Hi, about a week and a half ago I adopted a one-year-old chihuahua pomeranian mix. For the first few days, he wouldn’t eat and I figured it was separation anxiety from his previous owner and the other dog she had. I didn’t want to feed him the food his previous owner fed him (Pedigree Small Breed) because I didn’t want him to have anything with byproducts in it or anything like that, so I bought him a healthier food (Perfomatrin Ultra grain-free for small dogs, recommended to me when I brought him into PetValu with me). At first, I had to mix in a little bit of freeze-dried chicken breast treats to get him to try it but he ate it and he seemed to like it and two days ago I managed to get him to eat two bowls of it but now he won’t even eat that. I tried feeding him the Pedigree and he won’t even eat that, nor will he eat any wet food and if I mix treats in with his food, he just picks out the treats and eats those. He’s still drinking regularly and not vomiting or anything, going to the bathroom at regular times, etc. and he doesn’t seem sick, still has lots of energy and everything, but he hasn’t eaten for almost two days now and I’m getting worried about him. I brought him back into PetValu yesterday and was given a sample of RAW dog food (it’s basically all-natural ground-up chicken, beef, lamb, etc. and looks like ground beef and is supposed to simulate people-food so that picky dogs will eat it to get their appetite going) but he won’t eat that either, even with treats mixed in. Any suggestions?
I would add a little chicken broth, kibble by itself is boring. Have her teeth been checked? Any discomfort would make it hard to chew.
She may be going through an adjustment phase.
Some dogs are sad and grieve their former owners, give her time. Also, I hope you aren’t free feeding. Always have fresh water available.
Offer her a meal twice a day at the same times, if she doesn’t eat after 10 minutes pick it up and store in the fridg, offer at the next mealtime.
Dogs thrive on routine, it might take up to a month before she has settled in her new home.
I would consult a vet if she goes 72 hours without eating or drinking water.
Another informative site: http://skeptvet.com/Blog/category/nutrition/
The previous owner said he’s had all his shots and vet check-ups and such but that she doesn’t have the paperwork for it because she bought him when he was much younger from somebody else who apparently lost the papers and were supposed to fax them to her but never did. He seems to eat just fine and chews on his toys so I don’t think it’s his teeth. And no, I don’t free feed – I try twice a day and if he doesn’t eat, I put it away, making sure he always has water though. I added in some cooked ground beef and sausage with his kibble and got him to eat the whole bowl, so hopefully that means he just doesn’t like the taste of dry kibble on its own. Thanks, I’ll try the chicken broth 🙂
Sounds good. But you know what a lawyer would say….if you don’t have it in writing, you have nothing. Is he neutered? Maybe he has never even seen a vet?
So, I would take him in for an annual checkup, after all, it is time for heartworm checks and such.
You can decline all vaccines except rabies, except where required by law.
Buy a folder for his medical records, vet visits and keep all info in there. If you ever have an emergency situation and have to go to a vet you don’t know, you can just grab the folder.
Annual visits are worth the expense, I found this out the hard way. If anything is wrong it is best to pick it up early.
PS: The sausage might not be a good idea, loaded with nitrates, salt, chemicals…
Regarding the chicken broth, I mean homemade without additives, msg and junk.
Just boil a chicken for 3-4 hours, cool, debone, put the broth in the fridge and skim the layer of fat off the next day. You should have at least a quart of broth that will be good for a few days in the fridg.
The deboned chicken you can put in individual serving plastic sandwich baggies and freeze.
Messy and time consuming but cost effective, better than canned as a topper.
Dogs love chicken! I use Nutrisca Salmon and Chickpea dry as a base, check Chewy.com
Yeah, the fact that she has no records was definitely a concern and he’s not neutered so I don’t know for sure if he’s ever been to a vet. I’ve got a yearly check-up booked for him on the 25th so we’ll see.
Great! Best of luck. Let us know how it goes. He sounds like a cute dog.
Learn where the nearest emergency veterinary clinic is located (open 24/7).
Hopefully you will never have to go there…but it’s good to know.
I added a PS to my previous post, hope you see it. Oh, and start brushing his teeth everyday, see YouTube for how to videos.
Just wanted to note that him not being neutered is not a for sure sign he has never seen a vet. Both of my boys are intact and see the vet as needed.
He may need more time adjusting to a new home. About how long has it been now since he hasn’t eaten?
I agree, but usually the dog will receive a rabies shot prior to being neutered. So, that combined with the fact that the prior owner has NO paperwork to prove that the dog has seen a vet, leads me to believe that it hasn’t happened (being seen by a vet). Otherwise the prior owner would have at least provided the name of a vet or clinic that could be contacted to validate her claims.
Whether or not she decides to neuter the dog is a decision she can make with a veterinarian that she trusts. Sometimes you can get away with not neutering a small breed, sometimes not. I have a small breed that developed testicular cancer and had to be neutered at age 11.
No guarantees, we all do the best we can. If she chooses not to give the dog the rabies vaccine she will not be able to license the dog. If the dog bites someone and she can’t show proof of current rabies vaccination….all bets are off.
PS: Small dogs bite, I have been to Urgent Care X2 over the years for treatment.
I agree that the previous owner not having any medical records and the fact that she will not/can not even provide the name of a vet the dog has seen is suspious. I just wanted to point out that my boys are intact and have had rabies vaccines and see the vet as needed, so it’s not a clear indiactor. Thats all. I agree with all of your other points. 🙂
Oh I know small dogs bite. Those were the only ones who ever did try to bite me when I worked at a grooming salon!
Hi Hailey L,
Ahhh, small dogs. My family and I’ve had many dogs over the years, mostly big, but a few small ones. They are, for sure, the nippers of the group. The only times my kids have been bitten was by small dogs.
The others have given you some good suggestions. I tend to think no records were given because there are no records. Giving the name of the vet used to verify is extremely easy and they have the records. You could go 1 of 2 routes. You can either titer to see if vaccinations were given (it is expensive, but considered a very safe route) or you could revaccinate. It’s a tough decision. I foster a lot of dogs, many with no prior history, including some of my own personal dogs. Rescues tend to vaccinate if no prior history is known. But, the choice is up to you. I’ve taken it on a case by case decision with my dogs. Rabies are required in my state, so I do 3 year rabies shot.
In regard to food, she may be missing her family and trying to adjust. The homemade broth is a good idea. Anonymously is right. Stay away from sausage since it’s loaded in nitrates and preservatives. People shouldn’t even be eating them! Putting the treats into the food isn’t a good idea, since they are not a balanced diet. You could also try adding some well rated canned food to the kibble and adding warmed water to make it more attractive. I mix them all together so everything is well coated and almost like a stew. My fosters, as well as my own dogs just love it. You might go to the pet store and see if they have samples of food so you could try before you buy. Some dogs can be picky. I have Labs and kill shelter rescues, so, fortunately, I haven’t had the problem. Good luck with your new pup!
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