Dog food for finicky toy breed

Discussion in 'Community Board' started by 4kids4karen, Apr 16, 2019.

  1. 4kids4karen

    4kids4karen DIS Veteran

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    My 16 year old daughter adopted a 2.11 pound Cavachon Sunday. The problem is, she will not eat the food they said was "required" they sent us home with (for a cost) and we shouldn't change her food until this bag is gone. She had a new patient vet appointment on Monday.

    Well, it's not working. Daughter weighted her dog yesterday at 2.7 pounds (different scale). We have five different types of food they sent us home with and a vitamin paste. Puppy likes the vitamin gel. She will spit out all four of the different dry food. The bag they gave us, and the ziploc bags of the dry food they said to try in a specific order if she rejected it. She rejects the wet food they sent with us as a "last option" as well. For breakfast this morning, DD had to go to school before she could get puppy to eat the food, so I spent the next hour mixing the gel and wet food half and half and basically force feeding her that. She is suppose to get either 1/8 cup of food four times a day or they said it is okay that we modified to the three times a day so DD can do the feedings (ideally, because our two other dogs DD says prefers me, so she wants HER dog to prefer her).

    I am kinda at the end of trying this food. My co-worker says to try baby food as that is what her vet told her with her dog when he was a tiny puppy and rejected food. I am going to give this a try. I had planned to change the puppy food to Nutro brand that my other two dogs are on (that we buy on the military base for a better price), but now I am considering HUMAN GRADE food and probably wet food.

    So, what HUMAN GRADE food brands do you recommend?

    I even left some food in her kennel when I went to work. We have a puppy cam on her. She didn't touch the food, she just slept for five hours until DD came home from school.
     
  2. KayaWildfire

    KayaWildfire Mouseketeer

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    I don't have any suggestions on human grade food, but we had our own experience with a picky puppy. We got our Cavapoo at 7 weeks and she weighed a whopping 3 pounds. She was flatly refused to eat the puppy food they sent with us so we threw it out. She did eat some wet food for awhile in the beginning, just some super cheap pedigree stuff. Nothing permanent. We did transition her fairly quickly to the food she would be eating, which was different than what the breeder fed. I would also ditch the vitamin paste, if she is eating some sort of puppy food she doesn't need it. And it has only been a few days, she is also still adjusting. I would just go the Walmart or wherever and find some wet food or meat baby food to get her to eat. After a few days, mix the dry food you want to feed her and the wet and gradually put in less and less wet. She will get the idea.
     
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  4. Pea-n-Me

    Pea-n-Me DIS Veteran

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    Is your daughter feeding her any treats in between meals?
     
  5. TipsyTraveler

    TipsyTraveler DIS Veteran

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    So, at least the dog is gaining weight, correct? How old is she, does she have all of her teeth? What type of food is she on and why is it “required?” Is it the vet who wants her on this food?

    Tiny dogs like this are at risk of having their blood glucose levels drop dangerously low, so it’s imperative they eat (something, anything) on a regular schedule throughout the day. Three to four times a day for a dog that weighs less than three pounds doesn’t seem enough to me. I would be trying to get food into the pup every two to three hours around the clock. Try all the usual tricks — variety of wet foods, baby food, chicken, heat it in the microwave, syringe feed if necessary. And follow up with the vet ASAP if you can’t get her eating on her own quickly, especially if she seems lethargic or “sleepier” than an energetic puppy should be.
     
  6. lilmc

    lilmc Mouseketeer

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    Have you tried taking a rolling pin to the kibble to make it smaller/easier for her to pick up and chew?
     
  7. Poohforyou

    Poohforyou DIS Veteran

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    We tried all kinds of different food with our mini doxie and finally found one he loves - Primal frozen nuggets. It's highly rated. They've done amazing things to make his coat silky.

    If you have a Dogs and Cats Rule nearby they'll give you samples of food to try.
     
  8. AgentMama

    AgentMama Mouseketeer

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    I'd find a canned wet food from one of the big name food manufactures that is not grain free and feed that. Do some research on dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) related to nutritional deficiencies (taurine included) in grain free and boutique dog food diets. I would not feed a boutique or human grade food. There is a lot of really great research coming out now about the ramifications of some of these diets now.
     
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  9. 4kids4karen

    4kids4karen DIS Veteran

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    No treats at all.
     
  10. 4kids4karen

    4kids4karen DIS Veteran

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    I called the after hours number and they made several suggestions. She vomited the baby food which was the chicken (ingredients ground chicken, water, cornstarch). We got her to eat a scrambled egg last night for her dinner and she had another scrambled egg for her breakfast.
     
  11. 4kids4karen

    4kids4karen DIS Veteran

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    No, she hasn't gained any weight. They weighted her at 2.11 pounds the day we brought her home. DD weighed her at 2.7 pounds on our home scale.
    She will have her first vet appointment Monday with our family vet. My husband has to stop by our family vet today to pick up our older dogs heart medicine, so he is going to ask about that A&D prescription food that the customer service line told me about last night.
     
  12. 4kids4karen

    4kids4karen DIS Veteran

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    My other two dogs are on Nutro. We don't buy the crap filler food brands for our dogs. My older dogs are a 14 -year old maltese and 12 -year old morkie (maltese/yorkie) so, it has provided them a healthy life. The 14 year old just started having heart issues this year. I am a fan of the healthier food that don't have all the fillers that really they can't digest and just poop out. Example, the maltese I remember pooping a lot on the breeder's IAMS. As soon as I switched him to Nutro, it significantly reduced the issue.

    A retired military friend of mine who now trains service dogs for Veterans suggested the brand Victor. I found a place not to far from me that sells Victor brand puppy food, so I might give that a try if she doesn't like the Nutro puppy food.
     
  13. 4kids4karen

    4kids4karen DIS Veteran

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    I did a search and found a couple retailers. I will read more about this brand.
     
  14. AgentMama

    AgentMama Mouseketeer

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    Like I said, I would do some research on DCM, and I'd also look into the research and science behind the brands you're feeding and how the fillers they're using (like sweet potatoes) effect DCM. I'd also suggest talking to your vet.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019 at 9:11 AM
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  15. Pea-n-Me

    Pea-n-Me DIS Veteran

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    I think to some degree you have to take into account that the dog is adjusting to a new living situation, too, and that may last for a couple of weeks. You said your daughter adopted this dog - where did it come from? A rescue? A breeder? Who was the "they" who insisted on this food and feeding routine to begin with? If it was the breeder, I'd think they know what they're talking about. And if it was a rescue, how did the dog wind up there so young? How did this adoption come about in the first place? Was there any research done into this type of pet and how to care for it?

    IME (i.e. a lifetime of dog ownership) dogs eat when they're hungry enough. If you're jumping through hoops now trying to feed this dog, you could be setting up a lifetime of high maintenance when it comes to food. Certainly talk to your vet about it and do some research. I don't have a lot of experience with toy breeds except one we watch and he eats everything you put in front of him but everything is measured. We do have a small dog and he does get fussy with food (unlike our German Shepherds who were simple to feed), but we put it away if he doesn't eat it and give it to him later. He eats when he's hungry. Sometimes treats do spoil his appetite.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019 at 7:56 AM
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  16. jrmasm

    jrmasm Last time I checked, it was still

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    If she'll eat scrambled egg, why not mix her food into it?
     
  17. TipsyTraveler

    TipsyTraveler DIS Veteran

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    2.7 is more than half a pound heavier than 2.11. While there might be some variation between scales, that still indicates a significant gain for a dog who weighs less than 3 pounds.

    I’d recommend weighing her on a baby scale for accuracy purposes.
     
  18. Pea-n-Me

    Pea-n-Me DIS Veteran

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    Another thought. I was used to feeding my dogs twice a day and they gobbled everything up each time. My small dog just doesn't eat in the morning. He doesn't get hungry until evening for some reason. We can put food out earlier and it will just sit there. So this is something we've learned over time about him. It's hard to say what type of food he likes, I might even say after five years, I really don't know! We've tried lots of different types and he seems to like something different at first, and then he doesn't seem to like it later. Strange. But when he's hungry he eats it.
     
  19. Pea-n-Me

    Pea-n-Me DIS Veteran

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    And just one more, I think "finicky" in the title may make some presumptions about the dog that may not necessarily be true. Remember he's just a baby (since you referred to him as a puppy) reacting to a new living situation away from his mom and sibs and wherever else he was. Give him TIME and consistency. Don't jump through hoops for him at this stage, just treat him like one of the family and he will adjust.
     
  20. lilmc

    lilmc Mouseketeer

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    You need to look at the science and research that goes into these food and not just succumb to marketing ploys.

    Most brands like Primal are not nutritionally complete and balanced when independently tested.

    A *healthy* dog will not be found dead in front of a bowl of food. A toy breed puppy can be challenging in that hypoglycemia is a real risk and she may not be all that healthy right now if she’s vomiting as well, but in general, do not succumb to the “she needs x, y, and z added to her food to get her to eat”. Or “she won’t eat that food, I tried it”.

    Get your nutritional questions answered from your vet. If they don’t know the answer, they at least have reliable resources to refer you to, like a boarded nutritionist. Not your trainer. Not your breeder. Not the internet. Not marketing. Not the guy at the pet food store. Good life lessons in general regarding pets.
     
  21. AgentMama

    AgentMama Mouseketeer

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    I could only like this one time, but I would like it a million if I could!
     
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