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Help with new puppy eating older Maltese's food

1368 Views 9 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  maltlovereileen
I have a Goldendoodle puppy (Kirby) who is eating all of my Maltese's (Libby) food. She is already underweight and isn't allowed to skip meals, and the doodle is getting too much calories.

I used to put the Maltese's food on the couch where the doodle couldn't reach it, but now he is tall enough and eats it all.

If I confine Libby at all, she refuses to eat.
Libby refuses to eat in/from her kennel, plus Kirby just thinks its a hiding game and will paw/move the kennel around with Libby in it.
Separating them during meal time is tricky because Libby is a finicky eater who isn't 'open bowl' fed, but takes up to 2 hours to finish her bowl. I feel bad putting Kirby away for 2 hours twice a day when its not his fault that Libby is a slow eater even though he is the culprit who steals her food...
I wouldn't be so worried if Libby was a healthy weight.. but she is underweight and the vet doesn't want her to skip meals.
I don't want to resort to switching Libby's diet to a more enticing/appetizing (more expensive and higher maintenance) diet to get her to eat faster. She currently is on a high calorie puppy diet. It actually has more calories that Kirby's food (because large breed puppy food is designed to slow the speed of growth to reduce health issues).
When Kirby bothers her while eating, or is blatantly eating from her bowl, she just looks at him like "help yourself, I don't care" Libby is really submissive but in the future, I could see them becoming resource/food aggressive.

Please help!
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Confine them both during meals. They will learn to eat and not dawdle. Down for 20-30 minutes then up and out. I would feed the young small pup 3-4 times a day and confine the doodle during that feeding time too.

Schedules are good for dogs and they will learn to conform. You may need to put them each in a different room. Even if its not convenient for you its the best for both animals.
I would feed the young small pup 3-4 times a day and confine the doodle during that feeding time too.
The doodle-Kirby is the young pup. He is 12 weeks old, my Maltese-Libby is almost 2 years old (my signature is really old, this is my first time back on SM in over a year)

Kirby eats his meals 3x a day. He is eating almost 2 cups of food/day (per label, and vet recommendations). Libby is fed 2x a day. Kirby has no issues eating. He usually finishes sucking up his food in less than 5 minutes. Libby will stand barking anxiously in her kennel (or at the door of the bathroom or wherever I put her) and leave her food untouched. I have left her food with her when I go away for more than 8 hours and her food is untouched. She is not allowed to skip meals anymore. The vet (and I've had a second opinion) thinks that she is at risk of kidney/liver issues from low weight. I am supposed to bring her in next month for testing if she doesn't put on half a pound (which for her is quite a lot).

I am looking for other ways to prevent Kirby from eating her food.
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For the longest time Ava ate inside a large crate - it was her choice - but it worked out really well.
Don't crate her, just crate Kirby while she eats. If, indeed, she has a physical problem she may not eat no
matter what you do. I hope that's not the case.
I have the same issue with my 2. I feed them at the same time and physically stand there to prevent the pup from stealing from my older one til both are finished (the pup always finishes first). I have to watch the whole thing start to finish.
If you vet suspects she has liver disease, why wait until next month to have her tested? A bile acids test is quick, easy and inexpensive (around $75).

That could explain her poor appetite. Liver compromised dogs often feel sick after eating. Protein from foods like red meat produce ammonia that a sick liver can't process.

What are you feeding her?
You said you don't want to switch to another food because it would be more expensive, but all these vet visits can't be cheap. I would try other foods to see if something else works better for her. She could just not like the food, or there could be something in it that just doesn't agree with her. For example perhaps a wet food slightly warmed would appeal more to her. Since you said she's at risk for kidney and liver issues for being underweight, you need to experiment to find something she will eat.
Maybe you can try adding a teaspoon of wet food to her dry kibble?
Mix it around, and the dry kibble will smell more appealing?
That is what I do with one of my pups when she is finicky.
The other will eat anything that she can get her paws on.
They also get home cooked.
Maybe you can try making some of Libby's food.
Will she eat meat & veggies?
What about using an All Life Stages food? We ended up doing that here with our two nutty puppies wanting to eat the adult food and the adult wanting to eat the puppy food. Worked for us. (Using Evangers - they have a pheasant and brown rice formula and a white fish and sweet potatoe formula)
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