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Pre-Softened Kibble Storage??
  • glitchglitch
    Posts: 189
    My 2.5 Yr old female shiba decided she doesn't like to eat kibble anymore. She used to eat her kibble no problem and completely finish her portions. In fact she used to drool when we were scooping her kibble, but as of the past 2 months shes been barely touching her food unless shes really hungry. She has lost weight (not excessively), but her overall energy level has been the same and she hasn't shown any signs of illness. We were thinking maybe her teeth or gums were hurting her so we got her teeth xrayed, full cleaned and checked.. everything seems fine, no major dental work or extractions were necessary and the vet said there was no exposed nerves. We've switched up her kibble with a fresh batch, and have tried different brands and proteins with no luck, she still is not consistent. She still happily gnaws on her dental chews and she doesn't seem to be in any pain.

    Anyway, we've been feeding her softened Acana kibble along with a scoop of wet dog food mixed in. She seems to be eating this a bit more consistently. I'm wondering if there's any way to presoften a big batch of kibble and store it in the fridge or freezer and just scoop it out into her bowl when its chow time so we don't have to wait forever for the kibble to soften before each meal time. I don't want to start buying wet dog food because it becomes too costly and I don't think it's necessary if the softened kibble works ok. At the moment I'm not interested in starting a Raw diet with her.

    Also if there is any extremely stinky, smelly, flavor packed dog kibble you think I should try I'm open to suggestions.

  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3664
    I wouldn't store softened kibble in the fridge for more than 24hrs as any longer would risk it being contaminated by bacteria and mold. You probably could get away with canning it, but that would require more work and the cooking process would destroy a lot of the nutrients in the kibble. And freezing moistened kibble is probably a bad idea as you would have to wait for it to thaw or risk cracking a tooth if your pup eats it frozen.

    What some kennels I know do is to have two food bowls, and soak the next meals kibble in one bowl while the dog is eating the current meal in another. This way there really isn't any waiting and the prep time each meal isn't much different than just pouring dry kibble in the bowl.

    Also, if you want to save a little money instead of buying canned food all of the time, you can make the food more interesting by boiling up some bones. It really doesn't matter what animal it comes from as the dog won't be getting the bones, though I find chicken bones to have the best fragrance, and you can used left over bones from a meal you made yourself. Just fill a pot with water, throw the bones in, and leave it to boil for a few hours (checking on it routinely to make sure that there is still some water/broth in the pot). Once you get it to a flavor and scent that you like, skim out the bones and let cool to room temperature before pouring in ice cube trays and storing in the freezer. Simply pop a cube out and pour a little bit of hot water on it, and use that liquid to soak the kibble in. Sure it's a bit of extra work but it should help make the kibble smell and taste better as well as add additional minerals and nutrients to your pups diet.

    Though so long as your pup is healthy, I wouldn't fuss too much with their diet as a healthy dog won't starve to death. Just pick a kibble and routine and make them tough it out, the more you fuss the more of a headache it'll be. I've found that most shibas are very good at self regulating their diet and may not need to eat at much as it says they should have on the bag. My one shiba was eating less than half a cup of kibble (before I switched to raw) and was doing fine with just that. If he didn't eat when the food was down, then he had to wait until next meal to get anything. He was a little skinny but he didn't drop below 19lbs and he still acted healthy and happy. Besides, being a little underweight is better on the joints than being overweight.
  • You've done a good job of describing, but it leaves me with a lot more questions...

    Have you talked to your vet about the change in your Shiba's eating patterns...? Could be a sign of something deeper. Have you thought about this in a larger lens - what else is happening in your Shiba's life? Have you had any large scale changes happen in your home in the last 2 months? How many treats does she get per day? Do you leave the food down? Or do you pick the food up after a certain amount of time? I noticed you had another thread talking about getting a shiba that is not spayed, could it be something with her reproductive cycle? Could this be a seasonal eating change? Is it abnormally hot/cold where you are?

  • glitchglitch
    Posts: 189
    Thanks for your suggestions! The vet was aware of the change in eating patterns but didnt think much of it since she was still playing and acting normal. We have seen her go through a heat cycle before with no change in her appetite so Im thinking this isnt it. We leave the food down for maybe 15 min and then pick it up. I cant leave the food down all day because i have another shiba who would definitely scarf up her share if she doesnt eat. She used to show interest in eating after I put the food down, nowadays she just sniffs the food and may or may not have a small bite.

    Yesterday I ground up her food into mush and kept making her eat as much as she can. It took lots of coaxing but she did end up eating most of it. Immediately after, she was playing hard and running around like a maniac, then 5 minutes after play, she puked up little mouthfuls of watery kibble mush. It wasnt a full fledge puke-all-her-dinner-out sort of a deal, just over the span of an hour, puked up 4 mouthfuls of stuff. I'm not sure if I can attribute that to her playing hard right after eating or not.

    She's already a very tiny shiba.. I think last time they weighed her at the vet she came out to 16lbs.. which is why I get so worried when she doesnt eat much.

    Im going to be attempting to feed her some plain boiled chicken and rice the next few days in the hopes that she feels better if her tummy has been bugging her. Would giving her some probiotic be beneficial while shes on the rice and chicken diet or is that too tough on her tummy?
  • MayamaMayama
    Posts: 270
    She probably puked because she was playing right after eating. I would have puking if I go jogging right after a meal.

    If she likes mushed food, maybe she'll like the Honest Kitchen. It takes about 3 minutes to re-hydrate with warm water. You can also add a little cooked or raw meat. Thought I don't do so myself, I know some owners make a few days worth of food and refrigerate. I personally believe serving the meals warm is more appetizing and healthy.
    Shiba Inu Maya's blog and FB page
  • glitchglitch
    Posts: 189
    Thanks @mayama for the suggestion. Ive never heard of dehydrated dog food! I'll get a sample and try it for sure
  • Kira_KiraKira_Kira
    Posts: 2482
    I use 1/3 a dehydrated patty of Stella & Chewy's in Kira's food sometimes to give her variety. A little hot water and it's good to go!
    Cynthia, Proudly owned by Kira
    Kira the Cream Shiba Inu 吉良 - Facebook Page
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    “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”

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