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OK....a cat owner with a dog issue?? Anyone have a dog, too?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
So, yep..we have two cats, but we fostered a dog who came up from Alabama (we are in MI) and is through the humane society. Katie (dog) has heartworms and kennel cough and needed to really be fostered out until she is adoptable. She goes back at the end of March and I was told she will get another injection for heartworms (or something like that) and that she will be ready for adoption at that point. She is given two anti-biotic tablets once a day and she has these cough tablets that she is supposed to be given upon hearing any coughs (which we haven't at all). We've had her since Wednesday night.

She truly is wonderful and it is apparent that she was someone else's pet at some time (there really is no background on her) as she knows "SIT" and is really well-behaved and great around my small kids...she is pretty submissive, as well. I wouldn't be surprised if we end up getting suckered into her loving ways and adopt her ourselves at the end of the month.

ANYWAY! With that background in mind, here is my question(s) since I know NOTHING about dogs, really.

--Katie only really goes out for potty maybe twice a day. That is once early in the morning and then again in the evening and MAYBE before we go to bed (although she doesn't always go at that point). Is it "normal" for a dog to only need to go out a couple times a day??

--She isn't eating a ton AT ALL. In fact, we put dry food in her bowl when she came here and we haven't had to refill it at all. She's been caught sneaking some out of the cat dishes, but not a lot at all. I've given her a couple of pig ears as a treat (she DIES for those things as nasty as they are) since then and maybe a couple of other treats since then, but nothing significant that would replace a meal. To give her the meds, I take some bread and butter and fold them up in that and she takes that (once a day). But really, again, nothing that would replace a meal in her dish. Now, last night I was out and about and my husband called to tell me that he thinks she was can fed due to the fact that she went NUTS when he (husband) opened up a can (something for my daughter). Would that be why she isn't eating the dry food??? Because she could've been can-fed? Man, I really don't want to go to can, obviously, but will this dog eventually eat if she gets hungry enough???? She doesn't have a runny nose that I notice so I don't know that not being able to smell with this kennel cough is a factor.

--Up until this afternoon, her potties have seemed normal. Today on her walk, she peed twice and poo'd once (usually has only poo'd once a day since being with us). Last night, the poo was of solid consistency (normal, I would say), but today it really wasn't solid yet it really wasn't too liquid-like, either..it was somewhat in between......what would cause that?? Do I need to be concerned and call because of that or wait it out? She is acting completely fine...

Any insight would be greatly appreciated!!! Thanks
post #2 of 11
Carrie bless you for fostering, you guys are the real out there. And h/w postive yet! Argh! I hope it all works out!!

So anyway, if this is an adult dog, twice a day is normal. It's usually tied to feeding times so if she Katie gets fed twice a day (which is also normal) then a poop in the morning and a poop in the evening would be what to expect.

About the eating, you may not be seeing the real Katie yet. Usually when dogs are moved into an unfamiliar home, they don't know that this is a good place and that they can relax. As far as they're concerned they've been kidnapped by aliens and often they won't eat for several days. Some get the runs too. After about a week I think you'll see her come out of her shell a little. It could be that the food doesn't smell exactly like what she is used to so maybe she doesn't want to eat it, but again, I think you have to wait at least a week for her to settle in befor you know what her realt eating habits are.

Good luck to you!
post #3 of 11
It is normal for some dogs to go potty only twice a day. Her previous owners probably worked all day and she was used to being let out in the morning, then in the evening when they returned from work.

A change in diet often causes the stool to soften a bit. This is a risk you take with any rescue dog as you have no idea what they ate before. What kind of dry are you feeding her? Perhaps she just doesn't like it. I adopted a 9 month old from a shelter last week and she hated the first food that I gave her. When I switched, she started eating normally and yes, she started to get loose after a few days, but once she adjusted to the food, she firmed back up again. Give it a couple days to see if it comes back to normal and if not, contact the vet. I've been warned to avoid high protein diets with rescue dogs, as it may be too rich for their systems initially. Most people feed food that is too high in carbs, and chances are that she was not given premium food (if she wound up at a shelter with heartworm).

For feeding, it is a very bad idea to free feed a dog. A dog that has control over their food assumes they have control over their environment, even their humans. Feed twice a day. Put the food down and if she doesn't eat in 15-20 minutes, take it away.

My first dog was an abused girl abandoned on the street and had serious emotional issues. Yours has health issues. Yup - she'll worm into your heart and will stick around your house!
post #4 of 11
Hi, I've found pig ears to be really inconsistent re quality, and together with pork treats, responsible for intermittent diarrhea and similar trouble. There are other treats (bones and bagged) that are better.
post #5 of 11
Hi Carrie,

I fostered a dog similar to yours (ended up adopting her!). She was picked up as a stray by animal control and sent to a high kill shelter where she was saved by a local rescue group. I was her foster mom and when she came to us she had all sorts of health problems (mostly due to neglect) and was very suspicious of food and ate very little at first. I still don't know if she had some bad experiences eating rotten food that made her sick or if the food tasted different or what. But she didn't start really eating for about 2 weeks after we got her.

We also think our dog had a prior home since she also knew how to 'sit'. My daughter was 3 when we got the dog and would always put dress up clothes on her (still does). When I saw that my daughter could take food from the dog or take her pigs ears out of her mouth....and the dog would do nothing but lick her...I knew we'd be adopting her for good.

Anyway I think you're dog may just be adjusting to the new environment and will be fine. And 2 potty breaks a day is normal ...she is probably conditioned that way.

The only thing I would check is the inside of her mouth. Make sure she doesn't have an absessed or rotten tooth that could be causing her pain and preventing her from eating. But if her weight is normal and her mouth looks good, then she is probably just adjusting.

Good luck and thanks for taking in an animal in need
post #6 of 11
I'd try some quality dog food cans with the pup and see if that's the trick. Sounds like the dog never was fed dry food.

And Keno goes out 2-3 times a day - she's a lab. What kind of dog do you have ? The larger breeds can "hold" it longer then smaller ones.
post #7 of 11
And thanks for taking in one of our dogs from our overburdened systems! Yay! for you and your family!

Sounds like you've gotten some good clues there- that's what I was thinking too- previous owner worked, and fed her canned dog food. Maybe you could try adjusting her to dry but doing the "increase the new food (dry) as you decrease the old food (wet) amounts in her bowl" thing?

Good luck!
post #8 of 11
Thank you for taking her in!

When was she treated for heartworms? The medication makes them lose their their appetite for awhile. There are also some actiity restrictions, which are critical. As the heartworms die off, they can break lose and cause major issues. The cough can be one sign of a problem.
After treatment for heartworms, dogs are often given canned food to stimulate their appetite.
We adopted Reuben years ago, who turned out to have heartworms. During his treatment, he actually gained weight (a first for our vet) and always had weight issues after that.
post #9 of 11
Bless you for taking the poor girl in!!

As far as her potty habits, being an older dog, she may be okay going out only a couple times a day...I would still offer her the opportunity every 4 hours during the day...It could be she was forced to hold it all day...either due to people working, or just not letter her out often enough, and now she's just 'used' to that. As far as I am concerned, no, it's not really 'healthy' or normal for a dog to NOT want to go out more than twice a day! Their bladders can only hold so much, and when it is constantly 'stretched' it can weaken it, cause bloody urine, aid in 'bladder infections', due to inflammation build up overtime, etc... Of course, this is just my opinion; but my dogs will go every 4 hours during the day, and I usually only make them hold it 8 hours at night too. I figure I usually have to go more than twice a day, so my dog, who is smaller, should definitely have to go more too!

Regarding the food; you are feeding free choice...stop!!! One, the dog learns that she "owns" her food...she controls how much she eats, and when. Being 'pack leader' you need to control her food; when you give it, how much, and how long she gets to eat it. Because she is being really picky about it you are going to have to be more stubborn than she is...she won't starve herself to nothing, but she may not eat each meal everyday...she may even go without a meal for a day or two, before catching on that you control her food. With dogs, because they require a structured 'pack' system, unlike with cats, teaching her that food comes from you (along with everything else she gets), and that she 'owns nothing'...you give her food, treats, toys, bones, EVERYTHING! And when you are done playing, you put the toys away, or when you have givin her a chance to eat, you pick up the dish. Hand feeding her can help as well; plus it's extra bonding time.

Put your cat food in a place that she cannot access.

Don't feed her canned food; sorry, I'm tough when it comes to this one! You bought her a quality food...she won't starve herself, she doesn't need canned food. My geuss is that she may not have been fed 'canned' food anyway, but was probably fed from the table thus she just doesn't know what to do with anything that doesn't come from the kitchen. Start 'regulating' her food resource, and she will catch on that she has to eat when you give her the chance!
post #10 of 11
Bless you for taking her in. I sounds like she really needs love right now!

You've gotten some great advice here. I would say with the feeding, you may want to try mixing some canned food in with it for a week or so to entice her. We have 4 dogs, and they get dried in the morning, and we split a can of food with full bowls of dry at night. It doesn't take much, depending on the size of the dog. One can would last us 4 days (if we only had 1 dog!). If you don't want to start feeding wet you can slowly wean her off, or start giving it to her every other day or a few times a week as a treat. I agree though, a lot of it could just be her settling in. Her appetite should pick up in a week or so.

Besides, not all dogs have a huge appetite. A lot depends on how active she is. Our Lab will eat lick her plate clean and look for more but she's outside running as much as she can. Our pug eats very little. She of course is much smaller, but also prefers laying on the couch and sleeping.

Definitely try to move the cat food. That could also cause loose stools in dogs if they eat too much of it. In fact, when we first got Snickers (our lab) when she was a puppy she got into the bag of cat food and ate so much it gave her an infection in her intestines and it took almost 2 weeks for her to get back to normal again. So I would watch the "sneaking".

Good luck and keep us posted! When do we get to see pics????
post #11 of 11
Wow good for you. We have 2 cats and got our dog Rosie from a rescue centre just last November. We were fortunate that they fed her dry mix so we were able to continue with that straight away. She is the same though for toilets - only really goes for a wee 2-3 times and 1 or 2 poos a day, despite being let outside to the garden several times throughout the day and her walks.
Think I might make a note of that struchured eating thing though, we were allowing her to eat when she wanted to get her to put on the weight she desperately needed. Now that she has that back and is healthy again, she needs to realise she needs to eat all her dinner when it is put down, or lose it.

What type of dog is she? I also think you will end up adopting.
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