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Hi forum,
So 2 days ago I got a 3 month old chihuahua. The first day I got her we bought her wet food to eat and ate 3 times a day. We found out she doesn't like anything besides steak -_-; Now I am trying to get her to eat kibble (the pet store employee recommended Natural Balance since it doesn't have by-products). At first she ate a few only if I hand fed it to her. After a few she kind of sniffed the next one and walked away. I looked around online on how to get your dog used to kibble and I read that just give her the correct portion at mealtime and if she doesn't eat any within 15 minutes take it away until the next mealtime. I also read try adding a little warm water to soften the pieces, but that didn't work.

<1>Now my question is how long can a dog last without eating? I've read that they won't starve themselves and will eventually eat the kibble. If she doesn't eat at night her next meal time isn't until the morning (obviously).
<2>Will she be able to sleep okay?
<3> Is it really okay to just let her skip her meals if she doesn't eat?

I've also read not to give in to her stubbornness as it might be she is just waiting for me to give up and give her wet food. It worries me that your supposed to feed puppies double the amount per pound than adults (Please correct me if I'm wrong), but she won't eat anything. Also I read something a Eukanuba employee said dogs eat based on how many calories not the amount of food? And to avoid giving her treats during the time I am trying to get her to eat kibbles.

Pretty much I just want to make sure I'm not doing anything harmful to her health.

Also, before I got her she never had any shots so she took her first set of DHPPC
shots and will be taking her next month for her second set.

I would really appreciate the help. Thank you!
 

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It is advisable that when you try to change the food of the dog you need to do it gradually. You can start by giving your puppy 3/4 of wet food and 1/4 of kibble after 2-3 days you can give 1/2 of wet food and 1/2 of kibble and so on. As for the amount of food that your puppy requires well it depends on its caloric needs and weight. You need to see your vet to get recommendations on the amount of food that your puppy needs.
 

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I had a picky eater as well. I know it is stressful, but a healthy puppy will not starve herself.

You need to do what has been called the "tough love" approach. Put the food down, wait for 20 minutes. If she doesn't eat, up it comes and she waits until the next meal. I know you said you are already doing that...so stick with it. I know it kind of goes against everything you are as a dogowner since you want to provide for her, but remember--she will not starve herself.

I also know that once you put water on the food, you have to throw it away if she doesn't eat, and that can become a pain. Maybe no water until she is eating consistently.

Also, no treats between meals if she is not eating. If you do any training, etc., use kibble...nothing special so she doesn't learn "well, if I don't eat this stuff in the bowl, I get super yummy stuff later anyway."

Good luck
 

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It is really hard to take food away after 15 minutes knowing she didn't eat much, but you really have to be strong for her!! Don't feed her 'human' food, until she's good on kibble, as it can spoil them (ex, of course she'll wait for steak!)

It's really tough, but my puppy didn't eat for 3 days and finally caved in and he was fine. they can go days without eating

i agree that you shouldn't feed her treats between meals until she's consistently eating well,
 

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It's been said many times here, a healthy dog won't starve themselves. If she doesn't eat, she obviously isn't that hungry. When she's hungry enough, she'll eat whatever you give her.

If she's never been on dry food before you may want to make the transition slower. Give her half dry half wet food for a while so she can get used to it. If she was only eating wet food for those two days then don't bother with this.
 

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My ChiX is picky. At that age she decided she didn't like kibble either. I never liked the "wait it out method" for her because she didn't even weigh 3 pounds. I was too worried about hypoglycemia with her. She gets wet mixed with her kibble. I gradually started mixing in the kibble to her wet, and now her food is mostly kibble with a little wet. That's honestly what I suggest. You can eventually wean her off the wet if you don't want her to eat it longterm.
 

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At her age and size, no, you can't starve her out. It's always said that a healthy dog won't starve. . .but one that small could die from low blood sugar. What's wrong with the canned food?
 

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You said you only just got her right? It's been a couple of days so hopefully things have improved already, but when my puppy was first adjusting he refused for eat for a while as well. It really alarmed me at first, especially since he got really loose stool with mucous as well. But after a bit, he got more adjusted and started eating again on his own. So it could also be the adjustment that's causing a decrease in her diet as well. And slowing changing her diet from the canned food to Natural Balance is definitely a good idea as well.

It worries me that your supposed to feed puppies double the amount per pound than adults (Please correct me if I'm wrong), but she won't eat anything.
Actually I wouldn't recommend taking the doubling adult amount suggestion all that seriously. I have my puppy on Natural Balance as well and I've been doubling the amount of food given for adults as directed by them. But Marcus was pooping up to 6 times a day, and each time it was a large amount. As the day went on, the stool also got looser and looser till at night I am picking up stool with consistency equivalent to pudding or apple sauce. But then I started to reduce his diet, and his stool firmed up and he only poops 3 times a day. So I would maybe start off with the minimum amounts suggested by them and then see how her stool is. Also check her waist to see how her weight is; if you don't feel her ribs, you're overfeeding. If you feel her ribs but don't see them, then she's fine even if you decrease the amount she's eating.
 
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