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New Puppy - Need help with food

Discuss ways to improve the quality of your dog's life and longevity through proper nutrition; a place for all of your questions and answers about feeding your pooch!

Please keep discussions fun, friendly, and helpful at all times. Non-informative posts criticizing a particular brand or another poster’s choice of food are not allowed in this Forum. References to any brand of food as "junk," "garbage," or other harsh names will be removed.

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Barked: Sun Jun 23, '13 7:43am PST 

I got a puppy on last Wednesday. His name is Tails. His age 3 or 4 months. The previous owners don't quite remember when he was born. His father is a Pomeranian and his mother is a mix of Pom and Shiatsu. I suppose mom's heritage is correct, she honestly looked a little big to be that mix, but that's what they said. I'm from Atlanta, but I'm in rural South Carolina visiting my parents. To make a long story short, I ended up taking the puppy because the owners were going to take him to the pound. It was my plan to get a Shiatsu pup from a neighbor who breeds them when she got a new litter, but I decided why not save this poor pup since we instantly fell in love him.

I grew up with dogs. We had several during my childhood, but we never had puppies. The last dog we had was an Irish Settler that we had for 10 years that passed when I was in college. Fast forward, I am in my forties and have not had a dog since. Ex-hub did not want one, so not only haven't I had a dog in a long time, but I know nothing about puppies.

Back to Tails. The owners were feeding him wet cat food. I have no idea why and it was some junk that was in a white packet with no brand name on it. Chicken and gravy and beef and gravy. They gave me the last two packets they had. I tried to use them to transition Tails onto IAMS dry puppy food, but there just wasn't enough of it and now he won't eat. I picked up some Natural Life Puppy Food (wet) and mixed it with some of the IAMs. No go. I got desperate last night and picked up some cat food (wet) and he ate more then he's eaten in days. I would like to feed him Wellness Puppy brand (I've determined that based on the research I've done and my budget), but I can't get it because it's not available where I am. I should be back in Atlanta in a week.

What should I do? Continue the cat food until I get back to Atlanta? Should I continue to mix it with the bit of Iams dry to try to get him off of it eventually? Discontinue the Iams completely since I'd prefer to feed him something else anyway? Or should I continue the Iams and plan to transition him to Wellness down the road? I want him to eat, but he's not a cat, so I feel bad about giving him food that's not made for him and mixing everything up.

He seems to be a very healthy puppy. He sleeps a lot, but he's fun and vigorous and loving. His stools are still solid even through the changes. I know I was not prepared to take him, but I just couldn't let them take him to the pound. The owner told me it was overcrowded and he surely would have been put to sleep, because they can't give away the puppies.

I'll get him to the vet as soon I return to Atlanta and my family is prepared to give him all the love we can, but this food thing is a mess. I'd appreciate suggestions.

Sorry to be so long. Thank you in advance.


Edited by author Sun Jun 23, '13 7:49am PST


Spooky Mulder
Barked: Sun Jun 23, '13 7:58am PST 
Because he's such a small dog, better him eat the canned cat food than nothing and risk hypoglycemia.

Frankly, there isn't anything inherently bad in cat food that can hurt a dog. The problem most people face, and why you hear its so bad for dogs, is because the dogs who do eat are usually snatching it from kitty housemates in ADDITION to what they are already eating... which of course can make them fat, or if they have special medical needs might cause problems. But cat food in and of itself is not harmful, and again, is better for him to be eating than nothing.

Everything else sounds find. Bide your time until you can get something better. You don't have to feed the Iams if you don't want to, but if you do, then feed it out until you get rid of it and wait for the final switch to Wellness.

Barked: Sun Jun 23, '13 6:23pm PST 
Thank you Mulder. I feel better about him eating something. I also bottle fed him some water today, because he doesn't seem to drink much. His nose is wet and does urinate 4 or 5 times a day so I'm sure he's fine. I can't wait for him to see the Vet. He hasn't had any visits.


Got food? I- can be bought ya- know....
Barked: Sun Jun 23, '13 6:43pm PST 
No shots!?
Get him to a local Vet for first shots now. Explain that you need your records to take with you back to your home in Atlanta.
A weaned puppy is very vulnerable to disease, and if they did vaccinate him they probably didn't vaccinate Mom either, he has zero immunity.
I'm far less concerned with him eating cat food and very worried about Parvo and Distemper.

Where did I bury- that bone- again...
Barked: Sun Jun 23, '13 7:40pm PST 
Definitely stick to the wet food since its most like what he is used to. Since he's going through a lot of stressful change (moving homes etc), best thing is to keep it similar. If you can, get a food that is higher protein since that is what cat food is. Try to get something that has real meat or meats as the first ingredient(s). This will make the food more palatable for your little dude. I don't know what is available to you but my friend has the pickiest jack russell ever! and she likes the Natural Choice flex trays.

Good luck, hope you find something that works way to go

Member Since
Barked: Thu Jun 27, '13 1:05am PST 
Look for high quality, whole muscle proteins, Don't settle for nasty fillers, and know what the ingredients are... good luck friend! smile

Barked: Sat Jun 29, '13 8:40pm PST 
Thanks so much everyone. We came back home a few days early and he had his Vet visit today. I transitioned him to Wellness wet puppy food. He really likes it. He loves the the Wellness puppy treats too. I'm pleased with the ingredients. It smells like human food which is nice. smile

Barked: Tue Jul 2, '13 5:12pm PST 
So it's 2 days later and I'm not so sure about Wellness Puppy Food. Today was the first full day on Wellness for my pup and he's had pretty runny stools. Now he seems to have an upset stomach and is generally miserable. He was even dragging his bottom before he pooped which he never does and he wouldn't let me wipe his bottom after. He actually ran into his crate which he's never done. Ugh!

He had dewormer (Pryrantel or Strongid) on Saturday. I've been seeing worms with almost every stool (He goes at least 4 times a day). I was thinking the dewormer could be causing the stomach upset. I'm not sure.

Should I continue the food or assume it's the food and not the dewormer? How long do they poop worms? He's scheduled for more dewormer in 3 weeks.

Forgot to add. Stools are extremely smelly.


Edited by author Tue Jul 2, '13 5:16pm PST


Barked: Tue Jul 2, '13 6:39pm PST 
Could be the worms, the de-wormer, changing foods, or all of the above. Try giving your pup some canned plain canned pumpkin (not the pie filling). Pumpkin can help firm up loose stool. Also adding some probiotics might help too. Good luck!

Barked: Tue Jul 2, '13 7:06pm PST 
Thanks. Probiotics? In what form? I Googled and found pet snacks and supplements.

In hindsight I clearly should have waited on changing the food. I feel like such an idiot. red face
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