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I have a two year old Shih Tzu. He's very picky about his food. I was feeding him boiled chicken for a long time, but wanted to give him something healthy so my pet sitter recommended Perro dog food. He was eating at first; I would mix it with some wet food. But now again he has stopped eating it. I have even tried giving him Royal Canin food, but he eats it for a day or two and then again he doesn't eat. I don't know what to give him anymore. Overall he's healthy and active, but very picky about his food.
A dog will not starve himself! If he gets hungry enough he will eat.
There are many varieties of canned dog food, I would try a different one each week.
These are really adorable dogs and I know you are concerned about his health but your "worrying" may be part of the problem. First question would be has he been to the vet to rule any health problems? Second - you mention "dog sitter" so I assume you are gone during the day and someone (your home or theirs) is taking care of him in your absence. Do you know if he is getting a good amount of exercise as usually a dog will have a better appetite if they get regular daily exercise? Some dogs (even small ones) need a lot of exercise so be sure of this before going any further. He may not be hungry because he isn't burning off enough calories.
Most breeders say to make a choice as to the food you want to feed him. Don't add anything to it or if you do, just do it occasionally. Offer him the food. If he doesn't eat it in 5 minutes, remove it for a few hours (or when he appears hungry). He'll eat when he is hungry enough. I would not start adding other treats (canned food, people food) or changing foods, unless you change it to canned food for good.
I do not know if you ever place him in a cage/kennel in your home but here is a suggestion: Put some dry food in his kennel so when you put him to bed for the night he may eat it while you are asleep. (not very much to start). If you do not use a kennel then do you have a small room that could be used but I would not upset with too much change.
The only other suggestion that I have is pick out a good food product, stick with it and maybe occasionally add some cottage cheese just a little - youll soon know if he will eat it - just leave it for 5 minutes and remove it - be patient and do not act like there is anything wrong because he is not eating. Remember - exercise is vital to his health.
Here is a link to the American Shih Tzu Club about picky eaters.
I don't feed my dogs canned dog food at all. None of them will eat it. Therefore, I am forced to visit the store and buy the packages of scrap meats they sell for animals. I boil the meat and cut it into bite size pieces. Afterwards, I add cooked pasta or rice to the meat. They all ove this and it is very healthy for them.
I have a 6 month old male Shih Tzu puppy. I usually feed him one full egg in the morning and carrot and Royal Canin in the evenings. Beginning two days ago his intake of food has been reduced. He keeps jerking in the nights. Is this something should I be worried about?
I have a five month old Shih Tzu. She doesn't eat her food. Could someone offer some information on how to make her eat? I feed her Science Diet. I also feed her Royal Canin puppy food.
By EZE-1 from New York, NY
I rescue Shih Tzus [I'm living with 9 right now!!] and I've found that each one will eat Bil-Jac - some will only eat kibble, others [especially those without teeth] devour the frozen Bil-Jac. It costs a bit more, but they don't eat that much for a meal. It takes 5 of mine 5-6 weeks to eat a bag of kibble [30 pounds] and the other 4 take 4½ weeks to eat a 5 pound bag of the frozen. To me, it is well worth the extra $1.75 per bag to see them enjoy their meals.
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I am having problems getting my Shih tzu puppy to eat. I tried puppy food wet and dry plus put a little chicken breast mixed in.
Rich from Thailand
First off I think I would have the vet check it to make sure something isn't wrong. If it's fine I personally would consider home cooking for it.
I have two Shih Tzus. One of mine I think would have ended up starving if I hadn't turned over to home cooking real food for him. He's a totally different dog now. Because of the long struggles with him, I ended up opening a pet bakery. I have since run into several other owners of small dogs that had the same problems. But once turned over to real food their pets stated loving their food. Some owners were totally amazed with the difference in their small pets, all thanks to real food.
Here's a pic of my beautiful Shih-tzus. I can't resist showing them off every chance I get.
I keep them trimmed and they love it that way. When their hair starts to get a tad long they will beg to be trimmed, they are just too sweet for words. (04/29/2008)
My advice to you would be to take the pup to the vet or call the vet and ask what could be wrong. The dog not eating shouldn't be taken lightly, the dog needs to be seen and needs to start eating. Something could be very wrong, then again the dog could just simply be very picky about food. My dog was like that, we went through 100 brands of dog food before we could find something she liked. I hope this was helpful, and please for the dog's sake contact a pet professional and ask their opinion. (04/29/2008)
Of course I would do the vet visit for sure, but something I did that helped mine was goat's milk. Just a little over her puppy food. Not much because it could cause loose stool. (05/04/2008)
I don't know if you can get this food in Thailand, but it's the best! It is called Merrick in the can. They make a puppy variety, too. I've yet to have a dog refuse their "Smothered Comfort" with whole chicken thighs. I hope this helps. (05/06/2008)
I have had two Shih tzus who were very picky eaters. They would not eat any foods, but Caesar's dog foods. His favorite is the chicken. Try this and see if it starts eating. If not, then you may want to take your Shih-tzu to the vet. It may be sick or have worms. I have a 9 month old right now; he only eats Ceasar's Canine Cuisine. I tried all other foods. He will only eat this one even my vet told me to try the Ceasar wet foods. He also loves the Beneful dry dog foods. Give this a try and let me know how it works. Thanks. (11/15/2008)
When an animal stops eating it is a sign something is wrong. I certainly would not introduce new food or drink items when you don't know what the problem is yet. You may have already fed it something it can't tolerate. You should contact your vet like you would your doctor about yourself if you could not eat. Eating = life. (02/09/2009)
By another shih-tzu owner