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.

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.

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

January 15, 20110 found this helpful

I also have a little pap.chihuahua,and had the same problem. She would not eat any kind of dry dog food (and I bought around 15 different kinds trying to get her to).Everyone said " keep it down and when she gets hungry, she'll eat."wrong! I did take her to the vet to have the teeth checked and no problems. So, I've been doing for a year what you are doing. I also add chicken or beef and some cooked vegs to it, plus a daily vitamin. She scarfs everything down in record time. I also get her a complete blood test every six months to make sure she's not lacking anything. I do notice tho, that she has no trouble chewing a hard treat. Everyone says I've just spoiled her and I say so what? I love my baby and in return I get kisses and snuggles. What more can you ask for?

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January 15, 20110 found this helpful

Also I cook meals for her. It only takes a little time and they will eat it. Put in "dog food recipes" in the search and you will get tons of them Also check what you should not feed dogs and onions are big on the list. I bet your dog will eat then and you"ll feel a lot better. It's worth a try.

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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 6, 20130 found this helpful

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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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
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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

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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August 25, 20150 found this helpful

July 26, 2013 Flag
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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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September 13, 20160 found this helpful

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

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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September 22, 20150 found this helpful

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.

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