Eating problems

I have a 1 year old golden doodle miniature and he has had stomach problems a lot. He throws up and gets diarrhea during these times. He is currently on wellness core puppy. He goes thru times he will not eat. Often times I will have to intice him with chicken or cheese to get him to eat. I have had him on several different foods. The vet did blood work and checked him over and all is normal. He first ate the wellness core very good but now after several months seems not interested. What food should I try or what should I do to help him? Thank you

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  • I wouldn't keep changing his food. That can cause stomach upsets. If he did well on Wellness Core Puppy, feed him Wellness Core adult. You. An change the protein source with each bag for variety. Lots of changes upset tummies. Remember that he's an adult now and doesn't need as many calories  as when he was a puppy. Over feeding can cause diarrhea and even vomiting sometimes too. I'd also get him a good probiotic like Proviable and give him daily. You can also add a little plain unflavored yogurt as a topping on his food. IF the vet says he's a healthy weight, try not to worry if he skips a meal or two. He's self regulating his calorie needs. 

  • So you have two separate problems here, one medical and one not. The vomiting and diarrhea is one issue, and the less concerning issue is the inappetance. 
    Nancy is right that changing foods frequently is a mistake, for both of these issues. 
    The disinterest in food can actually be caused by frequent food changes as well as enticements to eat. You have taught him that if he turns up his nose, he will get something better. Dogs are always interested in something new, but then it gets "old" pretty quick and you're back to square one. No matter what food you try, the same thing will happen again.
    I doubt very much that the bloodwork the vet did included a GI panel. I would request one just to rule out a physical cause for the vomiting and diarrhea. This is a test that must be sent out and takes about 5-7 days to get results; your vet cannot run it in house. It measures folate, cobalamine, and something called a TLi ratio. It costs about $200. 
    In the meantime, what else does your dog get in the way of treats, chews, etc? Is he the type of dog that sometimes ingests things he shouldn't? Do you feed twice a day at a fixed time? If you are free feeding, stop. It is contributing to the problem. A normal healthy dog will not starve himself. And whatever else you do, stop giving him cheese. High fat foods like cheese or peanut butter are just about guaranteed to exacerbate digestive issues. If you must use a topper, pick up a small bag of Stella & Chewy's Meal Mixers and crush 2 or 3 nuggets over the kibble. 
    I agree that the puppy food is too high in fat and calories for an adult dog. I am a big fan of limited ingredient, single protein diets for dogs with stomach issues. Wellness Core is an excellent food, but you might consider trying Wellness Simple Solutions, or their Complete Health Limited formulas. 
    But if there is in fact a medical issue, no food is going to help until that is addressed.
    It would also be a good idea to give him Proviable, as Nancy suggested.

    • My vet told me to keep him on puppy food until 14-16 months old. He just turned 12 months Aug 9. Was this wrong should I put him on adult food now? Also I have been using the wellness food toppers is this as good as the Stella's you suggested? Thank you

      • He's a mini- he's full grown and can be on adult or all life stages food. Karen is more qualified to suggest what specific formula you might start with. I'd suggest starting with a protein that was in the puppy food tgat he tolerated but Karen is much more knowledgeable than I am. 

      • Your vet is wrong about this. Most vets are not well versed in nutrition, just like human doctors. In fact, there is no required nutrition course in vet school OR medical school. Puppy foods are designed to supply extra fat and calories for rapid growth. Once the dog has reached full skeletal growth, they don't need that. Minis generally reach full skeletal growth by 9 months. Since doodles are not a breed and there is no consistency (there are "mini" doodles who are 60+ lbs), your vet may simply not have known when your pup would reach full size. What does he currently weigh?
        The Wellness food toppers have lots and lots of different types, ingredients, and formulas. The Stella & Chewy nuggets are more convenient and easier on the digestive system. 

    • What specific wellness complete or simple food line would you suggest? When looking at there site I see many different ones. Thank you

  • The vomiting and diarrhea is concerning but if it's unrelated to the digestive upset then the inappetance may not be of concern.

    Our 1.5 year old goldendoodle Toby is just not a big eater.  I discussed it with the vet (very experienced, been in practice a long time) and he said that it does happen that there are some dogs that just aren't that interested in food.  He is a "4" on the body condition scale (out of 10), so a bit on the skinny side but the vet said as long as he doesn't lose any weight not to worry about him skipping meals.  

    Toby will sometimes go over 24h without eating, eventually relents and eats.  He is active, high-energy and is maintaining his weight so clearly he is getting enough calories.  He's just a skinny guy who doesn't really like to eat.

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