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Help! My Puppy is Not Chewing his Food

Sherman'sMom
July 3rd, 2012, 10:51 AM
I have gone full circle with my Brittany spaniel since I got him. I started raw in the evening and no grain high protein kibble in the morning (in hopes to free feed throughout the day, like that's possible with my glutton). I went to a store bought raw (pets 4 life) and struggled for the past month or so to get him to eat the food. I tried every flavor, tried switching meals around and gave up and started making my own raw again.
I'm not sure if it is because the store bought stuff was just mush but he is not chewing his food. He has always gotten chicken necks as a treat (usually frozen) more recently he has started to chew them less and swallow them almost whole. I figure I may have to stop giving them to him as I am scared they will get stuck in his throat. since he is 7 months old now and I want him to chew for the health of his teeth I started giving him bigger chunks of meat with his supper (I give 70+%meat 10+% bone and an offal/veg mush, sometimes a little plain unsweetened yogurt). First meal like this he licked the mush off the chunks of meat tried chewing a little and gave up looking at me like I was doing something wrong:( I eventually ended up blending the meat and he ate it.
Last night he had turkey neck for the first time he barely chewed it. but I thought at least he ate it and didn't choke. 4 hours later, while we were reading in bed Sherman threw up. There were giant chunks of whole neck that came up along with pretty much everything else he ate. I'm guessing he threw up the neck because his body couldn't digest the huge chunks of boney meat.
So know I have finished with my novella of background info, does anyone have any ideas how I should continue with this? Should I freeze the neck (this one was semi thawed)? Should I chop his food smaller and gradually get to bigger chunks? Should I just throw him a slab of meat for him to swallow and throw up, cuz I figure he will try to swallow it whole if at all?
I'm getting pretty frustrated, I need help!! :wall:
on a side note if I can get this sorted out I plan on quitting the kibble when this bag is done as I was only doing it (against everyone's advice) to free feed him through the day, and since he would devour the entire bag if i offered it, free feeding is out of the question.

Choochi
July 3rd, 2012, 01:05 PM
chicken necks are pretty small to expect a Brittany to actually chew. I wouldn't be worried, even if she throws it back up and then eats it again. That's just what they do. They can digest the partially chewed chicken necks just fine.

You can try looking for large turkey necks and give those frozen. That would be a more appropriate size for a dog your size if you want some chewing action to help with keeping teeth clean. You should also consider getting large bones just for chewing, like beef knuckles or leg bones. Dogs do need to digest some bones and they do need to chew some to keep those teeth clean, but that isn't always a 2 for 1 deal.

Sherman'sMom
July 3rd, 2012, 04:02 PM
It was a 5 oz turkey neck that he swallowed (in 2-3" chunks) and threw up. Guess I will try it frozen next time.
He has recreation bones, knuckles, and hoofs should that be enough chewing for his teeth? he is always chewing them, and anything else he can grab and chew before we take it from him. Which is why I find it weird that he don't want to chew his food. The only explanation I have is he's a weirdo!
Food wise though should I give just him his bone ground with his meat for his meals or should I continue trying to give bigger pieces? maybe a couple bigger pieces amongst the ground?

cassblonde
January 17th, 2013, 12:17 PM
He has recreation bones, knuckles, and hoofs should that be enough chewing for his teeth? He is always chewing them, and anything else he can grab and chew before we take it from him. Which is why I find it weird that he don't want to chew his food. The only explanation I have is he's a weirdo!
Food wise though should I give just him his bone ground with his meat for his meals or should I continue trying to give bigger pieces? maybe a couple bigger pieces amongst the ground?

General Comment:

I'm not sure how big a dog your dog will end up being but as an experienced raw feeder I'm not sure I would bother with small chunks of anything for anything other than a small dog(Shih Tzu or smaller).

Short Answer:

Why doesn't your dog chew his food? That's actually a pretty easy question to answer; because he doesn't need to. With a raw fed dog you see why they have the teeth they do in action. Dogs only need to break down what they're eating until it's small enough to swallow. If they fail to do that or eat to fast they hack it up and try again.

If you look at a dog's teeth you'll see all they have are cutting teeth so all they are really capable of is chopping up the mean and bone until it's small enough to swallow down. Extended chewing is for flat surfaced teeth.

In My Experience:

I'm currently raw feeding two dogs; a 5 year old lab/shep/husky mix who weighs about 60 lbs and a 4 year old Shih Tzu mix that weight about 20 lbs(he's about 5 lbs heavier than I would like him to be). My Shih Tzu gets chicken necks and as far as I can tell he chews on them to soften them up and then pretty much swallows them whole. He also gets chicken thigh on which I ribbon the meat and manages to break down the bone just fine. I'm transitioning him to larger food from eating the ground mix I used to feed my almost toothless 14 year old cat who has since passed. There is no need to feed most dogs ground food.

When I switched Susie(my lab mix) to raw at 4 months I did a lot of reading and she transitioned fine is is a happy healthy 5 year old today. I feed prey model raw which means I try to make sure she gets muscle meat, bone and organs over time rather than trying to feed a balanced meat every single day. So I'll feed her pork meat for a couple of days, then a chicken quarter another day and then a ground organ/tripe mix I buy from a local raw dog food supplier. Sometimes if there is a good sale(anything under $2 lb is a good deal, under $1 lb is better) on something big like turkeys then I give her the whole turkey until she finishes it off and then she would get a feeding of the organ mix. Balance over time.

Summary:

I hope I helped. You'll find over time you'll be able to relax a bit and you won't worry so much. I was super careful and worried a lot when I started out as well and remember how careful I wanted to be. Do your research and be confident you are making the right choice for your dog.

Barkingdog
January 17th, 2013, 04:29 PM
Is your puppy getting any food supplement so it will get a balance diets?

Rgeurts
January 17th, 2013, 04:43 PM
Is your puppy getting any food supplement so it will get a balance diets?

The diet she is being fed is a balanced diet :)

Barkingdog
January 17th, 2013, 07:46 PM
I have gone full circle with my Brittany spaniel since I got him. I started raw in the evening and no grain high protein kibble in the morning (in hopes to free feed throughout the day, like that's possible with my glutton). I went to a store bought raw (pets 4 life) and struggled for the past month or so to get him to eat the food. I tried every flavor, tried switching meals around and gave up and started making my own raw again.
I'm not sure if it is because the store bought stuff was just mush but he is not chewing his food. He has always gotten chicken necks as a treat (usually frozen) more recently he has started to chew them less and swallow them almost whole. I figure I may have to stop giving them to him as I am scared they will get stuck in his throat. since he is 7 months old now and I want him to chew for the health of his teeth I started giving him bigger chunks of meat with his supper (I give 70+%meat 10+% bone and an offal/veg mush, sometimes a little plain unsweetened yogurt). First meal like this he licked the mush off the chunks of meat tried chewing a little and gave up looking at me like I was doing something wrong:( I eventually ended up blending the meat and he ate it.
Last night he had turkey neck for the first time he barely chewed it. but I thought at least he ate it and didn't choke. 4 hours later, while we were reading in bed Sherman threw up. There were giant chunks of whole neck that came up along with pretty much everything else he ate. I'm guessing he threw up the neck because his body couldn't digest the huge chunks of boney meat.
So know I have finished with my novella of background info, does anyone have any ideas how I should continue with this? Should I freeze the neck (this one was semi thawed)? Should I chop his food smaller and gradually get to bigger chunks? Should I just throw him a slab of meat for him to swallow and throw up, cuz I figure he will try to swallow it whole if at all?
I'm getting pretty frustrated, I need help!! :wall:
on a side note if I can get this sorted out I plan on quitting the kibble when this bag is done as I was only doing it (against everyone's advice) to free feed him through the day, and since he would devour the entire bag if i offered it, free feeding is out of the question.

A whole turkey neck sound too big for a puppy , maybe chicken necks would be better. I was not not to feed necks to dogs as they could choke of them.
Do other people feed the necks to their dogs? I gave Marty a beef bone and he just played with it for a few seconds and got bored.

Loki Love
January 17th, 2013, 08:35 PM
Cutting the food up into smaller pieces will not encourage your pup to chew - I'd stick with larger pieces and hand feed if necessary, forcing your pup to chew and gnaw the large pieces from your hand :)