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Getting Picky Dog to Eat

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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January 14, 20110 found this helpful

I am surprised that a Vet would approve of a wet mix for a dog. My Vet said it promotes tooth problems in animals and to only feed my dog dry food. She has never had a tooth problem.

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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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April 6, 20170 found this helpful

We just mix in a tad bit of butter in our 7 yr old miniature poodles' food & it gets her eating her food instead of her sniffing & walking away from it.

Don't know why she doesn't want now the same foods she ate afore.

If this is not good for her, PLEASE, let me/us know.

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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

Hi I have a shitzu-chihuahua mix, she's adorable, very small appx 3-4 lbs soaking wet, tiny little teeth, big eyes and so very picky. She's now 1 1/2 years, when I got her she was 9 mos and 2 lbs, would not eat what the others did! I'm boiling chicken for her, removing all bones, no seasonings except a little salt. ONION can be toxic, no rice she won't touch that.

She also mows through hard treats just fine but won't touch hard dog food. Thanks for all the suggestions, I will look up recipes! I am concerned about all the talk of onions and raw poultry being given, I thought all "meats" had to be cooked, am I wrong? What can be given raw? I know about the veggies and NO grapes also, so what else can you tell me? I really appreciate any and all feedback! Tried making her go hungry, it doesn't work! Thanks again! Shona

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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


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

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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