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Picky Puppy- any tricks to get him to eat his darn food!?
  • AngelusAngelus
    Posts: 84
    Well, I get my puppy in a week (literally next Saturday) and I opened my 26lb $60 bag of Wellness CORE Puppy food to give some to my breeder so she could get him onto the new food. She offered so it's just less work for me I figured! Well, he wont eat it- he did the first time and now he wont eat it anymore!

    She has switched all the pups to Orijen, and they like that (though they are still having runny stool for whatever reason :( ). I don't mind buying Orijen instead of Wellness, it is not a problem of cost or brand love or whatever- healthy food the puppy likes is my only concern.

    However! I have a huge bag of barely-touched puppy food now and $60 down the drain! Anyway I could mix it with Orijen and he could just eat through the Wellness? Maybe put some meat juice or powder on it? Any ideas really! I just don't want the money to have been wasted, he doesn't necessarily have to love the Wellness, just eat it.

    --Also, my breeder has been trying pumpkin and yogurt added to food for runny stool, they just got dewormed fine, but still runny. Any ideas there I could suggest? She's hoping the new Orijen food will just get them all good- they literally just started the runs, so it hasn't been going on for a long time.

    Thanks guys- and sorry if this is answered somewhere else, I did look!
  • ShibaLoveShibaLove
    Posts: 554
    Well next time you try a new food I would recommend getting a smaller bag since it appears you have a slightly picky eater. Mine turned their noses up to either Orijen or Core Wellness (but I had gotten the smaller bag) and I just mixed it half and half with Natures Variety Instinct, the kibble I know they like. I also get grain free canned food or cooked chicken or liver and mix it in with the kibble. Another thing I like to add to their kibble is a raw egg about once a week. It is good for their coat. I like to "spice things up" for them. If you try some of those things he will probably eat the kibble and it won't be wasted. I also mix pumpkin in which is very good for firming up their stool.
    Post edited by ShibaLove at 2013-07-13 13:32:42
  • AngelusAngelus
    Posts: 84
    Oh that's great! I was hoping mixing stuff would help, he might just not like turkey since Orijen's main flavor is Chicken+fish (for puppy dry formula) and Wellness's was turkey. Idk... But it's nice to know food wont go to waste probably haha.

    And also just got email from breeder- their stool is already getting better from Orijen. :)
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    Yes, I would buy smaller bags for awhile until you can determine how picky long term your pup is going to be.

    You can always donate the Wellness bag to a local rescue if you don't want to use it.
  • sophiahan8sophiahan8
    Posts: 143
    If you bought the food from Petsmart, Petco, or Pet Food Express you can return it still!
  • AngelusAngelus
    Posts: 84
    Nope- I bought from 1800PetSupplies :/
  • orijen itself won't make stool runny unless the puppies are still getting used to it. Pumpkin actually makes the stool more solid. Yogurt gave problems to Kobe. When I stopped giving Kobe yogurt, his stool became solid.
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    Overtime, I have also noticed IMO puppies usually have softer stools, especially if they are only fed 2-3 times a day. It may help to give 4-5 smaller meals throughout the day because many young dogs benefit from eating smaller quantities more per day.

    I also found with my dogs, when they were on kibble, using Ark's Natural Digest helped with their digestion and resulted in firmer stools. Similar to using yogurt, but I found for my boys more effective than yogurt.
  • GrayJJGrayJJ
    Posts: 67
    I heard that orijen can be too rich for puppies (due to high protein).

    I used to mix orijen and wellness, yes, it can likely help your puppy learn to like it. Treat it like any good change though and start with only a bit of wellness and mix in slowly over time. Then just keep feeding the mixed good... be sure to slowly reduce the mixture if you plan on switching to one food or the other.
  • AngelusAngelus
    Posts: 84
    Fortunately I emailed Wellness and they have a satisfaction guarantee and are refunding the whole bag! ^_^ Also, with the switch to Orijen, the runny stool firmed up, so they are all fine now.

    @redcattoo what are IMO puppies?
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8589
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    @Angelus, sorry about using IMO ... it took me awhile to figure out some of the acronym's people used too and now they just seem like second nature to me.
  • Little Annie seems to be quite the picky eater.

    She was originally on Verus Advanced Opticoat Menhaden Fish Meal And Potato kibble from her breeder. She was eating that for the first couple weeks we had her and then started to eat less and less, so we switched her to TOTW High Prairie puppy kibble, which she loved at first, but then started to eat less and less. We got some TOTW Pacific Stream puppy kibble for some variety, which followed the same pattern. Eventually, she got to the point that she won't eat a single piece of kibble, but she'll just play with it.

    We started Instinct Raw medallions for breakfast, which she never gets sick of and will eat until she explodes, but really refuses to eat kibble at dinner time, or for breakfast if we don't give raw.

    We have also tried Instinct Chicken Meal kibble and Orijen puppy kibble. The same thing happens, she eats the kibble for a couple days, and then refuses.

    Currently, the Orijen is the only kibble she will eat, but it's barely a 1/4 cup for dinner. We have been giving her the Instinct Raw (4 medallions in the morning, which is slightly less than half of the recommended amount). Also, we have only been treating her with 2 zukes treats after she pees/poops, as we have been trying not to ruin her appetite with treats.

    I really don't know what to do because we keep buying bags of kibble and she never eats it! I don't want to switch her to 100% raw at this point, but possibly in the future.

    Any suggestions on how to handle this!? Thank you all so much!

    By the way, Annie is 4.5 months old and 14lbs
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    I am not sure there is easy answers to picky eaters. The only thing to watch is being sure they are healthy.

    My picky eater took to raw, but after a few months he now is even picky with raw. I have found no long term solution, but he is a healthy weight and seems healthy other than he skips lots of meals. He never eats a really big meal either that compensates.

    It is really hard to worry about their nutrition when you can't seem to feed a stable diet, so I understand your concern and wish I had easier answers for picky eaters, but to this point still have none other than I keep switching every few weeks.

    By the way I also try the pick it up and offer it again, this usually doesn't work either and I give in after he skips the 3rd meal of the same offering. I just accept trying to give him something else by the 4th meal.
  • RikkaRikka
    Posts: 1501
  • My little girl, now is 5 months old, is getting very picky on food.

    When my husband and I got her, she was 7 weeks old and was on Taste of wild puppy food. She was free fed for about 2 weeks until one day, a friend told me she looked very skinny, then I started concerning about her food. I went to a pet store and got her orijen puppy food, she was super happy at the beginning, yet not a big eater. About a week ago, she had diarrhea which caused by licking a bit beer. We didn't bring her to the vet, instead I found there are many methods that I could do to treat her at home. So I fed her with orijen kibble mixed with boiled white rice and boil chicken, the ratio was about 70:30. Fortunately, the diarrhea did not last long, after 2 days, she was completely fine, running like a little crazy. However, I have another problem now, she won't eat her kibble, no matter what I tried. I put a bit warm water, didn't work; mixed with salmon oil, only had one bit then that is it.

    We never fed the dog from the table, in fact we always keep her separated when we eat. Still, as soon as she gets inside of the house, she will start looking at the floor and trying to find something to pick up. That is really annoying and frustrating. She is about 15 inch tall and 17 lbs now, and very playful.

    Should I look for a substitute? I tried to leave the food there all day long, she just didn't care at all. I am about to go back to work in 2 weeks, so I can no longer look after her as much as I do now. Can someone give me some advice? Tons of thanks in advance.
    Post edited by sansa at 2014-09-17 11:38:32
  • I'm a firm believer in "if they're hungry they will eat." I have three dogs and all of them free-feed. I do switch up the kibble every so often though. I have given all of them chicken and rice for upset tummies, and they always go back to eating their kibble.
  • @ kira_Kira, thank you for the advice, other people have told me the same as well. Exactly like you said, she has me fooled so bad. my husband always says that "I own her, and she owns you" :). We have another attractive name for her "little monster". Anyway, I started feeding her twice per day. In fact, I have to do so because I could not leave the food out due to the ant issue. Hopefully, my little girl can go back to a healthy eating habit sooner.

    @ 2dogsandawolf, thank you for your words. The free-feed method is no longer applicable in my case due to the ant aggression. I started feeding her on schedule, twice per day, that is pretty much what is going to happen when I go back to work. See how fast my dog can figure it out.
  • @sansa - ants are horrible little buggers. I think both ways of feeding are good if they work for you and your dog. Even though its not dog related per say, have you tried diatomaceous earth for the ants?
  • @ 2dogsandawolf, if I am not mistaken, diatomaceous earth is applicable in soil, right? I live in an apartment, there is not much that I can do to kill ants without harming my dog :(. I look forward to moving out in 2 months though.
  • @sansa - If you buy food grade, it's 100% safe for dogs, and you can sprinkle it where they're coming in (if you can find the entrance) to deter them. Yay for moving though!
  • @2dogsandawolf, first of all, could you please teach me how to send a direct reply to your post? thanks for that; second, thank you for the advice, I will look for the food grade diatomaceous earth.

  • @2dogsandawolf, forget about the first question, figure it out already :D
  • kiba888kiba888
    Posts: 144
    Kiba was picky...but he seemed to want to eat it if I hand fed him only. As he grew older he was still picky about the salmon flavor (blue buffalo) -- but he would eventually eat it when he got hungry.
  • @2dogsandawolf do you have a recommended brand? I just googled it and there are s many to choose from.
  • I don't have a brand I like more than any other. I live in the Midwest with a lot of farms, so I just go the local feed store/Tractor Supply and buy the one they have there. The brand there is Red Lake Diatomaceous Earth with calcium bentonite. People give it to their horses and cows, and I use it to get rid of fleas and ticks in our yard, along with ants. I got rid of some nasty fire ants with it. But please be sure you get food grade cause @sansa is right, if you get the pool cleaning grade it could poison your dogs.
  • esteves91esteves91
    Posts: 25
    My pup seems to only eat food when it I pour warm water in it and let it soften a little. If it is regular kibble she will only eat about half. But when it is warm and softened she goes crazy over it.

    Any one experience something similar and should i be worried. She is eating TOTW Puppy Salmon.
  • jaimeismejaimeisme
    Posts: 21
    My puppy has been a picky eater since the first day I got her. She is currently 5 months old and still very very picky. I am feeding her Acana puppy and doing the scheduled feeding, 3 times a day. However she will eat a few pieces, and then leave. I've tried many methods like warm water with the kibbles. That worked for a week and she got bored. Before that, I just take away the food if she doesn't eat. What i found is that if I hand feed her the kibbles or put in her kong, she will eat! But when I leave it in the bowl, she is not interested. I do not want to rely on the kong and hand feeding, so I have no idea what to do! I have checked with the vet and she confirmed that she is in good health. She is just such a picky puppy. I see other puppies will finish all their food, but mine just doesn't seem to care about food or being hungry. Any tips and tricks to increase her interest in eating?
    Posts: 412
    Why don't you want to feed her in the Kong? I feed my girl with the Kong Wobbler and she eats while I am gone at work.
  • jaimeismejaimeisme
    Posts: 21
    @imBLASIAN I have thought of that but her current stuff kong cannot fit her whole meal, and she is not too fond of the kong wobbler. I originally got the wobbler with the intention of feeding her but she doesn't seem to like it either. :(
  • Mochi920Mochi920
    Posts: 357
    @jaimeisme I switch things up with Mochi. Sometimes, I add in bits of meat (chicken, ground beef, etc) and make sure the flavor gets rubbed into the kibble. Other days when I feel as if she should take a break from meat, I take the portion of food she should be eating and hide it around her room while I am out and she has fun sniffing it out so she ends up eating it all. If not in her room, I go outside to the backyard and sprinkle it on the ground. Besides the hide and seek, I use the kong wobbler..however, she doesn't really have much interest in the wobbler. Treat kibble as a fun hide and seek game and see if that works.
    Posts: 412
    what about..... multiple kongs! lol

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