5 yr old not just chewing but eating - Page 1

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by Lynda58 on 15 May 2018 - 14:05

For those who know her Ghana is awesome! She is well behaved and happy in her new home. She makes all the trouble we went through worth it! I have one problem! She eats rugs, rags, etc. when she is alone. I chalked this up to separation anxiety but now not so sure. Background Ghana is a kennel dog. Bred in Serbia and shipped pregnant to Florida at 2 not well cared for when I got her at 5. Covered in feces infested with heartworm. Also the 2 yr old turned out to be 5. She had a rough life but is adapting well to a family and is clean being treated for heartworm and loved dearly. Any suggestions on hat is causing this? Or maybe how I can fix this? It did stop for awhile when I let her sleep in my room but then she ate my rug lol. She will never do it in front of you she is the perfect dog otherwise. My professional friends I need your help thank you all! Lynda Kasheta

Hundmutter

by Hundmutter on 15 May 2018 - 16:05

Dogs teeth are not really built for 'chewing', as humans understand chewing. If she is grabbing and gulping her food too fast, there are things you can do about it to slow her down. Take a look around pet stores and online, there are specially designed dishes that are moulded to contain mazes and bumps and stuff to make it harder for the dog to grab a big mouthful at once. The dirt-cheap alternative method is to keep some clean rocks and put those in her bowl at every meal - but you'd better be sure she isn't a 'pebble eater' first, or she will swallow those as well as the food.

Opinions differ on this, but I have never found that being a fast eater automatically gives rise to gastric upset. And if it does not make her ill, I wouldn't be too bothered about it. But slowing her meals down MIGHT have a beneficial effect on her other habit :

If she is chewing on the furnishings (hard or soft), 'between meals' LOL, consider this:

She possibly, if, as you say, she was not well kept, had little to divert her during long, boring days, and chewing on stuff  to ease teething pain can develop into a lifetime habit.  And yes, dogs that chew a lot of 'stuff' do tend to swallow some of that stuff ... and it can be very dangerous, and expensive to remove from the intestines before it blocks them and kills the dog.  Not everything swallowed will pass through !

 

You have already taught her to leave the rug-chewing etc until you are not present to stop her. [Think about it.]

This will take some time & effort on your part.  I would get help from a dog trainer, or find a good detailed training book which goes into this problem.

Basically it involves distraction and the provision of suitable 'chewable' alternatives.

Feeding through stuffed toys, Kongs, etc that she has to get the food out of can slow her down tremendously AND stop her chewing 'non-food' at the same time.

Always leaving her down a big solid (non-spintering) leg bone to chew on helps.

Spray aversives like 'bitter apple' or chew-stopper on ALL exposed cables/wires, and on furniture corners, rug fringes, etc - and remember to top it up regularly.

The aim is that eventually having tried to chew something and found it always tastes horrible, they learn to leave those things alone.

Make sure she gets plenty of exercise - tired dogs are less likely to chew than sleep.

Teach her gradually that being left alone, or in one smaller area (not necessarily a crate) where there are few opportunities to damage things, isn't the end of the world ! I can understand if there is some reluctance to confine her on your part because of her early life, but dogs think in the "now", not about yesterday ... and so should you.

Good luck.

 

Hundmutter

by Hundmutter on 15 May 2018 - 16:05

PS Lynda, I had this 'chew everything in sight' problem with a dog of mine; he eventually aged out of it [when he was about 9 ! Regular Smile] and using the methods I have referred to helped considerably. But this is often not one of those 'quick -fix' things, you may have to keep on top of it for a long, long time.

Linda.

by Lynda58 on 15 May 2018 - 17:05

That's just it she is a dainty eater! She gulps nothing otherwise I would agree. It takes her hours to finish her food. The only thing she eats is rags. I have been bench chaining her when she is out of site


Western Rider (admin)

by Western Rider on 15 May 2018 - 20:05

OK members,  the dog is NOT eating her food to fast.  She is chewing up things, rugs, blankets etc and the OP believes she is swallowing said items.

She is doing this when left alone.

Lynda if she is taking that long to eat her meal something is wrong. Either with the food, her or what she is getting away with.

General rule is put the food down and pick it up in 20 minutes no mater what and no food until next scheduled feeding time. That will take care of what she is getting away with. 

by joanro on 15 May 2018 - 20:05

I read the op's post through and through twice. Didn't see any mention of eating food slowly.

As for eating carpet ,etc. that is not uncommon for many gsd. Crate her when you at not there to supervise, otherwise she will wind up having to have guy surgery, if you catch the blockage from foriegn material before it kills her.
Unlikely you are going to "break' her of this....picca is not curable, but must be controlled. It is hereditary and probly has nothing to do with having lived in a kennel.

by joanro on 15 May 2018 - 20:05

Dp

by Lynda58 on 25 May 2018 - 11:05

Ethan is guys you are wonderful. I have been bench chaining her and it is working. As for why I let her take her time eating at this point is this is Ghana the dog I bought from Charles Durand. She is in treatment for heartworm and needs her strength. All the trouble I went through was worth it because I found you guys! God Bless. Vet says she is doing well.

Hundmutter

by Hundmutter on 25 May 2018 - 15:05

Glad to hear she is doing okay; good on you for taking care of her despite the shaky start, and I hope that continues when she is fully over the heartworm. But you may still need to deal with the chewing of rugs etc at a later date, once she is clear of heartworm she won't automatically stop with the pica I shouldn't think.  And there may be a time when you don't want to have to keep tying her up. Anything she chews then will still have the same dangerous implications !

 

For WR and Joan : please note I wrote 'if' Ghana was gulping her food, and that slowing down methods might prove to be a help with the pica;  it is my experience that it is often (not always) the case that the two go hand in hand so it was worth mentioning.

by Lynda58 on 25 May 2018 - 15:05

I am ready to give her the life she deserves! She will never again not know what being a dog is suppose to be. As for the pica my husband and I will never give up on her no matter what it takes to keep her safe and healthy. Thank you

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