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My Dog Won't Eat Dog Food


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


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By Myrna 16 1,082 03/06/2011 Flag

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 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.

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By Cricket 205 896 03/06/2011 Flag

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!

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By wandalyn 1 4 03/08/2011 Flag

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.

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By renee 10 03/08/2011 Flag

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.

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By raksha12 1 08/24/2011 Flag

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.

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By Joan 13 1,479 03/06/2011 Flag

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.

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By carol 2 19 03/08/2011 Flag

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.

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By shihtzumama 3 05/11/2011 Flag

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.

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By shadow69 1 06/05/2011 Flag

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.

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By shihtzumama 3 09/25/2011 Flag

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.

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By shihtzumama 3 12/01/2012 Flag

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.

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By k36saturn 1 04/20/2013 Flag

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.

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Here are questions related to My Dog Won't Eat Dog Food.

Question: 17 Year Old Dog Won't Eat Dog Food

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.

By Courtney

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Best Answer

By Lizzyanny 9 1,237 12/10/2012 Flag

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.

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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.

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By Cheryl 3 63 08/29/2011 Flag

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!

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By Angel G.

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By Gloria Z 10 246 08/22/2012 Flag

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.

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Question: Dog Won't Eat Dog Food

My dog won't eat dog food. What should I do?

By Gloria

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By mc4lifes 26 8 06/12/2012 Flag

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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Question: Dog Won't Eat Dog Food

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.

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By Gloria Z 10 246 06/21/2012 Flag

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.

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Archive: My Dog Won't Eat Dog Food

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I have a year old pup that won't eat dry dog food. She doesn't like canned dog food either. She likes treats and canned cat food. Any help would be appreciated. I really want her to eat dry food. I have tried four kinds.

catbuttons from KS


RE: My Dog Won't Eat Dog Food

I've raised dogs for showing and I've always felt that dogs need "crunch" in their food to keep their teeth healthy and strong, and clean. I believe most vets will tell you the same thing.

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.

Good luck.

From Pat in Nevada (03/16/2009)

By patom

RE: My Dog Won't Eat Dog Food

People you all need to talk to a reputable vet about why you do not feed dog food to cats and cat food to dogs. There really is a reason despite what you may read on the web. I am a vet, so I see this a lot generally with smaller dogs who tend to be a little more spoiled.

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)

By tigra

RE: My Dog Won't Eat Dog Food

My dog is really picky. He won't eat anything but peanut butter-flavored dog food. Try that. (03/17/2009)

By catastrofy

RE: My Dog Won't Eat Dog Food

I had a really sick puppy whose mother died. I fed her K9 Puppy Gold Formula and found it at Pet Co. It was $20 but it was worth every penny. After 3 cans (some which I mixed with food and some by itself) she is finally out of the woods and on her way to a promising healthy life with her forever family. (06/10/2009)

By obeachgirl

Archive: My Dog Won't Eat Dog Food

My 1 1/2 year old Yorkie Poo won't eat dog food, dog snacks, nothing doggy. What should I do?

Archive: My Dog Won't Eat Dog Food

My chihuahua is three years old and has suddenly stopped eating dog food. She'll eat "some" people food. What to do?

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