Old Dog vs Young Dog

Updated on February 05, 2009
A.C. asks from Edmond, OK
12 answers

ok, i know most requests here are about kids, but...here's my story. we have two dogs, both retired greyhounds, so really big-- one is 13, and as he ages, he is not as quick to eat his dinner. when we feed them, the youngest finishes irst, goes outside, then comes in and eats his food. she doesn't push him out of his bowl, but he wants to pick at his food all day,so he walks away. as soon as he walks off, she eats it all. she is getting very heavy (and a fat greyhound is a funny sight!) but he is such a slow eater. our house isnt' set up where we could shut one of them away, and even if we did, it would be for all day, because he just isn't that interested in his food. we can't keep her outside for very long, because it is below freezing, and greyhounds can't be outside in the cold (or hot) for long. any thoughts?

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So What Happened?

thanks for all of the response, honestly, i was surprised by any response at all! we are picking up the food to prevent our younger dog from getting too heavy, and i am going to make sure he gets a little "lunch" every day, while she has a rawhide to munch and not feel left out. our babies are headed to the vet today, and yes, one of his teeth looks terrible, so we are checking it out! and i have to throw it in there, if anyone is thinking of adopting a greyhound, they are such sweet and gentle friends!

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answers from Oklahoma City on

Have you tried giving them both less food, especially the one who doesn't eat much? Try feeding him small amounts, when you are home, and you can keep the other one busy so she doesn't try to eat his. When he walks away, take the food away.

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answers from Tulsa on

Can you pick up the older dogs bowl before the younger one eats the food? As long as the older one doesn't get malnourished, you could do that.
Good luck!



answers from Little Rock on

i was going to say to give him less food more often. if you know he only eats certain amount, just give him that much, then later give him some more. that way the other dog won't be over eating. also, if this is new, i'd have him checked out, but if it's just from aging, more small meals might help keep his energy level up anyway.



answers from Tulsa on

You said your house wasn't set up to shut one of them away while they eat, so unless you live in an open studio or loft-type apartment, couldn't you put one in a bedroom with his food and the other in the kitchen with his food, or put a gate up in the kitchen, dining room, living room, something? We just have one dog and we leave dry food out all the time so he eats as he pleases, but when we go out of town he doesn't touch his dry food (so if there are other dogs at whoever's house we are staying they get his food if we don't separate them). Our solution was to mix canned dog food with the dry food, that is the only way to get him to eat on demand (i.e., at mealtime when you can separate them or watch them closely). You said the one dog wasn't that interested in his food so even if you separated them at mealtime it would have to be all day, so maybe that would work to get him to eat right then if you separate them. Or put treats or whatever yummy stuff he can't resist in his food, whatever works. Good luck.



answers from Baton Rouge on

Hey A.,

As a mom to a little person and mom to 3 dogs.. I hope this helps. Our dogs are 6 months, 7 years and 18 years. The 6 month one was ana ddition back in September when we lost our 10 year old dog to vestibular disease. We did not want the middle one to be lonely as we expect the elder one to pass in the next year.
Anyway, I wanted to point out that dogs do not really chnge their eating pace with age. That being said, puppies most often are aggressive, rapid eaters who will over feed. And it would be helpful to feed the younger one a bowl and remove it so she learns that frrding is not all day. Otherwise she is learning to never feel full and I can attest to that not being a good thing. Since she is younger she needs things to stimulate her... try large bones and other chew toys to keep her active for awhile without filling her up.
And for the older one, I really beleive he needs to see the vet for some dental work. Most people have no idea the importance of teeth care for dogs. My 18 year old gets her teeth cleaned yearly and when she was younger it was every 6-8 months. When I say cleaned, I am not talking about the brushing I would do when I could (must use paste safe for doggies, and it stinks) ... I am referring to the under anesthisia process performed by the veterinarian that removed all buildup. This kept her teeth strong and at the old age of 18 she still eats dry food. Also soft food causes more buildup on teeth. Anyway, I am just saying that I do not believe that your older guy became a slower eater with age but rather with oral discomfort. He may have an infected tooth.... or most likely just sore teeth that need some attention. I think the cleaning cost around $60-$70 but it is worth it in everyway. Good teeth in humans and pets promotes healthier breakdown of food and nutrients. Overall it makes you feel and look better. And don't get me wrong... I wish a trip to the dentist wasn't necesssary but it works for longevity. So see if your vet can look you man over and do a cleaning. I would expect him to eat a little faster once his teeth feel good. I would also sepreate them at feeding. Maybe he can stay in and eat and she can eat outside and take a 15 minute bathroom break. Then he gets 15-20mins to take his feed. And after that time I would remove all feed from both. I would repeat this in the evening. And then when you can maybe offer him a 3rd middle of day or early evening feeding in a seperate room of the house. She can have a small treat at this time. If the 3rd feeding can be routine I would do it.... but if not then offer it every chance you can. Older dogs need the calories... so if he just will not consume more at a feeding, I would speak to the vet about a high calorie content food for him. That way he would injest the same volume and benefit more.
Best Wishes.... We just love our dogs and our little one adores them too!



answers from Oklahoma City on

I would suggest picking up his bowl and not leaving it down all day which I think others have said. I don't have any great advice for you but I wanted to tell you how great I think it is that you adopted retired greyhounds. Many years ago we lived next to an old greyhound named Grandpa who was just the sweetest dog! He used to hunt coyotes in the country before he moved to the city and had a hole in his tongue that when he panted his canine would stick through...lol! Good Luck!



answers from Huntsville on

I was going to say pretty much what Liev said. Watch the older dog, and when he walks away from his food, put the bowl up where the other dog can't get to it. Offer it to the older dog several times a day, while still keeping an eye on it and putting it up when he's not eating it.

If he still isn't eating enough, you may want to consult your vet to make sure he isn't starving himself!



answers from Montgomery on

Hi A.,

A little about me-I have 4 children-ages 22,19,16,15. I've been married for 20 years. First grandchild is due in April. I also have 8 dogs and a cat.

Do you have crates for your dogs? I have 2 dogs that I feed in their crates because they like to fight. They learned quickly that this is the only place they eat. I didn't start this with them as puppies-just recently. They don't fight over the food-we're having dominance issues. One of them just hit full maturity and has decided that he wants to rule. Maybe you can try crating your dogs when they eat. I know you said the older one nibbles all day long, so maybe coincide some crating throughout the day with times that he naps. (If he's like my older one-that seems to be most of the day too.) When they're not in the crates, close them so that they can't get to the food and this will help establish an eating pattern for them. My other dogs are free fed, but they're also very active and spend a lot of time outside. The other dogs are only free fed at certain times of the day though. I leave their bowls down for approximately one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening. They've learned that if they don't eat during this time that they have to wait until the next feeding. As for the older dog, I'd mention this to the vet next time they're in to make sure there isn't a physical problem that's causing him to nibble all day long.

I thought crating was going to be a big deal with my 2 crazy dogs, but they've taken to it quite well. One likes to spend more time outside than the other, so we just kind of play it by ear. I find that the dog that stays inside more will actually go to his crate and nap with the door open if no one is paying him attention. I have a friend who has always crated her dogs at night (she owns a doggie day care in Texax) and she's always had success with crate training. It gives them a little security-like a home inside a home. Granted, crates do take up quite a bit of space.

Good luck with your doggie dilemna!



answers from Fayetteville on

I'd just put food out for the old guy once a day, when you figure he must be hungry, and if he doesn't eat it up right away, put it away for an hr. or two. Then try again, or just don't feed him till he asks to be fed. Then just keep an eye on things for a few minutes till he's done.

Hope this helps!



answers from Baton Rouge on

Has the older dog always picked at his food or is this a recent development? If it's a new thing for him, then it's possible there may be something going on that makes him not want to eat - possibly just aging, but also possibly a sore spot in his mouth. Have his teeth been cleaned recently? Dogs get plaque buildup, even eating dry food, and it can cause mouth pain, which will put them off their feed. If he will let you, look at his teeth, especially the back ones along the gum line. If you see orange buildup, he needs to have his teeth cleaned.

If he's always been picky, you may have to feed him as much as he will eat in the morning, then pick it up so the young dog can't get to it, and then feed him again later. I don't know what your schedule is like, but it won't hurt him to eat a little before you go to work, then eat again when you get home.



answers from Tulsa on

Hi A.,
This isn't an answer to your request, but it seems like you got a lot of great ones. I am actually writing to ask you about greyhounds. I am considering adding a retired greyhound to my family. I have 3 boys, ages 12, 6 and
2 1/2. I also have 3 cats. Do you think it is possible that a rescue group could make a match? I have read lots of great things about these dogs as mellow family pets. But I don't have a personal experience. I'd love to hear your thoughts. by the way, I am outside of Tulsa. I'm planning to go see the local resue group this Sat. Thanks so much!



answers from Texarkana on

is there some doorway between two rooms that you can put a gate between so they can still see each other but not eat each others food? or just don't feed him till you get home and put him in a room by himself to eat maybe he will be more hungry that way good luck

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