Doesn't Eat Much

Discussion in 'Labrador Puppies' started by laggybunny, Aug 14, 2019.

  1. laggybunny

    laggybunny Registered Users

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    I have had my pup Waverly for 5 days and she is not big on food. She eats but just kind of picks at it. She is currently eating the same food her breeder had her on. Even with training she would rather her favorite toy be her reward than a treat.

    She had a thorough checkup at the vet and she is perfectly healthy.

    I am a bit worried about her food intake though. With her current food she should be eating around 2 cups of food per day but she is eating MAYBE 1.5 cups.

    She is active and playful and seems normal.

    Should I be worried about her not being interested in food?
     
  2. Edp

    Edp Registered Users

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    If she’s had a vet check and all is ok , don’t worry. The food manufacturers always over estimate what they should be eating, Meg would be overweight if I fed what they advised. Just make sure you are factoring treats and pick up food after a short while if it’s not eaten. Her appetite will change when she has a growth spurt:)
     
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  3. laggybunny

    laggybunny Registered Users

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    Awesome thank you! I'm hoping to transition her to a raw diet soon. That is what my other dog eats since I don't really trust kibble companies all that much. I've just never encountered a slow eater or picky eater as far as puppies go.
     
  4. Jo Laurens

    Jo Laurens Registered Users

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    If you've only had her 5 days, she may just be settling in and not thinking about food much at the moment. Don't offer her different amazing things, and don't overfeed her - just offer her food at meal times and remove any she doesn't eat. Don't offer more till the next meal time.

    And @Edp is right - the guidelines given by manufacturers are always too generous, so ignore those. Take whatever amount she eats as being an indication of what she needs and offer her only that...
     
  5. jessica c.

    jessica c. Registered Users

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    I’ve had my lab pup for 10 days and for the first 5 he was having the same issue. It would take him all day and all night to finish his 2 1/2 cups of kibble.
    This made potty training harder because I wanted to leave the food out until it was gone but that meant he would need to relieve himself about a half dozen times a night.
    I ended up watering down his kibble on day 5 and immediately we had the total opposite problem – he would eat each meal in the blink of an eye. I don’t know why this had such an affect on his appetite, or maybe it was just coincidence, but maybe it could help your pup?
    He’s moving back towards dry kibble now but I find the softer it is the more he goes crazy for it. He gets his food broken up into three meals a day now and it’s taken away (empty and devoured) a few hours before bed. No accidents at night for two days now and only two bathroom breaks each night!
     
  6. maryannshowalter

    maryannshowalter Registered Users

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    Oh, great question! I've had my two for 6 days now (8 weeks old), same challenge. I've never seen any form of dog eat that slow.
     
  7. laggybunny

    laggybunny Registered Users

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    I've been putting her food down for no longer than 20 minutes at a time. I tried the water trick and she was not interested.

    I will definitely start just offering the amount she eats. She has been eating slightly more than she was.

    She is only offered her kibble and one "special" treat as part of her training. I don't offer her anything else.
     
  8. JaygoDolding

    JaygoDolding Registered Users

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    With all my puppies I start them off on the breeders food and add warmed goats milk, soaked in for 5 minutes.
    Then after a week or so I slowly reduce the goats milk until they're eating dry.
     
  9. Elizabeth Dexter

    Elizabeth Dexter Registered Users

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    I'm also having problems with my 8 week old eating. I'd be happy if he was eating 21/2 cups. I'd say it's more like 1 cup that he's eating over all three meals. I'm trying to encourage him and then I'm lifting the food up until the next meal. I think part of the problem may be that he's really distracted by absolutely everything around him. Should I not worry yet?
     
  10. Jo Laurens

    Jo Laurens Registered Users

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    So many people, worrying about their puppies not eating....

    Folks, your dogs are not going to starve themselves. No healthy dog has ever voluntarily starved themselves. You do not need to be worried about how little your puppy is eating if they seem otherwise well, with good energy levels and no other signs of ill health!

    You DO need to be worried about your puppy's food motivation and the implications of this for training, however. Presumably you all want your dogs to grow up motivated to return when you recall them, to sit and not jump up on people, to walk on a loose leash away from the house?? If so, you're not going to achieve this unless your puppy is suitably motivated by food.

    Ideally your puppy should be training for all her meals at this age - there is so much to teach a young puppy that unless you use meals to train with, you're going to end up with a pup having a very unbalanced diet and eating only training treats (whatever you use for those). In order to maintain a balanced diet in puppyhood and get through all the training, you NEED to be training with meals.

    This is too long. Put the food down. As soon as she walks away from it, remove it. If you put the food down and she doesn't even approach it, immediately take it away.

    Reduce the amount you are feeding by half. Feed nothing further until the next meal time. As per: http://www.sue-eh.ca/page24/page39/

    When you've worked through the protocols there, and you have a dog enthusiastically eating food as soon as it's put down, you can start to train with meals.

    Why are you 'happy' about him eating more?? A puppy needs to eat what they need to eat. Deciding your puppy should eat some arbitrary amount makes no sense scientifically. Every dog has their own metabolism, which will differ - they are individuals.

    You cannot feed them the amount listed on the back of a packet - it's not how we feed people and it shouldn't be how we feed dogs. People blindly feeding the amounts on packets is part of what has led to an obesity crisis in dogs. Look at your dog. Assess whether the dog is over or under weight. Adjust the food accordingly. Puppies will go through periods of growth, when they may need more food - and then periods when they are not growing much, when they need less. Listen to your puppy and not some calculator on the back of a dog food packet!

    For reasons of health and reducing the risk of joint disease and hip dysplasia, keep your puppy on the hungry and lean side of things. Not the side of things where you are hand-feeding them individual pieces of kibble....

    This is because kibble is spray-coated with palatable stuff to get dogs to want to eat it more. (Without this, it is pretty unappealing.) When you wet that, you release the tasty stuff, and it smells more tasty to the dog. However, this approach does fall under the 'pandering to your dog's food fussiness' rather than addressing the underlying root cause, just like people offer tastier foods to try to appeal to the dog more.

    The problem isn't with the food, it's with the dog's attitude to food - which is the outcome of how much you are offering, and your own attitude towards wanting the dog to eat and expectations over how much and how frequently a dog should eat...

    No dog has ever starved themselves. Plenty are overfed to the point of obesity.
     

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