Should I be concerned?

So I switched Dallas over from Eukanuba to Merrick's last weekend. I thought he loved it so much more since towards the end he started actually eating around the Euk & only eating the Merrick's. Plus, the week before he kept knocking his bowl over & not eating it [the Euk] but that stopped with the Merrick's. Anyway, I started noticing early this week that he stopped eating his food quickly, he practically inhaled it before. No biggie. I figured this was finally because he realized he didn't have 4 other hungry pups going for the same bowl. Now he has basically started only nibbling for 5 minutes then walking away from it. The past 3 days or so he's walked away from the food but eventually gone back throughout the day & finished it. We tried locking him in his crate like we had done his first few weeks with us, but after a few minutes he would just whine & whine to get out & not pay any attention to the food.

I am thinking perhaps he doesn't like the Merrick's as much as I had thought? Or am I just looking to much into this? Maybe he would do okay with free feeding?

It may be that he does not need as much of the Merricks as he needed of the Eukanuba to feel full. Put the bowl down for 5 minutes and then pick it up whether or not he has finished. If he is consistently leaving some kibble in the bowl, cut down the amount you feed in a single sitting.

I would not recommend free feeding. Usually the first sign that your dog is feeling ill is refusing to eat. If you are free feeding you will have no way of tracking his appetite. A healthy dog will not starve itself, so if they are hungry they will eat and if they learn young that food will only be available in limited intervals they will learn to eat when offered food or risk not eating again for several more hours.

Exactly my response… please do not free feed... and remember pups go through many stages... of eating.. and when they are teething (this lasts till they are 7 to 8 months old) they will and do go off their food... Please remember they will NOT starve themselves. The best way to built good eating habits is that they have a set time to eat and a set time limit to finish...

And please continue feeding him in his crate… that is were he should be eating.. (like eating at the table for humans)... and steel yourself that he eats or NOT, his choice...

Thanks for the tips guys. I actually posted that after he walked away from his dinner again tonight. I picked it up & about an hour after I posted this he walked to his crate looking for it. I said "are you hungry" which he then perked his ears up & tilted his head [his way of saying yes] so I put the food back down but he kind of picked up one kibble & set it on the ground then walked out of the crate. I picked up the bowl again & tried heating it up for about 20 seconds then set it back in the crate. He ate it all & licked the bowl clean. Then brought his bowl out of the crate to me _so it looks like a step in the right direction.

I have been feeding him the same as with the Euk, going by what the bag says but maybe I will try cutting back a little bit.

& don't worry Pat, he will always be fed in his crate. I think it will help when we get a second ;)_

For sure it will help… and don't be concerned if he misses a meal.. like kids (human ones)... it makes for better eating habits.... My thoughts are... don't go to extra effort (like heating it).... he needs to learn when the food is there, he eats or not... his choice...

I have found that if I fed what the bag recommended with most foods half my dogs would be blimps, 1 would probably be just about right and the other would still look thin. So I go by how my dogs look and feel in determining their portion size.

Yea on the bag it says I should be feeding him like 1 1/2 - 3 1/2 cups per day. We've been giving him about 3/4 in the AM & then 3/4 in the PM. Think I should still cut back a little bit?

Try cutting back his food a little. If he maintain his weight and finishes his meals then he may just not need as much right now but keep an eye out for growth spurts where he may need a bit extra.

I switched Dallas over to Wellness last week & he still isn't eating. I called the vet & they said it's because he is getting used to the food but him not really eating has now been going on for over 2 weeks. He will kind of pick at the kibble but then doesn't want it & will leave his crate. If I shut the crate door he will just calm down & wait to be let out. Yesterday he was in his crate for 45 minutes just laying quietly but didn't eat a thing! So I removed the food & tried again later with little sucess. Again he ate less than half of the food…which means about 1/4 a cup if that.

Then this morning he threw up but it wasn't bile it was actually pieces of the kibble...

I just don't know what else to do as far as getting him to eat. I bought the best puppy food there is but he looks at it like it's repulsive or something. I called the vet & he said, try switching to eukanuba puppy...I don't want to have him on that crap food though!!! Help!!!

Have you considered a raw food diet. It is a little more work at first untill you get used to it, but my dogs have never snubbed their noses at their food.

Some questions, how long do you give him to eat his food before picking it up? How much food is he eating a day since it sounds like he is eating just not everything? Could he have swallowed something that could have caused and obstruction or stomach upset?

My boy Nicky was a very finicky eater as a youngster. With him we had to put his bowl down and then pick it up after 15 minutes and if he wasn't finished then too bad he had to wait until the next meal. He didn't really get over being a finicky eater until we got Rally and the type of food we fed didn't make a bit of difference.

I would seriously begin looking for a new vet. If Dallas is not feeling well, you need a vet who is going to listen to you and isn't going to get hung up on something like the brand of food you feed as a reason for inappetance and vomiting.

@lvoss:

Some questions, how long do you give him to eat his food before picking it up? How much food is he eating a day since it sounds like he is eating just not everything? Could he have swallowed something that could have caused and obstruction or stomach upset?

My boy Nicky was a very finicky eater as a youngster. With him we had to put his bowl down and then pick it up after 15 minutes and if he wasn't finished then too bad he had to wait until the next meal. He didn't really get over being a finicky eater until we got Rally and the type of food we fed didn't make a bit of difference.

I would seriously begin looking for a new vet. If Dallas is not feeling well, you need a vet who is going to listen to you and isn't going to get hung up on something like the brand of food you feed as a reason for inappetance and vomiting.

Well the time I give him to eat has changed as of late because I am so worried he isn't eating enough. I will put down the bowl in his crate & at first he will go into his crate & be ready for the food. However, after he sniffs the kibble he will just leave his crate & won't really go back. My boyfriend has started leaving Dallas' food out all day because he is also concerned that he isn't eating. At night when I am home I will usually try & give him 20 minute increments. Put it down for 20 minutes if nothing, remove it. Then try putting it down again like an hour later & repeat. This is what Mark was doing at first but now he just doesn't pick the bowl up at all since he says Dallas will nibble on it throughout the day if you leave it out.

We have been putting in about 1/2-3/4 in both the AM & then again in the PM but like I said, he's only been eating half of what we put in. Then when we eat our dinner he acts like he's starving or when we do training with treats he goes NUTS & acts like he hasn't eaten in a month. This may just be a puppy thing though :rolleyes: He doesn't seem too slim to me but I know as a puppy he needs to get the right amount of food to properly develop.

I watched him all last night & he seemed fine. Mark said it was only right after he woke up yesterday that he threw up & assumed it was due to him not eating but when he told me there was kibble in it [not just yucky green bile] I got more concerned.

I guess I am just wondering if it is the food he doesn't like or if there is something more to it…

He goes nuts for training treats & whatever scraps from our dinners we train him with [chicken chunks, bacon, etc.] but the kibble he will sniff, maybe even humor us by picking up a piece or two in his mouth but then he actually spits it out! It's almost like I can hear him saying "ew…I am so NOT eating this mom..." unless he is absolutely starving but even then isn't eating enough in my opinion.

By leaving the food out all day you may be making the picky eating problem worse. He knows he doesn't really have to eat when you offer food because you will just leave it out all day. This is how my boy was. If you left food out he would eat a kibble at a time all through the day and not really finish any meal. I know it is really hard but though he may end up missing a meal or two at first offer his food for 15 minutes then pick it up and don't offer him any food or treats again until the next meal. The 15 minutes and it goes away and nothing until the next meal. If the dog is healthy it shouldn't take more than a couple of missed meals for them to figure out if they don't eat when food is offered then they are not going to eat. He may not clean his bowl at each meal and that is OK. Nicky really didn't clean his bowl when he was young but I knew he was feeling ill if he refused to eat altogether after he learned that food is only offered at meal times for a short period of time.

If he is repeatedly refusing food meaning more than about 2-3 meals in a row then it is probably something more than just being a picky eater.

When he threw up food, was it chewed or did he literally inhale the kibble whole? If he isn't chewing his food and has whole kibbles sitting in his belly that will also make them not feel like eating. It takes the kibble longer to be digested so they sit in the stomach longer.

Well that does make sense. I'll have to tell the boyfriend to only leave his food down for 15 minutes in the AM & be sure when I feed him in the PM to do the same. I just don't want the little guy to starve & I know if he is super hungry he will throw up bile, as he's done in the past.

I'll ask Mark whether they were whole or not. We're still mixing the Merrick's in with the Wellness while we transition & I know he said he saw some peas/carrots & kibble. Do you think adding a bit of warm water would do any good?

A healthy dog will not starve itself. It will eat when it is hungry. You may want to just stop with the Merricks and go with all Wellness. We recently switched our dry foods to Wellness and Evo. I usually switch every couple of months anyway but our dogs didn't really seem very keen on the last bag of Merricks. Because of the different caloric requirements of each of my dogs I always have 2 foods in the house.

Though he may throw up bile because he is not eating, really he should start eating after 1 or 2 skipped meals.

IME the more you try to do to entice them to eat, the more you are doing to create a picky eater.

A healthy dog will not starve itself. It will eat when it is hungry. You may want to just stop with the Merricks and go with all Wellness. We recently switched our dry foods to Wellness and Evo. I usually switch every couple of months anyway but our dogs didn't really seem very keen on the last bag of Merricks. Because of the different caloric requirements of each of my dogs I always have 2 foods in the house.

Though he may throw up bile because he is not eating, really he should start eating after 1 or 2 skipped meals.

IME the more you try to do to entice them to eat, the more you are doing to create a picky eater.

You are not alone, my 4 month puppy is doing the same exact thing and it has been driving me nuts! It started about two weeks after I got her (I've almost had her for two months now). I've been feeding her Diamond Small Breed Puppy food (recommended by my breeder) and Manah acts like it is the most disgusting food ever! She just picks at her food and drops it on the floor, covers her nose and paws at the air - it's so weird. But she wants to eat my elder dog's food and is always trying to get at it. I have the same concern that she is not eating enough for her age. She refuses to eat her second meal, so I only feed her a 1/2 cup in the AM and 1/2 cup in the PM. She'll eat about half and then walk away. I'm going to also try changing her food. I was going to switch her to Merrick's but maybe I should try Wellness; is that a healthier and tastier brand?
I'll also try the 15 minute time period…

Believe me, I understand your concern and frustration! This is really the only issue I have with my puppy though, otherwise she's doing great - rings a bell when she has to go out, isn't chewing up my stuff, isn't acting wild and crazy. I'm grateful for that!

Tabatha

Nexa was a very picky eater when we first got her. She would eat a few kibble, then leave and come back, maybe eat a few more. We would pick up her food after 15 minutes or so. When she got hungry enough she would eat more. We tried mixing in some different goodies with her kibble, but she would usually just eat around the kibble. This all stopped the day we go Leo. She eats every kibble/treat/vegetable we give her now. It's like she hasn't had a meal in days every time we feed her. Amazing the difference it made.

Nicky was our first dog so he didn't have any competition for his food. He also goes back to Serengeti on 1/4 of his pedigree so is related to Dallas. He just wasn't very food motivated as a youngster. He could take it or leave it. Doing the 15 minutes and then picking it up did make it so he ate when given food but he would still leave some kibble and did look thin sometimes even when he was eating plenty.

The day we got Rally his view on mealtime changed. Even though they were fed separately the thought of competition for his food really increased his desire to eat. He is still slower than either of my black and white girls at eating but he licks his bowl clean every day and begs for more. He still sometimes looks thin, he has a high metabolism.

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