to no eat his food. I use to be a free feeder (one meals worth at a time) but now that we got Ember she will eat all of her and Nikko's before he touches his food. I think that putting down only one or two meals a time is better because you can monitor them more closely on how much they are eating...are they eating the full amount every day? Is there a pattern? etc.

    Now, if Nikko doesn't eat in his "15 min allotted time" tough shit. He will eat at dinner if he is really hungry. Obviously if he really ate nothing for an extended period I would take him to the vet but he eventually gets hungry and eats when it is given. If I was putting out a weeks worth of food I might not even notice if he went a couple days without eating.

    As for the drinking, I think one of those spigot water bottles might be useful. Someone on here mentioned using one too.
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    I'm OK with free feeding never done it though as my parent's dogs are the type to eat till they're sick.

    Saya when she was on kibble she'd eat amount she needs sometimes she left some so I'd save it for pm meal and add bit more food.

    Adding salmon oil might help or coconut oil Saya loves coconut oil I rotate between fish oil and coconut oil..

    I looked up kibble you feed looks good ingredient wise, but maybe it doesn't smell or taste good to her. Or it could be due to other things.

    I do think shiba tend to be on picky side I only see that from other members though Saya has good appetite, but she never over eats.

    I'd let her eat a 9lb pork shoulder roast and she will only eat 5oz at minimum and 10oz of it at maximum.

    I've fed Saya raw at since she was 8months old and she is four years now. I never fed her meat that is so ripe it smells or is very slimy.. I buy meat fresh and portion it into meal or snack sizes and freeze individually.

    Seeing your intro thread I wonder if that could be linked to this? I know Conker @Losech 's shiba can be picky sometimes even with raw items.

    Like I said Saya isn't too picky she loves kibble, caned food, dehydrated food, frozen food, fruit only thing she is picky with is certain veggies and one type of protein she doesn't like.
    Photobucket
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    I used to free feed my dogs too and we never had an overly weighted dog although, looking back on photos of one dog, she was a little heavy, but only when she got over 10. But I guess it depends on the dog and the amount of exercise. My mom would keep kibble out all day but would add human food after we were done with our dinner, which is when the dog would always eat. Our dogs never had an eating problem though. Seeing how your dog has issues at such a young age, I would not free feed. A little bit of hunger may be a good thing in her case. Be sure, also, that your food is not recalled. I've heard of a lot of dogs not eating food because it smelled bad, and the owners later found out it was recalled.

    I am another supporter of raw food diets. I started my boys on it about 4 months ago and they love it. Kaji never really ate with passion until I switched to raw. Now he looks forward to his meals and eats it all. Occasionally, he'll take a bone and run around the backyard, wondering where he can hide it. He then realizes he really wants to eat it and it disappears. Feeding raw is completely different than what I thought it was, and is an entirely different eating experience for both me and the dogs. Plus, they don't drink as much water since the meat has so much in it.

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