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How to feed a picky eater (dog)

April 28th, 2005, 10:04 AM
When i first got my dog, she was food aggressive, so i was told to feed her by hand. I did it for a few months, and now she shows no signs of food aggression.
Now, i slowly switched her food to wellness, and she has no interest in eating it. I really really want her to eat Wellness, as it is much more nutritious then the nutro's small bites she was eating. I had to resort to feeding her by hand, as that was the only way i would make sure she ate the wellness along with the nutros as i have been switching the food. Now, she only wants to be fed by hand and refuses to eat on her own.
Does anyone have any advice on how to get her to eat? I try adding some yummy things in it, to get her to eat (ie pieces of chicken or mix with cesar) and she either eats only the chicken, or nothing at all. I don't mind feeding her by hand, but it is time consuming, and don't want to be doing it forever.
I also dont want to resort to what my vet has told me in the past "she will eat once she is hungry enough" as when we tried that, she was stubborn and did not eat for days, and then got sick and needed to go back to the vet since she was vomiting etc from not eating. (this is a dog who was getting home cooked meals for the first 3 or so years of her life - with recipes from my vet).
Any advice on how to get her to eat on her own without switching back to feeding her only nutros? Thanks in advance for any responses :)

April 28th, 2005, 10:17 AM
Maybe she just doesn't like the Wellness? Some dogs just don't like certain foods just like people have preferences or dislikes for certain things.

There are other good nutritious foods that you might want to consider trying. There have been some threads about nutritious foods and from what I remember, people mentioned Innova, Merrik and Solid Gold and some others that escape me at the moment.

April 28th, 2005, 08:06 PM
I agree, because Jemma wouldn't eat wellness unless she was dying either... If you really want her to eat that, what you can do is buy the Merrick canned food that is like stew and let is soak into the food so she can't just lick it off. Maybe.... That's one reason I love the solid gold-- as for a sample from your food store and you'll see.. She'll ravage it.. It's nutritious and they LOVE it. Wellness has to work on their flavoring a bit I suspect... :)

April 28th, 2005, 10:36 PM
This is one problem I have absolutely never encountered. However, my Eskimo does has his favourites and not so favourites. He has tasted Wellness and while he ate the sample offered by the store owner, he was doing so only to be polite I am sure - plus he is a little glutton. But very little enthusiasm for it. He currently is eating Fromm's Four Star.

April 29th, 2005, 07:44 AM
I think i will try adding the merricks, and let it soak as my first option. Then, if that does not work, i will have to change food again. Which sucks since i bought a big bag of the wellness thinking she would love it.
I guess not too many dogs are crazy about the flavour, glad to know i am not the only one who has had this problem.
thanks again

April 29th, 2005, 09:28 AM
I am just happy my dog loves the Fromm's Whitefish and Potato since he decided to "test" it by opening the super giant bag on his own so now it is in the freezer, air tight containers - everywhere. He only weighs 21 lbs. so we will have it for quite some time. Guess he wanted to try this flavour - already loved the Salmon and the Chicken A La Veg. This one really smells strong so despite heavy packaging it took 2 seconds for the little jaws to open it.

Dog Dancer
April 29th, 2005, 11:19 AM
I feed my Lab Halo Wellness and she loves it, but I also know it usually can only be bought at a pet store. My pet stores guarantee that if your dog doesn't like it they'll take it back (so do many of the manufacturers). Try taking it back if your dog won't eat it. A good store will let you return the leftovers, especially if you are going to buy something else. I have a picky eater also, Shadow, an Akita X, and now I cook ground moose and sprinkle that on her kibble and warm it up a bit in the microwave. Mostly then she'll eat, I think the smell of the warm meat entices her. But sometimes it's just a sniff and walk away. Eventually she'll come back to it and eat although it can take a full day. I have learned though when she's like that there is absolutely nothing I can bribe her with to make her eat - not even bacon!

April 29th, 2005, 11:33 AM
I would not feed the dog by hand. If she's really picky, perhaps try to sprinkle a little bit of cheese on the kibbles. I've also mixed non-fat, no-sugar yougurt with the kibbles, and my puppy loves it.

April 29th, 2005, 11:39 AM
If you're going to try the Merricks try the "Venison Holiday Stew", it's the juiciest and graviest. :) Merrick (

April 29th, 2005, 11:45 AM
Thanks for the link, i will go out this weekend and buy it.
I was actually debating Merricks and Wellness before i decided to change her diet. I hear that the merricks kibble now makes its own gravy if you add water to it.
I will try mixing the wet food, and if it doesn't work, i need to find a store (that does not sell dogs/cats etc) that sells sample's of all the different mentioned brands. I do think Coco's healthy pet botique in etobicoke would sell them.

April 29th, 2005, 12:14 PM
our dogs trained us well..not a day goes by that their meals aren't prepped somehow..wheteher it be with meat, egg, yogurt or wet food.
I cannot remember the last time I just poured kibble straight to their bowls.

April 29th, 2005, 01:08 PM
our dogs trained us well..not a day goes by that their meals aren't prepped somehow..wheteher it be with meat, egg, yogurt or wet food.
I cannot remember the last time I just poured kibble straight to their bowls.

Could you not just starve them a little bit? That's what my mom did with me when I was a picky eater. :evil:

April 29th, 2005, 01:11 PM
My dad too-- My record was sitting in front of a piece of fish for 5 hours. I don't recommend "force" feeding or feeding manipulation to any parent unless they want to achieve some sort of eating disorder... :eek:

May 3rd, 2005, 02:34 PM
Just a quick comment on the merricks. My dog loves that wet food! She is very sneaky and managed to eat only 50% of the wellness by licking/eating the merricks and spitting out most of the wellness. it looks so good, that i could have very well thought it was "Human food". It's a keeper.

May 3rd, 2005, 04:50 PM
Did you try it? I was so tempted to try it... I didn't though...

May 3rd, 2005, 05:26 PM
I'm by no means an expert since I'm new to puppy ownership but, Tosa went through a period of about a week where she no longer wanted to eat her dry kibble. I was feeding her Nutro Lamb and Rice at the time. What worked for me was to sprinkle some warm water and mix it into the kibble enough to make a light gravy. Just doing that made all the difference, no extra bribary needed :) I am now feeding her Innova Evo and she wolfs that down like there's no tommorow.

Good luck

May 4th, 2005, 08:11 AM
I did not try it, although i really thought about it, re-read the ingredients, and then thought about it again. Although it was really tempting, i never want to say i ate dog food.
I have tried adding some boiling water, to make it warm and softer, i have tried a lot, close to every recommendation, but i have a very stubborn dog. I think with some patience, i can overcome this.