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New puppy not really eating

Discussion in 'Dog Health and Nutrition' started by FreyaAngel, Jun 8, 2017.


  1. FreyaAngel

    FreyaAngel PetForums Newbie

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    Hi!

    So my puppy came on all kinds of stuff from the breeder. Raw beef and Pedigree Chum puppy mixer with Oxo gravy in the morning, a pilchard and brown bread and condensed milk at lunch, more beef and Pedigree Chum in the evening, and then more Pedigree Chum and Oxo gravy before bed.

    When he got here, I simplified straight away to Fish4puppies instead of Pedigree Chum (the breeder had said any dry puppy food should be fine to use so I wanted to go for a decent one), with raw beef, and a little warm water instead of Oxo. Fed that 3x a day. Then a litle Fish4puppies and warm water before bed. I didn't want him on cereals, pure sugar, huge amounts of salt...

    He was okay for the first day or so, though not eating very much. Mostly just picked out the beef and ignored the biscuits. Even did that with Pedigree biscuits, not just the Fish4puppies. I tried using kibble as training treats at first too, but he just wasn't interested in taking it from me.

    Then as the toilet training got going, I started to give him more high-value dried salmon dog treats (not many, I cut them up into little pieces and gave one bit each time but still) for going outside. And a small piece of rawhide chew in his crate when I had to leave him to go to the shops for half an hour. Aaaand his tummy got more and more upset. Yesterday it was really bad, although he kept drinking and seemed fine in himself still.

    I rang the vet and she suggested the beef was way too harsh on a puppy tummy. Especially as he was 7 weeks when I got him, because the breeder mostly works for Guide Dogs and Dogs For Good - my puppy's dad is a registered Guide Dog stud and loads of his family are training or qualified - and they always go off to their puppy walkers at seven weeks, so that's what he works to.

    She said drop the beef, just give the Fish4puppies and warm water four times a day, and leave out all the treats etc for now. I did get hold of some probiotic Feelwells for toilet training though.

    So Tuesday night and Wednesday he was really loose and out every 1-2 hours... but by yesterday evening he was completely normal, upset tummy totally resolved.

    Except he is basically not eating at all. Maybe 10g at a meal, after about five trips back and forth to the bowl, a few licks each time.

    I'm trying to leave it down for only 20 minutes at each meal. He is definitely hungry and hopeful for food but when it gets there, nope. He's not really taking the Feelwells treats either, just spits stuff out.

    He seems fine in himself, but I'm tearing my hair out! This isn't a 24-48 hour thing, he has been here five days now and is settling in really well otherwise.

    PLEASE please please help...
     
  2. FreyaAngel

    FreyaAngel PetForums Newbie

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    I've tried sitting with him, leaving him alone, hand-feeding (this has the most success but he needs to eat for himself, not when constantly nudged to). I originally fed him in his crate, but I've tried feeding him outside of it in case he just wasn't comfortable in there yet. I have shallow ceramic bowls and he ate the beef just fine from them, so that isn't the issue.

    He's a lovely, chunky golden retriever pup at the moment, a really good size and weight for his age, and I am really worried about him dropping behind.
     
  3. Rafa

    Rafa PetForums VIP

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    Are you still giving him rawhide? My Jack Russell can't tolerate rawhide at all, it really upsets her stomach.

    Some dogs aren't keen on fish. I bought some fish jerky treats and our two, who are absolute pigs, don't like it at all. When Rudi was diagnosed with allergies, we put her on a fish based kibble, (Wafcol), with a fish based wet food and for a while, she was very reluctant to eat. When we switched her to a pork based kibble with venison based wet food, her appetite soon came back.

    Was your pup keen to eat the beef he was having?
     
  4. FreyaAngel

    FreyaAngel PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you for replying!

    He wasn't great, still picky but he did have a bit more of it. No, I've stopped the rawhide, stopped everything other than the Fish4puppies and the probiotics and it's sorted him out digestion-wise. Just not actually eating-wise.

    I think he's okay with fish. He had pilchards at the breeder, and gets interested in the smell when I'm feeding my cat (up high, he doesn't get near the cat food, but he likes the smell). He adored the dried fish4dogs treats and salmon treats though obviously I had to stop those.

    The probiotics are lamb and rice and he isn't really any more interested in them than his kibble, and he was offish about the Pedigree mixer the breeder fed him too and I don't think that was fish. x
     
  5. FreyaAngel

    FreyaAngel PetForums Newbie

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    Basically, I suspect he would (probably still reluctantly) eat:

    raw beef mince, which is too harsh for him, upsets his tummy and is not complete food
    condensed milk (sugar!!)
    Oxo gravy (salt!!)
    and pilchards with brown bread, which really shouldn't be dog food.
     
  6. wee man

    wee man PetForums VIP

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    The best food that your puppy was on when he came to you was the raw beef. The variety he was having before he left his mother he was used to and his stomach was accustomed to this. If you are happy to continue with the raw meat you must offer a variety of meats with offal and bones to keep the diet balanced. Feeds do not have to be balanced every meal though, if you offer a good variety of raw products this will balance itself.

    Raw meat is a lovely gentle and easy to digest food especially for young puppies, I would certainly not change this but I would include some raw meaty bones, something like chicken wings or carcases. (the bone content helps to keep poo's firm ). I start my puppies on a raw diet from 2.5 weeks and bones from 5 weeks. No digestive problems at all.
    If you are going to stay on a dry processed kibble diet there is a good post listing on this site that will help you choose a good quality kibbled food.

    When puppies leave home they have a lot to learn especially how to eat by themselves as they have always had siblings to compete with. Try using a very low sided dish or maybe straight off the floor.
    Take care that you are not trying to offer too much food 3 to 4 small feeds (depending on age) and a puppy that is possibly looking for a little more is good. Keep your puppy wanting his next feed by not over feeding.
    I would suggest that you stop all treats and rewards until your puppy is settled with it's feeding routine.
    A reward does not have to be food based, sometimes just a gentle stroke and a kind word like "good boy" is all that is needed.

    There are so many different ideas and suggestions that we can all give you. And we will all believe that our suggestion is best !
     
  7. FreyaAngel

    FreyaAngel PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you for replying. xx

    It's just so hard! Everything you read is 'aah don't feed brown bread' 'grains are awful' 'condensed milk??!' and the vet said 'get rid of the minced beef and just feed the mixer' and everything you read about training is basically telling you what moment to give your puppy treats at.

    I feel like I'm trying my best and I can't win. I thought I had researched a good quality grain-free food with the fish4puppies.

    I think partly I wasn't soaking it long enough. I put down his lunch again at supper, by which time it was really soft, and he ate the lot. Are there any brands of puppy kibble that are softer to begin with, please? That might be more successful to try easing him onto. He doesn't even like the Pedigree he was on at the breeder, he just ate the mince and left the dry when he had it.

    He has a shallow ceramic bowl, but I will try feeding him just straight from his mat at supper. xx
     
  8. Happy Paws2

    Happy Paws2 PetForums VIP

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    Firstly I'd stop giving any treats they may be to rich for him. Look for a good brand of puppy food one without wheat in and feed a little often and see how he goes, then if it works you can slowly increase the amount of food and feed less often.
     
  9. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    Although some of what your breeder was feeding is slightly shall we say odd...as already pointed out the Oxo cube...and the milk. More breeders I notice are feeding a variety, or my breeder is of wet, raw and kibble. As more people are choosing so much different foods now to feed their dogs, although mine does stipulate certain brands of raw and wet....and am sure the feeding guide was not as complicated too, but I ended up with an adult rehomed in the end.

    As already suggested there has been great food advice, of foods that may work. I would definitely pick one, or maybe two. The second being a kibble. Use half the meal allowance as kibble for training.

    Take into account that feeding guides are usually generous...so start off maybe 20% of recommended and see how you go.

    Eating alone takes a lot of confidence. The first thing though is oh my god puppy isnt eating,s/he needs to eat. As long as puppy is drinking doing lots of sleeping, when awake alert and playful they are fine. Puppy just needs to learn to eat alone with no others, puppy is used to siblings and mother. Even with another dog in the household this doesn't always work, as it's just not the same.
    The bowl may be different too, so something else to get used to.
    Sometimes activity feeders help such as an activity ball or Kong wobbler because they are having fun, using their brains to get food so it distracts them.

    Of course changing food can whether their appetite but then can make them fussy, as they can start to hold out for something better each time.

    The worry in the owner for a dog to eat, can easily transfer to a dog, making them less likely to eat too.
     
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