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Thread: German Shepherd Puppy Not Eating

  1. #1

    Default German Shepherd Puppy Not Eating

    Hi Everyone,

    New to this forum and tried to do a search but kept going to HTTP:401 or something like that. Sorry if there is already a post on this.

    I have a 20 week old German Sheperd so he is still only a puppy. He is actually on the very thing side of the scale according to our vet and we would like to try and beef him up. The vet suggested that we give him some of the "Super Premium" branded dog foods and he will definitely eat them. I have tried many things.

    *Science Diet Puppy Food
    - He wouldn't eat this at all.
    - Tried to mix it with wet food and he would only eat a half of what he is supposed to eat. (2 Cups)

    *Royal Canin German Shepherd Junior
    - Out of a 12kg bag, he probably ate 8kgs of it and the rest was thrown away.
    - Had to mix this with some Rice/Chicken/Raw Lamb unless he wouldn't eat it.

    *Wellness Puppy Food
    - We tried this now and he won't eat this either. He didn't eat the other brands so we thought we would try something "All Natural" but this doesn't seem to work either.

    It's got to the point where all he will eat is wet food or raw meat. Like I said he is roughly 5 months old and weighs only at 15kg. He looks very thing and I am very worried. He has had all his treatments, worms, fleas etc. The vet also said there is nothing wrong with him health wise and that he is a really fussy eater.

    It seems to be getting worse and he doesn't seem to be eating the dry food which is a worry.

    I was also told to try some of the other Super Premium brands but I am hesitant as he hasn't eaten the three that we have already tried. Any suggestions on how to break his habit and gain some weight on him would be really appreciated.

    Thank you everyone in advanced for any advice.


  2. #2


    I buy 3 star beef mince from Coles at $3 per 500g. If I was trying to fatten up a dog I'd mix dry food into this or cover the dry food in sardines and the oil it comes in. I wouldn't stick to a 100% mince diet as he needs the calcium and other goodies the dry food has but a mix of the two should get him interested?

  3. #3


    Quote Originally Posted by mymatejack View Post
    I buy 3 star beef mince from Coles at $3 per 500g. If I was trying to fatten up a dog I'd mix dry food into this or cover the dry food in sardines and the oil it comes in. I wouldn't stick to a 100% mince diet as he needs the calcium and other goodies the dry food has but a mix of the two should get him interested?
    Hi mymatejack,

    His a bit of a fussy one, even if I mix the wet food and dry food really well he will only go for the wet food bits. It's like he is trying to avoid dry food at all cost unfortunately. I'm not sure what else I can do for him but his weight is definitely causing my concerns. He should be eating roughly be eating almost 6 cups of food per day as per Royal Canin's feeding Chart but his not doing that.

    I have tried mixing with Beef mine also but he doesn't seem satisfied with it either.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010


    Have you tried Dr. B's BARF diet? I haven't looked into this heaps, but it says that it can be fed as a whole diet with no dry food needed. I wonder if you could give that a go? and if he eats it you wouldn't need to feed him dry food.

    Dr B's Feeding Recommendations

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Rural Western Australia


    I dont know what a GSD pup should weigh at 5 months but just be aware that because of the higher risk of hip and elbow dysplasia in this breed that I would be growing him out as lean as is acceptable. I grow all my pups out on the lean side and definitely dont try and beef them up unless they were seriously underweight. My dogs probably appear quite lean to pet people but they are working dogs and I like to keep stress on their joints to a minimum particularly in the first 18 months.

    As to feeding, I have never has a fussy eater so cant help there. Dry food isnt strictly essential as long as you develop a well balanced diet for a growing pup. Can your breeder help you? If you got this dog from a reputable breeder they should be able to advise you on an appropriate diet and weight and also give you information on the parents hip and elbow scans.
    Last edited by Kalacreek; 04-21-2014 at 09:13 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011


    When we got our BC girl I wanted her to put some weight on too. Since she was (and is) a terribly fussy eater it wasn't so easy. She would go to great length avoiding eating any dry food and was just licking all the mince and good stuff off the dry food and then spits them into a pretty little heap next to her bowl. Anyway, back in the days someone here on the forum (I think it was Bernie but not sure) suggested 'fat balls'. Man, she loved that stuff! Just google 'fat balls' or 'satin balls' and I'm sure you'll find a receipt.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011


    For minerals and vitamins I use Vets All Natural mix to mix with the pet mince. Our previous foster pup managed to somehow eat the mince and leave most of the mix in the bowl, no matter how well I mixed it at first. So I started adding some chicken stock to the mix for a while and eventually, she just gobbled it all up and left a clean bowl each meal.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Geelong, Vic


    If he just wants wet give him raw meat. A lamb neck/brisket/flap every day PLUS something like fatty beef mixed with vets all natural will help get his weight up. Dry food isn't the be all and end all and your pup wont be harmed by a product made by a veterinarian despite what the dry food companies tell you. If you want more advice too Dr Bruces Vets All Natural - Natural Pet Products, Healthy Pets - Home and Dry Bruce Syme takes emails/facebook messages.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Western Sydney



    Please don't try to beef him up...your boy is only 3 kg outside the average range for his age being 18-22 kg. GSDs are a lean breed and you must never over feed them as it will affect their hips. I think you maybe feeding him too much...what does the breeder say ?

    My adult GSD chloe 32 kg is fed 3 cups of kibble per day which is divided into 3 small meals eg. 1 cup breakfast 1 cup lunch time 1 cup tea time...she also gets 1 tin of sardines in spring water (never vegetable oil) 3 times per week and a brisket bone once a week.

    Every second day I add 2 desert spoons of canola oil to one meal for her coat. My adult GSD Rex 36 kg gets 4 cups per day and the same 3 small meals as above. They are not allowed outside half hour before and after each ask why ?

    Apart from hip problems from over feeding...Bloat is another and Bloat kills. Put one piece of kibble into a glass of water and see how big it gets...imagine giving your dog 3 cups of kibble for one expands and death could result. If you let them run around after that meal the same could happen. Also take no notice of the feeding chart on the back of a bag of kibble.

    Below is a chart that might give you an idea of what your boy should be...Dr Hedberg is also a member of the GSDL.

    Please let us know how your boy is getting on...good luck.
    Chloe & Zorro
    Rottweilers and German Shepherds are Family

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