I just rescued a 10-12 year old Pomeranian. Since I don’t know what he was raised on, I’m having an extremely hard time finding a food that he’ll eat. I finally lit on Pedigree canned, beef only-none of that chicken or beef stew for him, but after 3 weeks he stopped eating. I should mention that he’s had some teeth pulled in that time period so he won’t eat dry kibble. A return visit to the vet showed that he has colitis. He’s on meds for that and the vet recommended boiled beef or chicken until his colon calms down. That was great for about a day, now he turns up his nose. I tried his original canned formula, no dice. I bought raw, no dice. He refuses any and all veggies, cooked or raw. I even tried dry cat kibble! Nope. I’m worried because he’s underweight from being on his own for an unspecified amount of time. The vet is concerned because he had gained a pound but quickly lost it when the colitis started in. I don’t know what to do, it’s like he’s on a hunger strike! I’ve had people say, “just let him go hungry, he’ll eat when he’s hungry enough.” But he’s underweight and to me that’s cruel. Maybe I’m part of the problem and I’m feeding, pun intended, into his food issues.
Help please! Any suggestions at all would be much appreciated.
How long have you had him? He may be grieving his former owner and home, maybe there were other dogs there that he bonded with. It is very hard for some dogs, especially a senior.
The first month will be the worst. Just be extra nice to him but give him his space, hopefully he’ll come around.
You can presoak the kibble in water overnight in the fridg and then add a little plain homemade chicken broth (no onions) or mix with a soft topper. If you don’t see him drinking water, add a little to his food, senior small breeds are vulnerable to get bladder stones, struvite and urinary tract infections if they don’t drink enough water. Take him out frequently to urinate.
Keep his diet simple, maybe a limited ingredient food, I like Nutrisca. I wouldn’t add vegetables for now, they can cause loose stools in some dogs. I wouldn’t add any supplements unless advised to do so by a veterinarian that has examined him.
Another thing, I would not free feed (leave food down). Offer him 3 small meals a day at the same times, pick up after 10-20 minutes and store in the fridg offer at the next mealtime.
See what your vet recommends, but I wouldn’t panic if he skips meals or is only eating a little bit as long as he is drinking water. Dogs can become depressed, give him some time to adjust. He has been through a lot.
If he is not eating or drinking anything X 72 hours, I would take him to the vet, he may need sub q fluids to prevent dehydration.
If you are really desperate just to see him eat something, I have never seen a dog refuse a bite of supermarket rotisserie chicken. I only suggest it as something tasty might jump start his appetite. I wouldn’t make a habit of it though, those chickens are loaded with salt/msg and such. No bones, of course. They love the greasy skin too.
We’ve had him about 4 weeks now. I know he was a bit traumatized when we first got him, he’d spent two weeks at the animal shelter and with his limited vision and hearing it had to have scared him. We have another dog that he pretty much avoided and ignored for the first 2 weeks, but he’s warmed up to him now.
I tried the kibble with water and broth but he wouldn’t touch it, even with canned food added in. I think the colitis really threw off his stomach. The vet thinks it was brought on by the stress of the shelter and then he had to have extensive dental work on top of losing his home and living a God knows how long on his own in the woods. Poor little guy, how can someone be that cruel?
Anyway, he did eat a bit of canned this morning. About 1/2 a cup, and he’s a good drinker, likes his water!
Thank you for your advise, I appreciate any and all help. We just want to give this little guy a few more quality years.
Thank you for trying to help him, I know it’s not an easy task. He may be shy to begin with, my mature poodle mix ignored my terrier for 6 months, I brought him in after the loss of another dog that she was bonded with. Now they are buddies.
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