My 18 week shih tzu mix has not been eating his food (Iams puppy food) very well. He is still gaining weight as I give him treats (too many) and kongs with peanut butter and cream cheese. However, I know all the treats are not that good for him so I want to cut back on the treats and have eat eat his food. I have found that he will eat a 1/3 cup in one sitting if I add some water to it. Otherwise I am lucky if he eats 1/3 cup in the course of the entire day--even when I have not given him any treats all day. Is there any reason why I should not add the water to his food? He has a very bad underbite, and I think that with his underbite and teething that the food is just too hard for him without the water. I know he is not a strong chewer as he takes about 2 weeks to eat a greenie and still has not finished his edible nylabone after about 2 months-- Thanks, Kristine
Some dogs just aren't big chewers. I have had one dog that just didn'dt chew on stuff, and another that would chew anything up within 10 minutes of getting it. Your dog's underbite has little to do with his ability to eat hard food, a dog doesn't chew food in the front of it's mouth but back between the molars, just like humans do. Definitely cut out the treats completely, even in the peanut butter and cheese. What is more likely is your dog is trianing you to feed him what he really wants, the treats and the tasties in the kong. And eatting those and not the balanced diet of dog food is like a kid eating a diet of popcorn and squeezy cheese instead of a balanced meal. Not healthy. He will not starve or even be unhealthy if he doesn't eat for a day or two. If he goes a week without eating, then you should worry. Also, shih tzus are small dogs that are small puppies. He may just not need that much food. Many food labels read that a dog that small on average only requires between 1/3 and 1 cup of food total a day. (That is a feeding guideline though). My sister in law has a 13 lb mixed breed peke that can't eat more than 1/2 cup a day or he starts gaining weight at a phenominal rate. There's nothing wrong with putting water in your dog's food (other than it may contribute to bad breath and will require you to brush your dog's teeth more often). But more importantly, you need to stop giving him treats and stick to dog food. You may also try swapping him over to a higher quality food like Chicken soup for hte dog lover's soul, Innova, Diamond, Nutro, Canidae, or something like that. (be warned, the higher quality the food, the less a dog will eat of it because the food tends to be more concentrated. So a dog may eat 2x as much purina dog chow as it does canidae or even iams)>
thanks for the advice. I am trying to cut down on treats--and just use them for training. Am I correct in understanding the previous poster that Iams is not as high of a quality food as Chicken soup, Nutro, wellness, ect.? I am thinking of switching to chicken soup once I get towards the end of the bag of Iams--is it really that much better quality--I was going to switch given what I have read about Iams and cruelty. thanks
while iams isn't as bad a food as some and it's very easy and convenient to get, it's not as good a food as the others I mentioned. For one thing, Iams does use corn as a main ingredient, and if a dog has food allergies, it's usually corn related. The other foods don't use corn.
I think it is okay to add water to the dog food. my lab can't eat it dry .. she gags on it. so a little water to make it like gravey with it is okay... maybe try can food with your dog and see if he/she likes it that way...
you may be feeding him too many treats that he isn't hungry enough to eat his food. mixing it with water is just fine. i have fed iams to all my dogs for the last 6 years. though it is not as good as wellness all my dogs have been doing wonderfully on it.