Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
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,
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.
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.
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.
I bet that your dog has a tooth problem. If he/she is only eating food that is soft and mushy (baby food/rice etd) and refusing food that would need chewing (the chicken) I bet she/he has a toothache and it hurts to chew and break up food with its teeth. Get your dog to the vet as he will spot a bad tooth straight away. My 16 year old cat was the same. The tooth came out and he's tucking into his food again.
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 2 year old female Shih Tzu. She didn't have a problem with her eating habits until recently. She doesn't eat dog food, only human food (like chicken). 3 days ago, we tried to put dog food (Pedigree) together with her chicken lunch. She obviously didn't like it as she immediately threw it up. Earlier this day at 7am, she started to eat already, but after an hour or so she vomitted what she ate, undigested. We gave her dinner again this evening at 7pm and she ate it again, but after an hour or so, she vomitted it again, undigested.
Was it because she didn't like the meal we gave her? We're so worried.
I would be worried too. I would be getting to the vet as soon as possible. The food may be off, but many other possibilities exist, and only your vet can sort them out. Do not wait to get your dog the help she deserves. Things can get much worse if you wait.
Can my Shih Tuz eat homemade food? I have a problem with my puppy not eating his food. He will wait until we are not looking and then go and eat the cat food all the time. Can you please help me with what kind of food to feed him?
By Mary from Pittsburgh, PA
You can make home made food for your dog. Google homemade dog food to see if this is something you want to do. Is there somewhere you could put the cat's food so the dog cannot reach it? When my toy poodle was doing this, I put the cat food dispenser in the bath tub. My two cats could access it, but Pookie could not. It only took the cats about a day to figure out the change. Moving the food and rinsing the tub before a shower was easy.
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.
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 husband and I rescued a Chihuahua. We took her to the vet; she's fine other than gum disease. She sees the doggy dentist on the 23rd. Anyway she won't eat and when she does its only a burger. Help me plz.
A dog will not starve herself. She probably needs to get used to her new environment. Maybe she likes her food moister. Put a little water in it to make it easier to chew.
My dog won't eat dog food. What should I do?
Apparently you have given him scraps/human food in the past for him not to have a taste for his own food I'm guessing? If he has never had human food and has stopped eating dog food, then it is sick. It is not a good sign.
I agree have you talked him to the vet? Is it the same food you have feed him in the past? Is there any reason that you can think of to cause him not 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.
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
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
Try mixing some boiled chicken (no salt) in with your dog's regular food. Or use the broth from the boiled chicken and stir a bit of that in with the dog food. Or scramble an egg (no seasonings) and mix that in with the dog food. Those foods are loved by my dog and I don't feel badly about giving them to her because they are healthy for her. (09/15/2009)
Try heating a little in the microwave. Sounds funny but sometimes they will eat food that is warm better than warm temp. (09/15/2009)
What I do with our 15 year old who doesn't like dog food is buy Duck Breasts at Costco or the Pet Food place and cut tiny little pieces with my kitchen shears into the dog food and mix it up-she gobbles it down-theyre great for treats too!
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)
My Jack Russel stopped eating dog food and I was concerned. She would eat soft food but nothing hard. Took her to the vet and discovered she had a bad tooth. After the tooth was pulled she went back to eating her regular dog food. Maybe you should have the vet look at your dog's teeth. (09/16/2009)
Two steps: #1 Most Important -Take her to the vet to make sure there's not a medical or dental reason, why she's stopped eating.
#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)
My neighbor has two chihuahuas. He only gives them people food. He says they love bacon. He says they don't eat that much and dog food has so many harmful chemical that cause cancer. (09/18/2009)
By Julius T. O.
My boyfriend has a cross-bred dog, she is about 8 months old. She refuses to eat any dog food, not dried food, not canned food, not food with doggy gravy, nothing. We've tried the leave her until she eats approach, but after 3 days she still refused to eat anything. What can we do, especially when money is rather tight? (01/04/2011)
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 first thing you should do is get him checked by the vet to make sure there's not a physical problem causing him not to eat. If that comes out clean, then here goes the hard part.
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)
I started putting olive oil on my dog's dry dog food because it's good for his skin. I didn't want to do it in both his daily feeding because I was afraid he'd put on too much weight, but I have to now because otherwise he won't eat it without. (07/24/2009)
No more table scraps and goodies. He will be fine if no medical problems are the cause. He will be fine, keep telling yourself and do not let him win. It is a battle and you will be fine too. It is hard to be tough and firm but he will
eat the dog food and then only after a consistent pattern you might add little bits of carrots or green beans
to his food, my dog's favorites, along with cut up bananas for snack time, he prefers this to doggie treats. Good luck. (07/31/2009)
I guess it depends on the dog food you are feeding or trying to feed. My dogs like the taste of Iams dog food. I had a cat that loved Iams hard cat food too. It's a little more expensive but it's a healthier choice for a dog. It must taste great cause I've never had an animal not eat it. Also, for years my dogs love the milk bone brand Mar-O snacks, they never tire of it. If this doesn't work, you just leave him to eat it or else starve. He will eat it. (08/01/2009)
The above ideas are good and worth a try. But if that doesn't work there are plenty of home cooked dog food recipes online.
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)
PS: Forgot to say I cooked the rice in water with low-salt loose chicken bouillon. (08/01/2009)
catbuttons from KS
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.
From Pat in Nevada (03/16/2009)
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)
My dog is really picky. He won't eat anything but peanut butter-flavored dog food. Try that. (03/17/2009)
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)
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. Can any one suggest a solution?