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Feeding a Dog Who is a Picky Eater

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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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By 7 found this helpful
January 14, 2011

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.

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By Brenda from Buellton, CA

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April 22, 20170 found this helpful

Mix the chicken with dry dog food. 20% con tops. She will eat after a week. Plus bad for dogs not to have dry teeth fall out. Also ALL dogs that only eat meat BITE People and worse die very young not enough nutrition. Needs Dog food or your a horrible owner. Horrible.

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

April 17, 20151 found this helpful

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

By Vicki

Answer Was this helpful? 1
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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By 1 found this helpful
March 13, 2017

We have a very fussy Fox Terrier/Jack Russell. Sugar is 12 months old. She will not eat tin food, but loves her dried snacks (dried kangaroo, chicken, and bacon, along with dried liver). It is becoming very expensive buying food that she does not eat. When we give her home cooked meals, she will only eat the meat and not the veggies. She is not eating her kibble as much either. Even when she is hungry, she won't eat what we give her. Does anyone have a suggestion? We can't keep feeding her dried snacks.

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Anonymous
March 15, 20170 found this helpful

Thanks for that, but she has had no problem chewing of anything.

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June 18, 20120 found this helpful

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.

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By Andrea from Portland, OR

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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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July 26, 20130 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.

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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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June 11, 20160 found this helpful

My Maltzi is doing the same thing. I am worried at the moment because the vet said his healthy but for me his jusy skinny. H

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By 0 found this helpful
March 29, 2011

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

By Annie from Jacksonville, FL

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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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By 0 found this helpful
June 8, 2015

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

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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By 0 found this helpful
August 14, 2013

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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October 7, 20120 found this helpful

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, 20110 found this helpful

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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May 12, 20140 found this helpful

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.

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By 0 found this helpful
May 5, 2014

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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By 0 found this helpful
April 28, 2014

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

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January 13, 20110 found this helpful

I am new here and I hope you can help me get some answers, before I tell you about my problem, I will give you my Dog's description:

Breed: Bernese Mountain Dog
Age: 16 months
Weight: 77 lbs (according to the vet, after feeling his ribs he should be at least 10 lbs heavier)
Health: Did any and ALL blood work possible, clean bill of health.
Mood: Active, no stool problems, no mouth problems, a happy go lucky type of dog, as 99% of Berneses are.

So here is my dilemma: He is extremely picky. I started giving him as a pup BRIGHTLIFE. then he wouldn't eat that, so after a while slowly we switch him to NATURAL BALANCE. Both foods are very good, the problem is that now he just refuses to eat. People say, well stop giving him treats, and after all he is a dog, after a day or two he will eat but that's not really truth. He will skip 2 or 3 meals, eat maybe a cup and then stop, so he is actually losing weight.

We even bought liver and boiled it, put in the food processor and sprinkle it in his food and he may eat a 1/2 cup and then that's it. If i try to put chicken chunks, he will dig through it and only eat the chicken. Canned food? He will eat about half of can and walk away. If I mix it, he just walks away. S my last attempt now is I went to the pet store and they told me about NATURE'S VARIETY. It is better food than NATURAL BALANCE and they make different flavors, so its good for picky eaters because I can buy different flavors like every other month or so. On top I bought something that I thought any living dog would love and it is a RAW FOOD from BRAVO to mix with it, he still will not eat it.

I have a female 5 month same breed and she eats anything in sight. What do I do? I am sorry about the length, but not even the Vet can help me anymore. Medically the only option is steroids and I don't want to go that route... any pointers please?

Alex from CT

Answers:

Picky Bernese Mountain Dog

I don't know if this will help, but we have 3 dogs. Our pekingese is rather picky. He'll eat a dog food for awhile and then just stop. What we've ended up doing is buying a large bag of kibble (Nutro) and then mixing it with canned food. We switch up the flavor of the canned food every couple of days, but stay with the same brand. We used to use Natural Balance for the canned, but stopped because of the recall. I think we now use Avo for the canned. Anyway, that works for all our dogs. (05/26/2007)

By Yoda' mom

Picky Bernese Mountain Dog

Maybe it will help if you feed a good dry food and mix a little soft food with it. Just a little soft food because they need the dry food for their teeth. It worked for my dachshund, and my new german shep. puppy eats all her food right away when I do this. Before that I fed them Pedigree dry food which they liked, but I switched to Merrick when the pets began getting sick. A whole lot of attention and exercise is vital to make them work up an appetite. Good luck! (05/29/2007)

By Stngray

Picky Bernese Mountain Dog

Hello. I have the same problem with my dog. He turned his nose up at the dry Natural Balance Dog food. I know am giving him the Natural Balance Beef/liver stick, cut up and mixed with cans of either salt free vegal or green beans, with cheese and either rice or a slice of rye bread. He likes it a lot. It is not much work. About 5 minutes at the most. My dog is small so a can will last him 3 days. You can find at your store a generic (store brand) for cheaper. Ours has times when they have 20 cans for $10. Hope this helps. (05/29/2007)

By Anonymous

Picky Bernese Mountain Dog

If your dog consistently under-eats it may be that he has an irritated stomach - and a blood test may not show that. They can take an acid-reducer (there are prescription ones the vet can give you, and I know there is one human over-the-counter type they can take, but I forget which one). The vet had me give it to our dog for about 2 weeks, and as she felt better, she ate better. In addition, he had me feed her "bland" dog food - all wet, turkey, rice, and egg based by Prescription (which I was only able to get through a vet). He also had me feed her half a meal, twice a day during that time. It did really help her and she started eating better.

We also started making our own dog food for her after that because the Prescription dog food was expensive. We cut up 2 whole chickens, pulled off most of the skin and cooked them in a crockpot with 2 onions and water to cover. Cooked them overnight, then removed the chicken and bones from the broth to cool, then pull off all the meat and cut or shred into small pieces. We then cooked 3 cups of dry brown rice with the leftover broth from the chickens (made about 9 cups cooked). We also scramble 9 eggs and then mix the chicken, rice, and scrambled eggs together and divided up into portions for her. They do eat less of this homemade dog-food because it is much more dense and heavy than most canned dog foods. You could do the same with a small turkey. This is enough for our 50lb dog for about 8-9 days. We refrigerate enough for a few days and freeze the rest, pulling it out the day before we need it to thaw in the refrigerator.

I would certainly try the acid-reducers and making dog food before I would put the dog on steroids. Overtime steroids can cause a lot of medical problems of their own and may affect the dog's personality and temperment. If you need to use steroids, then you do - but if not, that would be better. (05/30/2007)

By DownSouth

Picky Bernese Mountain Dog

My vet told me to add canned green beans to my dog's food to get her attention. For awhile she tried to eat nothing but the beans, until I wised up and withheld them until she ate regular kibble again. The vet also said to give her raw carrots. She loves them and know the word! She thinks they are treats instead of health food. Just like a kid, right? (05/30/2007)

By hsorbits

Picky Bernese Mountain Dog

did the vet check for bad teeth or throat? or something wrong with doggies tummy ? did the vet check her for internal parasites? Try mixing some meat baby food in the food,this might work too. hope your dog starts eating. (05/30/2007)

By rosa

Picky Bernese Mountain Dog

I had a dog that completely quit eating after an illness. The vet was afraid of stomach ulcers. She put my dog on Pepcid AC, told me to use the generic if I could find it. It worked wonders for this dog, when I see him slacking up on eating, I give him one a day for a week, and his appetite is much better. He had gone through a great illness and is much better now. His weight went from 78 to 50 , now is back to 67. The Pepcid AC was great for him. (05/31/2007)

By Sue.

Picky Bernese Mountain Dog

Try feeding him raw, chicken is the best as most dogs will readily accept. Give it to him bones and all. (05/31/2007)

By Mom in GA

Picky Bernese Mountain Dog

I think the Pepcid AC sounds worth a try, as long as your vet thinks it's OK. Also, I have hand-fed my dogs on occasion. They will often eat out of your hand what they won't eat out of their dish. Does he like cottage cheese? Most dogs do. Good luck. (05/31/2007)

By Jantoo

Picky Bernese Mountain Dog

I just want to give a BIG THANK YOU to all of you for your inputs. In terms of illnesses, yes they have done all they can in terms of medical exams but here is the latest. We were having a BBQ, by accident I dropped a hot dog on the grass and he just swallowed the entire hot dog. So my idea was, hey he loves hotdogs! Now I know what to mix with his food. Well I mixed the raw meat, kibble and one hot dog into tiny little pieces. He put his nose on the food, licked anywhere he found a piece of hotdog and walked away from the rest. So my wife and I are just tired of it, it's obvious he's hungry because he will eat but not dog food! I think we will go back to just the dry food and just put it down for 15 minutes and then take it away. He will and we will suffer because he will lose weight, all I hope is that it is a teenage fling and he eats eventually otherwise I will need to give him steroids. Even then, steroids can only be given for a short time. I tell you, I never thought it would be this hard to feed a Bernese. My girl Bernese swallows anything you give her.

Thank you guys, please keep sending me any inputs you may have. Thanks again from us and Bailey (the picky Bernese). Here is a pic of Bailey when he was 1 year old
(05/31/2007)

By avjs99

RE: Picky Bernese Mountain Dog

Picky Bernese Mountain Dog

Hi, I had a Siberian that was so picky! I tried all types of foods, and kept a log book, then hand feed her, she loved this. Then aslo a good one, dry food in a plastic bottle for her the play with and when she got lid off after 2 hours, her treat!

For dinner I just gave her chicken necks raw or frozen, NEVER COOKED! This was her diet for 11 years until she died last week, (she was hit by a car) but the vet said she was in 100% perfect health, a little chubby, and a small bit of arthritis, but in great health. Remember you are the boss and your dog will eventually eat. An Acid tummy could be the problem too. GOOD LUCK (05/31/2007)

By Amy

Picky Bernese Mountain Dog

My vet also said it was ok to give my doggies green beans and carrots as they LOVE them. My yorkie thinks canned carrots are the best treat in the world.

Also Vet had a recipe for me. One turkey roll baked plain let cool slice and give as treats or you could give some as a meal. Try the cooked green beans or carrots they seem to love those along with cooked peas.Good Luck and God Bless you for your patience and let us know how it works out. (06/02/2007)

By meoowmom

Picky Bernese Mountain Dog

I would just buy the gravy mix that they sell at pet stores and put it on his food, I use a touch of gravy from dinner and my dogs will eat anything I sit in front of them. When my puppies were sick though I feed them hamburger and rice mixture that I make right at home (06/06/2007)

By brees mom

Picky Bernese Mountain Dog

Have you tried the dog on raw, unbleached, animal tripe. You don't cook it. Keep it in the freezer till the night before you want to use it! The reason I suggest it, is that I've never, and I mean never came across a dog who didn't love tripe! It's the food of the gods for them and is probably the closest thing to a natural diet! (08/05/2009)

By She Wolf

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August 21, 20090 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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March 29, 20110 found this helpful

Our 2 yr. old YorkiePoo is kinda picky in what she'll eat. Right now she eats (sometimes) Caesar foods.

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December 11, 20100 found this helpful

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.

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