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Help! Puppy Hardly Eating!


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Hi All

Well on Friday I collected our new mini foxie puppy (aged 6 weeks) from her breeder. I made sure I had exactly the same foods as she was already getting - the only difference was I bought puppy milk instead of human toddler formula (breeder has a toddler so just used that).

Friday night she ate ok, not brilliant, but ok. Saturday morning she went ok after a while, still not brilliant. She has gradually tapered off to if I am lucky she will have a couple of mouthfuls. I leave it there so she can eat when she wants, changing it at each meal time (3 times a day).

She is currently getting offered for breakfast about 1/3 of a weetbix, some woolworths brand puppy biscuits (smashed up a bit) wet down with a bit of warm water and some puppy milk.

For lunch and dinner I am offering her some of the My Dog moist puppy food.

I have never had a puppy this young before and am just a little concerned about her not eating.

She also doesn't drink very much at all.

She is sleeping a lot, which I put down to her age, but she is still having some good active periods and play time. Toileting seems ok too, 3-4 poos each day and wees every couple of hours.

Any suggestions?

Thanks

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6 weeks is awfully small to leave mum :( Just keep offering her food as you are, she will eat if she is hungry. WHen pups go to new homes some of them go off their food for a while, mine did. Have you called the breeder for advice?

I wouldn't be feeding her weetbix and milk, i'd just keep her on the dog food. Don't leave the food out and don't pander to her or you'll cause ongoing issues. Just feed 3 x a day, and take it away if she doesn't eat.

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6 weeks is much too young, as everyone else has already mentioned. My Dog is frankly rubbish and woolworths biscuits and weetbix well... to me all fits with allowing the pup to leave at 6 weeks. :(

Definitely do not change her diet immediately* even though it's not good, she has enough stress in her world. She may not need to drink a lot as the My Dog is mostly water and if she's drinking some of the milk that could be enough for her.

Did the breeder tell you how much to feed? A 'mini' foxie is a very small puppy - she probably doesn't actually need all that much food and is it possible you are just expecting her to eat more than she actually needs?

Put the food down and when she walks away, pick the plate up. I would be inclined to feed for 4 or 5 times a day for a little while if you're really concerned, and of course make sure she has access to water at all times. If she doesn't seem to want to drink water then you can put a bit of milk with it and this often encourages them to drink.

Leave her on her current diet for a few days then please swap her over to something better - Nature's Gift canned & some high end dry food would be a start :)

* ETA immediately - didn't make a lot of sense before :laugh:

Edited by Sandra777
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. I leave it there so she can eat when she wants, changing it at each meal time (3 times a day).

Thanks

Definitely don't leave it there. Offer it to her, leave it for 15 minutes. If she doesn't eat then take it away and wait til her next meal time.

If she is used to eating Weetbix and Woolies dry food (both terrible foods!!) then mix it over slowly to a food more appropriate for a dog. Look at some premium kibbles from your pet store. Don't change her diet suddenly.

The breeder sounds less than desirable/caring, so you will need to put it in the extra education she has lost from not staying with her mum and litter mates.

I would also worm her.

If she's not drinking that is not a good sign so I woudl take her to the vet as well.

eta: snap Sandra :thumbsup:

Edited by Clyde
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6 weeks is much too young, as everyone else has already mentioned. My Dog is frankly rubbish and woolworths biscuits and weetbix well... to me all fits with allowing the pup to leave at 6 weeks. :(

Definitely do not change her diet immediately* even though it's not good, she has enough stress in her world. She may not need to drink a lot as the My Dog is mostly water and if she's drinking some of the milk that could be enough for her.

Did the breeder tell you how much to feed? A 'mini' foxie is a very small puppy - she probably doesn't actually need all that much food and is it possible you are just expecting her to eat more than she actually needs?

Put the food down and when she walks away, pick the plate up. I would be inclined to feed for 4 or 5 times a day for a little while if you're really concerned, and of course make sure she has access to water at all times. If she doesn't seem to want to drink water then you can put a bit of milk with it and this often encourages them to drink.

Leave her on her current diet for a few days then please swap her over to something better - Nature's Gift canned & some high end dry food would be a start :)

* ETA immediately - didn't make a lot of sense before :laugh:

This.

I'm personally working through some issues I had around mealtime with my pup. I would return to where he is eats and encourage him to eat more if he wasn't; this turned mealtime into an attention seeking fiasco 'if I dont eat, daddy will come and we play a silly game'. So put the food down, wait 10-15 minutes and if its not eaten in that time, too bad, just calmly chuck it out and move on. Dogs wont starve themselves.

As for the content of the food, I made another mistake here by changing what was in the bowl if he didn't eat it the first go. This trained me marvellously to go to great lengths to provide all sorts of variety which ended up being a major rigmarole. So avoid doing this...they get what they're given. But I also agree that you should (in due course - and when you make the change, stick to it, to avoid the above scenario) reconsider what you are feeding - mine loves the BlackHawk kibble - it actually smells like a lamb dinner instead of chemicals.

6 wks is way too young to be leaving the litter; such a crucial development age IMO.

Anyhoo just a little piece of advice so you dont make the same mistakes i did :laugh:

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poor little girl :(

as said - leaving home at 6 weeks is not ideal ...and the diet she is on is more suited to humans than a growing puppy.

I gather you did not take her to a vet for her 'I have a new pup, she needs to be thoroughly checked to see if everything is as it should be' check?

Please do that tomorrow - so that IF there is something wrong, the breeder can be notified ASAP ...and if there's nothing wrong, then she has met the vet, been well checked over, and you will hopefully get some advice on caring for her :)

being in a new home at that young age is a big stress .... but a puppy not interested in drinking/eating needs looking at .

You may indeed, just be offering way too much food ! her tummy will only be able to hold a very small quantity at one time ....it may only be around walnut sized , after all....

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Lots of good advise above but also report this BYB to their local council for illegally selling a puppy. In NSW all puppies must be 8 weeks old, microchipped and vaccinated. There are fines for not complying with these state laws and unless the ripped off puppy buyers report them they just keep doing the wrong thing by the puppies they churn out.

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Take her to a Vet and make sure she is not dehydrated....too young to have left her mum........8 weeks of age is the minimum for a pup to leave.

I agree re; vet check. She'll fade really fast if she is dehydrated. :(

Also keep an eye out for hypoglycemia.

Years ago when we got our first chihuahua, I came home one day to find him lifeless in his basket. We rushed him to the vet and he was diagnosed with hypoglycemia, his sugar levels had fallen so low, he had gone into a coma. Thankfully we got him to the vet in time to be treated. The smaller breeds are more prone to it and more so, when they're pups.

Does she appear happy and lively? or weak and lethargic? and how much is she actually eating when she does eat? a tablespoon full? more or less?

Poor baby, she should of stayed with her Mum for a couple more weeks at least.

I'd also gradually wean her off that diet. I'd be ditching the weetbix and replacing it with a little raw mince and replacing the woolworths brand kibble with Supercoat puppy (at the very least) or some other premium kibble.

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Little breed puppies eat less than you would think. Yes she should be with her mum but 6 weeks old is viable & she should be ok.

She sounds normal & happy with sleep, play & toilet.

Change her diet gradually not all at once. I feed my little ones 4 small meals a day at this age & leave puppy dry down for them to munch on all the time. She won't over eat & will prefer the meat meals to the dry. Use a decent puppy brand. Mine love Hills but there are many brands to choose from. Home brand is not good enough.

I would ditch the milk, my preference is mums milk or none.

Canned puppy food is ok but if you switch to fresh meat & chicken mix some of the puppy dry in with it as a fresh only diet for a pup can be lacking.

Moving home & leaving mum & litter mate is a big deal & may knock appetite for a day or so but she sounds fine & normal to me.

Any diarrhea, straining, lethargy, bloated belly, not playing then start to worry but they do sleep a lot at this age too.

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she is still having some good active periods and play time. Toileting seems ok too, 3-4 poos each day and wees every couple of hours.
so tiny and vulnerable, I hope it doesn't die :(

It doesn't read to me as being that dire, Kirislin :hug:

Edited by persephone
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Thanks for all the advice!

She has had a couple of really good plays this afternoon and has finished the food I left out for her lunch.

I know weetbix isn't good for pups, but I thought it best to continue initially with what she was getting before I brought her home and gradually change over to what I want to feed.

She seems to have trouble eating the dry food which is why I have given the puppy milk to her - I mix the biscuits with some puppy milk to soften them.

I do intend to take her to the vet tomorrow to ensure she is ok, if she hadn't been playing the way she has been (full of beans!) I would have taken her as a matter of urgency.

I was thinking about giving her a little cooked roast lamb tonight (we are having a roast dinner) with a little bit of gravy on. Do you think this would be ok?

In regards to quantity she is actually eating - I am talking maybe 2 teaspoons per meal for lunch and dinner. I know she would only have a small tummy but thought that wouldn't be too much for her.

Thanks again.

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so tiny and vulnerable, I hope it doesn't die :(

:eek: the person is worried enough already & probably needlessly.

There is absolutely no reason why this pup would be likely to die. It is progressing normally for its age, showing no signs of being ill & although not advisable to be removed from mum at 6 weeks old it is certainly at an age where it will cope if treated sensibly.

Death is not looming over it.

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Just a quick update she ate a good portion of her dinner tonight, she got a bit of lamb mixed with some of her My Dog puppy and only left one mouthful, which was the tinned food. All the lamb went real quick! LOL

As mentioned above I do intend to take her to the vet tomorrow to ensure I am doing the right things so thanks for all the advice.

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Has puppy been vaccinated? Just that if she is only six weeks, when was the vac given? My pups are vaccinated 6-7 weeks and then don't leave for their new homes until a further two weeks later (or maybe longer). Good to hear that she is eating a bit better.

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