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evilpirateduck 06-15-2014 09:47 PM

At a loss
Hello all. I have a GSD pup who is currently just about 14 weeks old - will be on Tuesday - and who will not eat her food for the life of her. It seems like it's been slowly spiraling downhill since we took her at 8 weeks.

A bit of background for you; She is the product of my land lord's shepherds, out of a litter of ten. She was the biggest eater in the litter when solid food was introduced, and was easily the biggest female of the litter. I 'took' her at 8 weeks and slowly introduced Wellness CORE puppy and Just for Puppy wet, which she ate with no problems the first few times. Then, she seemed to lose interest. I started adding egg, which kept her attention for a week. Then, raw ground hamburger. I tried a sample of Honest Kitchen. Canidae PURE Puppy, Orijen Large Breed Puppy, and even Nature's Variety Prairie puppy have all been a complete bust, despite the fact that she was literally tearing open the Prairie bag in the store. No type of canned wet food seems to stimulate her, save cat food - and that's actually for the cat. What's more, she went to the vet on Wednesday due to the fact that her eyes are constantly tearing. It's literally like water when I go to wipe her face, and there's usually goop in her tear ducts.

So, we tonight we tested whether she would eat with her remaining litter mates and parents (my room mate kept two of her brothers). And she did! She pigged out.

Here's my issue - they feed cheap brands of dog food, and as a pet store employee and an avid researcher, it's heart wrenching to even think of feeding her Beneful, Puppy Chow, or Iams. And I don't know what to do. I want her to eat healthy - jeeze, I'd like her to eat the best food she can, but when she refuses to touch anything but low quality dog food... Do I give in and let her have the Beneful? Do I supplement with canned? Cooked, raw? Any help here would be appreciated.

mydogs 06-15-2014 10:36 PM

At a loss
Picky 9 week old here! I bought a can of Solid Gold green beef tripe. The can says "for picky eaters" Mixed it in her solid gold puppy food and she inhaled! I also add a drop of plain Greek yogurt at a few feedings or boiled carrots and chop them in tiny peices. If your pup literAlly won't eat a thing but the food your roomate has by all means feed that! Anything for them to just eat.

I add different topping each meal. Ground beef, carrots steak anything. Make it like a mush with water and pour over kibble. Good luck
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Springbrz 06-15-2014 10:38 PM

Is it possible it's not the food. Maybe she just doesn't like to eat by herself. Also, it was one time and she may have just been eating with gusto in competition to get some food before the others ate it all.

Try the cheap food without the littermates around and see what happens. It may have been a fluke.

I have a very picky eater so I understand your frustration.
Best of luck!

evilpirateduck 06-16-2014 12:54 PM

I'll have to look for the beef tripe. I've heard wonders about it's palatability and health benefits. I've tried greek yogurt, though I have not tried carrots, and she has an interest for a time, but it quickly fades.

My biggest concern is that I do not want to have to constantly switch toppings and foods in order to make her eat.

I did that this morning, Spring. I attempted, first, with her regular food and some Pedigree can mixed in. She licked it, then walked away. So, I gave that bowl to her brothers (who will literally devour anything, doesn't matter what it is) and tried again with the dry Beneful, and added some Kirkland wet food. This time, she ate what was probably a fourth of the bowl, then walked away.

More than likely, it was because her brothers were providing competition. I may try to mix a big bowl up tonight and feed her with them to see if that has any benefit.

I'm also wondering if it would be safe to go cold turkey on her? She's healthy, and I know she won't starve herself. Were I to make what will be her normal food, leave it down for 20 minutes, then remove it and give her another chance the next meal, would I be causing a detriment to her growth? My boyfriend seems to think it may be unsafe, given her age and how she desperately needs to eat at this stage.

mydogs 06-16-2014 01:25 PM

At a loss
I'm in the same boat as you. I don't want to keep switching toppers but if I have to I will. My girl loses interest as well easily.

Put the food down. Leave it 20 min. Pick it up. I was going crazy too she literally at 1/2 cup for a few days. Now it's on her. She doesn't want to finish I guess you go hungry til next meal. As long as she's gaining don't baby her. She will start eating. Pick out a few toppers and rotate.
I also noticed she eats better with my other dogs near her.

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Shade 06-16-2014 01:39 PM

The puppy won't starve herself enough to cause harm without a medical reason. If she's only eating half a cup at a meal then that's probably all she wants to eat at that moment. You mentioned eye goobers, if she's not feeling well then she's not going to want to eat just like when we have a cold or flu. Has she been dewormed at least twice?

Personally I don't have a problem with toppers; I just make sure they are healthy ones. I feed Fromm's four star grain free line (which my extremely picky eater poodle loves) and swap flavours each bag, really it doesn't need toppers but I like adding variety. I use warm water, Tripett (canned tripe), raw egg, coconut oil, salmon oil, greek yogurt, and sometimes a little meat or vegetables if I'm making dinner at the same time.

Personally I'm not a fan of pack feeding just for the sake of adding competition. I think that would create a stressful environment and could easily lead to resource guarding. Each of my dogs has their own bowl and is fed at the same time about 10' apart. Delgado eats much faster than Jazzy but the rule in my house is no bugging the other animals when they have food or a treat. My family has 8 dogs (9 if my parents have a foster) and if we are all visiting together they get fed at the same time. Same rules though, they all eat from their own bowls and there's no bugging another dog until they are finished.

mydogs 06-16-2014 02:05 PM

I wouldn't pack feed either at her age. My 6 dogs have own bowls and fed same space apart. They know not to go near the others. My puppy though will stop eating and roam so I put her back to her dish. She will finish hers when they are done or with me kneeling by her. She loves Greek yogurt so if I even add a smear of it to get her to finish I do.

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wolfie13 06-16-2014 08:29 PM

I'm having this same problem where mine won't eat much, I'm trying to get him into a better weight. I'm actually going to try different more high quality food and see if it sticks, also planning to top it with 100% pumpkin, yogurt, and carrots. I plan on alternating each topper just so he will eat more.

mydogs 06-16-2014 09:56 PM


Originally Posted by wolfie13 (Post 5649458)
I'm having this same problem where mine won't eat much, I'm trying to get him into a better weight. I'm actually going to try different more high quality food and see if it sticks, also planning to top it with 100% pumpkin, yogurt, and carrots. I plan on alternating each topper just so he will eat more.

I use a different topper each meal but always a drop of yogurt. Tonite was the Instinct raw beef medallions just 5-6 pieces.

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middleofnowhere 06-17-2014 12:56 AM

I think it was Joanne Plumb that imparted this nugget - in all her work with dogs, she's yet to see on starve itself to death.

Put the food down. Dog doesn't eat. Pick the food up until next feeding time. Repeat as needed.

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