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She won’t eat all of her food. Am I giving too much?

asked 2018-06-13 09:01:08 -0500

Poppy is my 3 lb fur baby. She is 3 months old and is a chihuahua. I adopted her earlier this week and I’m still learning about her feeding behavior and needs. I first started off giving her 3/4 a cup twice a day because according to the weight scale on the back of her food bag (puppy specific food...and for small breeds) this was the amount recommended. After failing to finish her breakfast I tried giving her the remainder of the food 4 hours later. She picked at the food but didn’t finish it. I then reduced the portion size to 1/2 a cup for dinner. She again didn’t finish it. Then this morning I gave her a little less than 1/2 a cup and she still didn’t finish it. How small of a portion size should I be feeding her? I’m worried she isn’t getting enough nutrients.

In addition to her food I give her small treats after going potty and before going in her crate (as a training method). The treats are a SMALL and only slightly bigger than one kibble of her food.

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What is the food? I have two poodles and they are 54 lbs and the recommendation is 1 cup twice a day. Don't force her to eat. It is great if your dog self-regulates. Let her eat all she wants and then pick-up the bowl.

Cynthia F.'s profile imageCynthia F. ( 2018-06-13 12:31:10 -0500 )edit

5 Answers

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answered 2018-06-14 22:45:41 -0500

What kind of food is it? I find it hard to believe that a 3 months old chi who is 3lbs should eat 2 x 3/4 cup. That seems excessive.

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answered 2018-06-14 10:15:01 -0500

I've had a few picky dogs under 10lbs and under 5lbs. I find many times they aren't a fan of the kibble or food. 3lbs for that age seems normal though so don't freak out yet. Especially soon after you bring a dog into your home you will need to learn their tastes. My recommendation? try mixing her kibbles with some dog friendly veggies, try some dog friendly fruits. I've also had a dog that really enjoyed kibbles mixed with a crushed dried liver snack.

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answered 2018-06-13 12:38:48 -0500

I'm not a puppy expert. However, my adult dog who weighs a bit over 15 lbs. should only get 1/2 cup twice a day, so I'm not alarmed that puppy couldn't eat that much or more, even though you were told she ate 1 & 1/2 cups per day. Puppies generally eat three meals daily until 14-18 weeks old. This link may help. https://www.petmd.com/dog/puppycenter...dgfeedingschedulefor_puppies https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/hea...

If she's seen a vet, they could also advise you, probably willing to advise over the phone. If she hasn't seen a vet, it may be good to schedule an appointment soon. Often, they'll offer specials for first time puppy exam in establishing a relationship.

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answered 2018-06-13 12:33:47 -0500

It is good for dogs to self-regulate. The biggest health problem dogs face is obesity. Do not force her to eat. Let her eat what she wants and then pick-up the food. Sounds like a smart dog that knows her limits. I had a JRT that was like this and never had a weight issue with him.

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answered 2018-06-13 22:01:13 -0500

3lbs is pretty small still, so I agree with Cynthia that it might be Poppy's natural limit for now. She'll definitely eat more as she grows and if you still have doubts though, you can try her on a different brand to see if there's any difference in her appetite. Sometimes puppies need time to transition between brands. However if you notice lethargic behaviour / low energy it's definitely a good idea to consult with a vet.

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