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Puppy Dry Heaving
  • My poor puppy, Simba, is 4 months old. He has had the same eating habits since we got him three months ago. He does not eat his food fast at all, he likes taking his time finishing his bowl, but he barely chews his kibbles and when he does it chews them really fast. This causes him to dry heave and occasionally throw up. Sometimes it's so bad that he seems to be choking on his food and he has a hard time breathing. Lately it has gotten worse. We are going to the vet this week and will talk to her about it, but it's really scary. Anyone have any suggestions as to how I can get my Simba to slow down? Or any idea what this can be?? image image

    [changed category ~mod.]
    Post edited by curlytails at 2013-04-20 14:58:13
  • curlytailscurlytails
    Posts: 2779
    Wait, you got your Simba when he was a month old??

    Dogs' teeth really aren't designed to "chew" the way humans usually do... they chomp and crunch their kibble, but that's about it. Their teeth aren't really designed to carefully grind and swallow, the way we're accustomed.

    You could try changing kibble sizes -- this could go either way. Smaller bites may be easier to crunch and gulp for him, or bigger kibble could encourage him to crunch more. It might help to hand feed his meals in smaller portions for a while, as tedious as it sounds. There are also bowls designed to slow down the pace of gulping (e.g. the Brake-Fast bowl:

    ... Or you could try feeding raw, which may very well teach him to chew his odd-shaped meals with care.

    Whatever you do though, it does sound like you need to monitor him while he eats. Either kibble or raw can be choking hazards with the wrong type of eater. And as silly as it sounds, some pups do need to be shown how to eat...
    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
  • Whoops, no that should be two months ago. he was 8 weeks when we got him. He's kibble is pretty little already, but I will look into getting something smaller and see how he does with that. We do often hand feed him, but it seems the dry having happens no matter what we do. He is being carefully monitored while he eats. I will also try those bowls. Hopefully that will help. Thank you for your suggestions!
  • zandramezandrame
    Posts: 1106
    You can also try moistening the kibble with warm water for 10-15 minutes before giving it to him. Then he won't have to chew as much.

    The slow feed bowls may help, or even an elevated bowl, if the angle might be causing the problem.
  • RAM25RAM25
    Posts: 317
    Shinobi used to do this, it is really scary! We ended up hand feeding her one piece of kibble at a time - a little tedious and time consuming but it worked!
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    I would maybe try bigger kibble that she would have to munch a bit and feed only a small bit at a time. From what you said I don't think a slow feed bowl will really help if she eats slowly from the bowl, the slow feed bowl is really to stop them from inhaling it from the bowl. We use one with our 2nd boy because he will down a bowl of kibble in a regular bowl in a matter of a minute or two.

    There is a thread on the speed eating here but it doesn't sound like that is your issue? It sounds like you may need to teach her to munch her food a bit or elevate the bowl so she eats at a different angle?
  • Kobe1468Kobe1468
    Posts: 1587
    Thinking either moistening the kibble or a bigger kibble would be a good start. Hand feeding could also be an option, if you have the time and patience.

    This got me thinking about how Dawson, our Sibe, used to eat his kibble. He'd grab a mouthful out of the bowl and drop it on the floor, then crunch one at a time. He did this, on his own, from the day we got him as a eight week old pup! Maybe the worlds slowest eater!!
    "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
  • Tre26Tre26
    Posts: 96
    Our Mazda at about six months started woofing her food down quickly and then vomiting. One thing we did was to start spreading her meal out giving her the meal in fourths and then thirds and finally halts about 30 to 40 minutes apart in the evening and morning. That got rid of that problem.
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    Since you mentioned it happens regardless of how slow your dog eats, could it be he's breathing in the fine powder from the food which is causing some irritation in this throat, making him heave? I have a cat that dry heaves, but his is from asthma. Your pup is probably too young for that and since your pup seems to heave around eating time, it must be related to his food. Anyhow, I think feeding one morsel at a time would be a good way to slow him down. We have a rescue that gobbled his food within seconds. I hand fed each morsel and now he eats leisurely, and enjoys his food. He stops eating when he's full and doesn't finish everything in his bowl every time. It also taught him to be gentle to my fingers so anyone can hand feed him and he won't grab the food from your fingers. Hope it goes away soon!
  • Thanks guys! All of these suggestions are really good. I have tried hand feeding him and it does make it a little better. Warming the kibble or getting a larger kind might also be a way to go. I will definitely try all of these and see if he does any better. We do leave his food out basically all day so that he doesn't get stressed out about finishing his meals. We tried feeding twice a day but it only made the problem worse. So we decided to go back to keeping it out for him.
  • BitiBeaBitiBea
    Posts: 234
    I don't have any useful advice but.....

    ¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*¨)
    (¸.•´ (¸.•` Kismet & BitiBea~*.

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