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5 month old pup won't bloody eat

(27 Posts)
Billingsgatedoxy Wed 02-Dec-15 13:06:56

He's driving me bonkers! He's a small breed so never ate a lot but last few weeks he has got worse and worse. I started adding in extras to tempt him (I know I know but I was desperate) and for a while that helped but now he just eats the extras and leaves all his kibble, or turns his nose up at the whole thing

Dh says I should just put out kibble and if he doesn't eat leave him until his next meal. Would this actually work? Or would he just starve himself to spite me? He's my first dog so any help gratefully appreciated.

Deadnettle Wed 02-Dec-15 14:19:30

I too have a 5 month old pup who isn't eating. As my poor puppy isn't well and is also having a very bad time teething I am softening her kibble with hot water and allowing it to cool before I give it to her.

Your DH is right. All our previous dogs had 20 minutes to eat and if they didn't eat the food was removed and given at the next meal but they were all collies so bigger that your puppy. What breed is he? Ours is a miniature poodle.

There are lots of reasons he may not be eating. He may not be hungry, his may be just waiting to see if he will get nicer food, he may be unwell, or it may be teething related. He may even have gone too long without food (our dogs tummy makes a terrible sound when this happens and she wont eat until it stops/she's sick).

An otherwise healthy dog should not starve himself. A tip to the vet may be in order if your puppy starts getting thin but otherwise he should be ok missing a few meals, unless he is not eating anything at all (as in nothing, no kibble, no treats), not going to the loo or has other signs of illness in which case I would just take him to the vets.

Billingsgatedoxy Wed 02-Dec-15 14:49:17

There is no problem eating treats! Or chicken or any other 'nice' treats that I put in with his kibble so I don't think it is a problem eating just fussiness

He is also toileting fine, although it's getting softer as his chicken/ kibble ratio is skewing. I think I just need to be firm, but I am finding it very difficult and actually really stressful!

Deadnettle Wed 02-Dec-15 15:08:33

Puppies are always stressful! Unless your dog has health issues/is underweight going a day without any food will not harm him. I had a dog that refused to eat one day a week every week for the entire time we had him and he was fine.

If he is just being fussy I would just give him his kibble and nothing else for a bit (days). If he really isn't eating or you are too stressed about him not eating, soak the kibble in hot water (from the kettle) and let it cool before giving it to him. If whatever food you are giving your pup is like what I'm giving to mine, it'll stink and therefore be desirable to your dog!

It's very likely that your dog just likes the treats better than his food and knows that if he waits long enough he will get to fill himself up on treats and not his kibble.

Pizdets Wed 02-Dec-15 15:13:12

We had this with ddog at about the same age. He was a bit underweight (vet's suggestion? Try feeding him a bit more - genius!!!). We switched to raw feeding and have never looked back. I expect other raw advocates will be along any minute - I got some advice from lovely people on here and am so grateful I did! He's now chucked outside with a bone twice a day and offered offal and mince from time to time - no fuss and he's happy and healthy!

Billingsgatedoxy Wed 02-Dec-15 15:48:57

Piznets- he's a chihuahua so I'm not sure a raw food diet would work, any bones small enough would probably be too prone to splintering? It's an interesting idea though and if I am still pulling my hair out in a few weeks I will probably try anything!

So I know I need to be strong. I will try softening his kibble and see if that achieves anything. Thanks all

Boredofthinkingofnewnames Wed 02-Dec-15 15:55:28

Ddog point blank refused to eat kibble. We went through so many brands - vets own, eukanaba etc and he will not eat it unless there is some kind of meat in there too.

He would also eat anything and everything else apart from the kibble.

Pizdets Wed 02-Dec-15 16:01:42

billingsgate I'm not an expert but it might be worth trying him with chicken wings? Ddog is a miniature breed (but bigger than a chihuahua at 5kgs) and I've been amazed at what he will gnaw through. They also learn a technique - he would take an hour on a wing as a puppy but now nails one in about 3 minutes! I think there are some good Facebook groups which might be worth looking out if you do decide to give it a try? What is it wit these fussy little dogs? He's a pickier eater than my toddler!!

Pizdets Wed 02-Dec-15 16:03:06

Oh and ps it might be worth looking at prepared raw food (bone free mince) like nutriment etc. although ddog usually shows enough interest in this stuff for me to commit to a big order then decides he's gone off it three days later angry

LeaLeander Wed 02-Dec-15 16:03:08

Chihuahua puppies can die quickly of low blood sugar if they don't eat properly; mine nearly did (as a foster, his first night with me) so I would be leery of the "take the food away" technique that might be well-advised for a larger, huskier dog.

I would try softening the kibble, or hand-feeding it, or whatever. Having seen the foster pup do a grand mal seizure on my kitchen floor I was just happy when he ate, no matter what it was. I ended up keeping him and he eats his kibble just fine now. I kept him on small amounts 4x a day till he was at least a year.

Have you tried canned puppy food? Repulsive as it is for us humans to deal with, it might appeal to him. Maybe a mixture?

villainousbroodmare Wed 02-Dec-15 16:07:44

Keep it simple. Choose a good quality food. Measure the appropriate amount into a bowl twice a day. Place on floor for 20 min. Remove after this time. Do not worry if uneaten. Do not hover or coax or serve multi-dish buffets to rot their teeth and drive you mad, cost you a fortune and turn them into petulant sulky food tyrants.

(Toy dogs are extremely susceptible to becoming tyrannical and horrible!)grin

Remember that a tiny dog needs a tiny amount of calories. A chihuahua's stomach is about the size of a cherry tomato when empty, a little plum when full. There is really no need to wet his food; it's done for puppies who have barely any teeth.

If you do this you'll feel a weight off your shoulders instantly. If you keep going as you are, you'll add considerable stress to both your and dog's lives for the next 15 years.

villainousbroodmare Wed 02-Dec-15 16:14:00

Miniature puppies can easily become hypoglycaemic when they are very young. Five month old healthy dogs who are happy to pick the tastiest bits out of their food are not remotely in this category. If he previously managed this food, and he's well and chirpy, don't dream of hand feeding. You'll create an awful situation.

villainousbroodmare Wed 02-Dec-15 16:15:18

It is however quite reasonable to feed him 3 times a day or even 4 as a pp said.

Billingsgatedoxy Wed 02-Dec-15 18:11:06

Lots of good advice, thanks everyone

I took him to see another chihuahua friend this afternoon and they spent 2 hours chasing each other around the garden and jumping on each other so there are definitely no health worries

I did his tea before reading your responses and I did add some warm water in case it was his teeth and he did eat some of it (phew!). So I may try this for a few days but I didn't add anything else and I have decided that I won't in future because I think I am pandering to him and this is making him increasingly fussy

I was a bit concerned about the hypoglycaemia and that does really worry me when he doesn't eat, but to be honest, he's over 4 pounds and bouncy as anything so I don't think he is really at risk of this. I plan to try to de stress the situation for him and me and see how we get on.

Thanks everyone

villainousbroodmare Wed 02-Dec-15 18:32:18

Remember that if you give training treats etc you can fill up a tiny little dog easily.

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Wed 02-Dec-15 18:40:38

Email various companies and ask for kibble samples. My dog turned her nose up at quite a few, even pricey, quality ones. She wolfed Burns down when I gave it her.

Billingsgatedoxy Wed 02-Dec-15 18:48:18

Asking for kibble samples is a really good idea. I don't love the one we currently use (Royal Canin) but they do have really small kibble which he can manage quite easily

I tried to move him to a 'better' high quality brand More, but he couldn't cope with the size of the kibble. If anyone knows of a small size good quality kibble I'd be interested in the brand.

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Wed 02-Dec-15 18:53:52

Arden grange?

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Wed 02-Dec-15 18:54:48

Burns also do a small breed kibble. I know Burns isn't high end but it's not awful either.

JohnCusacksWife Thu 03-Dec-15 14:04:41

Could you try wet food? Most dogs I've known have wolfed that down compared to the dried stuff which they seem less keen on.

Purplepixiedust Thu 03-Dec-15 14:19:31

We have just switched our dog to Akela food which she loves. They do samples and different sizes of kibble (she may prefer the smaller one).

Otherwise, I would be tempted to try wet food. Have a look on here for a good quality one (you can search by age/size etc for suggestions.

www.allaboutdogfood.co.uk/

CakeMountain Thu 03-Dec-15 14:29:56

Ours was like this as a pup. Now she eats really quickly, every meal. I think she is quite good at regulating her food intake and only takes what she needs.

Floralnomad Thu 03-Dec-15 14:36:00

Barking Heads kibble is quite small .

SweetLathyrus Thu 03-Dec-15 14:58:51

Canagan do a small breeds kibble. It comes out well in nutritional terms, and though it's expensive, you won't need a lot for a small dog.

My WCS was not an enthusiastic kibble eater until I changed to Millie's Wolfheart, but it may be too big for a chihuahua, unless you mix it to a paste, and possibly too rich, since it's constituted for working dogs.

Billingsgatedoxy Fri 04-Dec-15 13:59:04

Lots of great advice, thanks everyone

At the moment I am sticking to the kibble we have as he is finally eating some! Adding a little water has made a big difference and he's eating it much more happily. I don't know if it was his teeth or just that he finds it more palatable soft and smelly but I am just happy something is working!

Once he seems more settled I may try a better quality kibble so thank you everyone for your recommendations

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