9 week old Pembroke not interested in meals

Discussion in 'Puppy Feeding' started by harveythecorgi, Apr 14, 2013.

  1. harveythecorgi

    harveythecorgi Junior Member

    Hi there!

    I have a 9 week old Pembroke that has not been eating regularly. When I feed him the dry food (Artemis) by itself, he sniffs it and walks away. Since he wasn't very responsive towards the dry food by itself, I added in yoghurt and chicken slices to try and entice him. Even with these added "goodies", he still isn't eating regularly.

    I have tried the "tough love" method where I leave the food there for 15minutes and take it away if he doesn't eat it. Even with that, he still ends up disinterested in breakfast/lunch and gobbles up his dinner. On average, he is eating only ONE meal a day. I'm VERY worried that he might not be getting enough nutrition as a puppy!

    I've had my Pembroke for almost 3 weeks now and I have not been able to get him onto a regular meal routine of 3 times a day. I have a feeling he only eats when he feels like it or when he's absolutely hungry.

    At the moment, he is weighing 4.2Kg for a 9 week old puppy. He's stil active and loves to play.
    I'm feeding him 1/2 cup of Artemis dry food PER MEAL + yoghurt + some chicken slices.

    Is there anything I'm doing wrong ??? Or is something wrong with my puppy ? Please help me out, my fellow corgi owners. It will be very much appreciated!

  2. Michael Romanos

    Michael Romanos Active Member Staff Member Moderator

    I bet you are feeling dismayed that your beautiful Corgi puppy is not 'digging' into his food and eating faster than he should.
    Obviously you acquired this puppy three weeks before he should have left his mother/"nest" to go to another home and this may have something to do with his disinterest in food.
    Here are a few things you could try:

    Change of diet - what was he given by the breeder? It can often take a hit or miss aspect to finding the kind of food your Corgi will appreciate within the spectrum of appropriate food. You could introduce him to 'wet' processed dog food rather than dry. Wet food in the form of canned or roll are more tastier than dry.
    Never give him 100% dry in any case. I always mix supplementary food with the dry food that my Corgus have been given. And this is usually fresh raw veggies, cooked boiled carbos (rice,potato,pasta) cooked diced fresh meat, cooked kernals of corn. They certainly add flavour and interest.

    Mealtimes - don't resist hand feeding. Mealtimes esp for puppies can be apportioned meals up to six times a day. Install him in the kitchen as you prepare family meals etc this might invigorate his appetite

    I hope the yoghurt is 100% natural. Try home-made popcorn - unsalted and unbuttered or lightly buttered - makes a healthy, tasty and usually sought after treat which can promote appetite.

    Michael Romanos likes this
  3. harveythecorgi

    harveythecorgi Junior Member

    Hi Michael,

    The puppy would have been with me for 3 weeks this friday. I picked him up when he was 7.5 weeks (I know it's usually meant to be 8weeks).

    In regards to meal formulas, I have tried wet canned food from "Advance" mixed with his "Artemis" dry food and he still wasn't keen on the food. The fact that my puppy does not adore wet food really surprised me.

    The yoghurt should be 100% natural, made from Goat's milk with no added preservatives/flavours.

    The breeder that I got him from was feeding him a mixture of dry dog food, pumpkin, chicken mince and wet dog food. When I brought Harvey for his first health check, our vet told us that he should only be fed dry food throughout most of his life and feeding him other sorts of food would be considered "fast-food/junk" to a dog.

    I understand at this stage, it's almost impossible to feed him pure dry food. I have tried all the different methods that people have recommended on corgi forums and it hasn't turned out very fruitful.

    Formulas I've tried so far include:

    - adding wet food to dry food
    - adding warm water to soften his dry food
    - hiding chicken slices underneath the dry food (he tends to dig for the chicken and only eats the chicken bits)

    I believe I'm feeding him a premium dog food because the first 3 ingredients on "Artemis" are meat (not by-products or maize or corn).

    I'm really at a loss on what to do. Do you think it's the brand of food I'm feeding him?

    Also, is his weight of 4.2kg normal for a puppy his age?
  4. TheChubbyOne

    TheChubbyOne Senior Member

    8 weeks is actually the bare minimum. Puppies usually go at 10 weeks for good breeders. Your vet is wrong about the nothing other than dry food part. You could add boiled minced meat to his food to enhance the taste, I usually pour in some warm water from the boiling to soften and warm the food. For such a young puppy, his food might be too big/hard for him.
  5. Michael Romanos

    Michael Romanos Active Member Staff Member Moderator

    My maths and deduction were not meant to be that bad - a nine week old puppy acquired three weeks ago equals an exchange at around six weeks!!!!!

    With due respect, your vet is incorrect at least to some extent. Many processed dry foods and some processed wet foods surpass AAFCO standards - though the very best of dry food is superior to the very best wet food. Dogs should never be given 100% dry as their standard meals and there are health reasons for this so supplementary food is applicable and these are not anywhere near equivalent to junk if they are indeed appropriate, but the very opposite, and are complementary. One of my Corgi's most regular supplements is a NZ dog roll called Chunky and this also surpasses AAFCO standards but almost every day he gets a little of at least one type of veggie raw or cooked appropriately. Dogs are not the meat eaters you might think they are and absolutely need veggies -all regular premium dry food will of course contain fairly high levels of veggies.

    Apart from my summation that kitchen dwelling might promote eating, having another dog around will probably also flick the switch. So get a supervised neighbour's or friend's dog around and this could stimulate the food appreciation of your puppy.

    Michael Romanos likes this
  6. harveythecorgi

    harveythecorgi Junior Member

    Appreciate all the recommendations guys! I figured he responds a little better with cooked chicken. I'll try a mixture of dry food/cooked chicken/yoghurt for the next 2 days. Hopefully Harvey will respond well.
  7. gameintruder

    gameintruder Member

    I gave my puppy Wellness dry food and mix it with a little wet food. I also wet his kibbles with very warm water before adding the wet food. Sometimes he gets a little bored of the same thing so I add a little sour cream to his meal, or cream cheese. So far so good. You may want to try Wellness, it might entice your puppy to eat with a little wet food. I use Caesars Lamb. It's the only one he'll eat. :wiggle:

    My puppy went on a hunger strike for a few weeks on and off and Wellness is the only thing that he enjoys eating now.

    You never know. Good luck. :itch:
  8. Louwants

    Louwants Senior Member

    He could also be teething and his gums are tender. Take all the suggestions, try them and moisten his food. He's not ready for real hard food yet.
  9. harveythecorgi

    harveythecorgi Junior Member

    Thanks for the suggestions! I believe mine is definitely not on a "hunger-strike". I fed him dry food(added with boiled water) + cooked chicken + yoghurt .. He ate up all the chicken bits enthusiastically and left the dry food in the bowl. It's just so worrying because I know he can't live on cooked chicken alone and that's pretty much the only thing he's keen on eating.

    I have attached a picture of his food this morning. Can anyone tell me if the dry food appears soft enough?
    View attachment 7455

    Attached Files:

  10. Michael Romanos

    Michael Romanos Active Member Staff Member Moderator

    The softening of dry food for the benefit of a puppy's digestive system is merely the art of adding a little of warm water to his dry food and waiting a few minutes for the water to filtrate before presenting the food to your dog. It should never be a soaking but just a little softening of the kibble. You can discard this aspect when the puppy reaches six months of age. The process does not make the food any more attractive to a dog and should not prevent giving a puppy an ordinary hard biscuit every so often.

    Most common thing to do with dogs who dislike or go off their food is to gradually change their diet - there are dozens and dozens of alternatives that are appropriate.

    I had a story published a year or so ago on a dog who went without any food for 58 days (but not water), so a few days or so of little food intake may not be as serious as you might think.

    Michael Romanos likes this
  11. Peggy

    Peggy Senior Member

    It isn't necessary to add anything into it, soak it with warm water, it might be too hard for him. And he might be used to kibble soaked in water.

    Adding things will only turn him into a picky eater. It's your job to pick a good food and his job to eat it.

    IMO, he should be eating at least twice a day, and preferably 3 times a day right now. Try smaller meals.

    What was the breeder feeding him? You might want to get the same food and slowly mix in and transition him to what you want him to eat.

    6 weeks is a bit young to leave mom and littermates, maybe he didn't learn to eat alone, might be used to littermates eating with him.

  12. gameintruder

    gameintruder Member

    I don't know. But the way I see it, it seems that your puppy just doesn't like his dry food. And no matter what you mix it with, he won't be tempted to eat it except for the extra little goodies (chicken, yogurt). I know, I've been there. At least he's eating the chicken, my puppy wouldn't care for it at the time he was having his issues. I would add yogurt, cottage cheese, cream cheese, sweet potatoes, etc., and add warm water to soften the kibbles. Woody just wouldn't touch it.

    I also bought him Eukanuba, Science Diet, Iams, etc.. It's expensive. But sometimes you have to find the right dry food that will tempt him to eat it, even if it's with wet food or whatever else you want to add. The point is for him to eat it and be healthy.

    Just my 2 cents..
  13. Peggy

    Peggy Senior Member

    That sounds a bit better.

    I disagree with your vet. At the very least soak the food. If he's used to having things mixed in then I'd try as much as possible to do what the breeder was doing.

    However, dry foods are balanced diets and if you choose to feed only dry food that's your choice and your dog will be fine. Many people feed only dry foods. My dogs get dry kibble with a little warm water added. If I were going to add anything it would be yogurt, or some raw food.

    Ah, you've covered most of the bases.

    I'm not familiar with the food, so I can't say, but you're on the right track with those comments.

    It might be the food, maybe he doesn't like the taste. As I said, try to get the brand the breeder was feeding and try that.

    I don't do metric conversions (sorry!) but a puppy should weigh one pound per his age in weeks. So 9 weeks, he should weigh 9 lbs. now. This is up to about the 4-5 mos. range.

  14. harveythecorgi

    harveythecorgi Junior Member

    Hi Everyone!

    I really appreciate all the feedback you have been providing me! My Corgi is definitely feeling the love from this community.

    On a good note, I tried a new way of presenting his food to him for dinner and he gobbled it up. I decided to scatter his food over an area of the floor because I noticed that he is a lot more enthusiastic when I accidentally drop his dry food on the floor. The dog trainer from puppy class suggested this method to me and she assured me that it would not have any behavioural consequences.

    It has worked well for dinner. Not sure if it's due to the fact that he's super hungry after puppy class. But I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this new feeding method would continue to work for Harvey.

  15. Louwants

    Louwants Senior Member

    If he continues to prefer to eat this way, then get one of those treat dispensing balls, and put his food in it. As he rolls it around, a kibble will fall out and he gets his reward.
  16. harveythecorgi

    harveythecorgi Junior Member

    Hi Lou Ann,

    Thanks for the suggestion. I'll definitely consider getting that. However, are you suggesting this as a long-term feeding method or should I just use it temporarily?

    I am quite worried that his poor interests towards food will continue even into adulthood.

  17. harveythecorgi

    harveythecorgi Junior Member


    Just an update. I know Harvey is hungry enough to finish the food .. However he does not concentrate on eating when the food's presented to him.

    For instance, he'll have a few bites of the food, then walk away from it and do something else .. we'll have to hoax him and call him back to the food in order for him to continue eating. This process will repeat several times until he finally finishes it after considerable hoaxing and persuasion.

    Is there anything I can do if the dog gets easily distracted while eating? Or is this some behavioural issue which I do not understand?

    Appreciate all your feedback!
  18. Louwants

    Louwants Senior Member

    You may be lucky enough to have what I call a grazer. My first corgi was like that. She really didn't want to eat at a certain time, so I finally gave up and would put her ration out for the day and let her eat it as she wanted.
    But I would strongly suggest you use the dispenser as a last resort. Having your dog on a set feeding schedule will help with potty training. He is still quite young, and you need to set the ground rules about his feeding. I imagine, he'll start showing interest in his food in time. Just do want you are doing, patient but firm, and if there is a lot of activity going on when you are feeding him, maybe feed him after or just before all it all starts.
  19. harveythecorgi

    harveythecorgi Junior Member

    Oh no, if he turns out to be a grazer .. wouldn't that bad for him? i.e. He wouldn't be getting sufficient nutrition at his age (or even throughout his life).

    I have been sticking to 3 fixed meal times daily since I brought him home. I certainly hope he'll pick up interest in his food real soon.

    Thank you !
  20. Louwants

    Louwants Senior Member

    He would get enough nutrition, don't worry about that. If he eats all of his food for the day. My first corgi wasn't food obsessed like most corgi are, and she never got people food. The best part was she was always around 26 pounds. But, she was a big girl, hitting the height and length at the max.

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