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
These answers have been rated the best for this question.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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,
spinach, 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.
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.
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.
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.
My 16 year old toy poodle (6.5 lbs) won't eat dog food since he had a bout of colitis. he was fed warmed up canned science diet at the vets office after he regained his appetite. he had been eating blue buffalo pre illness. now he won't eat anything that isn't people food and sometimes only once or twice on any one item. tried mixing dry blue buffalo in with people food but he ignore it or drops it on the floor. my 6 yr old female is getting her nose out of joint over his special treatment and wants what he gets. maybe he'll eat a little burger, hot dog, hard salami, cheese. turns his nose up at peanut butter which he used to woof down kwik. he doesn't weigh enough to let him go without eating; gets shaky on his feet and very week. so, recommendations? Thanks.
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.
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 veg. Sometimes some small pieces of chicken or ground beef and some brown rice. Also about once a week 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.
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.
Here are questions related to My Dog Won't Eat Dog Food.
Does anyone know how to get a Pekingese to go to her food plate and eat dog food? We have an adorable one, but she does not like to eat. No, letting her go hungry does not do it. I am quite positive she would starve if allowed to.
She will eat summer sausage and Steak'Um sandwiches. She also loves cream cheese muffins, etc. She is now 4 years old. How does one get a spoiled dog like this to eat her dog food? I would like to keep her healthy.
By Janet C
Tough love is what is called for here. Completely stop all people food. Choose a brand of dog food, and feed only that. Put the bowl down for 15 minutes twice a day. If the dog does not eat within 15 minutes, the bowl goes up, and nothing to eat until the next meal.
The next meal time, bowl goes down for 15 minutes. If the dog doesn't eat, then nothing till morning. Trust me, a healthy dog will not starve himself to death. He'll eventually eat the dog food, and learn to like it. Treat your spoiled dog like you would a stubborn child. Good luck!
My 17 yr old dog has totally quit eating her food. I tried to ignore it as usually a dog will go back to eating once hungry enough. She lost 10 plus pounds and I have given her cat food and baby food and she gobbles up both. She will not eat chicken broth either I tried that. At 17 and being so skinny is cat food really that bad for her? I have been mixing rice in with the food to keep her from getting the runs.
Bless you for trying to keep your old dog happy and healthy. I dont see any problem with feeding her cat food or baby food. One thing to consider is whether she has a dental problem. This can cause dogs to stop eating food that may hurt a bad tooth. It might be a good idea to have that checked out. Best of luck to you both.
I have a crossed-bred Pomeranian and Japanese Spitz. It's already three months old. Before it used to eat dog food, but when my boyfriend fed my dog Tinola, a Filipino dish (chicken soup) it started not to eat dog food. It only likes to eat rice with soup and some meat. What can I do?
By Angel G.
By Gloria Z08/22/2012
Dogs have a keen sense of smell and I think he knows what bad things are in it. Check out "4 D meat" in your search engine you'll want to throw up. You can't tell me that corporate America isn't putting it in the dog food. I'm a strong advocate for feeding dogs real food like cooked chicken,meat loaf, etc.
My family has done this and our dogs lived a longer time longer than the average age for their breed. Switch the dog over to people food gradually so his system adapts to it. If he gets watery stools make sure you aren't feeding him watery food.
It comes out the same consistency as it goes in. If he continues to have watery stools then just given him cooked rice and cooked hamburger but make sure the hamburger isn't greasy. Don't listen to those people who say it's wrong to do. There could be a reason they say it, and that is they probably have a dog club and get nice donations from the dog food industry.
Whenever I feed my dog, a Chocolate Lab, he is trying to bury his bowl. He pushes it with his head around the floor. I had a small rug under his bowl and he tried to pull it up and bury his bowl with it. Most of the time he won't eat either. I have tried all kinds of dog food. I have to coax him to eat. I usually end up mixing it with some of our food to get him to eat, but I don't like doing that. Anyone else had this problem and any suggestions? I have tried everything, I even changed his feeding bowl.
By Deb F.
By Gloria Z06/21/2012
It's the quality of the dog food that is repulsive to him. Search the web for 4D meat you will be horrified with what you find. It's meat that comes from: Diseased (cancer), Drugged, Down & Dead animals carcass's.
With corporate greed running rampart you can't really trust what they list on the dry & moist dog food containers. As an example: 20 yrs ago a "Top High Quality (expensive) dog food was caught putting old rubber tires in the dog food! The dogs coats started to dull and flake so one owner had the food analyzed and that's what they found. That was then - what do you think the industry is doing now?
I've had my dogs go into convulsions from a brand. Another brand made them sick with some type of bad bacteria.. Another brand made it impossible to switch from their product without making my dogs sick (It was also a "Highly" recommended brand.
Also read the ingredients and if it has corn in it you don't want it! Very bad for dogs the only reason they eat it is the sugar that they put in it. Don't-buy it if it has colorful pictures of fish, meat veggies & corn on the bag the dog would be better off eating the bag not the contents.
After spending a lot of money at the Vets I decided to cook for my dog and skip the bagged crap. Chicken is cheap, rice and veggies are always on sale. My dogs never got sick again and they always ate everything in their bowl. My suggestion is search the web for making dog food yourself the dog will probably live several years longer - mine did.
My dog won't eat dog food. What should I do?
I agree have you talked him to the vet? Is it the same food you have feed him in the pass? Is there any reason that you can think of to course him don't to eat? Is he just old because if he is then maybe you need to soak the biscuits with warm powered milk so he can eat it.
Good luck and hope everything is ok with your dog.
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I have tried all kinds of food for my 1 year old Louisiana Catahoula Leopard dog. He just won't eat dog food. He's not sick, just spoiled by me. I have mixed butter, bacon grease, olive oil, fish oil, canola oil, and warm water in dry food but nothing has worked. I'm at a complete loss. Can any one suggest a solution? I have bought him different kinds of food from the makers of special dog food.
Bill from Prescott Valley, AZ
A lot of people feed their dogs human food and there's nothing wrong with it. It's actually, next to a raw diet, the healthiest for them. I feed mine Wysong, probably the best dog food available for low grain high meat content. I also buy whatever meat is on sale and cook that with a couple/3 bags of frozen veggies. I just boil the veggies in a big pot (they need to be cooked until well done). I either boil the meat or cook it in the oven depending on what kind it is.
I feed this meal for 4 days of the week. But since you only have 1 dog you could easily do it for every day. I would cook fresh every 4 days because I wouldn't give them cooked meat that has been more than 4 days in the frig. You could even cook for the week all at once and freeze part of it.
Dogs are carnivores and digest meat the easiest. They don't digest raw veggies at all so they just go through the body. It's OK to give them to them, I do, but just consider they won't get any nutrients from them unless they're cooked. Grains are predominant in most dry foods and are even disguised by other terms you wouldn't recognize. They are responsible for most things/diseases that make dogs sick.
I learned a lot more when I recently went to a very known/respected holistic/traditional vet. They can also have cooked/raw fruits, cottage cheese, brown rice and a lot of other lean things we eat. When you cook for yourselves just think in dog terms what he could eat. If you want to also feed dry, try the Wysong. Yes, it's more expensive but you get what you pay for. Crappy food means unhealthy dogs and more vet bills. I hope I've helped. (02/27/2006)
Our dog gets veggies and fruits as snacks, but no people food mixed into her food. Perhaps the oils are too rich for him and that's why he's turning up his handsome spotted nose. Try a middle of the road priced food (like Purina One). If he still objects, maybe some no sugar added apple sauce or pureed carrots (baby food) mixed in will tempt him. Just feed one food consistently and he will eat it. I don't know any animal that will starve itself on purpose. Good luck. (02/27/2006)
I agree with smcarney. No dog will "starve to death". A dog WILL eat and dogs can go days even weeks without eating, but they will drink water. You have given your dog forbidden foods that taste yummy, so why would your dog want to eat regular dog food now? It's like giving someone steak every day for a week then all of a sudden start giving them cold oatmeal.
Cat food is formulated especially for cats and should not be fed to dogs. Dog food should be a high quality kibble with no animal by-products. The first two or three ingredients should be meat. I feed my German Shepherd INNOVA which contains three meats, many vegetables, fruits, even cottage cheese, and vitamins. I feed my new puppy Nutra Ultra which is just as good as INNOVA and easily digestible. The more digested the food is, the less poop.
It basically says that it won't hurt them but a steady cat food diet deprives dogs of the grains and vegetables that they need. (03/03/2006)
My Shih Tzu and Toy Poodle were so spoiled. I was having the same problems all of you have had. My solution was to make cooked chicken, or beef with carrots and/or yams and/or green beans in a pot with a small amt. of water for broth. I then mixed it with their dry food (Nutro) to absorb the broth. They love it!
I also freeze this (without the Nutro) in serving size zip lock bags for future use. (I make a 2-3 week supply) This way, they are getting the proper nutrients in a food that is very palatable to them. I was going crazy trying out tons of dog foods and wasting my money - when the solution was SO easy. I also make healthy dog cookies that I give them as a treat. (I make a months supply and freeze) Wow! Do they love these! It has whole wheat flour, carrots, dry milk, beef bouillon, and either beef or liver in it.
If anyone wants the recipe let me know. I am finally enjoying my dogs eating normally. Good luck to all of you! (08/05/2008)
Please all beware despite numerous posts to the contrary on this site many dogs are allergic to garlic and like many human allergies they can come on suddenly even though the dog has been fine with it before.
Apparently some breeds are more susceptible than others. My English Cocker Spaniel got hold of some garlic and had a very bad reaction. Fortunately my vet realized straight away what the problem was and he survived, sadly many don't. (03/03/2009)
catbuttons from KS
I would mix whatever canned food your dog likes with the dry food, maybe a 3-1 ratio at first. Once they are used to eating the mix, gradually decrease the amount of canned food in the mix. I don't think there's anything wrong with letting them have a couple of spoons of canned in the mix eventually, but not mushy. They do need crunch in their food.
From Pat in Nevada (03/16/2009)
Cats require a large amount of the mineral taurine if they do not get it they suffer from arthritis and their overall system does not function properly. Dogs do not require as much taurine as cats and when they are fed a steady diet of cat food they suffer from arthritis, joint stiffness, and kidney problems. Also cats require a lot more fat in their diet than dogs so their food is higher in it which is not good for your dog.
Do not feed cat food no matter how much they like it, your dog will have a longer healthier life if you do not. If your dog refuses dry food he is being picky due to an improper diet. Either consult with a holistic vet about a raw food diet recipe or choose a good dry dog food brand per your veterinarian's recommendations and your own careful research. Now the hard part, give your beloved friend plenty of exercise, lots of filtered water (no chlorine), and offer him the appropriate amount of food for his size daily.
Eventually the dog will be hungry enough to eat what he is offered. Dogs are opportunists by nature he will eat it eventually. During this time do not feed table scraps or extra foods that your dog likes better. In the future try to limit his intake of table treats, scraps, and dog treats to no more than 15 percent of his diet. Your dog requires something harder to chew on daily to clean his teeth, if you are not going to feed him dry dog food than feed him carrots which help with teeth cleaning and most dogs like them.
I see to many overweight dogs, who are stiff way too young from being fed cat food and an otherwise bad diet of people food, please do not continue the cycle. (03/17/2009)
My 1 1/2 year old Yorkie Poo won't eat dog food, dog snacks, nothing doggy. What should I do?
By Shabon from Staten Island, NY
The best thing you can do for your dog is to have more persistence than he does. You might start with mixing dry and canned food because it's more enticing. But the dog won't starve himself. Eventually he will eat if that is the ONLY thing available to him. Don't offer any treats--doggy or otherwise. Put the food down along with water and absolutely REFUSE to give him anything else.
I know it sounds cruel, but believe me it's not. He'll eat eventually. He might refuse to eat when you can see him (I have one like that now. He only eats in the middle of the night when he thinks I'm asleep), but he will eat.
It'll actually be harder on you than it is on him. But just keep telling yourself, "he has it available, so if he doesn't want to eat it then it's his own problem".
I've had dogs that were stubborn like yours and have had to do this. But it always worked. Different dogs take longer to break down than others, but they all will sooner or later. Their will to survive is stronger than their stubbornness. (07/21/2009)
What I did for a dog who was allergic to commercial food was cook rice (bought a rice cooker, just for her), boil turkey necks, make a bowl of oatmeal in the microwave as well as cook green peas or peas and carrots (frozen, not salty canned). Mix them all together. I would alternate the poultry with sardiines or canned mackeral, which are good for their coats and skin (tip from vet).
A doggie vitamin would be a good idea since what you cook yourself won't have all the added vitamins and minerals that commercial food does. I would make a big pot, keep a few days worth in the fridge and freeze the rest in 3 or 4 day batches. (08/01/2009)
My chihuahua is three years old and has suddenly stopped eating dog food. She'll eat "some" people food. What to do? If she doesn't eat her blood sugar drops, etc. We've tried everything and we want her back on dog food.
By legalgal from Tomball, TX
Also she really likes the Royal Canin Mini Puppy food-yes, it's a little high in protein but for small dogs it's tiny and all our 3 love the taste-I hardly have to put any duck breast in it now! Deb (09/15/2009)
#2 - Just as Important - Be more stubborn than she is! If there is no medical or dental reason, then offer her her regular dog food, but refuse--no matter how much she begs or how pitiful she looks - to give her people food. Remind yourself and her that she has her own food available and if she's that hungry she can eat it. I have a similar problem with my dogs wanting to make meals out of doggy treats and ignoring their food. But I don't give them any treats till their bowls are empty. Now I just have to tell them, "Nope, eat your food!" and they know what I mean! (09/18/2009)
By Julius T. O.
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