General Question

andreaxjean's avatar

How do you get a new family puppy to eat?

Asked by andreaxjean (1268points) March 4th, 2013 from iPhone

My best friend’s family just brought home a new family pet, a black lab. He’s about 9 weeks old, born January 3rd. He loves to play and is doing great with housebreaking. He drinks plenty of water, but he just won’t eat.

Since they brought him home on Saturday, all he’s eaten is part of a dog treat. I’m not a dog expert, but I had a dog for 15 years and when he wouldn’t eat his regular food I would give him a quarter cup of cooked chicken or beef with rice. Sometimes I would put the mixture in with his dry food. Would this be safe for a puppy 9 weeks old?

What else could my friend’s family do to help the puppy eat?

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23 Answers

KNOWITALL's avatar

Find out what the puppy was eating before they got it. Changes to dog’s diets can take time, and puppy’s especially.

Coloma's avatar

Healthy animals eat, hands down! Especially puppies who are growing at an amazing rate and burning lots of energy to boot.
This puppy needs to be checked out by a vet ASAP!
Maybe being a little off during a few days of the initial adjustment period to a new home is normal, but, animal husbandry rule #1….any animal that goes off it’s feed is experiencing a problem of one sort or another.
A half of dog biscuit is not acceptable, this puppy should be wolfing down his puppy food with gusto!

He needs to be seen and if his health checks out the vet can prescribe an appetite enhancer if the issue is stress related.

andreaxjean's avatar

@Coloma, He has an appointment at the vet tomorrow. I’m dog sitting today so I’m going to get him to exercise a little outside and maybe work up an appetite.

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KNOWITALL's avatar

If your puppy has diarrhea, keep your eye on him to see how bad it is. If it is severe or if it doesn’t stop after the first day, take your puppy to the vet quickly as dehydration can become a very real threat to your puppy’s health.

Always put his food and water in the same place to avoid disruptions in his behavior. Dogs like stability, and moving his pot around will not help.

Avoid feeding him table scraps as this can disturb his digestive system and lead to certain behavior problems later on.

Make sure that his dining area is quiet during feeding times. It’s difficult for a puppy to concentrate on eating when kids are running around, vacuums are running, and people are walking back and forth.

If other pets in the household are showing aggression, bullying or jealousy against your new puppy, keep them out of his eating area until he’s finished his food. Nothing can jeopardize your dog’s nutrition intake faster than animals trying to attack him or take his food while he’s eating.

After you’ve ensured his dining area is free of distractions and disruptions, and if he’s still not eating after a few days, take him to your veterinarian. Certain treatable conditions can interfere with his desire to eat. Worms is one common problem that can be cured quickly and easily.

andreaxjean's avatar

@KNOWITALL, Thanks. I hadn’t thought of worms as a possibility. He’s so young, though. Could the mother have passed it on?

Diarrhea and dehydration are definitely not a problem. He’s had two bowel movements since he’s been home, but he hasn’t eaten anything. He’s drinking a lot of water, staying hydrated, and urinating regularly.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@andreaxjean I’m just a Dog-Mom, no idea, but your vet is always the best bet.

I was always told if they aren’t eating, drinking or pottying at any age, go to the vet within 2–3 days.

marinelife's avatar

I would check where they got him from and find out if he was weaned. Also find out what they were feeding him. If you want to change it you can begin mixing some of the new food in gradually increasing the amount until it’s all new food.

majorrich's avatar

Freshly weaned puppies can have trouble getting used to new surroundings and solid foods. I would think he should be plenty hungry by now, enough to eat something. My mom says they had a puppy that did something similar to what you are describng, and dad bottle fed him a couple of weeks and restarted solid foods.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

My dogs would not eat dry food at all. I had to mix in some canned food of some kind. And they had been abandoned and starving when they found me. Their first meal was half of a steak, so maybe they knew I was a pushover.

gambitking's avatar

I get what @ragingloli is saying. I think it was a funny answer, just another way of looking at the wording of the question. But since this is the general section, he should’ve followed up with a helpful answer.

And it doesn’t mean the pup’s health is a joking matter. Given that this is a very young dog, and that one of the things dogs do best is eat all they can of just about anything, I’m on the consensus that says take him to a vet as soon as you can. At this age, you’ll want to catch anything early that may be the cause of a lost appetite. Good luck.

flutherother's avatar

He’s likely just a little over excited and stressed by his new surroundings. He will settle down. Try him with a little warm milk. He doesn’t sound ill to me and the vets will just stress him out more.

Coloma's avatar

He may have Parvovirus….drinking, runny stools, not eating. Let us know how he checks out. Poor little dude. :-(

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

If he’s comfortable with you try feeding him out of your hand. My dogs would always eat out of my hand. And yeah, canned food is gross that way, but it worked.

rooeytoo's avatar

Give him some real food, cooked chicken or hamburger. Hand feeding is okay as @Adirondackwannabe says. If it won’t eat real food. You can also try sustenance drinks, what the old people drink. Try feeding for a couple of minutes then take it away. Try again in an hour. He will realize the food is going to go away and the fawning and trying to get him to eat stops, perhaps he will just eat himself. Good he is going to vet.

woodcutter's avatar

The vet is just going to sell you Science Diet. That’s what our vet did and is what I have been told they all do. Puppy wants you to give him what he has been eating all his life.

rooeytoo's avatar

Yeah in human nutrition they are telling you don’t eat processed foods, if it doesn’t rot it is full of preservatives and not good for you. But vets started selling dry food so suddenly for animals it is the best stuff in the world. Being a cynic, I tend to wonder????? Actually they are doing the same thing with birds. When we recently adopted a cockatoo the vet said feed it pellets, you can find them in the waiting room. I have never seen a wild cockatoo eating pellets so I am not feeding them either. My dogs and birds eat real food!

andreaxjean's avatar

Just so everyone knows, the pooch finally gobbled down two bowlfuls of food! =] He’s fat and happy. Maybe I had the magic touch.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@andreaxjean Good job. He probably just needed to calm down and relax.

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