What can I feed my small dog he only weights 12 pounds? I have tried everything on the market and he will only eat a few bites. All he wants is people food and that's not good for him. I have even made homemade gravy to pour over his food. Should I try canned cat food or dry? That I haven't done yet. I'm going crazy over this dog I call Beanie. Please can you help?
By Gloria from Cedar City
A lot of people food is good for a dog such as: cooked skinless-boneless chicken or turkey and a little bit of boiled in water chopped beef liver from time to time.
Human Foods dogs should never have are: onions, garlic, salt, greasy meats and bacon, grease gravy,
pinach, kale, walnuts, chocolate, pomegranates, mushrooms: you get the picture...you can even do a google search for other human foods not to give dogs. (I have a file folder just on this subject)
Cat foods are not meant for dogs; totally different ingredients made especially for cats. That's why it's specified on the label for cat or dog.
You could try a really good quality dry dog food. When you change brands know that your pet might get diahrrea from the change, so add some regular brand you buy with the new for a couple weeks until the dog gets adjusted to the change. Pet food stores sell highly rated dog foods, so I'd start there and you can get their suggestions before buying any new brand.
Check Beanie's back teeth since it's a small breed of dog and maybe there's a problem gone unnoticed and a vet needs to clean teeth. They could be causing pain and the reason for slacking off food.
The first thing you need to do is have Beanie checked by his vet. Make sure there's not a medical or dental reason for his not eating dog food. Assuming he gets a clean bill of health, then you need to get stubborn yourself.
You need to be persistent and more stubborn than Beanie is. He won't starve himself to death. Many dogs are extremely stubborn, but their will to live is stronger.
Start out by adding a handfull of dry food to the people food you feed him now. Don't give him anymore till he's cleaned his dish. This is where your persistencce comes in. Even if it takes him 2-3 days to finish it, YOU BE MORE STUBBORN THAN HE IS. Make sure he always has plenty of water tho.
After about a week, lessen the people food and put 2 handfuls of dog food in.
In another week, lessen the people food again and put 3 handfuls of dog food in. Continue to do this till he's eating all dog food. Don't worry if he goes on a stubborn streak and refuses to eat again. Just remember that his will to live is stronger than his stubborn streak. He will eventually learn that you can't be conned into spoiling him with the people food.
Lorelei was right in that some people foods are good for dogs. But they are not intended to be the dog's entire diet. Like cat food, it's called people food for a reason. Dog foods have the specific nutrients that dogs need in their diets. Feeding a dog nothing but people food will cause his system to not work properly over time. Also with a dog as stubborn about his diet as Beanie is, you're better off not giving him any people food at all because it will negate everything your've done to get him swtiched over to dog food. If you want to feel like you are giving him special people food treats, there are many online sites which have recipes for homemade doggy treats that you can make for him. Just google "homemade doggy treats" and you'll get lots of sites listed.
So gradually switch Beanie over to dog food, and you be more stuborn than he is. In the end his system will thank you, even if Beanie doesn't!
This happened to me. I have a 2 yr old Chihuahua.I use to share my meals with her."Don't do it". You have to be "mean".Stop feeding your dog human food. Stop! Offer your dog dry dog food and water. You have to be strong! Keep talking to the dog. Say "Eat your food, cant have my food anymore". My dog went 5 days without eating. I just knew she was going to die of starvation. But on the 6th day she started eating her food. She still begs for my food, but I say "NO" you have your own food. She gets her treats also. Once in a while, i will give her a raw carrot, the baby ones. She is happy now. Its hard, but you have to be tough for you dogs sake.
Cat food has too much protein for dogs, try Blue Buffalo, its natural and none of the garbage the other companies add in for fillers. If your dog still won't eat, put a little water in his bowl with the food and warm it for a few seconds and mix it up. The heat will bring out the aromas of the food.
I have a 5 1/2 pound Chihuahua who also will not eat dry kibble, and I have tried all brands out there. But finally I found a way. I put the dry food in a small bowl, add water to it and put it in the fridge a day to soften it up. Then I put it in my small blender till it is like canned food. To that I add some kind of veggie and sometimes some small pieces of chicken or ground beef and some brown rice. Also about once a week I put 1/2 tsp. of olive oil over it. She eats all of it, problem solved. Some say I spoil her, but to me it's a labor of love. Also she gets a vitamin each day to cover all bases.
Sometimes, warming up the food helps. What food are you feeding? I am no expert. I do not know if puppy is eating kibble or not, but if she is, you can add warm water to kibble. It should bring up aroma and she may want to eat it more.
Or is it possible that you are putting the food out all day long? If so, you can feed it only when it is meal time.
All the time I was growing up everybody that we knew fed their dogs all kinds of table scraps, and the dogs thrived. We even did this with the two purebred pugs that we had after I grew up, because they wouldn't eat dog food of any type. They were that way when we got them. All the dogs that our families had were healthy, active dogs.
You think you have a quirky dog? One of 3, I have a 6 year old male shih tzu, and this is not a medical issue (has been checked), is behavioral, kind of passive-aggressive looking for attention. I will put the food bowls down, he acts excited, then once down, he walks away, sulks under a table or chair. When I pick the bowl up, after 15 min, a ample time, he will emerge and give me a kind of sad look. Attention seeker. He sometimes refuses food for 4-6 meals, and breaks down when he so hungry he cannot play his game anymore.
No, human food, sparingly does not work. When he is in his stubborn phases, you could put down chopped chicken and top it with ice cream and he would refuse. Total behavioral.
My question is always this, after doing this 4 years, can't he get the hint this nonsense does not work? Good luck, dogs can be quirky.
Gloria, Mama, below has some good advice. Her shih tzu must be my dog's clone. It is a passive-aggressive looking for attention ploy. My dog was checked medically, also, and there is nothing physically wrong with him. He is the Omega man on the 3-dog totem pole, and this is his little game. You could put chopped chicken and ice cream in front of him when he pulls this and he would still stare at the food and pull this nonsense. 4-6 meals skipped - yes, it has happened. He gets so hungry he finally breaks down and eats. This is just a quirky dog, as mine is, as Mama's is.
Mine must be a clone, also. Attention seeking, as has been commented on, Omega man, and this is his ploy. A dog will not starve - and when the Little snot gets tired of the game and is hungry enough - he will eat.
I dont think withholding food is good, at least I cant do it. I have a dog who wont eat it either. Not even those cookies that look like cookies from Petco. None of it. He will eat broccoli, chicken, beef, carrots, tangerines, peas, rice, apples, chicken broth,lots of things that are good for him. In my mind the only thing he is missing is the crunch that cleans his teeth. Dog food is processed food with vitamins and nutrients put into it. Live foods are good for them as well as for us.