Puppy Is Never Hungry - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-02-2018, 06:11 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Puppy Is Never Hungry

Hello everyone,

So I've come here as a last resort before bringing this up to the vet.

We adopted Bear, our German Shepherd puppy when he was 6 weeks old.
He has never had an appetite at all. He's now 14 weeks old and 23 lbs.

We have tried Blue Buffalo wet and dry puppy food (2 flavors), Merricks dry puppy food, and Solid Gold puppy food.
We also have tried FreshPet Vital.

He's gaining weight slowly but surely, he doesn't feel 'boney' at all.
But it's exhausting going through different foods, and none of which have had any luck. The only thing that works is adding a raw or cooked egg to his meal, but I don't want to do that 3 times a day. Broth doesn't work. Softening doesn't work. He just is never hungry.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

-Bear The GSD

Photo below is at 13 week.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-02-2018, 09:50 PM
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Bear is adorable. 23 lbs. is a good weight for 14 weeks. Your post mentioned that you tried Solid Gold Puppy food, but I would suggest if you are willing to try, Solid Gold Barking At the Moon. It is an all life stages all breeds kibble and has eggs which is the 5th ingredient. I did feed my Sting first their Wolfking and he hadn't been a big eater until due to a supply shortage I gave him Barking at The Moon which he loved so much I had to put him on diet. My puppy Baron is on half Taste of the Wild Puppy Salmon and half Barking at the Moon. His appetite really picked up when I added the Barking at the Moon. For the eggs, if he likes hardboiled eggs, that would be easier and could be mashed up, so that one egg would do for even 2 meals. Cheese and yogurt may also entice him. My husky was a picky eater but if I sprinkled some Parmesan cheese she would eat. Otherwise, since he looks so well, and one should be able to see a waist and feel not see the ribs as my vet advised, I would suggest to try not to worry.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-02-2018, 11:33 PM
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My female at 14wks was 21#. Some pups start slow

My pup was picky at times. It seemed she's more picky during weeks where she's teething more than usual. There were times when she only ate half her breakfast, so I split it in half and added a lunch for her. Sometimes she still wouldn't eat much of either feeding time. Dinner she usually chowed down though. Possible your boy is just going through a picky phase. Pick up his unfinished food, and give it to him later maybe

Due to some circumstances, we had to switch foods. She seems to really like Royal Canin for GSD puppies. Got some fish oil coating and boy can you smell it, but my pup loves it
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-03-2018, 12:51 AM
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Every shepherd I've had has been a picky puppy eater - our current, Hudson, is KING of turning his nose up at the most delicious of meals.

Like @Armistice said - breakfast has always been tricky for Hud - some days it's like he hasn't eaten in years, others he won't even touch it. He's eating Acana single protein now - duck and pear mostly, but we rotate sometimes because of his "fickle palate" (biggest eye roll ever). We often mix Weruva wet food in with it, sometimes boiled chicken breast, scrambled eggs, tuna even, and honestly as a last resort we will grate up some artisanal parmesan cheese for our spoiled little dude.

Other things that have worked: broth, pumpkin, sweet potatoes mashed in... but mostly he doesn't eat much in the morning and we'll just feed less then, sometimes rice and chicken midday and then kibble and some wet food mixed for dinner. We've started picking up his morning food mostly out of fury because I hate to waste good kibble and should be observing the 30 minute pick up rule.

Basically, I totally sympathize with you. Parmesan cheese will likely help

Brynn and baby bear Hudson
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-03-2018, 01:16 AM
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He looks good and adorable too. Could it be that he is outsmarting you? Even my pet mice do not accept their default food and won't eat until they have their grain mix as well.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-03-2018, 01:52 AM
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Originally Posted by bkernan View Post
We've started picking up his morning food mostly out of fury because I hate to waste good kibble and should be observing the 30 minute pick up rule
I'd just put foil over it and throw it in the fridge. Let her get hungry, and then at lunchtime I would put it out
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-03-2018, 08:56 AM
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Here is another idea for you!

Purchase a package of ground beef, ground turkey or ground chicken at your local grocery store. Look to make sure that the fat content isn't too high. (Example: "Ground Beef/Hamburger" contains a higher percentage of fat than "Ground Chuck" does.)

*Measure out about 1/4th cup of the raw meat.
*Place in his bowl and add some warm/hot water (3/4th cup or more).
*Mash the raw meat into a soup.
*Add kibble and mix thoroughly (you can cut back the kibble a smidgen).
*Let it set on counter for 5-10 minutes to let it soak into the kibble and the aroma filling the air will arouse his senses.
*When you can tell he smells it and is interested, give it one more mix and set it down for him.

If he doesn't eat all cover and place in fridge until next feeding as others suggested. When feeding time comes, add a little hot water to the mix and stir.

1# of ground raw meat = 2 cups, so you'll have 8 servings.

This will help with the kibble eating but more importantly, he'll be getting some REAL fresh food.

I would only begin with one meal per day at first to gauge how he handles the raw meat.

IF, he has a sensitive tummy, only do 1/8th cup for one meal per day (for a couple of days) to see how his gut handles it. Then go to 1/4th cup for one meal per day.
You can increase from there watching his stool as a marker.

To keep ahead of the game and not have a raw package of meat sitting in your fridge:
Spray a cookie sheet with a little coconut oil or olive oil.
Measure out 1/4th cup of ground meat and place separated on to a cookie sheet using up all the meat.
Once you've measured and placed all of the ground meat on to the pan, set it in your freezer for a few hours.
Once frozen take pods off of the cookie sheet and place in a zip loc freezer baggie. Each nite, take out what you will need for the next day and let thaw in fridge.

You can do this with all 3 varieties of ground meat and choose one different meat per day or pull out a combo of each one for the day!
Breakfast: Ground Chicken
Lunch: Ground Beef
Dinner: Ground Turkey


Last edited by Momto2GSDs; 01-03-2018 at 08:59 AM.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-03-2018, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone for your help.
Momto2GSDs I’ll definitely try those ideas.
We boiled some eggs today for tuna fish salad for ourselves. We kept and crumbled a yolk in his kibble and he ate it all without issue so we saved the rest of the yolks. That may be our only hope for an ‘easy’ fix.

We will definitely try these other tips and tricks to entice his appetite.
We also made the mistake of giving him a little summer sausage during the holidays and they may have ruined us.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-03-2018, 02:27 PM
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If he passes every health check (he looks roly-poly to me), you could offer him the food as you would prefer. Will he starve himself and get weaker/sleepier? Like skipping two or three meals without eating extra treats or stuff he finds? If you have to be so creative to get him to eat, where is the end? Pretty soon the little prince will bored with tuna, eggs, turkey etc and you end up with a spoiled eater. Have you tried 'tough love'? (offering him the food, give him 10 minutes without paying attention to him and walk away. Remove the bowl when he leaves it and you remove it and offer him the regular amount at the next meal time.)
I once had a dog who sometimes would skip 3 meals. I always thought that I would take him to the vet when he refuses the 4th time but it never happend.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-04-2018, 12:38 PM
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Our Winston is about 18 weeks and has picky days and non picky days. He first got picky after being on canned prescription food for 3 days because of colitis. We pretty much switch off between adding water and natural bone broth, both seem to work on different days. I have also cut up some fruits or vegetables that are ok for dogs to eat which he seems to like. Have not tried pumpkin yet but I have read that dogs love it so maybe worth a try?
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