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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Tip: Getting Picky Dog to Eat

By Brenda 1 1

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.

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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Question: Dog is a Picky Eater

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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By Kathie B. 1 Flag

August 25, 2015

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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Question: My Dog is a Picky Eater

By Annie 1

Is anyone else having problems with their Bischon being a very picky eater?

By Annie from Jacksonville, FL

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By jay w 1 Flag

September 22, 2015

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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Question: Feeding a Picky Dog

By Ysen Johanne O. 1

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.

    AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

    Most Recent Answer

    By Abigail A. 15 1,046 Flag

    June 9, 2015

    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.

    ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

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    Question: Dog Eating Very Little

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

    By Vicki

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    Best Answer

    By Myrna 17 1,083 Flag

    April 19, 2015Best 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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    Question: My Chihuahua is a Picky Eater

    By Savanna B. 1

    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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      By Cheryl 3 63 Flag

      August 15, 2013

      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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      Question: Miniature Poodle Won't Eat

      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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      Most Recent Answer

      By joanneryan19 1 Flag

      October 13, 2014

      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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      Question: Feeding a Picky Dog

      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

      AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

      Most Recent Answer

      By sarah bajan 1 4 Flag

      October 8, 2012

      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.

      ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

      Question: Dog Food Suggestions for a Picky Eater

      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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      Most Recent Answer

      By Dreamwvr 1 78 Flag

      June 22, 2011

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

      ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

      Question: Best Food for Feeding an Overweight Dog

      I have a daisy dog; she's overweight a few pounds, but on a small dog that's not good. She only eats human food. What's the best wet or dry food for small dog?

      By Jody B.

      AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

      Question: Dog Has Inconsistent Eating Habits

      By Monica M. 1

      I have a three year old Boxer who has had health problems since she was born, such as allergies. She doesn't metabolize nutrients like she should, and she has had urinary incontinence since she was 4 months. Recently she stopped eating her food and only would get into the trash, now she is eating more than normal plus gets into the trash and eats anything (she has never gotten into the trash before). She is also eating a lot of grass. This is all in about a two month period. I work with dogs professionally and even I am just so stumped on what could possibly be the problem. I have been told by one vet they think I should put her down because of her health problems. I really am just looking for some advice and if anyone has ever seen this kind of thing before. She has been on very good dog food since we brought her home at 8 weeks. Also she is three years old but is the size of a six month old puppy.

      By Monica

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      Question: Shih Tzu Only Wants Table Scraps

      By Carol Getz 6

      If I put dry food or canned food in the feeding dish, my Shih Tzu will go 3 days without eating, but she begs at the table constantly. We do not feed her from the table!

      By C G

      AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

      Archive: My Dog is a Picky Eater


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      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. Yesterday after heating his pre-made food, he smelled it and did not eat. I have come to the conclusion he is just really picky. I love him, but if he is going to be that picky, I will just feed him regular high quality dog food. How long can he go without eating? He is not sick, just picky. Any ideas of what to feed him. Lady at store suggested wellness dog food. I tried to give it to him and he put his nose in the air and walked away. Thank you for any help. Picture is of when he was a puppy, he is Chu/Terrior.

      Lisa from Westland

      Feedback:

      RE: My Dog is a Picky Eater

      Trust me he will eat. My boxer, Rascalbaby, tried that when I first brought him home. I give him Nutro Puppy. He eventually started to eat and found out he indeed likeed "mommy's food".
      Good luck.
      Melissa (05/01/2007)

      By Melissa

      RE: My Dog is a Picky Eater

      I pour just a tiny bit of either chicken broth or beef broth over her dry food and she loves it. (05/02/2007)

      By Beverly

      RE: My Dog is a Picky Eater

      When my Pomeranian got "picky" I opened a can of green beans and added them to the kibble. She looked as if she would eat the bowl, too. The vet told me about the canned green beans, so we knew it was a safe way to feed her. (05/02/2007)

      By hsorbits

      RE: My Dog is a Picky Eater

      My picky Yorkie loves roast and potatoes cut or chopped up good. She loves to see the crock pot. In the morning after she does her business she goes in the kitchen and sits on the floor and waits for me. Castor and Pollux has a great Organic canned dog food, organic turkey, brown rice, chicken, and veggies. (05/02/2007)

      By Tracy

      RE: My Dog is a Picky Eater

      I raw feed my dogs and they go wild for liver. You can saute it a little first. (05/03/2007)

      By Min

      RE: My Dog is a Picky Eater

      My yorkie, and jack russell, and newbie cockapoo love when I boil canned carrots, green beans, and one weenie cut up tiny pieces. I pour this over dry doogie food and it is a hit. My vet says the
      green beans and carrots are great for them. The vet told me she knows a lady who buys rolled
      turkey burger (on sale) bakes them with no added stuff and slices thin then freezes and uses those for
      "treats". So doggie gets hi protein with less fat and better quality then treats loaded with junk.

      I try not to feed them the store snacks and they love the faux ear treats. Good luck. Mine get Pedigree canned food and dry food too, in moderation. Puppy gets Pedigree puppy. (05/03/2007)

      By meoowmom

      RE: My Dog is a Picky Eater

      I have a 1 1/2 year Old Cockapoo, Lexii, who hates dry kibble. I started to mix her kibble with warm water and that worked for a short period of time. It is so time consuming just "watching" and making sure she eats her food when I have to be at work so early.

      I also have a 14 year old cocker spaniel, Princess, who loves to eat, so I have to make sure she doesn't eat Lexii's food. I did some research and I tried, "Force" by The Honest Kitchen. The best food out there for dogs and cats. It is a bit expensive, but as long as my dog likes it, it's all that matters. Go to the website and take a look. If your dog is a picky eater and you no longer know what to do, you can buy a sample of force for like a dollar. Worth a try. (11/18/2007)

      By Stephanie

      <img src="/images/feedback_image.lasso?id=69011231" width="400" height="300" alt="RE: My Dog is a Picky Eater">

      RE: My Dog is a Picky Eater

      My 3 yr old husky is also a picky eater, we tried mixing his dry kibble with Beneful and that worked for awhile. Then we started putting fresh salmon, that worked for awhile. Then i started making him a doggie tuna casserole, I found in a dog recipe book with milk, tuna, egg noddles, and peas in it. He loved it so much he licked the bowl until I had to stop him.
      (09/05/2008)

      By Valerie

      <img src="/images/feedback_image.lasso?id=86509802" width="400" height="746" alt="RE: My Dog is a Picky Eater">

      Archive: My Dog is a Picky Eater

      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

      Feedback:

      RE: 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

      RE: 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

      RE: My Dog is a Picky Eater

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

      By olive5

      RE: 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

      RE: 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

      RE: 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

      RE: 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

      Archive: My Dog is a Picky Eater

      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

      Feedback:

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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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      Feeding a Dog That is a Picky Eater
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