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Hi, does anyone have any tips on food and feeding?

My boy has gone off his food almost completely.. he will sniff it and pick around but he's not interested. He has been wormed and is not unwell at all so I know he just does not like the food.

He is having royal canin maxi junior and tripe (or other meat) I will feel him twice a day, it was three times when he was growing up.


When I have given him a tin of processed meat he will wolf it down but the nutritianal value is not good so I don't want to go down that route. Also I want something that'll keep the weight on and his condition... shiny coat, good teeth etc...


So, what feeds are good? I'm in England.

Many thanks




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Hi all,

Thanks for all your helpful hints and tips... they gave me the confidence to ditch his breeders regime and experiment today...


We had a big breakthrough this evening with a can of butchers tripe mix and some extra meaty kibbles - much cheaper variety than the Royal Canin ... so all-in-all, a very happy Setter now sleeping soundly :) :) :)

I will add some of our free-range chickens egg yolks from time to time now too x


I will also experiment with the raw diet when I have sourced the right butchers..

One thing that really helped our picky eater was to change the breakfast timing.  She gets really hungry early in the morning, so I feed her first thing.  Maybe experiment more with feeding times?  Also, leaving some food out overnight where she can kind of smell it before she gets up helped us to build up to mealtime more.  We were worried our girl would have to go on some sort of expensive diet, but all she needed was to eat when she was hungry!

Yup, we had the same experience: experimenting some changes in feeding times is working:)


 But for us it seems the other way round: Oberon is always sleepy in the morning and not always keen to eat, while in the evening, after 1day of play and activities, he's more inclined to gulp something (even better: sometimes he's looking for some extra food after the last walk,  before bed time)


so is not unusual that he skips breakfast but then he has two meals:one around 6-7pm and the second around 11pm.. he's definitely not a "morning" guy;)



Hi Kate have had the same problem with 2 IS over the years most recently with Hamilton who is now 6 year sold. I have never fed a dry complete feed always terrier mix with cooked chicken, tongue, shin of beef or white fish and twice a day. Although a varied diet both Dempsey and Hamilton went off eating for a couple of months in their teen months, so I fed by hand and pretended to eat breakfast and dinner with them - nothing like a bit of competition around the food bowl. Good luck I'm sure your boy will come out the other side Hamilton now weighs a healthy 44kgs.and Dempsey lived to over 15 years

Kate: we are going through this fussy time as well with Oberon.. sometimes nothing lasts > 1week: we know that what is delicious today may look poison tomorrow :)


Oberon refuses all raw food (we tried naturalinstinct and others, following suggestions) and hates tripe (I am not so sorry for that, because of the smell;) .. so is not true that with raw food they all eat  enthusiastically (although it looks most of them are happy...) . He doesnt like beef but seems happy with chicken or pieces of stewing lamb. I am contrary to pork and not so keen with turkey for dogs, so I dont buy those..


Ah: he's not happy with mince: big pieces are better :)  I give the meat half boiled in the microwave.. And I never full the whole bowl: I give half, he eats, then the second half immediately.. I am not sure why this works: maybe it looks as he needs a bit of encouragement and a full bowl is "intimidating" (ahhhhhhh ;))


At some point for 1 month he falled in love with raw chicken wings, but now this love is disappeared and they are left beyond..


But a dog food that seems to work, if not always at least for most time, is naturediet (avoid the fish /salmon range but ok lamb/rabbit). Try to google their website if you are in UK, they do delivery: it is the closer we can get to raw food (cooked at low T, etc) and seems very good to me! Is also quite common in some specialists pet stores.


So basically our diet oscillates between naturediet, some half cooked meat (chicken, stewing lamb, oxtail). The latter is integrated with sardinas or eggs or frozen salmon (asda has a cheap bag) from time to time, or I add a bit of "petplus" power (just as an integrator we have been told is good, I am sure is plenty of them..) ..


Occasionally, while walking, he "manages" to eat some of his original royal canin maxi (we still have a 15kg bag left in our storage, so I now use this just for picnics in the woodland, always hand feeded ;)


Well, we are not experts, but I hope it helps.. Well, at least you know you are not alone :)





Forgot to mention canned sardines our boys just love them especially the ones in vegetable oil.
I will stick with the same kibble and use a rotation of several brands of canned food which is 95% meat.  Mine won't eat his kibble usually without a tablespoon of meat mixed in it.  He got spoiled.  I also find mine isn't hungry for breakfast but eats three meal a day with the last one being near bedtime.  He has to get active before getting hungry.  Some dog just eat to survive and others survive just to eat.  The first one is preferrable to me since an overweight dog is so much harder to deal with. 
Molly here went off her food right after she came home to us....we were feeding what she was fed in foster care...so it became a search for the best food for her that MOLLY would eat.....picky little one for a while there but has settled down finally with a dry kibble (no grain just for gp) and few tablespoons of meat...chicken and lamb are her favorites.  We did find she likes to eat twice a day and has to have her audience to eat(husband only rates as audience if I am not home so she can get her meaty food....otherwise she waits for me to come home to eat any plain kibble).  Mornings are a funny thing with her....husband feeds her dry kibble if bowl is empty and always gives her half of a large dog biscuit( or one medium one) which is set on a shelf by her bowl. She usually gets a few graham crackers out of him also ...then proceeds to hide those graham crackers and her bone til I get up an hour later....really nice to wake up to crackers and bones hidden under your pillow or tucked under your feet!  She will hide that bone for about another hour and then all of a sudden she is hungry ...so she eats some kibble and then unearths her bone....and her graham cracker and eats those last.  If you change type of dog biscuit you give her she will hide it for about a week before finally deciding it is alright to eat it and then just do her normal hiding after that.  Now if we are having any type of salmon you have her on alert as she loves salmon!!  just not any that comes dried though or in a dog food.  Husband swears she would eat lobster and insist on it everyday if she ever gets a taste of it! 
Bella was quite faddy when young and I never knew from one day to the next whether she was going to eat or not, we had spells of maybe 3 weeks where she would happily chow down and then for what seemed to be no particular reason she wasn't interested unless you sat with her and hand fed it out of the bowl for a day or two (could be quite messy for me) then she was back on her own again.  Mr B and I debated whether we were making a rod for our own backs by "pandering" (his words, not mine) to her but I felt bad when she was on her hunger strike so would happily sit on the kitchen floor and feed her until at least half was gone.
For the last six months she has been a reliable little scoffer (please don't let me be jinxing it), she will perhaps have a day where she only has one of her two meals but then I guess I have days where I have less appetite than others. 
She is a bit of a spoiled madam I suppose, she gets Orijen complete food mixed with either (wait for it......) scrambled egg and cheese; cheese; browned beef or lamb mince (fat drained off); steamed turkey breast (the vet recommended Turkey or White fish when Bella had an upset tummy as he said it has been shown to aid recovery faster than chicken or other meat, and she loves it); steamed cod, salmon, mackerel, coley (whatever is at a good price or what we might be having); homemade Chicken Stew that also has Carrots, Sweet Potato and other Veg found loitering in the bottom of the fridge and it is made with very low sodium stock (the kind you use in Baby food) or water; homemade Beef Stew (same as chicken stew with the addition of perhaps a bit of Liver); tinned Tuna, Sardines, or Mackerel.  With the Stews for example I make a massive pot and then freeze it in portion sizes which makes life a lot easier.  I've tried to feed her raw meat and she is not utterly convinced, she'll take the odd bit when I'm trimming off what we're having but doesn't like it mixed in her dinner.
Oh and she has a regular self serve intake of Rabbit poo, sticks, flowers from the garden, mud, paper from the recycling box..... makes you wonder why you bother sometimes.

ehhh looks like oberon !!!! Except we dont do the stew.. not yet :)


en passant: my brother in law is a vet in Italy and suggested us to avoid turkey. apparently in Italy turkey is extremely full of hormons- even more than chicken :(

not sure if turkeys are better in other countries. I am impressed by the way in which their meat shrinks when I boil it.. I think I just avoid  or give with lot of moderation.., they seem "blow up" animals sometimes..

But yes, I know certain vets in UK suggest turkey instead of chicken during recovery time..


It looks that whatever we do we fail, so I guess we have to leave some choices to common sense:)


I'm like you Silvia, everything in moderation, plus I have to keep the rotation up or Little Miss Fuss-Pot goes back on hunger strike.  There seems  to be so much advice out there about what to give and not to give, and it all contradicts itself, I'm often left wondering what's the right answer and just muddle through!  Bella also sounds like Oberon in that she's not one for eating in the morning either and generally isn't interested until about 2.00pm once she has had her walk, a play and a snooze.  I often think I'd quite like to be Bella, she has a nice life.
Elizabeth my husband wants to know if he can come live with you?  He says your dog eats better than he does......but he would bring the wine and the chocolates that the IS does not bring.  What a nice varied diet your IS has!




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