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Discussion Starter #1
We recently got a male chihuahua who was a stray. We have placed ads, he has no microchip and no one has reported him missing at the shelter so it looks like he will be joining us. Since my other dog is raw fed, I am switching him to raw as well.

I don't know what he ate prior to being with us or what his eating schedule was. I do know that he should eat more frequently than my 43 lb dog.

Right now, I am feeding him 3% of his body weight (3 oz) per day, 1 oz 3x a day.

He will eat but he likes to take his time about it. He looks at it. He ignores it for 30 minutes and then mouths a bite, spits it out. Looks at it some more. Ignores it. He will eventually eat it all but it takes him about an hour before he decides he is going to really eat it. I am not sure if this is because raw is new to him or he is just a really slow, methodical eater.

Our other dog is crated when he eats or he is in a closed area and he does not resource guard.

Can I safely get him on a better schedule by leaving his food down for 30 minutes and then remove it until his next meal? I think he is a bit overweight but since he is long haired, it could just be he looks like he has more weight than he does. I can't feel his ribs easily.

I am also concerned about his overshot jaw. The little bitty bones I have given him so far have not been an issue but I wonder if he is able to eat okay if I don't cut his food into teeny bites. I don't mind giving him cut meat but I think he could benefit from tearing his own meat.

Any advice would be appreciated. I have never had such a teeny little guy before. My 43 lb dog is the smallest dog I have ever had prior to Spacely.
 

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Are you starting him out on bone-in chicken? If he's been kibble fed, it may take him awhile to recognize it as food. Kibble is sprayed with fat and has a strong odor. Chicken is nearly odorless. You can try ribboning the meat to get him started and maybe a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

Yes, I would give him 30 minutes to eat and then throw it in the fridge for next time. Perhaps he was free fed at his other home and he is not used to an eating schedule, but just picked at his food during the day.

If his jaw is severely overshot, it could impact his eating, but most dogs don't really 'chew'. They just slime it and crunch it enough to get it down the hatch. So if he's able to do that, that's fine. It's something you'll just have to try.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
He started with pork, since that is what I had out for my other dog. He ate his lunch right away so I am thinking that it just took him a few feedings to recognize it as food.

He went in for a vet check today, to test him for HW before we did anything else. He was HW negative so we started his shots and scheduled him for neutering. Once he is under, she will check his mouth a bit better as he was getting stressed.

He is missing one lower canine, is missing some other teeth but she was not sure if they just have not come in or they have broken off. His gums are not inflamed and he is eating well, minimal tarter on his teeth. She estimates him to be about 18 months old. He is 7.2 lbs
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Spacely is now digging into his food and finishing it within moments. He must have just been unsure about what was in his bowl.

Last night he had some pork with no bones and after his initial sniff, he went to town on it. I don't think it lasted 5 minutes, let alone the 30 that I had planned to give him.

It is just so odd to see such a little amount of food LOL I have his 3 ounces out and give him 1 oz three times a day.
 

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I know! It takes awhile to get used to feeding such a small amount. Sounds like he is adjusting very well.

You can feed him twice a day if it's easier. At over 7 pounds and 18 months old, you could even go to once a day if you want to.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I did switch him to 2x a day over 3 since it is easier for me.

Last night, he was pawing at his mouth during his dinner and heaved up what I thought was a piece of chewed up pork. It turned out to be some foamy ick instead (which I found out when I went to toss it back into his dish)

I watched him finish his dinner and he didn't have any other issues, finishing his meal quite happily. I think he may have gotten something stuck in his teeth or he had a piece that he swallowed partially. This morning, he snarfed his cut up meat just fine.

Since he does have some teeth issues, I am watching him a lot more closely. I grabbed some ZP today since I don't have any ground meat for him .

Once he goes in for his neuter later in the week, we can get a better idea of what is going on with his teeth.

He also got a teeny, tiny little bully stick chew and a beautiful sky blue harness while I was getting the ZP. Tinsel got a giant unstuffed fox toy to replaced her ragged unstuffed owl.
 

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Sounds like he's doing great!

Post some pics! I see him in your avatar and he's sure a handsome lil guy! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Here are pics of Spacely. He is like my 16 yr old, always has his eyes closed in pictures so it is hard to get a good one of him.


He likes to ride in the car


He was being held by my 16 yr old
 

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oh he certainly is a handsome guy! Loved the pics!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Spacely went from 7.2 lbs to 7 lbs in a week. I have been feeding him 3% of his weight and the vet said he is at the perfect weight right now. Since he did drop some weight at 3%, I am going to bump him up to 4% and we will check him when he gets his post neuter check.

He came home about 5 pm today from neutering, I fed him at 6:30 pm and he looked for more when he was done (I only gave him half since he is still a little woozy and I didn't want to upset his tummy) He will go back to full feeding tomorrow.
 

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He is a champ! Go Spacely!! What a good boy. :)
 

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He is so handsome! He is also luck to have found you (and probably the other way around too:))

He will be such fun...my other dog is a 39lb border collie, so the change to the small guys was a challenge at first ( we have 4). They are truly a special breed, each one having such a unique personality. Fun, fun, fun;)
 
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