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Dr. John
Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 5542
Experience:  Over 14 years of clinical veterinary experience
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I have a 16 weeks. She's very afraid of the food bowl from

Customer Question

I have a 16 weeks ***** *****. She's very afraid of the food bowl from the day we got her at 7 weeks. She only eats out of our hands and drink water from a small cup if I'm holding. She hold her ears back while eating ready to run if anyone make an small noise. She's eating very little lately. Can you help me?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 1 year ago.

Hello, JACustomer. I have been a Veterinary Nurse for over 15 years and would be happy to help you today. I'm reviewing your question right now.

Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 1 year ago.

Michelle, it's very important to break her of this habit while she's young or you're never going to be able to do anything aside from caring for her for the rest of her life. Dogs that insist on being fed and watered by their owners will often grow to refuse to use bowls and then refuse to allow any other person to feed or water them. This means that taking vacation, leaving her with family members, etc will be near impossible for you for the next 10-15+ years. Address this immediately and set firm boundaries for her. This absolutely cannot continue if you wish to break her of the habit. Do not take no for an answer, she must learn how to be a dog and eat from surfaces other than cups and hands.

The first thing to do is address what is scaring her and possibly to change where she is eating. If she is scared of small noises, give her a kennel or room that she can eat in without anyone with her and without noises. If bowls scare her, try plates. If plates scare her, feed her on the floor. If she's hungry enough, she will eat. At 4 months of age, she can go a half day or so between meals if needed to get her hungry enough to eat. Also consider feeding a higher value food like canned/tinned to entice her to overcome her fear.

Look at using other bowls or plates for her. Sometimes reflections scare dogs so metal bowls aren't a good choice. Look at plastic, glass and ceramic.

If she's nervous about a bowl for drinking, serve her on a plate. If needed, use a dropper bottle like this one made for rabbits or animals roughly her size:

Start with these ideas and let me know if you come to any road blocks. If so, video her with your phone or similar device to show me what she's doing. You can then upload this and I can help you troubleshoot.

I’ll be standing by if you have other questions. Let me know if I can help further.

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Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I had tried everything u have suggested before. I've changed feeding place, tried different plates and bowls and also bought a fuzzy mat ( a silicone mat to feed fuzzy animals) and she still eating only if someone stay with her.
I've tried for 5 days just putting the food there and let her eat whenever she feels hungry. She lost a lot of weight after that as she did not eat 90% of the time.
Her appetite is getting worse. She eats very little now, even if I hand feed her.
Is there is any tonic or something similar to stimulate her appetite?
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 11 months ago.

If she's having appetite issues, this may not be a problem with the bowl or location at all. It may indicate an underlying medical issue that needs to be diagnosed and treated. The short answer is, yes: There are appetite stimulants to increase her desire to eat. But I would be more focused on determining why she does not want to eat than I would an appetite stimulant at this point and schedule an appointment for her to see your vet for a physical exam and diagnostics.

Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 11 months ago.

Checking in, Michelle. How is Evie doing?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I've took her to the vet and she didn't find anything wrong with her.
Some days she eats few times a day if I feed her by hand, well I break the meat in pieces and put on the floor but need to be done one piece at the time or she doesn't eat and some days like today, she haven't eaten nothing.
I don't know what to do anymore, she's very skinny, I can see her ribs when she stands up
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 11 months ago.

What diagnostics did they perform?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Only a consultation and asked questions etc no bloods or any tests
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 11 months ago.

That is probably going to be your best bet. Without diagnostics, they can only tell you what they can see on the outside.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
what do u suggest?
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 11 months ago.

I'd start with blood work and a fecal exam. At 16 weeks, that should give them more than enough information to at least guide you in the right direction if this is easily treatable, possibly linked to a congenital issue, etc. Your vet may recommend more diagnostics based on what they do (or do not) find on the blood work.