Sheba has stopped eating - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-13-2017, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
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Sheba has stopped eating

Sheba has been home for just three days and has lost her appetite, it seems. She had been on the "Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy 1-24 months Large Breed" and the first day she gobbled up the food the breeder had sent along with her. But when we try to give her our own, which we are pretty darned sure is the same stuff, she doesn't like it, will barely touch it. We have tried it dry, with water to soften, mashed up, you name it.

We have heard that it is not wise to change their diet at this age, (she is 9 weeks old) but what if they are not eating? Any help is most appreciated! We live on a remote island with no vet anywhere close, so we are getting concerned.

Thanks,
Glen
Focus On Newfoundland

OUR DOGS:
purebred GSD - Sheba
purebred Shih Tzu - Chrissy
mixed Maltese/Scottish Terrier - Bubba
purebred GSD - Chrissy
purebred Toy Poodle - Freeway
purebred Toy Poodle - Benji
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-13-2017, 10:29 AM
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Try adding a little chicken or beef broth mixed with water to make a gravy for the kibble.Or boiled egg mixed with water.That will give it a much more appetizing smell and taste.
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-13-2017, 10:52 AM
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As long as she is drinking water, playing, going to the bathroom normally and has plenty of energy, I wouldn't get overly concerned just yet. I am assuming also that she has not been vomiting...
Sometimes puppies get a little stressed out the first few days and may stop eating temporarily. I wouldn't make a lot of demands on her for awhile, anyway. I know it's tempting to start training as many things as possible since they are so smart, but all I really focused on the first few weeks was bonding, recall, potty and crate training. We really didn't start obedience commands until he had time to get used to his new home and schedule.
Try not to get too anxious about the eating--unless there are signs of illness. She may be a bit stressed out with a new home, people and schedule. Doesn't hurt to try some toppers like Dogma suggested.
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-13-2017, 04:11 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyHans-someBoy View Post
As long as she is drinking water, playing, going to the bathroom normally and has plenty of energy, I wouldn't get overly concerned just yet. I am assuming also that she has not been vomiting...
Sometimes puppies get a little stressed out the first few days and may stop eating temporarily. I wouldn't make a lot of demands on her for awhile, anyway. I know it's tempting to start training as many things as possible since they are so smart, but all I really focused on the first few weeks was bonding, recall, potty and crate training. We really didn't start obedience commands until he had time to get used to his new home and schedule.
Try not to get too anxious about the eating--unless there are signs of illness. She may be a bit stressed out with a new home, people and schedule. Doesn't hurt to try some toppers like Dogma suggested.
I contacted the breeder today, and she says Sheba is SO much like her Mom, right down to being picky about her food. She suggested mixing the kibble with some wet, (the only way her Mom will eat hers) so we did, and she ate it all. Go figure! So, not quite sure what the diet change will do for her digestive system over the coming days, but we are happy she is now eating.

We agree with your suggestions regarding keeping things calm and simple for the first couple weeks, which is what we have been doing. She has been drinking lots, and appears healthy as an ox, no vomiting, just was not enjoying eating... until we added the wet food!

Thanks so much for your reply!

Glen
Focus On Newfoundland
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OUR DOGS:
purebred GSD - Sheba
purebred Shih Tzu - Chrissy
mixed Maltese/Scottish Terrier - Bubba
purebred GSD - Chrissy
purebred Toy Poodle - Freeway
purebred Toy Poodle - Benji
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-13-2017, 04:43 PM
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Yay! Glad she's eating again!!
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-13-2017, 04:59 PM
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Great news, you may now want to look into a better food. You can switch, it just needs to be gradual.
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-15-2017, 03:36 AM Thread Starter
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Well, as it turns out, Sheba's newfound appetite was quite short-lived. (one day) I think she just happens to be very fussy when it comes to her food. Meanwhile Chrissy, our 9 year-old Shih Tzu to this very day gets SO excited at mealtimes, you'd think she hasn't seen food in a month... and she eats so fast! Sheba, however, will sniff it, give it a few licks, maybe eat a few small pieces, then she moves on. She doesn't even get very excited about treats. And yet she is ridiculously full of energy, and appears to be nothing short of the model poster-puppy for good doggie health. Sure seems weird though, that she ate lots of the very same food as we are giving her, when she was still with the breeder. As others have said, and from what I have learned on here by searching "lost appetite", GSD's are one breed that can be naturally quite finicky when it comes to their diet. This, plus being just four days into her new home/life, and I suppose we are likely worrying for nothing, but I can't help but think how important these early weeks/months must be in the overall growth/health of a dog.

Sheba next sees the vet in about a week's time, and in the meantime, if she doesn't get hungry soon, we will have to start experimenting with other things... perhaps rice, chicken, canned fish, etc. I have not researched this angle yet, as we didn't think it would get to this point, so we are all ears when it comes to which everyday stuff in our fridge/freezer/cupboard we can try on little Sheba.

I also want to add that, to me at least, she seems thin... as in when I pet her I can easily feel all of her bones/ribcage... but I wonder if maybe this is just typical of a normal, healthy 9 week-old puppy? Again, it's been so long since our last Shepherd (30 years!) it's like we are first-timers. But we really appreciate any advice you can offer us and hopefully put our minds a bit more at ease until we get back to see the vet in just over a week.

Here are a couple new pics of her, taken yesterday (Oct 24) at exactly 9 weeks old. She doesn't look skinny, just feels "boney" when we pet her. What do you think?

Many thanks!
Glen
Focus On Newfoundland





OUR DOGS:
purebred GSD - Sheba
purebred Shih Tzu - Chrissy
mixed Maltese/Scottish Terrier - Bubba
purebred GSD - Chrissy
purebred Toy Poodle - Freeway
purebred Toy Poodle - Benji

Last edited by camperbc; 10-15-2017 at 03:38 AM.
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-15-2017, 07:54 AM
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She's a beautiful pup. It's easier to see how thin she is from above, it's harder from the side. I suggest whatever you add, just try a little into her normal food. Smaller adjustments are easier to make. Mine have always loved raw eggs, sardines in water, low sodium broth(or make your own). Just enough to change the taste and maybe texture. Have fun!

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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-15-2017, 09:35 AM
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If it were me, I might be tempted to move that vet appointment up. Going to a new home is stressful, and it might have triggered an illness that is causing her to not eat. To me, her coat looks a little rough, so worms might also be an issue.

Many vets will do a stool check for you without actually having to see the dog.
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-15-2017, 10:32 AM
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My lab mix was picky about her food after I gt her, which is rare for a lab. I didn't know any better and was feeding her pedigree puppy, which was actually a step up from what she had been getting fed. I tried wetting it it down, adding broth, adding canned food. She'd eat some and then leave it. I ended up buying a small bag of Earthborn puppy food at my local feed store just to give it a try. She ate it all no problem, and never had an issue finishing her food after that.

Iams is not known for being a high quality food. I checked out the ingredients:

Chicken, Ground Whole Grain Corn, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn Grits, Brewers Rice, Dried Beet Pulp, Fish Meal (source of fish oil , Natural Flavor, Fish Oil (preserved with mixed Tocopherols), Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols), Dried Egg Product , Dried Brewers Yeast, Potassium Chloride, Caramel Color, Salt, Choline Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Carrots, Tomatoes, Fructooligosaccharides , Spinach, Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Potassium Iodide), Green Peas, L-Lysine Monohydrochloride , DL-Methionine ,Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Ascorbic Acid, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate (source of Vitamin B1), Vitamin B12 supplement, Niacin, Riboflavin Supplement (source of Vitamin B2), Inositol, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (source of Vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Dried Apple Pomace, Dried Blueberry Pomace, Mixed Tocopherols, Rosemary Extract.

Chicken is the first ingredients, but that is deceptive because raw chicken contains about 80% water, so once that is removed during the cooking process it would drop much farther down on the ingredient list. So the first ingredient by weight is actually whole grain corn which is an inexpensive grain and of questionable nutritional value and most a filler. Sorghum falls along the same lines as the corn, a starchy grain filler. Chicken by product meal is a dry rendered product of slaughterhouse waste. It’s made from what’s left of a slaughtered chicken after all the prime cuts have been removed. This actually contains more protein than the raw chicken listed as the first ingredients since it is concentrated, but is still a lower quality, inexpensive protein source than chicken meal(I only select foods with a names meat meal as the first ingredient). Corn Grits, Brewers Rice, Dried Beet Pulp are all more inexpensive fillers, not things I like to see that high up on the ingredient list.

All in all you are feeding a grain based food containing a low quality protein source. I would not be surprised if she showed more interested in eating a better quality food.
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