Do Dogs "Fast" Themselves?

Postby Dog_Shrink » April 11th, 2009, 10:39 pm

Split from this thread: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=29417

I have heard that pits will fast themselves if they are feeling our of fighting fit condition. My one female use to do this when she would come out of heat. Fast for 3 or 4 days, no other symptoms of illness... just not eating... then poof back to normal.
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Postby Malli » April 11th, 2009, 10:58 pm

I'm not sure its a "pit bull" thing or more just a dog thing :|

Oscar once hunger-striked for like 5 days when I switched to a food he didn't like (he's also done it before when I wouldn't "fancy" it up to get him to eat), all of a sudden he got REALLY hungry :wink:
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Postby mnp13 » April 12th, 2009, 8:29 am

Dog_Shrink wrote:I have heard that pits will fast themselves if they are feeling our of fighting fit condition. My one female use to do this when she would come out of heat. Fast for 3 or 4 days, no other symptoms of illness... just not eating... then poof back to normal.

I'm sorry, I have never heard anything like this in the 8 years that I have owned Pit Bulls. How would they "know" if they are fighting weight? What is fighting weight? What about mixes? Does the Pit Bull side direct the dog to spontaneously lose weight?

The husky I grew up with would go a few days without eating then eat until she was ready to burst. Some dogs just get tired of their food or want attention or have a stomach ache or a million other reasons. :|
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Postby Dog_Shrink » April 12th, 2009, 3:32 pm

Fighting fit... the weight that the dog self designates that "I feel comfortable here and can handle anything". A dog that feels overweight or sluggish obviously doesn't feel fighting fit (just a term) Mixed breed dogs tend to act more like the breed they resemble the most so... and as far as huskies go I have seen it with them, and other nordic breeds, too.
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Postby Marinepits » April 12th, 2009, 3:49 pm

Interesting theory, but then how do you explain the MANY obese pets of ALL breeds, both mixed and pure bred?

If I let them, all my dogs would eat themselves into morbid obesity. That wouldn't change their general "I will kick your ass" attitude, but it would change their ability to kick ass. They'd waddle across the floor to get the other dog, but they'd still manage it. And I've yet to see any of them turn down a meal except when they're ill and even then they will sometimes eat just so the other dogs can't have it.
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Postby cheekymunkee » April 12th, 2009, 4:25 pm

Marinepits wrote:Interesting theory, but then how do you explain the MANY obese pets of ALL breeds, both mixed and pure bred?

If I let them, all my dogs would eat themselves into morbid obesity. That wouldn't change their general "I will kick your ass" attitude, but it would change their ability to kick ass. They'd waddle across the floor to get the other dog, but they'd still manage it. And I've yet to see any of them turn down a meal except when they're ill and even then they will sometimes eat just so the other dogs can't have it.


Gawd, so would mine. None of them have ever missed a meal unless I am fasting them. And then they think they are dying.
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Postby madremissy » April 12th, 2009, 4:47 pm

If any of my dogs don't eat, THEN SOMETHING IS WRONG. Sammy and Gotty are the worst of the three. They eat every meal like they have been starved for 3 days.
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Postby cheekymunkee » April 12th, 2009, 4:48 pm

Now, there is such thing as a 'keep' which is a strict regimen of diet & exercise to get a fighting dog into tip top shape for a match but the human in charge is doing it, not the dogs themselves. The dogs are generally not fasted although on the day of and possibly the day before the match they may be
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Postby Marinepits » April 12th, 2009, 5:20 pm

cheekymunkee wrote: ....but the human in charge is doing it, not the dogs themselves.


Exactly. I've yet to meet a dog that says "Hey, I better not eat because I need to make weight. Maybe I should up my cardio, too."

I have heard of female dogs that don't eat very well around their heat time, but that is more than likely hormone-driven than them trying to remain svelte.
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Postby madremissy » April 12th, 2009, 5:25 pm

Exactly. I've yet to meet a dog that says "Hey, I better not eat because I need to make weight. Maybe I should up my cardio, too."


That just cracked me up.
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Postby Marinepits » April 12th, 2009, 5:45 pm

*taking a bow* :wave2:
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Postby Dog_Shrink » April 12th, 2009, 8:25 pm

I think you're mistaking what I mean by "fighting fit". I'm not talking about fighting dogs, but rather using that as a general term meaning sound and as fit as possible. I have known a few pitties that if they felt not in tip top shape would definately fast themselves, and even also owned a pit/dingo hybrid that would do the same thing. I'm not certain that there has ever been a study done on this but it has been thrown around as a reason why perfectly healthy dogs decide to "all of a sudden" stop eating, only to start a few days later. Granted most of the dogs that I knew of that did this were females, I doubt that played into this because they were spayed and the "hormonal change" issue would be a moot point.

There are many dogs out there that would eat themselves into oblivian given half a chance... but pits are athletes by nature (I know as are many other dogs) and I don't think that assuming an animal would fast itself if it felt unable to best represent itself physically if it needed to is NOT out of the realm of possible.

Greyhounds and salukis as well as afghans and other sight hounds have also been noted to do this.
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Postby Marinepits » April 12th, 2009, 9:03 pm

Dog_Shrink wrote: Granted most of the dogs that I knew of that did this were females, I doubt that played into this because they were spayed and the "hormonal change" issue would be a moot point.


Dog_Shrink wrote:My one female use to do this when she would come out of heat.


You were the one who mentioned that your dog would do this when she came out of heat, so hormonal change is not a moot point. I've worked in and around vet hospitals for many years in many capacities and I've taken quite a few phone calls from clients worried that their female dogs stop eating in and around their heat cycles.

Dog_Shrink wrote:I think you're mistaking what I mean by "fighting fit". I'm not talking about fighting dogs, but rather using that as a general term meaning sound and as fit as possible.


I'm pretty sure we all got what you meant, and Debby chose to take this conversation in a slightly different direction by adding some info that's related. :wink:

.....but it has been thrown around as a reason why perfectly healthy dogs decide to "all of a sudden" stop eating, only to start a few days later.....


Who is "throwing around"? Where are you getting this info? I'd be interested in reading more about it.

There are many dogs out there that would eat themselves into oblivian given half a chance... but pits are athletes by nature (I know as are many other dogs) and I don't think that assuming an animal would fast itself if it felt unable to best represent itself physically if it needed to is NOT out of the realm of possible.


Personally, I'm not saying it's out of the realm of possibility, but I've never experienced that in all the years that I've worked in vet hospitals, as a groomer, and as an ACO.

Again, my dogs won't turn down meals unless they are really ill. If I didn't monitor their food, they would blow up into walking coffee tables, but they would STILL try and kick the ass of any dog that bothered them. And my dogs are athletes. :|

Dogs are opportunists and will eat what is available. We had two English Bulldogs come into our clinc as an emergency because they ate an ENTIRE bag of raw potatoes and ate most of the paper bag as well. We had a lab when we were growing up and he ate an entire lasagna off the counter one day. He also ate anything in sight, including rocks and sticks. Hell, we have a FAT coyote who comes through our woods all the time -- he's not turning down any meals, that's for sure.

Greyhounds and salukis as well as afghans and other sight hounds have also been noted to do this.


References? I'd like to read more about this.
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Postby SisMorphine » April 12th, 2009, 10:01 pm

Marinepits wrote:
Greyhounds and salukis as well as afghans and other sight hounds have also been noted to do this.


References? I'd like to read more about this.

Can I be a reference having owned a Greyhound and having worked in a Greyhound rescue kennel? Uhhhh . . . nope, sorry, never seen it happen. Was my Grey picky? Yes. If you gave him a treat there was a 97% chance he would spit it back in your face, yes. But his dinner was no joke. If he missed a meal he was sick, period.

I don't believe in fasting. Sorry.
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Postby mnp13 » April 12th, 2009, 10:14 pm

Dog_Shrink wrote: I have known a few pitties that if they felt not in tip top shape would definately fast themselves,

Dogs don't have "feelings" about their weight. I don't think they have a concept of "self image."

Dog_Shrink wrote:I don't think that assuming an animal would fast itself if it felt unable to best represent itself physically if it needed to is NOT out of the realm of possible.

If it felt unable? Don't get me wrong, I adore my dogs and I tend to anthropomorphize them, but animals don't have the capacity to understand what their best physical shape is and then compare it to their current shape is and then gauge their eating habits accordingly.

I'd be very interested in the source of this information.
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Postby madremissy » April 12th, 2009, 10:17 pm

Dog_Shrink wrote: I don't think that assuming an animal would fast itself if it felt unable to best represent itself physically if it needed to is NOT out of the realm of possible.



I am having a hard time understanding how a dog knows to "represent itself"

I am not trying to start anything, this topic has truly sparked my interest.
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Postby Marinepits » April 12th, 2009, 10:20 pm

Okay, I have to say it: I have this image of my dogs throwing gang signs and wearing bling while "representing" themselves. LMAO

Sorry. Back to your regularly scheduled programming. :oops:
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Postby madremissy » April 12th, 2009, 10:25 pm

:giggle:
Jenn, I was trying my best to be serious :bitchSlap: :wink:
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Postby SisMorphine » April 12th, 2009, 10:27 pm

mnp13 wrote:I adore my dogs and I tend to anthropomorphize them, but animals don't have the capacity to understand what their best physical shape is and then compare it to their current shape is and then gauge their eating habits accordingly.

If Blue does have the capacity to understand what his best physical shape is, he thinks it's about 20 pounds overweight.
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Postby chaddawg » April 12th, 2009, 10:35 pm

Dog_Shrink wrote:Split from this thread: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=29417

I have heard that pits will fast themselves if they are feeling our of fighting fit condition. My one female use to do this when she would come out of heat. Fast for 3 or 4 days, no other symptoms of illness... just not eating... then poof back to normal.




I'm thinking that's not true I seen a female pit one time at the vet she was 86 pounds and the vet put her on a diet....
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