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Old 05-17-2012, 02:37 PM   #1
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Default How do I get my puppy to eat her kibble?

I need food advice...

I have had my little girl (now 11 weeks) for a week now. The first day, she ate a few bites of kibble, and since then has refused to touch it. I put a meal out for her 3 times a day. Day 2, she just sniffed at it, but hungrily snatched her snacks when she was rewarded for going potty outside. On day 3 her fecal came back positive for giardia, so I had to get wet food so she would take the powder medicine that was prescribed for it. She gobbled it up fast on the first day, but then seemed only mildly interested the rest of the week. It was a challenge to get her to eat enough to get enough medicine in. Now, she is only 2 1/5 lbs, so I know she doesn't need to eat much, but I worry when she doesn't eat at all or only a few bites.

Yesterday was the worst: She seemed worn out - was she lethargic or just really tired? She kept falling asleep, and wouldn't play. I couldnt' see any reason for her to be any more tires than any other day. She ate nothing, and had very little water. She would wag her tail on occasion, but not as much as normal. Was she wagging because she was okay? Or just because she's got a good personality? And every time I picked her up she jsut flopped her head down and fell asleep. I came up with an excuse to give her a treat now and then just to prove that she would eat it. I went out and bought more healthy treats so that if she would only mostly eat her treats, at least it would be better than "Nature's Recipe". I started thinking parvo... I know, don't go there. So I planned to take her to the vet today, but she woke up frisky and happy and ate breakfast. Granted, it wasn't her dry kibble, which she won't even sniff at, or moistened kibble, which she will sniff, but not eat. I finally broke down and gave her some of the wet food I had left and she ate it all up. So I don't think she's sick, maybe just fussy. And maybe she was just tired because she didn't have any energy because she was refusing to eat.

How do I get her to switch back to dry kibble? He breeder said she was on it (and I got the same kind), but I'm not sure I believe her. I haven't seen her eat it really. I mixed the two - wet and dry, and that worked the first day, then she started eating the wet only -sucking it off of the kibble and spitting the kibble out. Talented, huh? Now she won't touch it if it's mixed. She'll just sniff it an look at me with hungry eyes.

Part of me thinks, if she gets hungry enough she'll eat. I don't want to cater to her every whim and create a spoiled dog. But the other part of me thinks, she's only a 2 1/2 pound baby! She NEEDS to eat or she'll get sick or hypoglycemic.

Any ideas from you experienced smart people?

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Old 05-17-2012, 04:17 PM   #2
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I would have kept the vet appointment. Right now, I wouldn't worry about spoiling her. She needs to eat in order to take her meds. Giardia can take a long time to clear up, and can be transmitted to humans. Make sure everyone who comes in contact with her washes up after touching her. I'm sure the vet must have already told you that. If she's eating canned food, then feed it to her. You can introduce the kibble back into her diet, when she's feeling better. I'm not sure if Nature's Recipe sells canned food, but if they do, buy a couple different flavors. Add mostly wet food and a little bit of kibble. Over time, just add less and less wet food and more kibble. I wouldn't worry about spoiling her right now. The most important thing, is that she eats and gets her meds. Parvo can be a killer really quickly, so even if you think it might be a possibility, I'd get her to the vet.

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Old 05-17-2012, 04:36 PM   #3
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If she gets an okay from the vet that she's just being picky...alot of dogs balk at plain kibble...

My "recipe" using any brand of kibble and wet food you want is-a cup of kibble-measure from package instructions for your pups weight, a heaping tablespoon of wet food, a quarter disk crumbled of Stella and Chewys dehydrated dogfood, and a 1/2 cup to a cup of warm water, maybe a bit of shredded cheese if you want to get fancy and mix the whole thing together.
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Old 05-17-2012, 04:53 PM   #4
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Hi Carrie you could try tough love simply put the food down and after 20 mins lift the bowl (don't ever tell her off though as this will make matters worse!) then try again a bit later! I too have a picky girl she well over years now and after a long haul (plenty of patience is needed!!)
I started to take kibble out me with on her walks ( you can't do that for at least till she has had her boosters vacs) but you can train her commands using kibble as treats she might be more interested in the kibble now I wiill put some down in the morning and she will wolf it down and if I don't put enough in her bowl she comes running in to me and asks for more but if she is not well through the gardia then this may be addtecting her appietite! What are you geeding her on and how much follow the guide lines on the bag for her breed type age and what she currently weighs! We have a very good good guru on here called vagreys he knows his stuff he will be here to answer your question. goof luck
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Old 05-17-2012, 05:27 PM   #5
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Carrie, you've only had her for a week, and I'm sure she still needs to adjust to her new home. She should be fed 3 times a day. I did forget to mention that I add warm water to my dogs kibble. If you decide to add anything to her food so she eats, just remember that if you are going by what the bag of food recommends, that anything added has to be included. So let's say the bag said feed her 1/3 a cup three times a day.... if you add wet food or anything else, that should be part of her 1/3 a cup three times a day. So., measure out her food. You could put part wet food and kibble to equal 1/3 a cup. katydid adds (sometimes) cheese. That must also be part of the 1/3 a cup of food. I know you need for her to eat, but you still do not want to over feed her either.

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Old 05-17-2012, 05:34 PM   #6
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Five Star Dry Dog Foods | Dog Food Advisor

A link you might like to review.

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Old 05-17-2012, 05:35 PM   #7
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Your instincts are correct. With a 2 1/2 pound pup you can't take the risk of her not eating. For right now I wouldn't worry about trying to get her to eat the kibble. I'd suggest waiting until she is completely recovered from the Giardia (maybe a couple of weeks) and then try introducing the kibble again.

Under the current circumstances giving her the canned food only, wouldn't be considered spoiling her. Since she is so tiny she must eat enough to survive and stay healthy.
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Old 05-17-2012, 05:38 PM   #8
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Or just try adding water to the dry to let it soak it up and zap in the microwave just enough to warm it up.
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Be careful about cleanliness and the giardia.
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Old 05-17-2012, 09:28 PM   #9
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Thanks for all of your responses. I didn't have an appointment, I was just going to take her in if there wasn't noticeable improvement today. The vet thinks it may be just stress of the new place couple with loss of appetite from the giardia and panacur. She ate all three meals with gusto today, and begged for more.

I've tried mixing wet and dry, I've tried soaking the dry and serving it warm (mixed and alone, she just won't accept the kibble. I have decided to go with wet for a few weeks, to make sure her insides are all healed, and give her time to settle in. Then I get to do the fun job of trying to "talk" her into moving to dry food.

She is only 2 1/2 pounds, so her dry food bag says 1/8 to 1/2 cup per day. That's not much food. Or much leeway. I will have to figure out how much wet. The cans are pretty vague on their amount instructions.

I have been super-careful with not spreading the giardia and avoiding letting her re-infect herself. She was on both Panacur and metronidazole, so there's a good chance we are done with it. We shall see. She is done with both meds as of Tuesday, so now it's just eating for her, not to get meds down.

I smelled her kibble, the one her breeder said she feeds all her dogs and highly recommends. It smells like cardboard. I wouldn't want to eat it either. So now I just have to find a great canned food for her. Thanks for the link Dee - it is very helpful. Now to just decide...

Thanks again for all your help.

One other thing, I get that it's normal for her to chew on bark, sticks and grass (she actually plays tug-o-war with the grass, growling and tail wagging, until she pulls a tuft of grass and then carries the mouthful of grass around the yard - It's pretty cute), but what's with the gnawing on big decorative rocks outside? She seems to be sharpening or grinding her teeth on them, just sits and scrapes her teeth chewing on them from time to time. Is this normal?

Last edited by Carrie13; 05-17-2012 at 09:32 PM..

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Old 05-17-2012, 10:06 PM   #10
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Carrie at any age the dog is there are certain things that could harm her especaily garden plants. weeds slugs etc ,etc You should consider about training good solid 'Leave it' I call it a life saving command cause that's what it is at 11 weeks she will soon understand and learn this for ger own good and your piece of mind too You could also incorporate a recall at the same time by calling her back to you in a nice high pitched happy voice (redirection) when she comes back reward with plenty of praise and some games/and treat. Re the teething on rocks I would be carefull as her teeth might get damaged and again redirect this behaviour on to a dog toy such as a puppy kong again praise, praise and praise! You can never give too much praise Re the Gardia I would check with the vet that this cleared up. Oh BTW Yogurt with probiotics
is excelent for stomach problems make sure it's sweetend too Plain is best as your puppy's teeth are young and need to grow healthy try to avoid sugary foods where you can HtH
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