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Discussion Starter #1
When I brought Ziggy home at 6 months, he was always hungry and a very fast gobbler. Now, at 10 months he is much less interested in food and will just slowly pick at it throughout the day. He still eats the amount the bag recommends, just without any urgency.

Is this change typical as he is no longer growing like a weed? Or perhaps it has more to do with him feeling comfortable and secure at home. Or could this change in appetite be concerning?

I grew up with terriers so it is very strange for me to see a dog watch me put food out and then ignore it for hours. I don't want to rush to the vet because it sounds like this is normal for a poodle and he is a healthy weight, but the change in attitude towards food is surprising.
 

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There's always the chance it could be health-related, but if he otherwise seems fine, it's very likely he's learned there's no rush and/or it's just a normal part of his growth process. Peggy was never a gobbler, but her appetite has ebbed and flowed (occasionally dramatically) throughout her development.

You'll see the serving size on puppy food bags go down with age, as well.

If you don't want to allow free-feeding (only possible with dry kibble for food safety reasons, and not always convenient) you can gradually start closing his feeding windows until you're only leaving his food down for half an hour or so. But make note of when he naturally seems to eat the most and try to accommodate that if possible. Peggy had a few months of preferring lunch to breakfast, but now she's back to breakfast.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply! I've been weighing him and watching the age/weight recommendations on the food bag, but was surprised to see his new nonreaction when I say "okay take it!". He does seems to prefer a lunch hour breakfast at the moment.

Since his energy level and playfulness are the same I don't see any other red flags, but I will keep an eye out. I don't mind him being a free grazer throughout the day. It makes me a lot less concerned about bloat and over feeding when our activity level is forced to change (like with wildfire smoke).
 

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My spoo has always been a grazer even as a puppy. We tried to change her eating habits by slowly removing the bowl but that didn’t work. she will eat one kibble at a time and when she wants to.

She’ll start to eat breakfast lately between 11-12:30pm and then dinner later in the evening around 9:30-10ish. I give her moist food on a plate so it doesn’t mix with the kibble and go soggy which she’ll eat over the course of a half an hour and then she grazes on her kibble until she’s done/bed.

I put a bit extra in her bowl because the cats snack on her food but by the end of the day she has eaten the proper amount of food.
 

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We've got a similar routine to vandog. Peggy gets canned Weruva chicken on one plate, Farmina kibble on another. She'll generally eat the kibble a piece or two at a time, and then maybe a whole mouthful around 8pm. But some days she still surprises me and eats it all by noon. I like that poodles can so often be trusted to self-regulate.

It makes me a lot less concerned about bloat and over feeding when our activity level is forced to change (like with wildfire smoke).
I had a dream about the smoke last night, that it was back. Ugh. Hope you and yours came through it all unscathed.

I actually find free feeding most challenging with travel. When camping, for example, you can't leave food out at all. And it doesn't seem fair to abruptly take a dog's food away when they're accustomed to having full access. That's why with Peggy I was committed to enforcing regular meal times. Ha! Clearly that went well.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I hadn't thought about how this might change our camping routine. I'll try adding some shredded cheese or peanutbutter when camping to get him to eat the whole thing in one sitting. He still goes wild for those special treats!

Other than forced to do more indoor games, we have been fortunate to be fairly unaffected by the fires. I hope your smoke dreams stay as dreams! It's too hot to be stuck inside with the windows closed.
 

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Phoenix was the same, he would chow his food as a puppy but overtime the excitement fizzled. Poodles naturally are more accustomed to free feeding, at least from my experience. I was told by my breeder that this was very much the norm. He sits and waits for his food, I release him and he takes one bite and walks away. Still drools in anticipation the whole time though.
 

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Mine was very hungry as a young puppy, and is a grazer now. She doesnt eat much when camping so i now give her snacks (a couple treats) throughout the day, a bit of human food for dinner, and take her kibble into the tent at night for an hour or so before bed. Before i compromised on that schedule, i was worried, because she runs like crazy and doesnt settle all day, and refuses to eat kibble so after a few days on one trip, i gave up and made sure she eats a tiny bit to keep her energy up. She probably eats half her normal ration while camping while expending 3x her normal energy. Poodles!!!

Big camping no no to have food in the tent, but she seems to need the lack of stimulation to settle and eat. I take it out and put it away in the car or tree it on backcountry trips during our last pee break before bed. I use a margarine container with a lid as a camping dish so no big deal if she doesnt finish.
 

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Galen was like a vacuum up until 5 months or so. Then he slowed down. At this point he only wants to eat in the dead of night. Forget about a normal meal schedule. Teenagers!

Pogo and Snarky were grazers. Pogo had zero interest in breakfast. Snarky would sometimes nibble on a few kibbles. They might start nibbling on their breakfast around lunch time and finish it late afternoon. Then they'd eat about half their bowl at dinner and finish the rest some time during the night.
 

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I've had a lot of dogs, some have been gobblers, some have been grazers. I watch the intake of the big eaters and let the skinny ones eat at will. That only becomes a problem when you have one of each! My current guy eats at will and gets enthusiastic praise from his vet for his slenderness.
 

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I've had a lot of dogs, some have been gobblers, some have been grazers. I watch the intake of the big eaters and let the skinny ones eat at will. That only becomes a problem when you have one of each! My current guy eats at will and gets enthusiastic praise from his vet for his slenderness.
Like people!! Lol. Oh to be a skinny grazer....
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for all the replies! I have heard about Poodles being grazers, but it is really reassuring to hear about other healthy pups having a change in appetite and eating style.

Any sudden change always makes me nervous.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Update on Ziggy. His appetite was getting worse after I posted (only eating at 5PM when he was really hungry) and then he started have bad diarrhea that turned bloody after a few days. I took him to the vet and he tested positive for giardia. He is now on some medication and has been on the bland chicken and rice diet for a week.

He was 58lbs at 10 months a few weeks ago, but he quickly dropped to 52.

Hopefully after some meds he will gain the weight back and go back to his regular appetite.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Ziggy has finished his meds and still having bloody diarrhea and started vomiting today. He has now had diarrhea for over two weeks.

We are going back to the vet for bloodwork, another stool sample, and an x-ray later today.
 
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