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Puppy Help Please...

January 6th, 2009, 11:17 AM
Hello everyone i am very new to this site. I am a HUGE dog person but i've never really had a puppy we always got our dogs older growing up. So my almost 4 month old Lab Luna is teething and she is not eating her food. She still eats her treats but her food is hit and miss. I have been giving her ice cubes to help with the pain but i'm just worried she is not getting enough food. Is there anything i can give her to help with the pain, or anything i can do to get her to eat? My sisters dog (lab) eats like she is starved to death and swallows everything whole even while she is teething Luna has never been like that nor does she really beg for food? Any advice would be great!

January 6th, 2009, 12:09 PM
you can soak a couple of old face clothes in water then toss them in the freezer for abit, give them to her to chew on, it helps with the teething. Is she on kibble. for the time being you might want to add a little water to make it softer for her to chew.

January 6th, 2009, 12:12 PM
What kind of food is she eating now? Dry, canned (wet), raw? How does she seem otherwise? Active and alert and happy/wanting to play or mopey, quiet, listless. Is she drinking normally? Normal bowel movements/urination?

If everything else seems normal (and I assume since she's so young that she's been seen by a vet at least once or twice recently?), it could simply be that her mouth is sore and she's feeling crappy. Ever seen a teething toddler? Yeah. Whiny, red-cheeked, drooly, grumpy. It's about like that. Not too fun.

Our favourite "trick" for sore mouths is to take an old washcloth, get it wet, wring into a "tube" shape and put it in the freezer, then give it to the puppy to chew on. It seems to help and is softer than ice cubes. You could consider giving wet food as well for a bit until she's feeling better, if she's eating dry.

As far as her eating habits go, dogs can be very different in their food drives, some are crazy-foodies (like your sister's dog) and others can't be bothered to eat much most of the time...

:offtopic:although I have to say that I now beleive slightly differently about that now, our GSD was a HORRIBLE eater, and I thought (and the vet thought too) that she was just "one of those dogs" that was a horrible eater. Turns out we weren't feeding her the right kind of food...oh we tried many kinds of premium kibbles, wet foods, gravies, home cooked etc etc, but we recently switched the dogs to a RAW diet, and now I can't keep Jaida out of the kitchen, she LOVES food, looks forward to mealtimes, always wants more, and will defend her food bowl from the other dogs like you wouldn't beleive! She just needed "real" food to thrive!:D It's an amazingly nice change after 2 years of begging her to eat.:D

January 6th, 2009, 01:03 PM
Thanks for the advice everyone! She is eating dry food science diet puppy for large breed which was recommended by our vet. Yes she has been to the vet with us 2 times now and they say she is healthy. She is full of life loves to play there are no signs of her being different. She is drinking the same and everything. The thing i don't get is that she will eat her treats? and eating her food is a hit and miss. sometimes we will come home from work and the bowl is empty other times it looks like she hasn't touched it. I will try the faceclothes tonight and maybe adding some water to soften it up. Its true that the ice cubes are to hard for her as she plays with it until it gets small enough to actually chew lol. thanks again any other tips you can think of would be great!!

January 6th, 2009, 01:13 PM
gbscri, part of what's wrong, may be that food. Science diet really isn't a very good quality food. Unfortunately nutrition isn't one of the things vets have to learn in school. If you check out the food, nutrition forum here alot of very well educated can lead you in the right direction.

January 6th, 2009, 01:23 PM
eeek, all vets will recommend that food, and it's TERRIBLE IMO. (Your pup may be trying to tell you something by not wanting to eat).

Sounds like your little one is mainly just dealing with a sore mouth, that's good to hear. But yeah, I'd seriously consider investigating some new foods, have a look in the food forum, there's lots of discussions about good quality foods going on right now...:thumbs up

On a totally different note, it sounds like you're free-feeding the puppy. There are good arguments for establishing a few scheduled feeding times with measured portions of food. Have a look here:

January 6th, 2009, 01:25 PM
:laughing::laughing: have you noticed bendyfoot and i think alike.:D

January 6th, 2009, 09:11 PM
WOW i am soooo surprised by this.. Luna was originally on Performatrin puppy dry food as that is what the breeder had her on so we continued her on it. But then i was recommended by the vet and my brother in law that science diet was best for labs so we switched her and she loved it for the first 2 weeks or so and now its hit and miss. Like today when i came home her bowl was empty but half her dinner is now still sitting in her bowl. I am going to look more into this as i don't want to be giving her unhealthy food. So i was over in the food form briefly and noticed a lot of people recommending Wellness? Do you guys have any food suggestions? I do want to stick to dry food and add wet food now and again typ thing? Thanks for all your help on this i really had no idea about Hills i really thought this was the best dog food as its really not cheap either.

January 7th, 2009, 09:17 AM
Yeah, unfortunately, you're not paying for good nutritious food, you're paying for clever marketing.

I get this, because I used to work in a vet clinic, and I used to be one of those people recommending Hills to patients and pooh-poohing other foods.

Then, a few years ago, I started to hear rumblings about the safety and nutrition of commercial foods, including vet diets, and started to do the research. I was pretty horrified by what I found and quite frankly felt duped by the animal health care profession as a whole. We tried a few foods, and settled on Orijen as a dry kibble. The critters loved it and thrived on it. Our vets were even supportive of the food once they started looking into it.

We've taken it a step further now, and turned to a raw whole-food diet (RMB), and we're even happier with the results. (we still have to spring that news on the vets, hee, we'll see how that one goes over:laughing:)

(and yes, aslan, great minds do think alike:D)

January 7th, 2009, 10:22 AM
Ya i'm still in total shock and i feel horrible for feeding it to her. So i've been checking out the food form and doing some research. What do you guys think i'm think i'm going to go to Performatrin Ultra? Its holistic and sounds like its really good for them? Or should i go more to the wellness or something? i just don't want to pick a wrong one again? LOL

January 7th, 2009, 10:54 AM
Here's the first few ingredients for Performatrin Ultra. Lets focus on the first five:

Chicken Meal
Whole Brown Rice
Whole Barley
Whole Rice
Menhaden Fish Meal
Ground Whole Rye
Sunflower Oil stabilized with mixed Tocopherols (a natural source of Vitamin E)
Dried Egg Product
Alfalfa Meal

The Chicken and Chicken meal as the first two ingredients is great. I have to admit, though, that I'm not a huge fan of all the grains in the next few ingredients. They're more nutritious than, say, corn, but still.

Wellness Puppy:

Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Oatmeal, Ground Barley, Salmon Meal (a natural source of DHA - Docosahexaenoic Acid), Canola Oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a natural source of Vitamin E), Ground Brown Rice, Tomato Pomace, Rice Bran, Tomatoes, Natural Chicken Flavor, Rye Flour, Carrots, Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, Apples,

I'm a little happier with this one simply because we've got Salmon Meal as #5 rather than another grain. You could also consider a grain-free version of Wellness (ie Wellness Core):

Deboned Turkey, Deboned Chicken, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Potatoes, Dried Ground Potato, Tomato Pomace, Natural Chicken Flavor, Canola Oil, Chicken Liver,

ah, now this is more to my liking :D Top 4 ingredient are whole meats or meals, and no grain, only veggies, fruits and tubers (potatoes) for starches. Personally, I prefer grain-free formulas and used to feed my dogs Orijen (not sure if you can get it where you are).

Just for fun, let's look at Hills (oh dear lord it's worse than I remembered, aaak!!!)
Chicken By-product Meal
Corn Gluten Meal
Dried Beet Pulp
Natural Flavor
Animal Fat (preserved With BHA, Propyl Gallate And Citric Acid)Vegetable Oil

Blech. By-products as the protein source (that's like feet and beaks and the junk that's leftover from what's fit for human consumption). Corn? BEET PULP? NATURAL FLAVOUR???? I can't read anymore....blech.

January 7th, 2009, 11:22 AM
eek i feel awful giving this to her!! this is our first dog well i've had many growing up but it was never just mine so i've never really had to worry about what foods are good or not. The only reason i was going more towards performatrin ultra besides reading good things was that i have a pet value in town. But i believe they do sell wellness? what is oijen? i think thats what you had said? is it more expensive? The ingredients above are they all from puppy food or the adult? Thanks again for taking the time to help me out i really do appreciate it! :thumbs up

January 7th, 2009, 11:30 AM
Don't feel bad, we're all taught to trust our vets, and marketing is pretty persuasive. I had pets for almost 7 years before I realized what was actually going into my furries, and what I needed to look for in a food for them. To be honest, most vets don't know better, it's what they were taught in school.

I just copied the Puppy ingredients for Hills, but the basic formula is pretty much the same for all the varieties. :yuck:

Here's the info on Orijen:

It's a grain-free food, and one of the reasons why I like it so much is because the ingredients are processed properly AND they're all from Canada! Many other commercial pet foods get ingredients from places overseas with sketchy controls on the quality/safety (did you hear about all the pet food recall? yeah.)

Grain-free foods tend to be a bit more expensive than foods with grains, simply because meat costs more than grains do. If it's out of range, as it is for many, then look for a good quality food with grains, like the ones I mentioned or the ones listed on the other thread you're looking at...

January 7th, 2009, 11:49 AM
Thanks so much there is a store right down the street from me that carries orijen. And its cheaper then the wellness too. It's amazing how much i have learned today. She recommended the Orijen or she used to use EVO on her dogs. The only question is i went to the dogfoodanalysis form and it said the hight protein might not be suitable for puppies but its great for adults? What do you think? She said that this is the closet food to putting your dog on a raw diet which i think is great, and its canaidian to boot!! let me know what you think..

January 7th, 2009, 11:54 AM
Personally, I don't put much stock in the high/low protein issue.

Think about it: what do carnivores eat in the wild? Meat. Meat=protein.

What do wolf cubs eat? What mom regurgitates or brings home for them. (That's meat too.) I just can't buy that protein is bad for carnivores...

What I DO think is that poor-quality grain-based protein is not good for dogs (like corn)'s just not as available to them nutritionally.

Another poster here, Merlin'sHope, has been feeding his rescued dogs a raw meat diet for years, and they've been young, old, sick, bad kidneys, bad livers, EVERYTHING that most vets would try to make you buy a certain diet for, and all of them thrived on the meat-based diet.

FWIW, our dogs get a pretty much 95% meat and bone-based diet, including the puppy. For a young dog, she's muscly and shiny and fit as a fiddle, our vets always rave about how she looks :D She was fed Orijen and about 10% raw from 12 weeks up until about 3 weeks ago, when we finally switched to all raw...she's about 8-9 months old now.

January 7th, 2009, 12:14 PM
Thank you i'm going to start her on Orijen, just seems to be the best for the price. Although i do plan on keeping her on dry food so this is as close as it gets to the raw diet which is great! Thanks again for all your input. i can see i'm going to learn alot from this place. Take care

January 7th, 2009, 12:28 PM
gbscri, if you don't mind, I think I'd like to ask a moderator to move this thread to the food forum, that ok with you? I think that would be a good place for other people to find it...:D

January 7th, 2009, 12:35 PM
Ya no problem maybe it can help someone else out over there!

January 7th, 2009, 03:26 PM
Thanks OP, and thanks, Ford!:thumbs up

January 9th, 2009, 10:36 AM
Thanks again for your help Bendyfoot... she does like this food better.
Quick question do you know how much to feed her? i've been giving her the same amount as i was when we fed her science diet.. The back of the orijen bag says how much to feed them for their age and expected weight? which obviously i don't know? Any input?

January 9th, 2009, 10:47 AM
You can start with the amount you were feeding before, but it's most likely that you won't need that much. Because the new food is nutritionally superior, your pup will be able to get MORE energy/nutrients out of LESS food (because most of the old food was filler).

Check what the bag says, and if it's pretty close in volume to what you were feeding before, then use that recommendation. The thing is, no two dogs, even if they're the same weight, age, breed, etc...are going to need exactly the same amount of food. In my laziness I am copy/pasting from another of my posts: :D

Q: I have a new dog. How much should I feed him?

A: The short answer is: as much as he needs to maintain a healthy body weight. How do you determine this? It takes some experimentation, because no two dogs will have exactly the same caloric needs even if they're the same weight, breed and/or age. For example, I have two medium-sized dogs (roughly 55-60 lbs each) eats 4 cups of dry food a day while the other eats only 1 1/2 cups of dry food a day (or, more recently, 1.5 vs 3 lbs of raw food per day).

Start by getting a "baseline" amount. If you're feeding dry or canned food, look at the label or bag for their feeding recommendations (usually cups/day or cans/day according to body weight). Use your scale at home or at the vets to determine your dog's current weight, and use an actual cup measurer to measure out the appropriate amount of food. Try feeding your dog this amount of food for a week or two. (Note: if the recommended amount is significantly different from what you are currently feeding, gradually reduce or increase the amount over several weeks).

As you start this food experiment, you must start monitoring your dog's body condition very closely, both with your hands and your eyes. Here's a link with some illustrations to help get you started: Have a look at body type #3.

Notice how the dog's waist has a nice tuck up towards the groin when viewed from the side, and an equally pretty waist when viewed from above. You cannot see ribs, except perhaps for the last few. Now, using your hands, feel your dog's rib cage. You should be able to easily feel the ribs, with just a small padding of flesh on top. If it's difficult or impossible to feel the ribs, you've got a dog that needs to shed a few pounds (see question below on "crash diets").

Don't be afraid to use your hands to check out other areas of your pet's body to get a sense of his overall "feel". I personally notice changes to Gracie's chest if she is putting on a bit of weight...she's a fluffy dog with lots of fur which can make it hard to feel ribs or see the waist, but the shorter fur on her chest makes it easier to notice when the flesh there is getting fatty.

Now that you know how your dog looks/feels, notice how it changes (if at all) as you feed your dog the portion suggested by the food manufacturer. Is your dog losing weight or feeling bony? Increase the amount of food you give at each meal or add a supplemental meal during the day. Is your dog starting to feel a tad too fleshy? Reduce the food a little bit for a period of time and see if that makes any changes.

Any change to the daily amount of food you give your pet should be made gradually. Eventually you will find the "ideal" amount of food for your pup and will quickly recognize if the amount needs to change (perhaps because your dog is getting more exercise and requires more calories).

Hannah's Mom
January 12th, 2009, 12:23 PM
New here also...a quick question on the same topic. My 4 mth old puppy, 11.3 kg has been on a few different foods (we had diarrhea issues). We switched her to Orijen puppy and it stopped but she has still been scratching a lot. We treated for fleas and now the vet feels it could be the food. I'm thinking of switching her to Orijen 6 fish as I've read chicken is a common allergen. Any thoughts on this? I know it's not a puppy formula but the nutritional breakdown is very similar to the Orijen puppy formula. Just like the OP, I want to give my girl the best start in life. Anyone?

January 12th, 2009, 12:26 PM
It could be the chicken...but grains are more common allergens than long has she been on the regular puppy Orijen? It can take up to three months to see changes associated with food allergies so if you only recently made the change it might be worth hanging tough for a little longer...

Hannah's Mom
January 12th, 2009, 04:31 PM
She's been on Orijen for 2 months. The breeder tried Wellness first and then switched the entire litter to Nutro max (wouldn't have been my 1st choice) We tried Natural balance Ultra 1st but she didn't like it and then went to Orijen. I'll watch out for grains. I'm wondering if it is in any treats we give her during training.
Thanks for the info!

January 12th, 2009, 07:10 PM
Aha. Yes, treats can be a sneaky culprit. When you're dealing with suspected allergies, you have to feed a very restricted diet, otherwise it becomes very difficult to figure out the allergen. If you need training treats, maybe try a 100% dried grains, SUPER yummy, and liver's not a common allegen. Think about other things your pup might be eating....

January 19th, 2009, 08:03 AM
Hello again LOL so Luna has been doing really good eating her meals when we put it down. We've been putting yogurt, and now some wet food in it to attract her. It has all been working until yesterday and today? she just wasn't interested all over again. now she will go in and eat the wet chuncks out and leave all the dry. do you guys think its the food or just her not like dry food?