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Discussion Starter #1
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
 

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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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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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Discussion Starter #4
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
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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
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
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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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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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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.
http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/frequently-asked-questions/dog-food-fiber/
 

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Try a good quality puppy food - like Earthborn, Arcana, Orijin, Fromm.....get some supplement called Puppy Gold, which is a powder, put the powder on, some warm water and mix....my pups gobble their food like they are starving banshees! I always have nice fat pups with good eating habits

Lee
 

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My puppy had the EXACT problem you explained.. We even did exactly what you did (wet food mixed in) and she responded in the same manner as your pup. I then went out and bought a commercial brand raw food. She has eaten every time since. It?s certainly an option to consider!
 

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Keep in mind this is advice for a picky dog, not a dog who is sick or unwell.

A dog musher gave me some good advice on feeding dogs and I've followed it ever since. I had a picky dog, who turned into a dog who ate what I put in front of him.

Put down a bowl of food. I mix kibble with water and usually add a dash of yogurt or some other tasty treat to the top. Often I'll boil up the bones of chicken (etc) and make a broth to add to the kibble. If the dog doesn't eat it right away, or only eats part of it, pick up the bowl after a couple minutes (3 minutes for me) and put it up until next meal. No big snacks. Repeat at the next meal. If the dog doesn't eat, pick up after a couple minutes and put away. Usually the dog will eat the next day, or next meal.

This teaches the dog to eat what you put down, without being cruel about it (I would never do this if the dog was ill, or suspected to be unwell).

My parents used to do this with my older siblings but had softened up by the time I came along (no two day old pea soup for me).

Very useful when travelling or backpacking, or when feeding multiple dogs.

A dog will be as picky as you let them be, but most puppies eat well by nature.

Agree with upgrading to a higher quality food (I feed Canidae which is quality and affordable), and with a vet visit to rule out any other issues.

I do the above with all my pups and adult dogs and it works. No picky dogs here, and they'll eat their kibble-water anywhere and anytime which makes travelling and visiting relatives far easier. This is particularly important if you travel with your dogs to compete with them- they need to eat to perform.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
To me, her coat looks a little rough, so worms might also be an issue.
Ummm... "her coat looks a little rough"? Really? OK, I know you cannot be serious. Are you even viewing the same photos as the rest of us? Hers has got to be the lushest, healthiest, most lovely coat I have ever seen on a dog. Period. Worms eh? Jeez. Thanks for your input.

Glen
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Discussion Starter #15
Some good news on the finicky eater front! I want to take a moment to thank all of you for your kind comments and helpful suggestions; much appreciated! (well, except for one poster who somehow sees the attached photos as showing an unwell dog, with a poor condition coat and likely worms... Haha!) Anyway, Sheba seems to have turned over a new leaf on the day that her ears decided to stiffen... she ate a big, hearty breakfast of over a cup, (wet/dry mix) and an equally big lunch. Polished off every last morsel! I am confident she will do the same for her third meal of the day. Seems it was indeed just a case of taking her awhile to become more comfortable with her new surroundings. Now if I can just figure out what to do about her rough looking coat. (kidding!... her coat is stunning!)

(Stiff ear photos coming tomorrow!)

Glen
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Ummm... "her coat looks a little rough"? Really? OK, I know you cannot be serious. Are you even viewing the same photos as the rest of us? Hers has got to be the lushest, healthiest, most lovely coat I have ever seen on a dog. Period. Worms eh? Jeez. Thanks for your input.

Glen
Focus On Newfoundland

While I agree that her coat looks fine, I do just want to say that worms are very common in young puppies. Your vet may even want to do a routine worming when you take her in. Worms don’t mean you did anything wrong, sometimes they just happen.
 

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A more accurate word would have been 'dull' rather than rough. You are being very rude.

And yes, has she been wormed recently?
 

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When baby-puppies leave their litter, sometimes they miss the competition of eating with their littermates -- that is totally normal and goes away in a few days. Adding a little yogurt is fine, but trying to get a picky eater to eat just might create a picky eater. Put her food down, and then after 10 minutes pick it up and do not offer food until her evening meal.

A healthy dog will not starve itself to death. They will learn to eat when food is offered. And, if the dog does not eat when you put it down, it will give you the first symptom when your dog is not feeling unwell -- when dogs graze throughout the day, the dog can be unwell longer before it is noticed.

Good luck with your puppy. Most puppies do have worms and it can make their stomachs upset, affecting appetite. At your puppy visits, they should be worming your puppy. These worms are actually normal and the breeder probably wormed your puppy a few times. Usually, we can get them all before they go to their new home, but they re-infest themselves by eating poop, and the wormer does not necessarily work when the worms are in an egg stage, so usually worming continues once a month until puppy shots are completed.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
A more accurate word would have been 'dull' rather than rough. You are being very rude.
And yes, has she been wormed recently?
Rude? Dull coat? (I'm almost at a loss for words) And yes, of course she's been "wormed" recently. In all seriousness, if this coat looks dull to you, you may need to adjust your screen/monitor... and no, that is not to sound mean or rude, but honestly, you indeed appear to be the only poster who is seeing a poor coat on this dog. As I said earlier, a more lush, healthy, shiny coat does not exist. No, you don't need to take my word for it; you may think whatever you wish. I am just letting you know that her coat is stunning, whether the pics may show this or not. But please don't be rude about it. That is just not helpful. Play nice, please.

Glen
Focus On Newfoundland
 
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