Join Date: Jul 2005
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I'd suspect that the unwillingness to eat anything other than canned food (dog food?) is probably a training issue and since you can't take him in to a vet to have him checked over right now I'd start coverting him to eating kibble. One of the problems with only canned food is that it's not high in caloric value and you can go broke feeding a adult male Doberman enough wet food to keep weight on him.
I'd start by picking a dry food (kibble) of reasonably good quality and start by adding a few (and I really mean that--five or six kibbles--to his next meal--with every meal I'd add a few more kibbles (how often is he being fed?--twice a day would be the normal routine for a five year old Dobe) until you get up to the point where he is eating at least 3/4 of a cup of kibble mixed with his wet food (mix thoroughly so he can't just eat the wet and leave the kibble) per meal. Then start reducing the amount of canned food, slowly and continue to increase the kibble until he is getting around 2 cups of kibble with a little (very little) wet food added, just for flavor, mixed in well. I'm guessing that it would take upwards of a month or more to make this sort of transistion.
What I can see of his teeth look pretty good for a dog who is eating exclusively wet food. The incisors clear back to the canines are clean and white--but a vet is going to look further back in his mouth to see what the premolars and molars look like as well.
I feed a Purina produce as my go to food. Purina ProPlan Focus--it comes in several varieties--Sensitive Skin and Stomach (salmon and rice), or chicken and rice and the Focus is also available as Sport 30/20--any of these do a good job but you've got your work cut out for you teaching a dog a whole new kind of food and eating. I'd try a small bag first but just remember this transition isn't going to be an overnight cure.