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Puppy not eating-NOT parvo

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  • Puppy not eating-NOT parvo

    So my wonderful (somewhat) new 7 week old Pitbull puppy absolutely, positively, refuses to eat much of anything. I have already had him checked out at the vet, dewormed, and negative for parvo. He's big and fat (13.6 lbs), but just doesn't want to eat.

    I bought the puppy food he was on...won't touch it. I have tried canned food, chicken, other types of food, and waiting him out for the "you'll eat when you eventually get hungry" method-still not much luck.

    Any suggestions? Thanks!

  • #2
    How long have you had him? He's still quite young, probably should have been with Mom a bit longer and may just be adjusting...how is the stool? How long has this been going on? I wouldn't worry yet. As long as he's drinking he should come around. Sometimes a puppy has a hard time in the new environment and needs to ease into the routine. Just keep the food he came with offered and nothing more. If you throw other things at him it could make his tummy upset and you won't know if he's sick or having a hard time adjusting to the food, when he starts to eat.
    "If you've got a horse, you've got a problem"


    • #3
      Has he been like this since you got him or is this something new?

      If he's been like this since you got him, stop changing his food. Offer him a bowl of food three to four times a day (or however many times you plan to feed him right now - at least three if he is that young). Leave the bowl down for 10 or 15 minutes and then pick it up. Do NOT put it down again until the next planned meal. After 10-15 minutes, pick it up. Repeat. Do NOT feed him or offer him anything else. In a day or two, he will eventually choose to eat. As my dog trainer says, "you don't find too many dog skeletons in houses. They WILL choose to eat when they realize that is their only option." Your dog isn't going to starve himself to death just to be picky. You cannot keep switching food or offering him other stuff, as that is normally a big contributing factor to creating a picky eater. 7 weeks is very young, and you want to start letting him know now that meal time is meal time. You eat or you wait until the next meal. It may take a day or two, but he will eventually eat, as long as you are consistent.

      Did he come from a breeder or a shelter? Did you ask what they were feeding him and start with that food for a while before trying to switch him to whatever you want to feed?

      If this is a NEW symptom, get another vet opinion. He could have a partial or full blockage. Did he have bacteria in his gut? Did they do a fecal? Is he fat or could he actually still be wormy? What was he de-wormed with?


      • #4
        Seven weeks is very young. Too young IMHO to be away from his mom and littermates. If you just got him and he hasn't yet eaten, he is just adjusting to his new home. I would get down on the floor with him and encourage him to eat by handfeeding him. Baby him big time. Just to get him started.

        If you have had him for a bit and he was eating and now is not, that obviously is a different story. If he is otherwise active and wants to play, is drinking normally and his stool is normal, I would wait it out for a bit. If he is not eating, not drinking and has no energy, I would take him into the vet. Puppies can go down hill in a hurry. Good luck


        • #5
          How long has he not wanted to eat? If it's only a day or two, give him time, longer than that I would call the vet.

          I've found that when they start the hunger strike sometimes the appetite just disappears. I've found that a couple of episodes of having a pureed chicken/stock/olive oil (sometimes I even add puppy formula) concoction shot down their throat, brings the appetite right back. Of course it could be that they just don't want that shot down their throats any more

          Good luck

          I reject your reality, and substitute my own- Adam Savage

          R.I.P Ron Smith, you'll be greatly missed


          • #6
            I agree that 7 weeks is very young to be away from its littermates, but it is not too young to be eating puppy / dog food, especially at 13+ pounds.

            It could be an adjustment time, but I would not get in the habit of overly babying the dog in this regard. That will contribute to creating an even pickier eater. I took a similarly-sized pup home at 7 weeks, too (long story - not an ideal situation by any stretch of the imagination). Yes, they are total babies, but they can eat dog food and can also pick up very bad eating habits even at their very young age. In fact, at that age they are total little sponges.

            The puppy will take some time to adjust to its new home, but one thing that will help the adjustment period a lot is a schedule so the dog can understand that its needs will be met and when.


            • #7
              Originally posted by ladybugred View Post

              I've found that when they start the hunger strike sometimes the appetite just disappears. I've found that a couple of episodes of having a pureed chicken/stock/olive oil (sometimes I even add puppy formula) concoction shot down their throat, brings the appetite right back. Of course it could be that they just don't want that shot down their throats any more

              Interesting idea! That is probably worth a shot, providing the dog has no other symptoms like vomiting / diarrhea.


              • #8
                Well, I feel the need to clarify what I was trying to say in my earlier post. If this puppy is just now in a new home and he is not eating because of that, I am suggesting a little TLC for a few feedings just to help get him started realizing that his new place is okay. Obviously I am not suggesting handfeeding for the rest of his life, but just understanding that the little guy's whole world has been turned upside down and to help him with that transition. A few days of some extra TLC will not make for a picky eater. Remember too, that dogs are social/pack animals and your puppy probably has been used to eating with his littermates up to this point.

                My co-breeder and I had a litter of pups in January. I was surprised, when at 11 weeks 2 of these pups went to live with my co-breeder, that the 2 remaining pups didn't eat as well for a few days. Nothing had changed for them but losing 2 littermates. When those two came back to stay with us for a couple of days all four ate like gang busters! (In four separate dishes).

                Dogs are amazingly adaptable. I am sure whatever approach you take with your little guy, he will settle in and be fine. Have fun with him!


                • #9
                  If he is not sick, then don't make a food brat out of him. Select a well balanced food, put it down for 10 mins and after that it is picked up and no more food is offered until the next scheduled feeding. Constantly changing foods, along with begging, bribes etc just leads to a gigantic mess.


                  • #10
                    I too, say that this puppy very young to be away from his littermates already.

                    As far as him not eating, that may very well be due to the stress of being *out on his own* and so young. I would keep offering him the food that he was eating before coming home with you since that is what he is used to.

                    How about his drinking? Is he drinking well? I would watch him closely to make sure that he is getting enough water as well as watching for any signs of dehydration.

                    Another very important thing know about is hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). It can happen quickly to young puppies who are not eating (moreso with small breed puppies, but can be a problem with any puppy under 3 months of age). If not treated immediately, it can be deadly.

                    For a quick treatment (even before rushing to the vet) you need to get glucose into the puppy. Karo syrup smeared on the puppy's gums is a good trick to know.

                    Hopefully none of these things will be a problem and your puppy will start eating for you. But do watch him closely until that happens and be prepared *just in case*.

                    Best of luck with you new little one - and post a picture for all of us to ooooo and ahhhh over!


                    • Original Poster

                      I know he's young, and he did come from a "breeder" who really wanted the last two pups gone...and since I'm a HUGE sucker, he became mine...it was either that or something worse. He's done this since I've had him, which has been almost a week and a half.

                      I think my boyfriend figured it out tonight though. He refuses to eat from the doggie bowl, but if you pour his dry food on the kitchen floor, he gobbles it up. He ate twice for him that way today. Weird.

                      His fecal was positive for rounds and hooks, and he's had his first round of dewormer. He's energetic, and drinks water all the time. Stools are normal. I'm beginning to think the "breeder" just dumped the food on the ground and let them go at it. My crazy freebie pup.


                      • #12
                        Yay for your BF figuring out the puppy's *eating habits*. That's too funny - poor baby probably doesn't have a clue what a food bowl is! But it's great that he's eating well when you just throw the food on the floor (his dining room manners can come later ).

                        Sounds like he is a very lucky little guy to have come home with you. I hope the other little one also found a great forever home before the (cough, cough) *breeder* chose another way to send him on his way.


                        • #13
                          So glad your BF figured it out! Glad the little pup is doing well!

                          They are funny when so little. My doberman puppy ate with one paw in his bowl for the first week or two I had him, even though I have stainless steel bowls with non-slip rubber on the bottom. He must have been used to eating from a bowl that slid all over the place at the breeder's house...


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Phaxxton View Post
                            Interesting idea! That is probably worth a shot, providing the dog has no other symptoms like vomiting / diarrhea.
                            Yes, I should have said so long as there is no vomiting/diarrhea/blockage. It works great! Also should have mentioned I only add puppy formula for dogs, otherwise animal appropriate.

                            OP-I'm glad you guys got it figured out.

                            Now where are the PICTURES????????

                            I reject your reality, and substitute my own- Adam Savage

                            R.I.P Ron Smith, you'll be greatly missed


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ladybugred View Post
                              Now where are the PICTURES????????



                              • #16
                                I'm glad he's eating. I've found, with mine, when they've been sick and refusing food, if I can squirt a little maple syrup into their mouths, it kick starts their appetites.


                                • Original Poster

                                  OMG, please don't hate me for not uploading pics...because, well, I have no clue how! I don't have a home computer, so I use the one at work which has very limited access. Ugh. Hence the late updates too.

                                  Thanks everyone for your concerns and help! He's doing GREAT! As long as we feed Miller (after Miller High Life not Miller Lite as my boyfriend tells me ALL the time, lol) on the floor, he gobbles it up like a champ. I've gradually worked some of his food onto a plate, and with lots of coaxing, he will eat it off of there. But if you turn your head for a split second, he tips the plate over and spills his food all over the floor. Weirdest thing ever.

                                  I have a few pics on my cell, which I can upload if thats possible...I really do want to share his adorableness!


                                  • #18
                                    The state of VA passed a law some years ago making it illegal to sell any puppy or kitten under the age of 8 weeks. And for good reason.

                                    I see so many 6-7 week pups that have no business being placed. Sick, not eating well, stressed, small, etc.

                                    Glad he is eating. Pick ONE food and feed him that. Don't make him a picky eater.