Young puppy not interested in food

BARF refers to Biologically Appropriate Raw food or Bones and Raw Food. It is where owners have decided to feed their Schnauzer a natural diet of raw meat, bones, and organs. If you are considering this for your Schnauzer, you will find lots of handy tips here.
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fruitphilosopher
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Young puppy not interested in food

Post by fruitphilosopher »

Hi, I hope this is the right thread to post in as we're in the process of switching to a raw diet but the question itself is less to do with raw itself and more food in general..

Malik is my new puppy, almost 10 weeks old, mini schnauzer, been home for only 5 days.

His breeder had them on both raw and Royal Canin kibble (as some puppies were going to kibble homes and had to be used to both). Her adult dogs are on raw. We've been told he's been eating well but not a piggy, he was on 3 meals a day but all the puppies weren't really eating lunch so realistically it was closer to two meals. He ate well the first day he was home. We're gradually introducing our raw (pre-made so it's balanced) and he's now up to 50/50 raw and kibble (given at different meals). The problem is - he's not eating at mealtime!

We're certainly doing a lot more training with him than the breeder was doing so he's eating more in the form of treats. We do probably 3-4 short training sessions per day. For treats we've been using boiled chicken (which he loves and is used to) and 100% kangaroo chewy fillets that I cut up into tiny bits. Since he's been disinterested at mealtime we've cut down on treats, and are using toys, play, and verbal reward which works well, but not for every situation. We need to get him outside more as he's barking at everything and treats have been really helpful in conjunction with the other rewards. We're now only feeding him his kibble and bits of his frozen for treats and he accepts that, unless it's a really big step like meeting strangers which is when we resort to chicken. At mealtime he won't eat out of his bowl (either raw or kibble), but if I pick it up and scatter feed him he'll eat it. He obviously doesn't hate the food if it works for treats and when scatter fed. I don't want to stop his training but I don't want him to get fussy and stop eating his normal meals! :-?? Plus, he's a puppy and by my calculations he's not eating nearly the amount he should be.

Oh, and his poo is a normal consistency, he's been pooping twice a day but yesterday was only once.

Any advice? Sorry for the long post, I'm a first time puppy owner so I wanted to write everything down so maybe one of you more experienced folk can tell me what I'm doing wrong. Thanks in advance!

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Dawnspell
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Re: Young puppy not interested in food

Post by Dawnspell »

Neither Barney and now Jasper would eat food out of a bowl. Jasper will eat off a plate if its something he really likes. He likes to play games to get his food. He has freeze dried raw which is in nugget form so I put it in egg boxes, hide it in boxes with paper in, simple hiding it in places to scent trail. Smaller pieces of food can be put into plastic bottles for them to knock around and knock food out. Raw can be put into calf hooves or kongs.

He was getting to a point when a lot younger where he was just wanting to live on treats so I started mixing it up so he got mixed rewards of treats and normal food. You definitely need to keep your high value treats for high value situations, and keep them really tiny it only needs to be 2-3 mm across, almost a sniff. Or if its something you can hold and they just get a little nibble.
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Oscar 12345
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Re: Young puppy not interested in food

Post by Oscar 12345 »

I think this is common although I seem to have only had schnauzers that would eat anything at any time. Firstly, determine whether what you are giving or leaving for him is the right amount. Pups do regulate themselves and stop when ful particularly if they are eating lots of training treats. So check the amounts that are recommended against the total amount of food he has in the day. Weight pup regularly and check with the breeder whether the weight of Malik seems ok, that should put your mind at ease. If there is a problem with Malik not eating sufficiently then I would be creative with him for example with the raw, get a plastic mat of some sort, roll it into meatballs and place it around the mat one at a time, have a couple of mats or plates around the kitchen and play go find it with the meatballs, great for training stay and release, with the kibble which I assume you will be phasing out, a snuffle mat or slow feeder might help but if scattering works then great. I assume you are sticking to routine times for feeding and that they are well spaced apart including being spaced apart from training sessions or walks with treats. So in a nutshell, I wouldn't worry about not doing what is "normal", do what works for you, check the total amount of food being eaten and if necessary, get the pup excited at mealtimes by talking to him whilst you are putting the dinner together. I wish I could help more, just never had a fussy eater.
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Schnauzerluv
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Re: Young puppy not interested in food

Post by Schnauzerluv »

I'm in the "my minis eat everything and anything" group, but my pup also plays games to get his food. Eating from a bowl is just too easy and he ate too fast, even burping afterward!

We have a few food dispensing and puzzle toys that we mix up, but I also play games with towels and scrap fabric for freeze dried or kibble. One game is I sprinkle the food out on a large play mat, cover it with towel and repeat for a second tier or even a third. Ozzy has to snuffle, dig and push the towels to uncover the food. Another idea is to take pieces of scrap fabric, wrap food in them, then roll them into a folded towel for the pup to unroll the towel and unwrap the food.

His trainer suggested I reduce a portion of his food to adjust for his treats for training, but I normally use reg food (mix it up) for treats for regular training. As mentioned, there are situations where high value reward is needed, but most of the time i'm using his food.

fruitphilosopher
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Re: Young puppy not interested in food

Post by fruitphilosopher »

Neither Barney and now Jasper would eat food out of a bowl.
Oh good, looks like I'm in good company :)) :-h Thanks for that reassurance, I had thought eh, I don't want him to depend on me spoonfeeding him, but actually if he'll work for his food through training that's pretty good, and I imagine scatter feeding him is enrichment in a way.
He has freeze dried raw which is in nugget form so I put it in egg boxes, hide it in boxes with paper in, simple hiding it in places to scent trail. Smaller pieces of food can be put into plastic bottles for them to knock around and knock food out. Raw can be put into calf hooves or kongs.
I forgot to add that we tried puppy kong toys, both the traditional and bone shaped variety, and similar but easier puzzle toys (lick mat, a cube with ridges that you rub food onto, a couple of other "fun/puzzle" feeding toys) and he has a little lick but if it's hard for him to get he just gives up. Sometimes even if it's easy :)) That being said he seems completely nonplussed by any kind of chew toy but loves rope, cardboard, bottles... So I'll try using something like a toilet paper tube or egg carton. Fingers crossed he doesn't forgo food in favour of cardboard =))
If there is a problem with Malik not eating sufficiently then I would be creative with him for example with the raw, get a plastic mat of some sort, roll it into meatballs and place it around the mat one at a time, have a couple of mats or plates around the kitchen and play go find it with the meatballs, great for training stay and release, with the kibble which I assume you will be phasing out, a snuffle mat or slow feeder might help but if scattering works then great.
Some great ideas and I can see "go find" working well with him. Thanks a million :D
We have a few food dispensing and puzzle toys that we mix up, but I also play games with towels and scrap fabric for freeze dried or kibble. One game is I sprinkle the food out on a large play mat, cover it with towel and repeat for a second tier or even a third. Ozzy has to snuffle, dig and push the towels to uncover the food. Another idea is to take pieces of scrap fabric, wrap food in them, then roll them into a folded towel for the pup to unroll the towel and unwrap the food.
This might work for him too, but definitely not with the mushy raw we're feeding, I'll have a look if some quality freeze dried is available locally! Thanks!
So check the amounts that are recommended against the total amount of food he has in the day.
I've checked my math but it's always good to have another set of eyes. He weighs 3.3kg at 10 weeks old, so feeding him 8% of his body weight would mean he would be getting 264g of raw once we fully transition him to raw. With his current size and his parents' sizes he's likely to be a bigger mini so if his expected adult weight is 9kg, 2-3% of that is 180 - 270. Big range there and he could grow to a smaller size so maybe he would do well on less than the 264g. Anyhow I'm only offering him half of that at this stage and gradually increasing. Then he's also getting half of the recommended kibble quantity which is all in training treats now and I offer the rest but he's not crazy about it. And yes we're phasing that out. Please someone correct me if my math is off!
I assume you are sticking to routine times for feeding and that they are well spaced apart including being spaced apart from training sessions or walks with treats.
Yes, doing our best, usually we have him rest for a while and then wake him up with some play and training (no treats just toy and verbal reward) because he wouldn't even look up if we offered him food while he was drowsy :))
I wouldn't worry about not doing what is "normal", do what works for you
Thank you - this was good to hear :x

An update is that last night we went out and got him a different brand of quality raw for dinner, and he seemed way more interested and ate a full meal (with slight encouragement) :-bd His breeder says her dogs won't touch the first brand we've tried him on either, despite every other dog I've heard of loving it. Might just be that he liked the variety, but fingers crossed he continues to do well and I'll try out some more fun games for him. I'm thinking of also getting him back to at least 3 meals because he probably gets quite full.

Oscar 12345
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Re: Young puppy not interested in food

Post by Oscar 12345 »

Your maths sounds spot on. Otto at 3 weighs around 8.5kg and is fed 260kg/day raw plus a few treats and small snack for lunch. It is interesting about the different raw brand. The more I hear about some dogs refusing some brands the more I think it is about the consistency. It does seem that some dogs don't like the sticky, wet formulas. 3 meals/day works well up to 3 months.
Man cannot survive with wine alone...
we also need a schnauzer.

fruitphilosopher
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Re: Young puppy not interested in food

Post by fruitphilosopher »

The more I hear about some dogs refusing some brands the more I think it is about the consistency. It does seem that some dogs don't like the sticky, wet formulas.
I'm with you on that. The first one we tried him on was much runnier. A plus is that with the new one his beard doesn't get as sloppy :D
Your maths sounds spot on. Otto at 3 weighs around 8.5kg and is fed 260kg/day raw plus a few treats and small snack for lunch.
Oh good! But I hope you mean 260g =)) :-o

An interesting update is that we've had a complete turnaround. I came prepared with new feeding games only to find that Malik is now licking his bowl clean without so much as a peep from us. Partly I think it's the food - he is now fully off his kibble so we got him some high quality, complete and balanced cooked food rolls from the same brand as his raw (so much easier to feed as training treats) and he LOVES it, so I put a small piece in his raw food to entice him and it worked a charm. Since then I've "topped" his raw with a bit of sardine, a bit of egg, or nothing at all, and he will eat just the same. He politely leaves the tiniest morsel :))

I've redone my maths so that we're feeding him less raw to account for the cooked. I hope we're not overfeeding him now. He's been weeing and pooing more times per day and gaining weight faster than the first few days. But he really was hardly eating in those earlier days. I will keep an eye on his condition and adjust as needed!

Oscar 12345
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Re: Young puppy not interested in food

Post by Oscar 12345 »

Sounds fantastic, out of interest what brand are you feeding?
Man cannot survive with wine alone...
we also need a schnauzer.

fruitphilosopher
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Joined: 03 Aug 2020, 14:46
First Name: Jan
Dog #1: Malik
is a: B/S Mini Dog
Born: 0-10-2020

Re: Young puppy not interested in food

Post by fruitphilosopher »

Oscar 12345 wrote:
10 Jan 2021, 10:25
Sounds fantastic, out of interest what brand are you feeding?
We're in Australia so I think all the brands are all different, but I'm feeding him Prime100. They have really high quality, complete and balanced, raw and cooked foods.
He gets this https://prime100.com.au/products/spd-barf-chicken/ and a bit of the lamb version of that, and this https://prime100.com.au/products/turkey-and-flaxseed/ . We'll be switching up the flavours a bit as they're all single protein, just to get him exposed to different animal proteins.

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