with Lisa Peterson
AKC's Pick of the Litter podcast
In this month’s podcast, we learn about holiday travel tips from Canine Good Citizen® Director Mary Burch, talk to breed experts at AKC Meet the Breeds® and we spend some time with Rin Tin Tin: The Life and The Legend author Susan Orlean discovering her favorite breed!
Ask AKC with Lisa Peterson
Dear Lisa: I have a 4-year old Boston Terrier that has decided to be a very picky eater. We feed her a half cup of dry food in the morning and half cup in the evenings. She will miss several meals because she spills her food and turns away. We have tried several different kinds of food but it still doesn’t work. Can you give us some advice as to what direction we need to take to get her to eat? – Not Eating Eagerly.
Dear Not Eating: Just to rule out any health concerns that might cause your pet not to eat, I would take her to your vet for an exam to see if there are any medical reasons that after 4 years your dog has decided to be a picky eater. Since you feed dry kibble, it might be something as simple as a toothache that is putting her off her feed.
Once the vet has given her a clean bill of health, start to look for other triggers, such as stress, that might cause her not to eat. Sometimes when pets are stressed they will go off their food. I hope she is still drinking water, since water is more critical than food and while they can go up to a week without food they can’t go much longer than 4 days without water.
Dear Lisa: I was wondering what temperature is too cold for a dog to be outside in winter?– Bundling Up Bowser
Dear Bundling Up: I typically don’t like to keep my Nordic dogs outside in their fenced in yard for longer than 30 minutes at a time when the temperature starts to go below 20 degrees in winter. But my dogs are house dogs and other working sled dogs in the Arctic, for example, live outdoors for much longer periods of time. If you have a smooth coated-breed or toy dog I would shorten that time frame considerable even if going for a walk. Dogs, like humans, do not tolerate significant variation of body temperature. On average, a dog’s normal body temperature is 101.5 degrees F. Small dogs may have a slightly lower temperatures and large dogs slightly higher. Because of this inability to handle wide swings in their body temperatures, dogs have wonderful internal mechanisms that keep their body at the correct temperature at all times, regardless of the air temperature.
Lisa Peterson, a long-time owner/breeder/handler of Norwegian Elkhounds, is the AKC Director of Communications. If you have a question, send it to Lisa at email@example.com and she may select it for a future column. Due to the high volume of questions we cannot offer individual responses. Read previous columns here.