10 wk old GSD puppy won't eat?? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-11-2010, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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10 wk old GSD puppy won't eat??

Hi there;

Sorry if this question has already been addressed somewhere else. I'm new and am hoping someone will be able to offer me a bit of good advice.

I adopted a German Shepherd pup about a week ago. He's now 10 weeks old. Since we got him, he hasn't had much of an appetite. He'll eat about half a cup of food, and then be done with it. Thing is, he'll only eat it that one time... I have to rotate foods every day to get him to eat anything. On top of that, he won't eat it out of the dish, I have to hand feed him.

I work as a vet tech, so I'm not a completely oblivious owner. I'm just at a loss, to be honest. My boss, who is a veterinarian, told me to keep rotating food until we find something that he'll eat more than once. But I hate to do that because of diarrhea, not to mention how much money I'm wasting on food. We're waiting for a fecal sample to come back to ensure he doesn't have any intestinal parasites.

He was infested with seed ticks when we got him; he had over 100 on him, which the breeder neglected to inform me. (I didn't realize until the day after we adopted him) So I was thinking that had something to do with the loss of appetite, but it's been 3 days since we ridded him of the ticks.

If anyone can offer any advice, I'd appreciate it. I've gone through 6 different types of canned food - he likes all of them, but will only eat it one time.

Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-11-2010, 02:14 PM
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As long as he's healthy and the vet has ruled out any medical issues then he is training you. If you continue to rotate food he will continue to snub anything he doesn't want. Get a good quality food and stick with it. A healthy dog will not strave itself to death.

I had one that did that for awhile and she would go up to 3 days at a time without eating. All because I kept coaxing her to eat and hand feeding and anything to get her to eat. I was creating a monster. Once she figured out I wasn't going to do that anymore she started eathing regularly on her on.

All that being said though is if there are NO health issues. I'm sure working for a vet you have done fecal checks, temp checks and bloodwork. If so I would then I'll bet it's the above.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-11-2010, 02:20 PM
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What she said...if he's parasite free and otherwise healthy then he's just loving the attention- after all you've just had him a week and he's been through a lot. I picked out the food I was going to feed, bought it and gave it to them. Picky eating is a hard habit to break, hope he warms up to his dinner soon. Have any pictures of the little guy?
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-11-2010, 02:22 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, I brought him in this morning to get him checked out; no temp, but waiting on blood work/fecal results. However, my boss said that he doesn't think it's anything medical because Sarge is acting normal, just snubbing the food.

What I'm worried about with just sticking to one food and not giving in, is him losing any more weight. He only weighs about 10lbs right now, and he should weigh about 5lbs more apparently (according to my boss, I've never had a German Shepherd before- only Labs). The tick infestation also had a bit to do with the weight loss.

But if I do have to do that, do you reccomend any particular brand of large breed puppy food that would get him to eat and is good quality? Thanks
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-11-2010, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
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The only good one I've got at the moment is the avatar one - he doesn't like to hold still. :-P
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-11-2010, 02:29 PM
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Oh boy that question is all over the board. I think one of the topics (under forums) is on food. Check there. Do go with a large breed forumla. Check the ingredients as they are listed in order of volume of the ingredient (1st ingredient is the most in the formula, 2nd is next etc). One site you can compare ingredients and ratings is www.dogfoodanalysis.com.

You can also try mixing some can with the kibble...though this tends to become permanent once you do it. I stil add it to mine. I'm sure he's down on his weight due to the ticks and condition he was in and because he was in that condition he may very well have parasites. If so once you get rid of all the critters he is carrying around, he will start to gain.

So glad you rescued the little guy. Let's see some pics of him!
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-11-2010, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
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I'll be sure to check that out - thanks for the link!

I've been mixing the kibble with canned, hopefully he'll give in soon and just eat normally .

If he holds still for a bit today I'll be sure to get some other photos of him; he's just so bouncy!
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-11-2010, 02:42 PM
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If you can get BG (Before Grain) canned my guys like that. You can't use the dry for him yet though as it's Grain Free (not recommended for puppies)
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-11-2010, 03:25 PM
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He's adorable! And a good sign that he's so active. Does your vet recommend a certain brand? We use Nature's Variety dry kibble and frozen raw chicken patties. You can check out the raw diets that lots of gsd owners feed and there's a lot of info regarding brands. You could add an egg to the dry you have now or moisten it to see if that helps. If you're worried about weight, there should be a recipe for satin balls, many people have fed them successfully. Naturally, you don't want him to gain too much, gsds need to stay pretty lean while they're growing so there isn't added pressure on their joints. Didn't know what you were in for did you?! He's a cutie and I'm sure those brown eyes are irresistible when he says, 'let me eat out of your hand Mom.'
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-11-2010, 03:50 PM
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I've been going through this with my current foster although he is a lot older than your puppy. He would gladly eat cheese or chicken but would turn his nose up at dog food and treats. It took hand feeding him wet food to get him going. He is completely healthy and somehow had enegry so he wasn't sick. I found that he likes to eat in his crate, alone. He still isn't eating great but the only time he does eat is when I leave it in his crate with him... maybe try that?

When Raven was a puppy, she was a very picky eater as well. She often at late at night after her food had been sitting there all day. They can be so picky!

Jamie

Raven (GSD) - December 8, 2007
Kaiser (GSD) - November 2009
Holly (GSD) - March 24, 2011

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