Non-energetic (sleeps a lot/eats little)

  • Zazie was brought home at about 9 1/2 weeks on 2/23/20. Since having her, she’s been dealing with a lot of separation anxiety and as a result we’re noticing (hard not to) that she’s sleep a lot, she’s not eating much (nibs here and there) and she doesn’t want to play (we still haven’t found a toy/object that peaks her interest). We’re going through the trail and error phases (kongs, treats, getting on the floor to try and engage her, mixing solid food with a bit of wet food) just a few examples but nothing seems to work. Btw, we’re still feeding her the same food from the breeder. She just doesn’t seem to be interested in anything. We want to ensure we’re doing everything we can to keep Zazie physically and mentally health. Any advice the more experienced basenji parents can give will be very mush appreciated.


  • I’m sure that there will be lots of ideas to help your new pup feel at home. Perhaps you can take a soft blanket back to the breeder and rub it on their mother, so they have the scent. My rescue dog that we got a few months ago at first wasn’t really eating. A friends told me that occasionally she gives her dog water packed sardines. It really worked. I’m sure things will get better.

  • I put a couple of sardines on top of his dried food.

  • @thelees102117 Usually basenjis quickly bond with their owners. Spending as much time with her as you can will help with anxiety. Have you had your first vet check yet?

  • The breeder should be in the loop on this and advise you. In my experience most pups don't react in this way to their new home. Usually they are curious and lively when not sleeping, and have a good appetite. It is a mistake to put out too much food at a time. Better small quantities often. More information about your daily routine would be useful, also details as to where does the pup sleep, how much time do you spend with her, is she crated and if so for how long at a time? My thoughts are that she may have recently had her shots which could make her feel unwell, and also I wonder about how well was she socialized before leaving her breeder? Most well socialized pups adjust quickly to new surroundings.

  • We had the same issue with ours. Took him to the vet he had an ear infection due to the beef we were feeding him, Ear drops for a week and changed to chicken based diet, night and day. I really would take him to the vet.

  • @thelees102117

    Question. Where is Zazie's breeder live? Arizona is known for Valley Fever, and also southern California. Its a fungal disease that is found in the dirt. Dust storms in Arizona can carry this.
    Only reason I'm asking is when Mr.T came to live with me (he was bought as a puppy from a breeder in Arizona, and they lived there for a year, before moving to California), he was 1.5, lethargic. Would eat, but not alot, no interest in anything at all for a dog of that age. Not engaging in anything...........just wanted to sleep. My vet did some blood work, which came back "wonky" as my vet called it. Said that they only time she saw that kind of blood work, the dog had Valley Fever and was from Arizona. I told her Mr.T was born in Arizona and lived there the first year of his life. She sent blood work to someone she knew who was very familiar with VF, and yep, it came back positive. You can ask your vet about Valley Fever, (it may not be that at all, am just saying). But your pup has all the symptoms that Mr.T had.

  • @allyn we tried the blanket when we first picked her up, she pooed all over it during the drive home. The breeder is in PA and we’re in VA so it’s an inconvenience to try and go back. We’ve also tried giving her one of my shirts. I worked for about 30mins to an hour.

  • @dagodingo yes we spend as much time with her as possible. We tag team her morning encounter since we work different shift. I come home for lunch to walk/play with her, etc.
    Yes she’s had her first vet appt

  • @basenjimom2 our breeder is in PA. But Zazie has an appt on the 13th so I will ask for blood work to be safe. thanks

  • @badbasenji she’s had her initial first visit. she’s schedule for a follow up (for more shots) on the 13th. I will ask the doc to check her ears. thank you

  • @eeeefarm Haven’t informed the breeder yet, due to receiving multiple feedback responses of “she’s a pup, that’s normal” or “she’s not settle yet, gives it some time”. but you pose an excellent question regarding how well she was socialized prior to us being her home. I think we’re at the point where I need to contact the breeder. To answer your questions, daily routine: husband’s up at 0430 to take care of Zazie (feeding, potty, play); puts her back to bed to get ready for work, around 0530 one last trip to potty then his off. I’m up at 0645 for water/potty/play session, I let her lounge in her bed as I get ready for work; around 0720 I take her outside for laps/potty bring her in to her crate (treat her) and sit with until she settles in the crate, leave with some tunes then head off to work. return home at 1130 (for hour) and repeat. husbands home around 1530 (feed/potty/training/exercise) then I’m home around 1700, she’s usually in her bed napping when I get home. I’ll try and her her to play but she’s not usually receptive to my invitation.
    Sleeping arrangements: we had her in the crate in the bedroom for the first week. This week we try having her in the crate in the living room. We brought her a thunder shirt yesterday so that night we used that and place a warm bottle of water in her crate and that was the most peaceful not she’s had since being her (barely a peep when we left her). She also has a great day today (no accidents in the crate) at least until it was time for bed. tonight and last night were literally not and day. it’s like she has a good day then the next day we’re back at square one

  • My first reaction is too much time alone for a pup. Also, she should be in your bedroom at least, if not in your bed at night. Basenjis like to be with their people, they do not like to be alone. I don't think she should be crated when you are home. Yes, she needs supervision, but not isolation. If you must crate when you are around, bring the crate to where you, living room, whatever. But better she should not be confined when you are around.

  • @thelees102117 It is good that you come home at 11.30 to care for her, without that I think it would not work. But that is a lot of time alone for a basenji. When you are home she should be with you /not crated and for sure move the crate to the bedroom at night. Basenjis do not like to be alone and some will become frustrated to the point of harming themselves. My first boy damaged his teeth and chewed through a metal crate.

    They are not your average dog, most dogs will do just fine alone. Basenjis tend to be 24/7.

  • @thelees102117 Please let me know of the results. Good luck!

  • @thelees102117 You always should consult the breeder... if she is from a responsible breeder they need to know what is going on... and if not from a responsible breeder could contribute to her socialization issues... Was there a Vet visit before you took her home? Do you have a report from the Vet?

  • @eeeefarm she’s never in the crate when we’re home unless it’s bedtime. We decided to crate train so that when we’re working it would not be a foreign item to her (that’s why we crate her at night, in hope that she would settle to the idea when we away from the house). We also got her a pretty spacious play pen but she’s not comfortable going in there either (she’s getting better not it a lot of work to encourage her to go inside).

  • @dagodingo when we’re home she’s not crated at all except for bedtime but even still she just wants to sleep. I try to engage her in play but nothing. She love to be held and cuddle and that’s about it (no interest in exercise or toys). I’ve reached out to the breeder for more insight. I’m going to revisit the bedroom sleeping arrangements as well. thanks

  • @tanza I literally just texted my breeder. I inquired about the Vet info at the time of purchase but she kinda skated around it to be honest (now that i’m thinking about it). I’m going to request a copy of the vet notes. Thanks

  • @thelees102117 Doesn’t sound at all normal, usually they are terrors when they are pups. Just as you are rescuing your third pair of socks off them, they will be bouncing off the couch. At the very least curious and active.

    Not only that but the more time they spend crated, the more they will burn off frustration when they are out.

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