View Full Version : Too small?

29th October 2007, 02:44 PM
Hermie is very very small, only just over 4 kgs at 9 months. Her appetite is poor, she's just no interested in food (other than ours...) Maija eats Orijen and NatureDiet, Hermie just picks on it. She likes scrambled eggs, but they can't eat that all the time. What should I feed her so that she would gain a little weight and get stronger? Any tips much appreciated! :flwr:

29th October 2007, 03:06 PM
You could try the recipe for Satin Balls in the Library section. These are often used to put weight onto a dog with poor appetite.


Has she been throughly checked by a vet for why she is small and not eating? There could be many medical reasons for this, so that would be a first port of call. :thmbsup:

Ps If she is interested in your food and has an appetite for that, then I'd consider doing a homecooked regime for her. This is pretty easy to do and dogs generally prefer such a diet to kibble. Or you can mix half kibble, half homecooked and stir well. There are home cooked recipes in the Library section as well.

29th October 2007, 03:07 PM
My two were VERY fussy eaters...we always struggled as to what to add to their dry Royal Canin to get them to be better eaters...then I had read here that someone adds a little Merricks canned to the dry. So we tried it. THEY LOVE IT!!!!!!!! They now are waiting at my feet as I prepare their dishes, doing cartwheels practically!

When dh was in the store buying more of the Merricks (Thanksgiving & Grammies Pot Pie is what they LOVE) the clerk told of how the salesperson for Merricks came into the store one day with a crock pot and set it up and served some of the canned food to the people! (not sure which kind that was!) Anyway...I am only relaying the story the clerk told my dh...I have no way of knowing if that is true or not, but when I open the cans the food does look good enough to eat!

BTW, I only add one tablespoon to their dry and mix it extremely well.

29th October 2007, 03:30 PM
Thank you, Karlin and Lynn. Satin balls look yummy ;) :eek:, I'll try those. I don't think that Merricks is available in UK? Haven't seen it anywhere.
Hermie is the runt of the litter and has been small from the beginning. We had some worrying days with her just after she came home to us as she stopped eating completely and was very weak. She spent a night at the vet's and got some medicated food (Hills) and some stomach medicine (I forget what) and started to eat a little again. She has been eating for short periods of time but always seems to get fed up with the food so soon. When we had the chicken-bone-in-the-throat incident a couple of weeks ago, the vet weighed her (4 kgs) and asked if she was eating. I was out of the room just then and my husband (who had just been abroad for a fortnight) said that she was... Oh well, she's not. I'm sure that she also shivers outdoors so much simply because she has no meat on her at all. I think I will try home food with her, my only concern is the salt. We don't use very much salt at all, but should she have any?

29th October 2007, 04:15 PM
What is she like on canned food eg. Caesar?

29th October 2007, 06:01 PM
my girl is small too and prefers people food to her kibble. recently to get her to eat her kibble I took one and rolled it on the floor towards her, she thinks it fun and plays with it for a few seconds then eats it. so we roll a few, she palys soccer and then eats it. I also take a handful to where I am at and she will eat them one at a time from my hand and even do little tricks for them. smae kibble it's just not in the bowl and she eats it. strange and a pin but at least I know she is eating.

Barbara Nixon
29th October 2007, 06:10 PM
Have you tried Butchers tripe (original or chicken) or Naturesmenu ? The latter comes in pouches, smells homemade and is stocked by PaH and Tesco.

29th October 2007, 06:14 PM
I had problems with my older dog until I got Amber. She too was tiny, and it still small heightwise, but since the advent of Amber, she's no longer a picky eater- competition works wonders!

-Try mixing tinned fish (not tuna cos of the mercury except very occassionally). I use salmon and that worked wonders. So good for them too! Chopped frozen beans went down.

-I find that a little stock or gravy or even fresh soup poured over kibble creates great excitement and they wolf it down. If you do the latter, keep the dogs in mind when making the soup and hold back on the onions.

-Mix nice canned food (Butcher's tripe is easy to get in the UK and is supposed to be very good) or alternatively get those frozen packs of raw mince and defrost that and mix it in. You can get them in most pet shops like Pets at Home.

-Stop feeding treats or bits while you're eating yourself. If she's so little, she really doesn't need much food to begin with, and it's easy to end up feeding them rubbish. Until she's better with her normal feeding, hold back on the sweeties- or use bits of kibble as a treat, but find a kibble she likes. Both of mine adore Pets at Home Wainwright's food which is similar to Royal Canin in composition but costs less.

Check that it's not the bowl that's the issue! Will she eat the food from a piece of tissue paper, for example, or your hand? Cavs can be... strange... about bowls.

29th October 2007, 06:25 PM
When we had our first litter one of the pups developed pneumonia at 2 weeks. That meant I had to hand rear and feed her. One thing I did was mix the puppy food with the powdered mil and heat it up, then I added a spoonful of honey to it. That got her to start eating, the secret was not to make the food too sweet tho. When she was more able to eat on her own I started giving all the pups tripe. We bought it frozen from the pet store. I would just thaw it out and put some in a bowl for each puppy, they did not lift their heads from the bowls until they were empty. I only gave it to them 2-3 times a week until they were about 3 months old, then once a week for a month, then as a treat once a month.
You could try adding a couple spoonsful to her kibble and see if that might get her to eat. I didn't cook it...try not to smell it.....
Good luck. oh, and the pup that had pneumonia is now bigger than her mother..she is the blenheim in the avater...

29th October 2007, 08:12 PM
You shouldn't add any salt to homecooked. To clarify, by homecooked that doesn't mean you feed her some of your own food, but that you make food for the dogs. I make a range of stews regularly and freeze into containers that last about three days for my three dogs, sometimes alone and sometimes mixed with kibble. You will find some recipes in the Caring for Your Cavalier section that are nutritionally balanced.

I'd try the satin balls though. Most dogs love them and they are very high in calories. I bet she will wolf those down and you might get some meat on her bones. :) If she shivers outside I'd put a coat or sweater on her when she goes out as she will burn even more of those precious calories she has stored to try and maintain core body warmth.

Let us know how she likes them!

29th October 2007, 10:12 PM
Thanks Karlin, I'll let you know. And thank you all for your excellent advice, I'm determined to try and make her catch up with her sister.:flwr:

30th October 2007, 06:16 PM
I can't believe this!:bang: I made satin balls today and gave some to Hermie - she doesn't like them! She sniffed the food carefully and then just walked away - while Maija was gulping down hers. I tried to handfeed it to her but she only had a couple of little bits. Oh dear. My husband made some fish soup for us today so we gave her some lovely boiled monkfish, she ate a few pieces of that. I spotted Butchers tripe in Sainsburys today, I suppose that'll be the next one to try. I've got a fair amount of satin balls in the freezer now - I don't want to feed them all to Maija either, she seems to be quite a nice size at the moment altough smallish as well. I'll try again tomorrow with Hermie. Oh well... :(

31st October 2007, 05:02 PM
Eeva - I swear our dogs must be related or something because everything you describe is my little Bella. She is also a peanut weighing in at 9lbs at 9 months old. She is the fussiest eater - I have tried everything. The only thing that really seems to work consistently for us is chicken mixed in with her food - she loves her chicken for some reason. I tried Merrick's canned mixed with her dry food and she liked it for a few days and is totally over it now. I even bought her evangers 100% chicken - she won't touch it. She only likes actually strips of chicken. Everything we try only seems to work for a few days and then shes bored. She goes over to her food sniffs it and turns her nose up at it and walks away. Its very frustrating! She started off on raw food from the breeders and ate like a cow her first few weeks with us then when teething started she became soo picky - she won't even touch raw now. She is skinny and I need to fatten her up. She loves human food though and will beg and beg whenever we are eating - I must admit that I do sometimes give in which isnt helping to solve the problem - I do try to put it in her bowl though to get her more engaged with her bowl. I just feel bad for her because I feel like shes starving if she'll eat my fatty human foods mixed in with her own food its better than her not eating at all! Please let me know if you find anything that works and continues to work for over a week and I'll do the same for you. I'm sure this affects her shivering as well as she has no meat on her bones and her coat is still quite thin.

Scouty girl
31st October 2007, 05:15 PM
[quote=Lynn;231950]My two were VERY fussy eaters...we always struggled as to what to add to their dry Royal Canin to get them to be better eaters...then I had read here that someone adds a little Merricks canned to the dry. So we tried it. THEY LOVE IT!!!!!!!! They now are waiting at my feet as I prepare their dishes, doing cartwheels practically!

I just purchase some Merrick's canned food and Breeze and Scout almost knocked me down when I was making their breakfast! :eek: I think it was called WingDing, it had a whole chicken wing in it. The wing was very, very soft and I would cut through the bone with a spoon. I was a little surprised at first to see it in there, but I cut the bones up very small. I do the same thing you do, just a teaspoon or so in Scouts food and a tablespoon for Breeze. Actually they have never been fussy eaters and would eat the dry food plain if that's all I gave them.

31st October 2007, 08:00 PM
My Molly also used to be a picky eater. And I too did the trick with hand feeding her, rolling the kibble over to her, etc. But that can get old fast (for me!) - LOL!

Around the same time, her BMs were soft so the vet suggested boiled chicken and rice. She loved that! She devoured it. Then one time at the vet's they fed her Hill's Science Diet and her BMs starting clearing up. No idea if that was pure coincidence, but I've been feeding her that ever since - topped with a bit of cottage cheese or canned tuna or rice or boiled chicken. She devours her food now, but only if it's topped with "the good stuff"!


1st November 2007, 11:44 AM
Maddy must be related too! We give her Caneida (spelling?) canned food with a little chicken mixed in. There's always some of the canned food left but never any chicken.
We always leave kibble out for her but she rarely eats any. She is tiny. 9lbs and just over a year old. She drove down to Florida with my husband a couple of weeks ago and would not eat the kibble. She must have lost a pound so now we are trying to fatten her back up. Well, fat isn't the right word but at least get her back to where she was.
She always wants our food but we are fairly good about not giving her any.
Again, we tried Nature's Raw and she ate it for a few days then didn't want it.
She feels so delicate she is so tiny. I think I will try the satin balls.

1st November 2007, 11:55 AM
Well, it's a relief to hear that there are other, tiny cavaliers who are very picky eaters too. BostonGirl, Hermie is exactly like your Bella. All that sniffing and then walking away from it, Hermie can be so shocked by the food offered that she walks right out of the kitchen! And if she sometimes happens to like something, she will have changed her mind about it in a day or two. Gave her a little bit of Butchers tripe last night - that received the same sniff-walkaway treatment.
Today both dogs have diarrhea, strange in Hermie's case as she hasn't really eaten anything!:confused:

1st November 2007, 09:02 PM
I had posted several times on here because Alfie was so small and would not eat. We tried hand feeding and mixing all sorts with no luck. I have now bought the butchers superior for him and all he gets is one small teaspoon on top of his JWB. I cant beleive the difference Alfie was barking and jumping up my leg tonight when I was doing his dinner. He is now a healthy 6 kgs although it has taken until he is 15 months.

1st November 2007, 10:33 PM
Is that soft food, Yvonne?

2nd November 2007, 02:51 PM
Yes its called Butchers natural nutrition and says Real meat in gravy and states no addatives or preservatives etc. Although its expensive one small sqaure lasts two days for two dogs and you can get it in tescos in the small foil squares. I do only give one teaspoon on top of JWB as Alfie has lots of food intolerances so I have to be careful.

2nd November 2007, 10:46 PM
Sounds good. Thanks, Yvonne :razz:

8th November 2007, 01:28 PM
Just a little update. I haven't had much success with Hermie - she's not interested in any food! There's a vets at our local Pets at Home and I weighed her there today, she only weighs 3.5 kilos! At 9.5 months. I was shocked, she has actually lost some weight now. I booked her in for tomorrow morning, let's see what the vet says.
(Maija weighed 4.4 kilos, so she's small as well, but I'm not worried about her as she's been eating really well after her season. I'm taking her tomorrow as well though.)

14th November 2007, 12:30 AM
Well, I tried feeding Maddy the satin balls. The first day she ate two of them! Licked her lips and loved them. The next day she wouldn't touch them!
Now I have a freezer full!

14th November 2007, 12:31 AM
Eeva, what did the vet say?

14th November 2007, 12:36 AM
Another tip to make dogs eat.

Take a container of frozen chicken livers thaw- rinse, simmer on stove until done with a few cups of water. Take a potato masher and make a liver slurry (looks like gravy). You can keep some chunks-- warm this and put it over dry food. Just enough to soften the food. I do this for moms when they go "off their food".

14th November 2007, 08:25 AM
We went to the vets and they both had a health check. Hermie's exact weight was 3.75 kilos and Maija's 4.5 kilos. There doesn't seem to be anything wrong with them, they seem to be healthy in every way.:p She said that Hermie looks so healthy and energetic and active that she didn't think it necessary to run any blood tests yet. If she carries on not eating at all then we'll do them. They just are very small and will never be very big at all. And it was good to hear that their muscles have developed well, even Hermie's.
And now, surprise surprise, Hermie IS EATING :rah: Not large portions, but eating anyway, just the old Orijen and NatureDiet. It would be nice to see her eat a bit more (Maija eats a fair bit more) but I'm happy that she's eating even a little.
Thanks Woodhaven, for the recipe, I will certainly try that! :flwr: As to satin balls, well, the situation is the same as with you, Pam, the freezer's full of them! I don't think that Maija needs them - she's a nice size for her stature - and Hermie won't eat them...

Oh yes, one more thing, the vet says they are both going through a phantom pregnancy! Their mammaries are swollen and Hermie already has some kind of discharge that precedes the actual milk. She recommended spaying next month, but I'm a bit worried that they are still quite young (not full 11 months even) and too small. Any thoughts on that?
Thank you all for your kind tips and advice!