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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since I brought my Moose home at 8 weeks, getting him to eat has been a struggle. I feel I've tried everything and yet he will not eat consistently full meals to keep a decent weight...which as a puppy is SO important.

Background -- I started him on Purina Pro Sport, which is what the breeder started him on. He stopped eating it (like legit skipping meals/sniffing and walking away) at 11 weeks, so I switched to Orijen large breed puppy (ancient grains) (which I'd secretly wanted to feed him for the high quality protein). He liked and ate that decently, but soon needed toppers, cheese, crushed beef liver treats to entice him to eat. I even cooked bacon, fish and chicken to mix in.

At 13 weeks, I grew concerned at his lack of appetite and the vet said to try Fromm. I did. At first he loved the kibble (hated the wet canned stuff). After 3 days he wouldn't eat again. After trying the rounds of toppers and mix ins I went back to Orijen...gobbled it up.

We've yo-yo-ed back and forth a few weeks. I told myself, if he's hungry, he'll eat. And just put down what was for breakfast/lunch/dinner and if he ate, he ate, if not, fine. Some days he picked. Others, he scarfed down 2x much without a blink, regardless of the food.

I'm now at 18 weeks and he again is not eating his meals and is getting quite ribby. I know vizslas are lean, but I really do think he needs more meat on his bones.

I've tried wet/dry, cold/warm, name the mix-in I've tried it -- Turkey, duck, lamb, beef, chicken. I've tried doing off leash first to build an appetite, as well as games of tug or training. Worked sometimes, but not consistently. I've tried puzzle games - he doesn't get into them. I've tried working kibble into training or outdoors...he spits it out. I've tried even using the good stuff for training -- if he's not hungry, he legit won't eat it if offered as a reward.

I even made satin balls (though I cooked because I don't trust raw meat -- used grass fed beef). he wouldn't even eat those initially when I tried to do tricks or just give them to him around 5pm. Eventually at like 8pm, he ate 6 balls. But then wouldn't eat dinner. The only thing he really ate today was a Bubba Burger (pure Angus beef) with rice and carrots around 2pm. He didn't eat the boiled chicken and rice I made for him for dinner, thinking maybe it's an upset stomach.

I let him run off leash at least an hour per day or more with additional walks and sniffs and socialization (including day care).

Over the past 2 weeks he is tired in the morning...wants to sleep until 9 or 10 unless he has to pee...so if we potty at 7 or 8, he crawls back into his downstairs donut bed until 9 or 10. Not even bacon get him up to eat breakfast.

His poos only recently have been good solid, followed by mushy/soft/runny, which makes me think there's something wrong. I honestly don't understand how he's pooping so much out given the lack of food he's taking in!! His energy levels whenever we go outside, off leash or for a walk are total vizsla normal - you'd never know he wasn't eating with the energy he has.

Any ideas? Do you think he has a food allergy? Just a very strict self regulator? Any advice welcome. I really am at a loss for why he won't eat more to sustain his activity level :(

Pics from the past weekend. He's not emancipated by any means, but seems too skinny and boney for a growing puppy with so much nutritional needs to grow.

(he does drink water and doesn't seem dehydrated...if he wants to drink water at 11pm I let him...figure I'd rather wake up to let him pee than have a dehydrated pup if he's thirsty)
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Have you tried any probiotics? just checking based on the poop situation you described. I agree that especially for a growing puppy it would be very important to eat regularly and also I do agree with the belief that a huge percentage of a dogs heart is controlled by the health of their gut. So chances are he is not eating well as something is not 100% in the tummy area.
I understand that you are afraid of raw (initially I was too, but then I changed my mind), but you could try things like freeze dried green tripe, which is full of probiotics. I finished the show championship of Bende using the brand below, the show ring can be pretty nerve wrecking and when I started using this, he stopped having any of the typical nervous stomach challenges young dogs often have during competitions. Let me know fi you need other probiotics recommendations too.

Thank you! I'll try this. I have been giving him a cup of frozen yogurt with probiotics and digestive enzymes made for dogs, the only yogurt he likes (I tried plain human yogurt and he took one lick and decided he didn't like it). I usually give him 1/day as "dessert" after he eats dinner. This is the brand -- he loves them and they have probiotics in them (just very expensive...).

 
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