Question for you all!

Hey everyone!  All is well here, but I would love some input on a strange issue.  So Lexi has a bit of separation anxiety, as I’ve probably mentioned.  She is crated anytime we leave the house and she is completely comfortable and happy in her crate.  John’s brother, Christian, moved out here with us a few weeks ago and works as a waiter, so he is usually home most weekdays.  When he’s home the dogs are both out in the apartment with him and he takes them outside for us throughout the day, which is awesome (especially since John and I are gone for 10+ hours some days).  Christian has known Zev his whole life and is awesome with both of them.  Lexi has come to trust him rather quickly and by his reports she is a complete gem for him.  She is not angsty at all while we are gone and is really easy and laid back for him.

We have noticed, though, that she will not drink while she is alone with just Christian.  At all.  The minute John or I get home, she greets us at the door happily and then goes straight to the water bowl in the kitchen to drink, sometimes a LOT.  I’m not exaggerating, either – without fail every weekday for several weeks now this has been a pattern.  As soon as she says hi and gives some kisses she makes a beeline straight for the water bowl.  I’m curious if anyone else has ever dealt with this before.  It isn’t necessarily a problem so long as she’s drinking a good amount overall and not dehydrated…but I have never heard of a dog having a reaction like this before!  I’m sure it has something to do with her separation issues, and maybe it will eventually go away like many of the quirks she used to have.  Anyone ever dealt with this before?


8 thoughts on “Question for you all!

  1. When Jake first came to live with us, he would not drink if anyone was around. He literally went days without water at first because someone was always around him and he was crated at night. I would sneak water into his food until we figured out that he would drink if left alone to do so. I solved it by putting more water bowls around/in various rooms so he could drink in private. Now he gulp water if he is alone or with us! Good luck!

    • That’s odd! We have 3 water bowls throughout the house, but she seems to do the opposite-only drink when I am home! Even when Christian has been home with her all day, taking her out and interacting with her, she will only drink once I come home. It’s like she trusts him, but not quite completely yet and that is how it manifests. I do add water to her food since she eats freeze-dried, so I know she is still getting a good amount. Strange little pittie! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hi Katie & John:

    We adopted Lacey (boxer/pit mix) when she was about 4 years old, and we enjoyed having her in our lives for 7 years (2 months and 4 days) before we lost her to cancer. She was never crated as there was someone home with her almost all of the time – I am a chronic pain patient and spend most of my time in the house. If we had to go away for any length of time, meaning overnight or for 2 or 3 days, we arranged for someone to come in to let her out several times a day and to make sure that she was fed and watered. This usually ended up being my in-laws, since they live about 75 feet away, and usually Lacey would end up going over there to stay until we got home. Lacey loved my in-laws, and because of her past before we got her, we were very choosey about who we asked to puppy sit if my in-laws were not available. It didn’t matter who was “babysitting”, or whether she was here or at my in-laws, she ate and drank very minimal amounts while we were gone and making up for it when we got back. Just before she passed away, my father-in-law came over to be with her while the telephone repairman was here, and Lacey would not eat the dog biscuit that the repairman brought for her until after we got home and saw it.

    Skipping forward two years, we have now adopted a pure–bred Am Staff, about 2 years old. She doesn’t usually eat or drink much if we are not home either, but we have not had to leave her over night yet either.

    Especially for dogs who have been abused or abandoned in the past, I believe that this behaviour is their way of dealing with us being away from them for long periods of time, regardless of other humans that they trust being with them. THEIR humans are not there, and in their minds, we may never come back if they carry on “normally”.

    Personally I would rather know that they are showing their fear of abandonment by refusing to eat or drink while we are gone instead of destroying something to show their displeasure at being left without their pack leaders. 😉

    • Thanks for sharing! That’s totally what I’m thinking. She was rescued from a neglect situation, so her separation and attachment are certainly understandable. She really has come a long way in those respects – a few months ago we couldn’t leave her alone with anyone else – she would just cry and whine and pace around until we came back. The fact that she feels safe alone with Christian is awesome! Apparently she just naps on the couch most of the time, but she is starting to solicit attention from him more and more. I am definitely glad that she is not destructive, and I’m curious if this quirk will eventually fade like some of the others as she gets more and more confident! We shall see!

  3. My girl did not come from an abuse or neglect situation and also has some of the same little quirks when it comes to eating or drinking. I always thought it to just be her personality (and/or separation anxiety). Sadie, like Lexi, also has allergies and I have tried the best of the best foods for her to try to get her to eat on a regular basis, at the same time everyday. Ive tried grain free dry kibble, freeze dried (including Honest Kitchen) and even cooking for her. After being concerned and consulting with my vet, it was decided that she is completely healthy and apparently just a picky eater and to try to switch up her diet so she has variety and does not get bored. But at the end of the day she will not go hungry…and will eat when she is good and ready. She even went through this weird phase where she would not eat out of a bowl and I resorted to hand feeding her and eventually buying her a plate. (What dog eats off a plate?!) She also had this weird thing where she would immediately run over to her food dish and eat every last bite anytime we had company walk through the door. (I used to joke we should have company every night if thats what it takes!) Same with water, and treats. I leave her treats everyday when I leave for work and more often than not they are there until I get home. I say as long as they are not going hungry or dehydrated..there is no harm! It guess it is nice to know I am loved =) Silly dogs!

    • What a quirky girl! I have been home a bit more lately now that my school semester is wrapping up, so she doesn’t seem to have issues with not drinking during the day as frequently. Right now I give her The Honest Kitchen mixed with Wellness Core kibble, so she does get a good amount of water added to her food – so I don’t really need to worry about her water intake much. That’s interesting Sadie has those quirks about eating – Lexi has never been one to wait to eat! She always has a good appetite and eats whenever we offer her something. Only problem is she can eat a bit too fast, so we use an elevated feeder. I feel the same way – at least she does drink when I am home, so I must be special 😉

    • Hmm, interesting. My two eat twice a day, at the same time, and we cannot leave food out if they are not closely monitored…so I’m not sure if Lexi would be the same way, but I imagine if she doesn’t drink while we’re gone she wouldn’t eat either!

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