Feeding a Dog Who is a Picky Eater

Just like other animals, some dogs do not want the food you have fed them. This guide is about feeding a dog who is a picky eater.

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Feeding a Dog That is a Picky Eater
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January 14, 2011 Flag
5 found this helpful

I brought home a 4 year old rescue Chihuahua that I had a terrible time getting to eat. After trying bags and bags of dry food and hundreds of cans of wet food, I finally came up with a solution that got him to start eating.

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When I couldn't get him to eat, I took the dry food and soaked it in a little water to make it soft and then put it in the food processor. It made his food the same as wet food, but provided a different option for him. Now he eats it both ways.

The vet told me this was good that I thought of this, because he had a bad tooth and the wet food kept the pressure off of it and still allowed him to eat with less pain. Now he's doing great. I feed him Royal Canin Chihuahua 28 food. He likes it a lot. Hope this tip helps some of you out there! Good luck.

By Brenda from Buellton, CA

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June 8, 2015 Flag
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I need help. I have a nine year Toy Poodle that is extremely picky. I have tried various foods and he will eat it as a last resort. Please help me find a food that he will love to eat all the time.
Thank you.

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    June 9, 20150 found this helpful

    You do not provide any medical history so it is difficult to suggest possibilities. However, if you have not taken your dog to your vet regarding this problem, please take him now. He might have a medical problem that interferes in eating (our wonderful cat of 15 years suddenly stopped eating. We finally learned that he had an inoperable cancerous tumor in his throat).

    There might be something in the food that he cannot handle-there can be many possibilities. However, you must start with the dog's health status before trying any "cures". Your vet will clarify your dog's health and can help with suggestions to work with your dog's eating problem.

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    June 9, 20150 found this helpful

    Yeah, I'm wondering why a dog should behave this way. If it's hungry, it should eat.

    Get a vet check of the dog. Once you're sure that nothing is physically wrong, leave the food out and walk away. No treats and no human food. When the dog gets hungry it will eat, but right now, it may be getting more attention from you by not eating.

    By the way, a dog can go 24 hrs. without eating, so if your dog is ignoring its food for half a day and you get worried and try to change it, it might be just confused.

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    June 9, 20150 found this helpful

    By the way, a toy poodle up to 10 pounds needs only 1/4 to 3/4 cup food per day. That's a very small amount. If he doesn't actually appear to be underweight, he may getting enough food as it is.

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    June 18, 2012 Flag
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    I have a 4 month old Chihuahua who is picky and only eats his dog food when he gets too hungry. It seems like he holds out longer than he should. I think he is hoping he will get some of our food, but I have always been told our food is not good for them. It worries me because he is already too skinny. How do I get him to eat his dog food on a regular basis so I know he is getting enough nutrients and things? And also gain a little bit of weight.

    I was told the people who had him before gave him people food so I think that is what he is used to. I just want to keep him as healthy as possible. I am getting worried about him because he has been this way since we have gotten him. He is almost 5 months and we got him when he was about 3 1/2 months old. He was 2.5 lbs. then and within a week and a half of having him he gained 5 oz., but I don't know if he is gaining enough. I will be taking him into the vet, but was wondering if anyone knew any little tricks for a picky eater or other suggestions.

    By Andrea from Portland, OR

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    June 20, 20120 found this helpful

    No vaccines. His immune system may have already been destroyed. Build his immune system with good diet including some raw foods. Nothing commercial from the grocery store. Shop co-op, farm supply, specialty store. I, personally feed Diamond lamb and rice and some raw, some cooked foods. Fruits and veggies are good for them.

    Another thing I have used for years is Nzymes. Nzymes.com granules. These are good people who have studied and the owner was even responsible for uncovering bad pet foods from China. The granules are for overall health and help when you don't have fresh available. All my 7 disables, fosters stay healthy with good food. My M D dog was to die at the age of 4 with M D. He's 10 and going strong.

    All my kids love the organic frozen peas (defrosted please) from Costco. They get no corn, wheat or soy as is in all grocery pet foods. Google how Purina is now using euthanized pets in their pet food. That chemical does not cook off. Get on vaclib.org for ingredients in vaccines. Wow. Good way to slowly kill your dog. Parvo often comes from Parvo vac. Research raw diet, anti-vaccine and home made pet food.

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    July 4, 20120 found this helpful

    I also have a Chihuahua, I do give him fruits and vegetables, which he loves. I also have a dog dish which is always full of his dog food which he does eat. I have noticed that he tends to eat in the evening.

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    August 25, 20150 found this helpful

    Also have a 4 month old chi that I was given at 2 wks old, mine is also very picky. If you want him/her to put on some weight try goats milk it is great for their bones and really helps growth, mine is at least 3 times larger (no fat), than any of the other pups from the same litter I mix in 1tsp. of plain pumpkin which is great for their tummys loaded with vitamins. I stew chicken ( no spices) and chop it in with his dry food and he loves it. Also give him small prices of watermelon for a treat. Hope this helps.

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    August 14, 2013 Flag
    0 found this helpful

    My chihuahua is approximately 5 years old. She is very spoiled and I can't seem to find any kind of dog food she will eat. I have tried everything. She will eat my cat's food but not her dog food. I'm afraid she isn't getting the nutrients she needs. Please help if anyone has advice.

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      August 14, 20130 found this helpful

      Slightly warm and mash the dog food before giving it to the dog - a good trick that I've found is before putting it down sprinkle the top with a teaspoon or so crushed dried liver - the smell seems to tempt my dogs to eat the food. Dried liver is usually available at the supermarket in the pet section or in the pet store.

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      August 15, 20130 found this helpful

      Don't let him be picky. This is where tough love comes in. Put the cat food up where cats can reach, but not the dog. Put dog food down for your dog, leave it for 15 minutes. If he eats, great. If not, put it up, and nothing to eat (except water) until the next meal. Do the same the next time. He'll learn to eat, and doesn't need to be spoiled to do so.

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      July 26, 2013 Flag
      0 found this helpful

      Is anyone having trouble feeding their miniature Poodle? He doesn't like hardly anything. I have given him chicken, rice, and dry dog food put in a food processor. Then I have to feed him with a spoon. I've tried every dry food and canned food, even the pouches and he doesn't like them. Have you ever seen a dog turn down treats, mine does, including steak or anything. The vet even tried to give him this canned food that he said he would love. Guess what? He wouldn't eat it.

      His father was like that, as well. I asked the breeder why is he so skinny. She would respond, "He has food over there, he just doesn't want to eat." When she told me that I got scared. I started feeding him. He still goes around and looks for food everything he has and he has a lot he doesn't want. How do I find what he wants to eat? Are there any poodle people out there having my problem? He is perfectly healthy always. Has all his shots and vet visits at least 2 times a year. She says he is very healthy. What do I do? I'm at my whits end; I love this dog so much.

      By Anita from Nymills, NY

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      July 28, 20130 found this helpful

      When my girls were tiny babies I went through days where they would not eat. One is a poodle and the other is a poodle mix. I bought Nutri-Cal Dietary Supplements. This stuff is excellent to stimulate appetite and provide energy for finicky eaters. My girls loved this stuff and looked forward to their daily dose. I gave them the squeeze tube gel. They did start eating and are very healthy to this day. They are both nine years old. You can purchase at www.petedge.com You will find it under supplements. I don't know what state you live in but you probably can find it at PetsMart and Petco or your local pet store.

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      October 13, 20140 found this helpful

      Hi there,

      Not sure how you are going with your poodle? I just saw this post, so I'm not sure if you have solved your feeding issue with your poodle? I have a 12 month old apricot mini poodle. He is shocking to feed. I tried everything you can imagine to feed him; wet, dry, homemade, barf, everything, he hated it all. He is very underweight too.

      I've been buying raw chicken mince carcass and mixing it with steamed vegetables. He has that, very reluctantly, in the morning. At night, I leave out for him to nibble on Royal canine puppy dry food, which he would sometimes eat. A week ago he stopped eating his food, again. He is so thin, so I asked the pet food shop what I could do to fatten up my dog. She advised I buy him minced (raw) lamb and other fatty off cuts, but she had sold out of that meat.

      I went to my local butcher and asked him if he had and lamb, beef, chicken, whatever off cuts he could mince up for me. He did! I went home and gave some to Olli and he loved it! Happiness!

      At last, I have found something fatty and somewhat healthy for him, which will hopefully put weigh on him. I also changed his dry food to Advance super premium dry dog food. It is an Australian brand dry dog food. He will nibble on that at night. I just hope he gains weight because he is far too skinny for my liking. I hope this post will help.

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      March 29, 2011 Flag
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      Is anyone else having problems with their Bischon being a very picky eater?

      By Annie from Jacksonville, FL

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      March 30, 20110 found this helpful

      It's a wonder that dogs even eat that stuff they call dog food! If you research this you will find that perhaps the food company's use 4 D meat in their products. 4 D stands for animal carcasses from: Drugged, Diseased, down & dead animals - I even think they might throw a little road kill in as well. It's no wonder that our cats & dogs are getting cancer. Stop feeding your dog this food he probably can smell this stuff in his food. Would you want to eat it? And oh yeah - China has put melamine in their wheat floor which goes into the dog food.

      Start cooking chicken for him, add veggies & rice and you will find your dogs personality will come alive! You're poisoning your dog! It's not that expensive, go to your local Shop & Save you can buy big chicken breasts, boneless & without skin for $1.16 to $1.49 per pound when they have it on sale. Did I mention you will save a lot of $$$ on vet bills as well?

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      June 21, 20110 found this helpful

      I have the same mixed dog, my dog is a male and refuses to eat dog food. I have tried every brand of dog food available and he won't eat any kind. He eats what I eat salads, apples, bananas potatos gravy and a small amount of meat. He has lost the use of his hind legs because of his long body and weak back. He is about 12 to 14 years old and has been on wheels for about 8 years. His name is Radar and I will admit he is very spoil but wouldn't have him any other way.

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      September 22, 20150 found this helpful

      You never feed a dog human food feed them high quality dry dog food try different kinds but never give in to the dog that shows you are the boss they get hungry enough they will my male shih tzu was the same way

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      October 7, 2012 Flag
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      I have a Bichon Pomeranian cross. She eats a little of her dry puppy food so I give her a little table scraps, but she doesn't always like that either.

      By Shirley

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      October 8, 20120 found this helpful

      I have a dog exactly as you described I tried giving her cooked meat only for a little while and then switched back to dog chow. It worked but not for long so I had to mix back and forth. Hope this helps.

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      June 20, 2011 Flag
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      I have a Dachshund/Pomeranian mix; he is a very picky eater. I haven't found any dog food he likes. Are there any suggestions from anyone that owns this type of breed? He is 18 months old. What do you feed your dog?

      By lady938

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      June 22, 20110 found this helpful

      The old saying of "when they get hungry enough, they will eat" sounds appropriate here...

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      April 17, 2015 Flag
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      I have a toy Pomeranian who hasn't eaten, but half of a little Caesar's pack.

      By Vicki

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      April 19, 20150 found this helpful
      Best Answer

      You gave little information of importance, like, How old is the dog? How long has it not been eating? Did you recently changed its food brand? Maybe the lil dog has a bad tooth with pain or something else going on. I would take the dog to see the vet to have all that checked out and the vet will more likely ask you other questions to help determine the problem if it is not visible.

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      March 29, 2011 Flag
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      Our 2 yr. old YorkiePoo is kinda picky in what she'll eat. Right now she eats (sometimes) Caesar foods. There isn't another one out there that she'll eat. And treats! I've got so much $ spent on treats. Sometimes she'll eat them and then again no. I had her eating cat treats for a couple of days, then it was no again.

      By Dottie from southwest IN

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      By <a href="/profile/index.lasso?profile=thr780896">CaroleeRose 12/13/2010

      I have spoiled my 3 dogs beyond rotten and they too had become picky eaters. With them I went back to the basics and no treats, human or table food. The only way they would eat was if each dog had a whole can of canned food mixed with their dry. I was glad they were eating but they gained a lot of weight from the canned food. So now didn't they only not eat, they had to adjust to dry dog food.

      When I put their supper down at 6 PM, they get one hour to eat it and if they don't eat it it I pick it up and they get nothing for the rest of the night. In the morning they get their breakfast and after an hour I pick that up. All three now eat their dry food. They try to make me feel guilty and that worked for awhile but their health is way to important to me.

      When and if they get hungry enough, they will eat.

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      By <a href="/profile/index.lasso?profile=thr727389">thriftyvicki 12/13/2010

      Well, I am of the "tough love" frame of mind here. Let her go hungry until she decides she likes something. She will eat something eventually. Maybe you could try some homemade foods. Type into the internet or check out some books on homemade dog foods.

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      December 11, 2010 Flag
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      My 1yr old Chihuahua is a very picky eater. Sometimes she will go for days without eating. I cannot find the right food to feed her, especially the hard food. She seems to like the Alpo beef w/gravy; and the chicken treats. But I keep reading the soft food is not good for her. Please forward any suggestions on what to feed her.

      Another thing, I don't brush her teeth. Is there anything that may keep her teeth strong and clean that she can chew on?

      By byates77 from Princeton, NJ

      Answers:

      My Dog is a Picky Eater

      I have a dog that way. I know when a dog gets hungry enough they will eat. My little dog has to have peace and quiet when he eats. Distractions takes him away from his food. I also know that some dogs have trouble chewing food and they won't eat it. My little dog I have to use small dog food. (08/21/2009)

      By Treads04

      My Dog is a Picky Eater

      We have a Maltese and feed her Royal Canin. They make a food especially for small breeds. The kibble is tiny and easier for small dogs to chew. We had found that regular puppy food kibble was too big for her and she couldn't chew it. Worth a try. (08/26/2009)

      By olive5

      My Dog is a Picky Eater

      Oh, I forgot to tell you they do make one for Chihuahuas. (08/26/2009)

      By olive5

      My Dog is a Picky Eater

      If your baby likes those flavors of wet food then feed her that! My cat is a picky eater, too, and I feed her one small can of her favorite flavors a day and leave a bowl of tiny size dry that she nibbles on through the week.

      There are special pet toothbrushes and toothpastes on the market at stores like Pet Smart and you can get her supplied with the tiny sized rawhide chewies, as well ;-) (08/26/2009)

      By Deeli

      My Dog is a Picky Eater

      My German Shepherd went through a period of about 3 months where she wouldn't eat anything, but peanut butter sandwiches. The vet said to give her whatever she would eat. She's a perfectly healthy and happy dog and now eats only canned dog food, with a p.b. sandwich once a week! (08/26/2009)

      By catastrofy

      My Dog is a Picky Eater

      I give my dog a sliced banana, he loves this. His other favs are: sliced carrots or baby carrots raw, sliced canned carrots, I rinse these first, canned green beans, white rice I add to his canned Pedigree food. He has crunchy food all day. My vet says these are all fine and actually good for him. A vet that Martha Stewart recently had on also said that these were good for dogs. Good luck. (08/30/2009)

      By meoowmom

      My Dog is a Picky Eater

      Animals are manipulative. My cat will suddenly go off her food to see what I will come up with next. I feed her 1/4 can of wet (store brand Friskies) twice a day and there is dry food that she will now not touch. She cries, she cries, but the vet says she's fine and if I don't respond she will either go off to do something else or eat the dry food. It's crazy. (09/08/2009)

      By tennesue

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      August 21, 2009 Flag
      0 found this helpful

      My dog is training me, he is a picky eater. I started to make him his food, because he would not eat his regular kibble, which was good quality.

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