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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Our puppy is 14.5 weeks old and has been a CHORE trying to feed, almost since we got her. She has a very clean bill of health and just recieved her last set of shots. She weight checks out normal (not bony, not chubby) on all her vet visits but it has been an immense challenge feeding her. Our dog is definitely not the type to push you over to get to her food. WE have to do the coaxing, and a lot of it. Usually we have to play a chase game rolling dry food along the floor until her taste kicks in, or hand-feed her. I know it sounds lame, and we don't do this every time as we never wanted to turn it into a bad habit where she won't eat unless we are practically shoving it in her mouth. But obviously we care about her getting proper nutrition and not skipping meals so rarely get frustrated enough to let her get away without a meal. The first month we had her we fed her 3 meals a day. Now we've cut back to two. We are feeding her the correct amounts, I might add. Also, since I know this will be the main question everyone will have, the food brand she started on was Eukanuba Puppy (Lamb & Rice) and we converted a week ago to Science Diet (also a premium brand) since it smelled a lot better and we were trying out all options. We did the gradual mix, but alas, same result. She seems to like it more, as the smell attracts her attention, but not enough to get her to pound away! We have tried softening the food, creating biscuits from it, etc. and have exercised just about every option. We always exercise her first, then feed. ANY ADVICE?

We exercise her a lot (just got back from her first beach trip!), though she spends 8 hours a day, with breaks, in her Play Pen while we're both at work. Otherwise she has been a great dog, and always eats her Eukanuba treats when doing tricks.
 

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In the Moment
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She might be filling up on treats and not ready for meals. Also, making mealtime too much "fun" can encourage playing, not eating. Try making meal time a 10-20 minute time when her food is down and then picked up til the next meal. Personally, I would not feed Science Diet. I like a more meat based food. I like Fromm 4 star which is an all stage (age) food. Many feed ProPlan and have good results also.
 

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please don't be fooled by the vets promotional hype. science diet is FAR from a premium food, it is crap in disguise.

try mixing some plain yogurt, chicken broth, canned pumpkin, or other pureed veggies into her food.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Good to know about Science Diet! We will wean her off this food brand immediately, then. Something tells me the brand has nothing to do with it... she just doesn't want to eat a whole meal!
 

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Humankind. Be both.
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If she's healthy, she'll eat when she's hungry. Get her off the SD. Put down her bowl, give her 10 mins. If she doesn't eat, pick it up and offer again at the next meal. Use bits of kibble for treats during the day (rather than "fancy" treats). Time for a little tough love. She won't starve herself! It might take a couple days of not eating, but that won't kill her ----- but it may teach her an important life lesson that she needs to eat when you present food.
 

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Talk to your vet and breeder.... she's likely perfectly fine. My young puppies never ate as much as I expected.

I definitely agree with picking up the bowl after a short period. Even, take it a step further. Feed her every meal in a kibble toy ("Kibble Nibble" would be a good puppy option) or as part of training. If she's not so keen on eating, pick it up and wait until the next meal. (...I would be offering food 3-4x a day).
 

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we have had great luck with Professional brand food for our Layla (also a very choosy eater...) check www.professionalpetfood.com for availability in your area. if not, www.petfooddirect.com is a great company to buy from also. it is a very high quality food, at an economy price.

also, at 14 weeks, it is time to switch your pup to an adult food.

some things to look for when choosing a food: no corn, animal fat is preferred over oils, protein levels no lower than 28% or higher than 45%, fiber less than 5%, meat meal listed in the top 5 ingredients, no large breed foods

good luck & don't worry too much, as long as she's healthy-she won't let herself starve.
 

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the party's crashing us
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PICKY EATERS ARE MADE NOT BORN

QUIT IT ALREADY!!!
YOU are encouraging all of this reluctant eating behavior.
STOP
Put her food down on the floor, in a bowl, and leave it there for five minutes. Do not talk to the dog or otherwise encourage her.
If she has not eaten all of the food within five minutes, pick it up.
NO SNACKS, NO TREATS until the next meal time. Repeat this procedure. Five minutes.
I guarantee within 2 days you will have a dog who eats her meals when presented to her. She will not starve herself.
All of these shinanigans you are going through now are promoting a reluctant eater. You are making it worse.
 

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Nancy
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PICKY EATERS ARE MADE NOT BORN

QUIT IT ALREADY!!!
YOU are encouraging all of this reluctant eating behavior.
STOP
Put her food down on the floor, in a bowl, and leave it there for five minutes. Do not talk to the dog or otherwise encourage her.
If she has not eaten all of the food within five minutes, pick it up.
NO SNACKS, NO TREATS until the next meal time. Repeat this procedure. Five minutes.
I guarantee within 2 days you will have a dog who eats her meals when presented to her. She will not starve herself.
All of these shinanigans you are going through now are promoting a reluctant eater. You are making it worse.
ditto...

Hank wasn't a good eater when we brought him home. He had a tummy issue and was eating chicken & rice for a week. When it was time to go back to his kibble he didn't want it. The only difference is I didn't follow the five minute rule, I'd leave it for awhile, 1/2 hour/1 hour (until I got tired of looking at it). He got past his "pickyness" rather quickly and has been inhaling his food for sometime now.
.
 

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If she's healthy I wouldn't push the eating. Do as others have mentioned. My Cocker Spaniel was a very fussy eater. She would get to day 3 and then decide to eat. She lived to be 17 years old! If for some reason you see she is failing somehow, then I would worry.
 

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PICKY EATERS ARE MADE NOT BORN

QUIT IT ALREADY!!!
YOU are encouraging all of this reluctant eating behavior.
STOP
Put her food down on the floor, in a bowl, and leave it there for five minutes. Do not talk to the dog or otherwise encourage her.
If she has not eaten all of the food within five minutes, pick it up.
NO SNACKS, NO TREATS until the next meal time. Repeat this procedure. Five minutes.
I guarantee within 2 days you will have a dog who eats her meals when presented to her. She will not starve herself.
All of these shinanigans you are going through now are promoting a reluctant eater. You are making it worse.
I agree, she is only learning that she gets a lot of attention by NOT eating. Darby refused to eat when we first brought him home, he was actually a little thin and soon discovered he hated the Eukenuba puppy food that was sent home with him from the breeder. We switched to SD puppy and he ate fine.

Give her the food in a small area, x-pen, and leave the room. Give 15 minutes then come back let her out and pick up the bowl. Don't say anything just repeat the process with the next meal. She will learn that dinner time is for eating, not playing, attention or anything else.

Good-luck
 

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I agree with all the above and have tried with success with my own dogs (see you're not alone:))

Also, a small pup like her should need no more than 10 - 15 minutes exercise say 3 x a day, anymore could be putting too much stress on her growing body. Long runs at her age is too much imo.

She'll be fine with the food issue, you've not left it long enough for it to become a major issue so fixing shouldn't be difficult.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
K-9:

Has anyone ever told you you have a way with people? If I wanted someone to scream at me I would've asked for it!
 

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I agree, stop fussing over things. Put the food down, come back five minutes later and put it away. With boarding dogs there's been some 'oh, no thanks, I'll wait till you add steak to my food' types. We do the same thing, put the food out, wait and take it away and usually by the 2-3 skipped meal they decide to eat.

Adding broth, cottage cheese, meat, gravy, rolling the food or praising her for eating just teaches her that she 'needs' that before she should eat her food. My guys get fed when I feed them, most of the time after dinner at night but there are days they get something in the morning, or afternoon. Sometimes they are fed in their crates, sometimes they are fed loose and if they don't eat someone else will eat it. Very rarely do they ever not eat something they're given.

The only time I dress food is if they're sick and I am worried that they aren't eating, but that's not been very often.

Oh and yeah get off the SD...

Lana
 

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If she's healthy, she'll eat when she's hungry. Get her off the SD. Put down her bowl, give her 10 mins. If she doesn't eat, pick it up and offer again at the next meal. Use bits of kibble for treats during the day (rather than "fancy" treats). Time for a little tough love. She won't starve herself! It might take a couple days of not eating, but that won't kill her ----- but it may teach her an important life lesson that she needs to eat when you present food.
Amen on this.Since diet is awful.Good luck and be strong.You can do it!
 

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Having gone through this with Gilmour for nearly 8 months, I can give you one guaranteed, immediate fix...

Another Golden :)

The same day Milo came to the house, Gilmours eating habits were 100% cured. In fact, he now gobbles his down and comes and tries to steal Milo's.
 

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Sorry to say this.... Maxine was a CHORE to feed for 9 YEARS!!!! I am not kidding weeks would go by where she ate only 3 cups of food a week. However she never got overly skinny, we had our vet in the loop. We tried switching foods which would work for 1 bag, then we would buy bag #2 and she would no longer be interested. As a puppy she ate great up to six months of age then she suddenly stopped. I found feeding time very stressful.

We would put her dish down for 15 minutes, if she was not actively eating when the time was up we picked it up until the next feeding. She did not get a lot of treats, a cookie in the AM when we would leave for work which she always ate.

When she had her second knee surgery it got bad. She stopped eating, it was going on 10 days. I was force feeding her. When we took her to the vet for her staples to be removed he gave us an appetite stimulant. We switched her food one more time, and she starting eating like a normal dog never to stop again.

I hope you figure out what is happening. Just keep a close eye on weight. Your dog shouldn't starve itself. It may be eating just what it needs. Keep your vet in the loop.

Ann
 

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K-9:

Has anyone ever told you you have a way with people? If I wanted someone to scream at me I would've asked for it!
No but I did get an A in persuesive writing.
 
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