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Puppy wont eat.....help!!

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by gemea3, Aug 24, 2013.


  1. gemea3

    gemea3 PetForums Newbie

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    So my Beagle puppy is now 5mths old. I've had her since 10wks of age and she has never really eaten properly (as in enthusiastically)!!
    She does eventually eat her brekkie and tea but it takes me 45+mins in all to get her to eat it, which involves a lot of encouragement. I have hand fed her, put it on the floor, other areas around the room and even had my older Beagle (who eats very quickly and without any problems) sit near her 'cos she would rather eat it than let him (sometimes)!! :mad2:
    She is currently on the dry food the breeder recommended (Happy Dog), but I have tried mixing in wet food (different brands, Butchers at the moment), my own food, etc. etc. with her meals to get her to eat. Everytime I try something new she'll eat it without encouragement for a couple of days and then goes back to not eating :thumbdown: So I have considered trying a completely different complete dry food, but feel she will do the same and eat it for a couple of days then get bored again and don't want to waste money.
    It's as though she's scared of her food, she gets a bit excitable when I'm preparing it (unsure if she is just feeding off my other dogs energy!?!) but as soon as she sits down ready and I place the bowl in front of her she moves into her crate, or away from it. I have even put it in her crate with her, which hasn't worked.
    I am getting frustrated (not in a bad way) :sad: and concerned, because I cannot continue this way especially once the kids go back to school and I'm back at work - I wont have the time in the mornings to do it.
    Any advise would be gratefully appreciated.
    Thanks :)
     
  2. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Banned

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    The more you encourage her, hand feeding and fussing, the more attention she is getting and the less likely she is to eat it. First I would mix a little wet in with the dry. Dried food alone is not always appetizing. Then just put the bowl down and leave the room.

    Many would suggest leaving it for about 30 minutes or so then taking it away until next meal time. I don't usually do that, as some dogs like to graze as it were and if you only have one dog there's no reason not to leave it down. But do not interract with her, just leave the room and let her get on with it.
     
  3. metaldog

    metaldog PetForums VIP

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    Switch to raw, dried dog food tastes like cardboard ( I have tried both and they are remarkably similar & I wouldn't want to eat it day in day out either ;) )

    My JRT and lurcher were fussy eaters. It took me ages to get weight on my lurcher by feeding kibble after I rescued her when she was over a stone underweight. Since we switched to raw we no longer have to worry about fussy eating or weight gain. They love their food :)
     
  4. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Banned

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    My two love their RC dried food. They don't love all dried, but that they do. You could try raw, but you really have to know what you are doing with it so be careful OP
     
  5. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

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    Have you tried adding a little warm water to it instead of feeding it dry? If you haven't perhaps try that. As she moves away from the bowl as if she is scared of it, have you tried other types of bowls. As odd as it sounds some pups can get freaked out by certain bowls. Some don't like light weight ones that move around when they are trying to eat, some don't like stainess steel,some plastic.
    Pups have even be unnerved by mental identify tags clanking on the solid bowls and don't like the noise. Another common problem is that some pups don't like deep bowls especially if the have a pretty small circumference they have to stick there heads in. That can be quite a common problem with ones that were fed from the flat type puppy feeding pans or shallow puppy bowls.
    Maybe try some human type shallow bowls and different things.

    Have you tried putting her in another room on her own, and leaving her to eat. Sometimes that works too as some dogs don't like being watched or having other dogs around. Sometimes pups can develop all sorts of eating quirks that can stem from how they are fed at the breeders. Ive seen some that will take mouthfuls and run off into corners, learned from having to grab what they can if they have been communally fed in one puppy pan and have been one of the more retiring ones that have been pushed out by others.

    I noticed you said you were getting fraustrated too, if meal times become a battle they can pick up on fraustration from owners and the whole affair can be a negative experience.

    Another possibility, may be that she has learnt that if she doesn't eat her food, as she has been hand fed aswell at times and not eating gets her attention, that may even be an element. Also if they wont eat something and it gets them something different or better things they can do it too. Sometimes its a case of tough love. Set meal times, food does down its left for 15/20 minutes and if its not eaten then its taken up until next meal time.

    I would try adding a little warm water and either serve straight away or let it soak a bit. Or alternatively just add a spoonful or too of a good wet and mix it by hand so its coated, you can even still add a little warm water so it makes a gravy and just give it too her and try the tough love. Maybe try the other suggestions too of different bowls or eating entirely alone in another room.

    All together it covers a range of possibilities that may be the problem but at then end of the day its trial and error to see if it works.
     
  6. gemea3

    gemea3 PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you for this. I will try a different bowl, & the tough love.
    I have left her alone before, but she's chewed my mat/wall paper etc. rather than eaten her food :thumbdown:
    I've already tried the warm water trick & she didn't eat at all :confused:
    Even though I can get frustrated I know about giving off negative energy and really dont think thats an issue. I do give her praise when she is eating.

    As she's still teething do you think this could be a factor?

    I will let you know in time how I get on :)
     
  7. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

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    One of mine as pups was terrible when he was teething, the other didn't bother in the slightest so all dogs differ. Have you checked her teeth to make sure they are all coming through properly and there are no retained baby teeth that may be causing trouble. Sometimes you can get adult teeth coming in alongside the baby teeth that are still in place.

    The vet when she had her puppy checks should have looked in her mouth to check her upper pallet and jaws were OK and back of her throat and dentition so in theory there shouldn't be any conformation problems or irregularities that would make it difficult to eat.

    It could be that its all the attention she gets for not eating that rewards the behaviour. Tough love and ignoring her and letting her get on with it should sort that one out if it is that.
     
  8. ClaireandDaisy

    ClaireandDaisy PetForums VIP

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    Agree with this. I want my dogs to love to eat, not loathe to eat. Kibble has no scent so doesn`t stimulate the appetite. Try her with a little mince.
     
  9. tinaK

    tinaK PetForums VIP

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    Agree :) my older dog was a very fussy eater.. ate very little over her first year consistently.

    6 weeks ago I changed over to raw, and the difference in both dogs is amazing :)

    It's not hard to get the hang of, and dogs love it as it's natural
     
  10. gemea3

    gemea3 PetForums Newbie

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    Just an update to let you know that I bought a new bowl and stopped the dry food she was on completely and she is eating wet food (Butcher's) fine - HORRAY!! :)

    I really don't think the bowl was the issue, just she didn't like the dry food the breeder had suggested.

    I do like the convenience of dry food so now I need to work out which is the best to feed her on (and she'll eat) and I don't mind mixing with some wet if necessary.

    So any help / advice would be appreciated, thanks everyone
     
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