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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 10863
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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I have a two year old Sheltie who does not want to eat his

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I have a two year old Sheltie who does not want to eat his food,. I was told by the breeder that he is a fussy eater, The brand of food she suggested is a very good one which I have given to my dogs in the past, however he will pick isome up from his bowl and drop it on the floor and walk away. I have tried other foods to no avail. As you can imagine I am getting anxious about him. He has recently been bringing up white froth. Can you give me help please.?

Hello Fiona, I'm Dr. Deb. Thanks for requesting me although I'm sorry that I was off my computer when you did so.

This is a really tough situation when you have a dog who's a fussy eater. It can often be a real challenge to find something which they will consistently like and eat. If their body condition is good, if they aren't significantly underweight in other words, I'll often advise owners to continue feeding their dogs as long as they're eating something. Perhaps they aren't eating as much as you think they should but if they aren't losing weight, then they may be getting enough daily calories to sustain them.

But for those dogs who refuse all dog food and if an owner has tried a number of different flavors, brands, and consistency of dog foods and failed to find one which the patient will eat, then I'll sometimes suggest that human food be fed. This is always a last resort, of course, but I'm convinced that there are some dogs out there who would almost rather starve than eat processed dog food.

I'll sometimes suggest raw diets for these dogs since some will prefer them but I typically recommend "rare" which means zapping them in the microwave for 10-15 seconds to kill surface pathogens.

But if Bracken will eat human food (you didn't mention if he would or not), then this may be what you're going to be feeding him although it obviously won't be balanced for him. Supplementing with a daily vitamin/mineral tablet should be done for those dogs whose primary diet is human food.

Veterinary nutritionists can formulate a more balanced and nutritious diet based on human food which a patient prefers to eat and this service can even be provided online; however, it's fairly expensive as you might imagine.

As to the white froth he's producing, it's possible that this is secondary to an empty stomach although typically the material is more yellowish in color (bile). I don't know that I'd be terribly worried about this behavior but you could give him over the counter Famotidine (Pepcid AC here in the States) which may be of help. The dose would be 1/4 mg per pound of body weight twice a day.

I hope this helps although, again, my apologies for the delayed reply. Deb

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