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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5 found this helpful
January 14, 2011 Flag

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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December 29, 20120 found this helpful

Please ask another Veterinary advice I can't understand why your current Vet never removed the decayed tooth and to suggest the Dog spends the rest of it's life eating "sloppy" food is ridiculous. Good luck.

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April 17, 2015 Flag

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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Anonymous Flag
June 3, 20160 found this helpful

My cavashon has always been very fussy about his food but gone worse he is 1 year old now tried so many different types of nuts trying royal canine now again and trying to mix a small amount of wet through them but still no good

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October 28, 20160 found this helpful

My min pin jack Russell won't eat no dog food not even a 30 dollar bag if the best dog foidbyou can get how do I get her to eat I don't want to feed her table scraps cuz their really bad on a dog and she's 9 months old

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June 8, 2015 Flag

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

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

Slightly warm & mash the food before you give it to the dog. The aromas make the food more interesting. Also I grind up 1 Tbsp. of dried beef liver (can buy this at the pet shop or supermarket) & sprinkle it over the food as this seems to tempt my little pom.

A little bit of chopped apple - banana & watermelon is good - always peel the apple & make the pieces small enough as not to choke the dog if she eats it to fast. In Australia we can get kangaroo sticks - dried meat & the dogs love to chew on these.

PS. don't overdo the dried liver as some dogs get the scours from it.

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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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July 26, 2013 Flag

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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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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March 29, 2011 Flag

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

Your dog is picky because he's allowed to be. I'm a trainer and I've never seen a dog skeleton next to a full dinner dish! Being allowed to dictate what he will and won't eat gives him the upper hand in your relationship as well as being unhealthy physically. People food isn't a balanced diet for a dog. A lot of times, dogs don't eat what's put in front of them simply because they're not hungry! Usually it's a result of too many treats, pig's ears, rawhide bones, etc., between meals. Cut them out.

In the morning, put down half of the dog's normal portion of food. Leave it down for 45 minutes, and pick it up if it's not eaten. Feed nothing else until dinner time and do the same thing again. Of course, water should always be available.

If you don't cave under the pressure the dog is sure to bestow upon you and fall for the fussing and as long as everyone in the family agrees and does this, after a day or two, your dog will eat. This reverts the dog back to his roots, i.e., eat when food is available. Trust me on this; it works. And a day or two of not eating isn't going to kill him.

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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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August 14, 2013 Flag

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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October 7, 2012 Flag

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

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, 2014 Flag

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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May 5, 2014 Flag

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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April 28, 2014 Flag

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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August 21, 2009 Flag

My Dog is a Picky Eater
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

Answers:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RE: My Dog is a Picky Eater

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

RE: My Dog is a Picky Eater

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April 4, 20160 found this helpful

i have two maltese puppies and they are very picky eaters.. i found that if i scramble an egg and mix in the food they clean the bowl, another thing they love is sardine juice poured over dry food, no more leftovers. recently discovered a squeezable pouch dog food nutrition booster with beef mixed with fruit flavors that you squeeze on the dry food and stir to coat it, it coats each piece of food and they eat it all up. the pouch says use 1/2 the pouch per feeding but i use 1/4 per feeding, it last longer and they love it. i think it is made by Purina.

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March 29, 2011 Flag

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:

By 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 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

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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