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Discussion Starter #1
So, I picked up my new pup this past Friday. She's tiny. 4 months old and just 2.2 pounds. She's very thin. (I believe in part from being fed free choice and possible a bullying brother much bigger than her.)
Anyhow. I'm having a tough time getting her to eat. (feeding 3 meals a day now, not free choice.) She's just uninterested mostly. Will NOT eat the kibble alone, have to mix with canned. A bigger dog, I'd just leave it alone....when she's hungry, she'll eat; but I don't dare do that with her.
I want to switch her to a frozen raw (probably Instinct) but was going to wait a couple weeks until she settled in, but I'm wondering if I should just start it now on the assumption she'll like it better and actually eat. What do you think??
Also, she had her vet check yesterday and when I told the vet I was going to feed a frozen raw, she was unhappy - typical I guess. She said she doesn't like raw especially for pups, and recently had a puppy die from salmonella from eating raw. Is this a worry for real?
Thanks!
 

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So, I picked up my new pup this past Friday. She's tiny. 4 months old and just 2.2 pounds. She's very thin. (I believe in part from being fed free choice and possible a bullying brother much bigger than her.)
Anyhow. I'm having a tough time getting her to eat. (feeding 3 meals a day now, not free choice.) She's just uninterested mostly. Will NOT eat the kibble alone, have to mix with canned. A bigger dog, I'd just leave it alone....when she's hungry, she'll eat; but I don't dare do that with her.
I want to switch her to a frozen raw (probably Instinct) but was going to wait a couple weeks until she settled in, but I'm wondering if I should just start it now on the assumption she'll like it better and actually eat. What do you think??
Also, she had her vet check yesterday and when I told the vet I was going to feed a frozen raw, she was unhappy - typical I guess. She said she doesn't like raw especially for pups, and recently had a puppy die from salmonella from eating raw. Is this a worry for real?
Thanks!
Yes, raw diet has risks. The most concerning are bacterial contamination, incorrect calcium amounts, and hazards of feeding bone. I have a friend that has been feeding raw for years. I've known her since before she got into vet school - she is a vet now. She strongly disagrees with first-time raw feeders feeding a puppy raw. It is way to easy to cause permanent damage.

A healthy dog (or puppy) will not starve itself. Take her to the vet first, bring a bit of poop for them to look at under the microscope. STOP switching her foods around. Don't try to baby her into eating, you'll only teach her that if she waits she will get the wet food. IF you feed wet food, give it to her right away, don't wait a while and add it later.

I would use the same food as the breeder. I would make sure I am feeding the correct amount (my mpoo's food looks so little to me after having bigger dogs for years!). I would offer food more often, leave it for 10 minutes and take it away. She will eat when she is hungry. By offering food 6+ times per day, you don't have to worry about her skipping a meal. When she starts eating better, then go down to 5 meals a day... until you get back to an appropriate amount for her age.

Your puppy needs about 300 calories per day until she is 4 months old. {[(.99) * 30] + 70} * 3 If she gains 2 pounds, between 4 and 12 months old, she will need 250 calories per day. If she gains another 2 pounds, after 12 months old she will ned 270 calories per day. If she is spayed, she'll need less - 240 calories per day.

If your puppy was eating the same that mine eats, she would need 1/2 cup a day, or 2-1/2 Tablespoons per meal.

Are you sure you're not expecting her to eat too much? 2-1/2 Tablespoons is a tiny amount of food! She'll only need 3 Tablespoons of food twice a day as an adult.
 

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First of all a lot of Vets are going to turn their nose at Raw... have you seen their lobby? ;) But seriously more and more vets are coming around with an open mind and educating themselves on a more natural way of feeding - its just finding them :D

Second from my experience and research you absolutely CAN start feeding a dog Raw as a pup. And you are more likely to run into contamination from Kibble than Raw :) just look at the recalls.

Raw feeders I know that have been feeding two and three times longer than me (8-10 years) will start Raw with in a few weeks of birth. There are reputable breeders that do the same.

Concerns with Raw will be potential choking from not feeding correct portions as well as balancing bone, protein and organ.

Now if you stay with kibble which is perfectly fine, I'd suggest sticking to one for now. I am a firm believer is they wont eat it dry spruce it up a bit. I found that when I fed kibble (Fromm) if I added in canned tripe, small amounts to start, my dogs ate. Even adding in canned pumpkin adds some variety. I have also mashed green beans and peas...hey whatever works sometimes.

There is a point when tough love applies as I believe they will eventually eat but I cannot bring myself to do that to a small pup.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
STOP switching her foods around. Don't try to baby her into eating, you'll only teach her that if she waits she will get the wet food. IF you feed wet food, give it to her right away, don't wait a while and add it later.
Okay, just to clarify, I did -not- switch her food at all. I'm feeding the kibble the breeder fed, as well as the canned that she said to add if she wouldn't eat. I don't add it after - I've no interest in teaching her to hold out for something better. When she wasn't eating at all, I started adding the canned before putting the dish down.

As to me being a first time raw feeder...I sure am, but had no intention of trying to get all the levels and all that correct myself. That's why I said I was going to go with a frozen raw diet (meaning premade) already balanced - thinking of Instinct raw.

I know she won't starve herself, but she, at just over 2 pounds, is at high risk of hypoglycemia if she refuses to eat. Not nearly as simple as it is with the bigger dogs who are being picky. I -cant- let her go without eating until she gives in.

And yes, as I said, she's been to the vet for her check and stool sample is being run.

Olie, have to agree with you as to contamination from kibble. My concern with raw was that I didn't want to work out the balance....hence my wanting to use a premade frozen raw. All the guesswork already done and no chance of screwing her up somehow. But then of course the vet worried me with her tale of a pup dying from salmonella due to a premade raw. :-\

She's very thin and isn't eating well. I will start offering more (smaller) meals a day, but unless she's really hungry (which I think she's not going to be, eating 5 or 6 times a day), she doesn't want to eat at all. That's why I thought it might be advantageous to get on the premade frozen raw now. At least she'd (assumedly) eat then.
 

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For a day or two, I would feed her whatever she will eat. If that means more canned than kibble, or a scrambled egg, or a bit of cooked chicken mixed in, so be it. The change of home can be stressful for a puppy, and it is not quite true to say a pup won't starve herself - a small toy puppy can easily starve herself into hypoglycaemia. I wouldn't be too bothered about teaching her to be a faddy eater, either, as you are planning on changing her diet in due course anyway. A slightly imbalanced diet for a few days will do far less harm that insufficient food - once she has the habit of eating in your house, and has settled down a bit, it will all become easier. Personally, I wouldn't change to raw at this point - she has enough changes to cope with.

But I do agree with Tortoise on recognising just what tiny tums toy poodles have - I remember with my first kitten being told that a kittens stomach is about the same size as a walnut, and a toy puppy's is not much bigger. Is she up to date with worming, or recently had a vaccination? All things that can affect a pup's appetite.
 

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No need to get defensive. You asked about the dangers of raw feeding and got a complete answer.

If the breeder says to add canned food if she wouldn't eat, that is a HUGE red flag that something is wrong. (I would not take the puppy if the breeder told me that!!!) Either something physically wrong or the breeder accidentally trained your puppy to be a fussy eater.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks FJM, I appreciate it a lot. I don't so much have a problem when she eats just a little, I worry when she walks away without eating any at all.

Okay, I think your advice is really good....just feed her and get her in the habit of eating here and eating at meals instead of free choice. I'll stop agonizing so much over whether I'm giving too much canned in relation to kibble etc etc. As you say, getting her to settle in is more important, especially as I'm switching later anyhow. (but I promise not to build bad habits by doing things like adding things after the food is down etc!)

No very recent vaccines, and while I was typing this, the vet's office called (gotta love them for calling with results on a Sunday!!) to say her stool sample was negative. :)
 

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No need to get defensive
I wasn't defensive in the least. I clarified in case I was unclear in my original message. Wow.

I haven't a clue why the breeder said that about the canned food, but I'd assume it was a tool for me to make sure that if she was stressed in her new home, here was a way to make sure she didn't go hypoglycemic. Just a guess.
 

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Sounds like an excellent vet, who understands the anxieties of having a new baby in the house!
 
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I'll stop agonizing so much over whether I'm giving too much canned in relation to kibble etc etc.
That's irrelevant if the canned food is labeled "complete and balanced". That's actually a legal term, not marketing fluff.

Dry food is more calorie-dense than canned food. She'll have to eat more volume of canned food to get the same number of calories. She needs 300 calories per day, so it should be very easy to figure out how much of the canned food she needs to eat.

If she is only eating a small amount, it is better for it to be kibble because of the calorie density. She'll get more calories in fewer bites. But if she will eat enough of the canned foodto get her calories, it doesn't matter at all.

If you end up feeding canned food for a long time, make sure you're taking care of her teeth.
 

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fjm: I think so too. I really like this vet!

Tortoise: okay, thanks. I only put a small bit of canned in and mix it up with the kibble so it's just like a light coating. She seems to eat both (not pick out the canned ...there's too little of it to do that I think). But I will watch it. Once she's settled in, I will be switching her anyhow so she won't be on canned for too long. But you never know how things go, so I'll definitely watch her teeth if it goes on longer than I planned!
 

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I remember my mother had a toy poodle, Polly, who was the tiny sibling of a much larger brother. The breeder had ended up feeding the smaller puppy on her lap, to be sure she got enough. My mother, with a houseful of children and a job, pretty quickly got her over that idea, as I recall - but she did stick with it for the first week or so until the puppy was settled. I am sure you will quickly get your new pup into a routine that works for both of you - it has only been two days, after all!
 
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fjm: I think so too. I really like this vet!

Tortoise: okay, thanks. I only put a small bit of canned in and mix it up with the kibble so it's just like a light coating. She seems to eat both (not pick out the canned ...there's too little of it to do that I think). But I will watch it. Once she's settled in, I will be switching her anyhow so she won't be on canned for too long. But you never know how things go, so I'll definitely watch her teeth if it goes on longer than I planned!
No worries then. It's only if she's eating canned exclusively that teeth is an issue.
 

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I reckon with a toy teeth are an issue whatever you feed. The old argument that kibble keeps teeth clean is now widely discredited; RMB certainly help; but with all those teeth in a small mouth, regular brushing is probably going to be essential. Lots of practice teaching her that fingers in her mouth means Good Stuff for Poodles now will stand you in good stead when you need to care for her adult teeth!
 

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Congratulations on your new puppy! I switched my toy from the kibble the breeder fed to commercial raw. I feed Aunt Jenni. My boy quivers with joy at meal time and he is thriving. He will be a year in October. My vet was not happy with my choice to feed raw either but I felt strongly after I looked more into kibble that raw is the better choice. The oral health benefits are especially important in toys. Swizzle's should be in a toothpaste ad his teeth are perfect. You might consider green tripe mixed in with the kibble if you wish to continue the kibble route. I have not been able to find it in my area but it sounds nutrient rich and very yummy.
 

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Congrats on your new puppy!

Have you tried wetting the kibble a little? It helps to soften it a little, as well as bringing out its aroma.
 

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I reckon with a toy teeth are an issue whatever you feed. The old argument that kibble keeps teeth clean is now widely discredited; RMB certainly help; but with all those teeth in a small mouth, regular brushing is probably going to be essential. Lots of practice teaching her that fingers in her mouth means Good Stuff for Poodles now will stand you in good stead when you need to care for her adult teeth!
Yeah it isnt true.. I have a toy poodle about 5lbs and a mini 12-13lbs. My mini's mouth is about 3x bigger than my toy. I could feed my toy wet food only and barely look at her teeth and she wont have heavy tartar.. in fact they are off white.. she's only lost 2 teeth in 8yrs a tiny molar way in the back and a small bottom front tooth. I can feed my mini kibble, but if I neglect her teeth for like a week.. she has tartar, gums are red, and her molars are all brown. Which is why Im trying to get in the habit of feeding raw necks.
 
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