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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-23-2020, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
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Hello - we have a 12 week old Hav, our first dog. He is a very picky eater and I joined here to get help from more experienced owners.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-23-2020, 05:27 PM
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Welcome! I've had lots of dogs of different breeds through the years. Some are just picky eaters. What I've found is that they won't starve themselves! 😄 It is a worry to the human parents though. Our little Havanese, Harley, is 15 weeks, weighs 3.5 lbs., and she is picky too. She has a very small appetite and doesn't eat near the amount that the dog food company says she should be eating. Sometimes she eats about 1/2 of the lower amount stated on the bag. The vet says she is healthy and well-proportioned and not worried about it. She is feisty and plays, and she is so much fun. I'm trying not to stress too much about her not eating very much. It is hard to not give her people food, which I'm sure she would gobble up! Keep us posted on your little one! I'd love to know what you have success with. Havanese are so much fun and one of the BEST dogs! They are smart and playful and have so much personality! Have fun!
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-24-2020, 05:37 PM
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Deidre, seeing the delightful video of Harley playing, there is absolutely no way she is underfed.

Throw out the directions for amount on the food container. Put down enough food that a dog will eat in 5 minutes, then pick up the rest. For a Havanese puppy, that would be 3 times per day. Ricky is a 15 pound adult male and enthusiastically eats 1/3 cup twice a day, which is less than stated on the box, plus some steamed vegetables in between meals, . He is fit, strong, healthy and very active. His weight has been stable for over 4 years now.

DO NOT GIVE PEOPLE FOOD!

Ricky's Popi
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-24-2020, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by pickyhav View Post
Hello - we have a 12 week old Hav, our first dog. He is a very picky eater and I joined here to get help from more experienced owners.
I am curious what you are feeding and if you have tried other things.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-27-2020, 03:58 PM
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At 12 weeks, I’m not sure many puppies are truly picky. There are a few, but i think it’s less common in retrospect. If I had to guess, it’s probably a combination of things including adjusting to his new home, possibly not being food motivated (yet), still learning the mealtime routine, testing limits as to how far he can push before getting something better etc.

The most important thing is that you are the one who chooses what your puppy eats, not your puppy. It’s not mean, I promise. Whatever you give, he will most likely learn to enjoy it as long as he doesn’t get something “better” when he doesn’t eat. Evaluate the serving size with your vet if you need help (like Ricky’s Popi said, the serving sizes on packages are all wrong, and servings should be determined by calories, weight, and monitoring growth) and pick up the bowl when the meal is over, don’t leave it out. Overfeeding is really common, especially if you use the serving sizes on the package, and more likely to make him not hungry.

There are lots of threads on different options for food, to fit your nutrition philosophies, budget, and lifestyle, just remember it’s up to you Don’t give in to his cute puppy face, because he’d probably be perfectly happy eating pepperoni pizza for every meal and we know that’s terrible for him!
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-28-2020, 01:43 PM
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I personally have a more nuanced opinion about feeding because not all dogs will overeat given the opportunity. Some dogs will literally starve themselves, and with the advice of our vet and trainer, Oliver gets a measured portion twice a day, left out if need be. Often I throw out entire meals and I would do it more frequently if I took it away in 5 minutes. He cannot maintain a high enough weight to “make” him understand that if he doesn’t eat the food will be gone. Instead he’ll be grumpy, unable to sleep, and underweight. Free feeding can contribute to excess weight gain, yes. I disagree that it always causes pickiness. You do what you have to do. It took us till 15 months old to get him off puppy food because he simply would pick around any new food I introduced. Fresh food has helped but he’ll still go a day without eating here and there. Which is mostly fine, but occasionally the second day he’ll be more hungry. So we adjust. He is steady at 11-12 lbs and 11 inches tall. He’s sturdy at this weight because he has small bones—he’s got some muscle. But we can’t have him under this.

Monitor your dog’s weight, consult your vet before taking away uneaten food in 5-10 minutes as a 12 week old puppy is still growing. Also, watch what happens. If the shorter time encourages the puppy to eat, fine. If you notice you’ve taken 3 full servings away from your dog, you may need to be looser with your feeding. We give Oliver a couple of hrs before tossing it. As an adult he’s fed twice a day.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-28-2020, 04:06 PM
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I would never feed junk food or add excessive amounts of fresh healthy food to get a dog to eat. IMO, both of these are not good ideas. However, I would take the opinions of the dog into consideration when trying to find them a healthy balanced food to eat. Dogs instinctively want to eat. Perhaps they are trying to tell us something when they turn up their noses. It could be “mom you are feeding me too much”, “please give me some grain free food”, please give me some fresh food” or “please don’t feed me that same food for the rest of my life”. It could be any number of things which may be valid. They cannot talk so I try to listen to them. I guess I am selfish but I enjoy watching them enjoy their food and I am willing to put a reasonable amount of effort into finding something they like. I think dogs are all different just like people and what works for one may not work for another. We sometimes have to experiment a bit and I am okay with that.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-28-2020, 05:54 PM
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I would never feed junk food or add excessive amounts of fresh healthy food to get a dog to eat. IMO, both of these are not good ideas. However, I would take the opinions of the dog into consideration when trying to find them a healthy balanced food to eat. Dogs instinctively want to eat. Perhaps they are trying to tell us something when they turn up their noses. It could be “mom you are feeding me too much”, “please give me some grain free food”, please give me some fresh food” or “please don’t feed me that same food for the rest of my life”. It could be any number of things which may be valid. They cannot talk so I try to listen to them. I guess I am selfish but I enjoy watching them enjoy their food and I am willing to put a reasonable amount of effort into finding something they like. I think dogs are all different just like people and what works for one may not work for another. We sometimes have to experiment a bit and I am okay with that.
I feed fresh food especially made for dogs I meant. He prefers it to kibble and I don’t want to do raw or homemade.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-28-2020, 05:58 PM
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And idk about dogs and variety. I’ve heard mixed things about this. One is that the reason dogs can have stomach issues when you change food abruptly is that dogs do not eat the way humans do—that predictable meals are similar to predictable schedules and routines. Oliver gets totally out of sorts with food changes, even healthy ones. Maybe it depends on the dog
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-28-2020, 06:43 PM
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I feed fresh food especially made for dogs I meant. He prefers it to kibble and I don’t want to do raw or homemade.
I did not mean the fresh food you are feeding. That is complete and balanced. I was talking about throwing random fresh food extras into the diet that could cause imbalances, depending on what the extras are and how much is fed.
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