I need some dog advice ASAP....
Hi, I just adopted a 2 year old papillon canine mix black and white.. I have had him since November 9.
Here is the problem - he won't eat much. The owners that had him before said that they fed him Beneful, and we bought him a big bag of it and tried to get him to eat it and he will not eat any dog food he just sniffs it and walks away. We even got him the science nutrition diet kind recommended by our vet and he wouldn't eat it either.
My brother fed him a hot dog while I was at the store and that's the only thing he will eat but I don't want him to eat human food cause it's not healthy for him.. I am not sure what to do he has had all his shots, micro chipped, heart worm guard, and has had his deworm shot he don't have anything wrong with him as far as I know..
Also you know how cats choke on hair balls a lot he does that too all the time makes a loud noise and snorts like a pig, is that normal for a dog..
Any Suggestions.. Thanks so much!!!
Congratulations on your adoption, your dog is adorable, I love his coloring!
It sounds as though you have a 'picky eater' there. From what you've told me, you've done everything necessary to ensure that he's healthy and there doesn't seem to be any health issues that you mention (such as diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy etc.) so that is excellent.
Some dogs are just more picky than others when it comes to food, and dealing with it is pretty much the same as dealing with a child who's a fussy eater.
Your pup would most definitely prefer to eat hot dogs or other tasty morsels, rather than his dry dog food - and it's difficult to fault his logic because I'm pretty sure a hot dog looks, smells and tastes better :o) However, just as you wouldn't allow a 4 year old child to eat hot dogs instead of a nutritious dinner, you're right in denying your pup human/junk food.
I would suggest that you do a bit of research on different dog foods and pick one that you feel comfortable with, then feed it to your pup. That is your area of responsibility when it comes to his eating habits. The actual 'eating' part is HIS responsibility! He may well refuse to eat for a few days, or just nibble on his food, but nature will not allow him to starve himself. He likely won't eat as much as you would like, but he will eat enough to get by.
Put his food dish down twice a day (or three times to start with if you want), and leave it there for about 15 - 20 minutes. If he doesn't eat, pick it up and don't give it to him until the next meal time. No treat/snacks in between either. Sooner or later he will realize that if he's hungry he needs to eat when he's given his food. Once he figures out that this is all he's getting, he will start to eat.
Don't feel guilty about this, you're providing him with a good, nutritious diet, it's not your fault if he chooses not to eat it at first. He will eat it eventually. Once he 'gets it', he should revert to normal eating patterns. Don't be tempted to 'gussy up' his food either with gravies/tidbits etc., if you do he may eat it, but will still refuse it without the tidbits, or expect more and better 'goodies' with each meal.
Puppies/dogs are very smart, and then know how to 'manipulate' their owners with their behavior. It's really just a 'cause and effect' association - he realizes that if he doesn't eat his dinner right away, you will add some tasty treat to it, and THEN he will eat it! Simple and effective on his part lol
I'd recommend reading my Dog Food Comparisons page, where you'll find a system you can use to 'grade' any dog food according to the quality of it's ingredients. My Dog Food Ratings page has the 'score' for some of the popular dog foods on the market, and can help you select a good food. You'll also find tips and advice on feeding your dog on my Dog Food page.
The coughing/hacking that you describe sounds as though it could be something called 'reverse sneezing' which some dogs do. It's often brought on by excitement or stress, and can sometimes be alleviated by gently rubbing the dogs throat, or covering his nostrils with your fingers for a couple of seconds. It's not anything to worry about generally.
If however, he has any discharge from his eyes or nose, seems overly tired or unwell in anyway, it's best to have a vet take a look just to make sure he's not got an upper respiratory tract infection or another health issue.
I wish you the best of luck with him, I'm sure you'll get this under control soon.