Worried I’ve really messed up my tiny puppy’s eating habits – is there somewhere I should go from here?

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Context: we have an 11-going-on-12w Morkie-Daschund mutt, only a little over 2lb and doing very well on the growth front according to a vet visit a few days ago. Nice-looking belly.

When we got him a few weeks ago, he was on Eukanuba canned puppy food, and so we decided to keep him on that just until he adjusted and we could get him on something we thought would be better for him. Poop was soft and very gross and unpleasant-seeming for him (though not diarrhea), and of course we wanted to change it. He never ate too much, but it was at least a consistent amount and his belly seemed full at this time.

We started slowly incorporating Wellness Core dry puppy food into the diet, hoping to both firm up the poop and get him to move on to something we thought was better for him. He loved this kibble, but he cannot yet handle how hard it is. Vet recommended soaking the kibble into unsalted chicken stock for 15m; he can handle it a bit better. Poop got a lot better-looking, but he seems to get tired of chewing up the kibble and doesn't eat that much only to beg later for something unknown.

Problem period starts – pup becomes a serial hair and dust-eater despite us cleaning every possible surface (I have a prev. post on this), starts pooping out these objects which of course interferes with the quality but hasn't endangered any of his functions. He also catches what is a small cold according to the vet, and we help him to be on a bland diet that might include any combination of white rice, plain pumpkin, plain eggs, chicken stock. He very much enjoys it.

Now: we're trying to wean him off the bland diet back into where we were with the dry kibble and wet mix interim. Puppy seems plenty hungry, but he 1.) only likes to eat anything off the floor (that's normal, right?) 2.) still likes the dry food but gets bored of eating it quickly, and 3.) now shuns the wet food about 60% of the time. When he's very very hungry after rigorous play he'll gobble the wet food, but we can't expect him to appreciate it any other time.

Consequence: the only thing he likes right now and eats a consistent amount of is plain scrambled eggs in a bit of unsalted chicken stock, off the floor. We have to really goad him into getting the rest of his nutrients in.

We find ourselves, based on his poop quality and what he'll tolerate, guessing every meal between eggs, good dry, and unsatisfying wet kibble as to what will suit his belly best in the midst of his very inconsistent intakes (sometimes he'll go for a whole 1/2 cup of food, usually now only if it's the eggs, and other times he is very unpredictable and then will end up upset overnight if he doesn't eat a full dinner).

We started on 4x a day offerings and are now down to 3 – 8, 1:30, and 5:30.

Confession: Our very doting and probably misplaced anxiety about his foreign hairs/string intake and soft stools has led to, in the long run, a puppy who I believe only really wants his bland scramble off the floor and at random times that do not align with the 3-4 meal schedule that we laid out from the beginning. If we left the food around all day rather than set meal periods, I suspect he'd probably be a grazer.

I feel like I'm spoiling and neglecting him at the same time, and it's making me very guilty. Does anyone have any similar experiences or ideas about how I can get snapped back on the right track with him? Am I expecting too much eating out of him at such a small size to begin with?

Should we introduce him to a fresh start, a whole different wet puppy food?

Thank you so much for any help possible, this sub is wonderful.

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