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View Full Version : One meal a day for an 18 week old puppy?



Caraline
4th May 2007, 02:09 AM
My 18 week old Beau is the picture of health. He weighs in at hefty 5.7 kilograms (about 12 lbs), though does not look fat at all. This puts him at .7 of a kilogram heavier than his male litter mates who live with their breeder. He is a great little eater and will polish off just about anything I put in front of him, provided it is at dinner time.

When he was 12 weeks old he refused his midday meals so we dropped that. Now for the past week he has been refusing his breakfast & I am wondering if I should simply drop it, or just persevere more. He will drink a little milk or an eggflip, but that is about it, and even then he is pretty half-hearted about it.

So what do you all reckon? Just I drop breckie & not worry about it, or battle on. In a nicely rounded, thriving puppy, how important is 2 meals per day?

The picture below (monstering uncle Sonny) was taken last week and it is probably the best one I have, to show what his body shape is like.

http://users.bigpond.net.au/fiorfein/photography/sonnybeau1.jpg

Cathy T
4th May 2007, 02:18 AM
Caraline - he looks great!! No advice though on the feeding. I know that when mine lost interest in breakfast we changed to a biscuit and some veggies and fruits and fed an actual meal for dinner. Now that they are on Primal they get a little in the a.m. with some veggies and fruits and a regular course at dinner time.

Caraline
4th May 2007, 04:43 AM
I know that when mine lost interest in breakfast we changed to a biscuit and some veggies and fruits and fed an actual meal for dinner.

That is what I am considering doing. My other 3 get a biscuit & the Boxers eat raw fruit & veg as well. Unfortunately my Cavaliers will only eat their fruit & veg if grated & mixed through their meat. I offer a little every day in the hopes that they will acquire a taste for it. In fact Beau snatches fruit out of Scarlett's mouth, runs off with it but won't eat it. The little rat!

Kodee
4th May 2007, 07:07 AM
Were you reading my mind today!! I had that exact thought with kodee! She is only eating about an 1/8th of her breakfast and that is after she is up about 2 or 3 hrs! But when she does that she eats a full 1/2 c topped with chicken and cheese at dinner and an hr later runs and sits in the laundry room where she knows the cookies are :rolleyes: She was 13 lbs at 20 wks. I stopped fussing a few days ago as she is drooling like mad teething, is eating dinner, gets a cookie and downs green beans throughout the day as rewards (hey I have a healthy one that thinks they are chocolate). For me, I am making it and leaving it (I know I shouldnt) for her to eat or not for about 2 hrs. When it looks yucky I throw it out, give her a cookie late afternoon and dinner at her normal time. She goes back to the vet in 2 wks for her spay and pretty much has been doing this since her last weigh in. So as long as her gain in on target when I go in 2wks, I am not going to sweat the fact she is not a morning eater. She has a treat ball with dry kibble so if she was truely hungry I assume she would make use of it (but she doenst)!

cavalicious
4th May 2007, 09:11 AM
Every second day or so Ollie refuses to eat breakfast! I've been giving him plain dry food until he eats it all the time, then we add extras again. It's getting so annoying because I want to see him eating meat and vegetables again but don't want a fussy eater. Dinner is always gobbled up though

Karlin
4th May 2007, 09:38 AM
One thought is that he is at prime teething stage when they may change around their eating habits... I would not remove the second meal for a puppy that young. If the pup doesn't eat it I'd pick it up but I wouldn't stop offering it. Breeder Laura Lang says really only by 6-7 months might you have a puppy that could be moved to one meal a day. I would guess puppies may just not feel like the meal at the moment but will likely start eating again. One meal a day for a puppy so young would be kind of like young children skipping breakfast and hardly touching lunch -- not a good habit, probably. You could always try feeding in a treat ball if using kibble, for the morning meal for example. Maybe other breeders will have a perspective but I'd think barely over 4 monthsd was too young to pull a meal -- at that age the pup should only really have gone to two meals from three.


Puppies between 8 and 16 weeks of age do quite well on 3 meals a day. They start out with about a large handful of kibble for each meal or about 1/4 cup. At about 4 to 6 months of age you may begin feeding your puppy twice a day, about 1/2 cup or so each time. Somewhere between 10 and 18 months of age you may begin feeding just once a day--with some really good eaters you may need to feed just once a day by 6 or 7 months of age.

From Laura's manual: http://roycroftcavaliers.com/manualfeeding.htm

Caraline
4th May 2007, 09:54 AM
Thanks guys. You know, I hadn't even thought about teething. :sl*p:

Ok, so there is absolutely nothing to lose by offering a meal & then taking it up if it isn't eaten, whereas there is a lot to loose should that meal have been required all the long.

I might try putting his brekkie down a little later in the morning. He might be a bit like me and not really want to face food on waking.

You guys are the best! :thnku:

luvzcavs
4th May 2007, 10:28 AM
Just to add some food for thought (ha ha)

I think that feeding one meal a day is an awful lot for a little dogs tummy to process in one hit whether they are a puppy or adult.
I am in favour of feeding at least a couple of times a day where possible for their lifetime, even if you do it as Karlin suggests in a treat ball or make a treasure hunt in the garden or house or something ?
Just my 2 cents.

Karlin
4th May 2007, 10:49 AM
Even for adults, I actually give a single meal in the morning but not the full amount they get for the day. They will get some small treats throughout the day for doing things -- if I go out for example they will get a treat to chew on -- and they always get a dog biscuit or fish treat or something before their final walk before bedtime. Leo used to have some problems vomiting and it was suggested this was due to too long with an empty stomach. Once I started giving a few extra items thru he day and something at bedtime, the vomiting pretty much stopped.

Laura's been breeding/showing cavaliers for over 30 years with a strong focus on health so I always think her advice is a good distillation of experience.

Caraline
4th May 2007, 11:40 AM
Yep, my guys all get treats through the day too, but I must admit that I'd been keeping them very small for fear of getting a fussy eater... never a worry with the Boxers, but something in the back of my mind with the Cavaliers. As I never have any problems with anybody eating their evening meal I guess I could up Beau's treats a bit & just back off if he starts turning his nose up at his evening meal.

The several smaller meals idea does make sense for smoothing out the spikes in blood sugar levels, and is also helpful for my Scarlett who is inclined towards pancreatitis. With her though I do have to be very careful to not over feed, as those little meals sure do look tiny & her pitiful look when she has breathed her dinner down would break your heart.

Cathryn
5th May 2007, 12:09 PM
With my dogs I have the general rule of 3 meals a day, 3-6 months old, then down to 2 meals a day 6-12 months old, then onto 1 meal a day after that. I always try to keep in mind that what you feed a dog in his first year of life is actually shaping him for the rest of his life, so this is no time to scimp or cut corners with feeding.

Some dogs will go off their feed at the 4 to 8 month age as they are changing their teeth, I prefer for a pup to be a bit on the "bonny" side prior to this to compensate for any potential weight loss during this period. Cavaliers can be notoriously faddy eaters in their first 18 months of life, then turn into total "dustbins" for the rest of their life!!

Just my own experience's over the years is all!

Karlin
5th May 2007, 01:56 PM
Cavaliers can be notoriously faddy eaters in their first 18 months of life, then turn into total "dustbins" for the rest of their life!!Ain't that the truth! :lol:

One reason for the general advice never to free feed as well (eg just leave food down for the dog to access at any time). Just because the dog eats the right amount when younger doesn't mean this will continue and the weight will creep on at the same time that an owner will have to totally change the dog's feeding habits. Much better to start as you wish to continue and maintain exact control over portions -- also to remain aware always of how much the dog normally eats so you can spot problems/loss of appetite etc.

Jaspar went through occasional picky phases but that completely ended when he was 8-9 months old and Leo arrived. Leo came from a kennel environment where eating as fast as possible was the rule. Jaspar no longer had the luxury of fussing and faffing around and all the bowls are polished clean in under two minutes now. :lol:

I wonder, are smaller breed dogs generally more fussy with food, and if so, I wonder why?

Barbara Nixon
5th May 2007, 01:58 PM
Teddy was fussyand slow, while with his litter, but turned into a turbo hoover overnight, when he came here. I'd never seen a dog eat so quickly--and he's never slowed down, to this day. all the others gradually let it be known that they wanted fewer meals, but Our Teddy never refuses anything and would be on four giant meals, still, if he got his way.

Caraline
6th May 2007, 11:41 AM
Our 2 1/2 year old adopted Sonny is a fussy little bloke. I put food in front of him & he always look at it as though I have served him up something disgusting :rolleyes: He does eventually eat it though. If I am feeling in a mean mood I let the Boxers in, and all of a sudden his interest in his food escalates :D

As to Beau, I think I may have found the solution. If I give him a little less to eat for dinner, he seems more interested in his breakfast. Over the course of the day, this does result in him eating more than if he just gets a large dinner. I like the idea too of offering a bikkie at bed time. I'd gotten locked into the idea that this would cause him to need to go out to the toilet through the night, but I think that fear was unfounded.

Thanks for your help guys.


I wonder, are smaller breed dogs generally more fussy with food, and if so, I wonder why?

I was talking to some folk at puppy school today and it does seem that the people with the little dogs were complaining about fussy eaters, while the people with big dogs were complaining about hoovers. I wonder if part of it is that we over-estimate how much a little dog should eat, while owners of big dogs under-estimate it? It is a mystery to me though.

Kodee
6th May 2007, 07:55 PM
I was talking to some folk at puppy school today and it does seem that the people with the little dogs were complaining about fussy eaters, while the people with big dogs were complaining about hoovers. I found this to be exactly true with my lab vs cavalier and at my puppy class, same thing was said.


I wonder if part of it is that we over-estimate how much a little dog should eat, while owners of big dogs under-estimate it? It is a mystery to me though.However, Kodee is on the thin side whereas the hoover lab was on the fat side!

Caraline
6th May 2007, 11:39 PM
However, Kodee is on the thin side whereas the hoover lab was on the fat side!

Yer, that kind of blows that theory out of the water doesn't it. :fool:

Jessieca
8th May 2007, 06:51 PM
Bailey did this around 5 months old, and then after about a month I think he went back to eating normally. Maybe it did have to do with teething, I'm not sure. Now at 11 months, he will eat like a little in the mid-morning and will have a biscuit or two, and then he eats the majority of the food in the evening at like 5 or 6pm. He's just not too interested in his food during the day for some reason. I would just offer meals still, and he may go back to eating the way he was.

Caraline
9th May 2007, 03:56 AM
Yeah, you know I think it probably is due to his teething. Poor little mite gets all excited about getting his morning biscuit & then just spends the next hour playing with it. I think his mouth is sore and I noticed that he has some new little teeth coming through, and some other bare patches that are really red & sore looking. And he is dribbling. Poor baby!