- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


Dog is picky eater

July 21st, 2005, 11:56 PM
I can't get my dog to eat her food, she will eat it if we leave it out all day, but I have a cat and a puppy that will eat it before her. We put different toppings on it but after a couple days with one she stops liking it and we have to change it, I have tried the gravy too. I was wondering if anyone has any ideas about getting her to eat quicker. I am trying to keep the calories low too because I want her to lose a lil' weight to help with arthritis. I have also tried the green bean diet, but like I said after a couple days she gets sick of it and won't eat it. What do I do?

July 22nd, 2005, 12:10 AM
Picky eaters aren't born. They are made.

Keep changing the food around, the dog will hold out for better.

Put down the food with no topping at a specified meal time, how ever many times a day that is. Leave it 10-15 minutes. Doesn't eat put it away till the next meal.

With a schedual eventually the dog will eat.

Unlike cats a dog will not starve itself to death.

July 22nd, 2005, 12:12 AM
What I tell everybody with a picky dog is try Solid Gold Wolf King. It is the tastiest food out there. My doggies have been on it for months, and they still wake us up to eat. There was another member here who posted that his dog ate every few days, and he switched her to this food and she "ate like she's never eaten before".

If you have a dog food store that sells the more natural brands, like Solid Gold, Wellness, etc, try to get some samples from them. So far, I don't know of any dog whose appetite improves on this food. It's a bit expensive, but you feed less and the dog ends up much healthier, shinier, and has more energy.
Here is their website:
And here is the Wolf King:
I know it says large breed dog food, but that just means the calories per cup are increased so that you don't have to feed a ton. All the ingredients are the same as their puppy formula and the "Just a Wee Bit" which is for little, high energy dogs.

July 22nd, 2005, 12:51 AM
"Unlike cats a dog will not starve itself to death."

Actually I dont believe that. I have a female chihuahua,
and her first home she ate only whiskas cat food.
When we took her, we tried weaning her onto Nutro dog food.
No way she wouldnt have it.
She was 7 lbs when we tried to get her eating. After 3 weeks she
was down to 4 lbs, was puking and diarrhea all the time, and still
refused to eat. We tried 12 different types of food, she refused them all.
We ended up giving up and putting her back on the cat food. The vet said
it was totally unhealthy for her to go so long without food. She was actually starving herself to death. Finally we found a much better quality catfood,
that also had a companion dog food, and by mixing them, then slowly removing the dog food we got her off the cat food.
Took about 9 weeks to fully wean her off. Now she is happy, healthy, and
eats First Mate Holistic Dog Food, and is 10 lbs.
I wouldnt let your dog starve, but you could try the meal time thing,
just be careful she doesnt become sick because of it.
Some dogs are pickers just like cats, and wont eat at a scheduled feeding time. If I did that with my dog I think she would probably starve LOL
Takes her about half the day to eat 1/4 of what she should eat in a day, she only eats about 12 kibbles in a sitting of about 3 minutes.
Anyway Good Luck, and perhaps try a higher quality food, like First Mate, or the Solid Gold.
Grocery store brands are not very good tasting or very high quality.

July 22nd, 2005, 07:23 AM
As someone else had mentioned, a picky eater is made. Once you start offering changes or adding other items to the food you are left with a dog that will wait it out for what they think is better. Never add to the food. Also, dogs don't need variety in their diet. They can be on the same kind for their entire lifetime. If you want to give your dog other food items that are safe for them such as particular veggies, first make sure they are eating their regular meals and never add to their food. Give at a different time of day in a different dish or better yet make them work for it. I can't count the number of times I have heard, "my dog won't eat unless I add *******. If they hadn't tried it they would not know what they are missing.

We produce picky eaters, they don't happen by themselves. A dog will do whatever they can to benefit them. They are excellent problem solvers.

July 22nd, 2005, 08:13 AM
If your dog is really picky and you find that you must add something to his food, try a dollop of plain, non-fat yogurt to his food, and mix it up so that he will have to eat all the food to get all the yogurt. As an added bonus, yogurt contains beneficial bacteria which aids in digestion and overall health. (jeez, after reading so many posts, Luba now has me shouting yogurt from the rooftops :crazy: )

July 22nd, 2005, 12:24 PM
Yes, some of the pickiness is our fault, but I don't think it's right to point the finger only at that as a possibility. Maybe the food just tastes terrible.

My dogs get canned food once in a while on their food, but they never boycott eating without it. Their dry food is tasty enough on its own that they love it, topping or no topping.

Jemma used to eat Wellness with her previous owner, and she would eat her morning portion at 2pm. Her owner never put anything on her food. She just hated it. Now, with the solid gold, I have to stop her for breathing breaks. :)

July 22nd, 2005, 12:46 PM
Prin I think you should be branded the official Solid Gold girl LOL

My pup is on Wellness now and he loves it! Wolfs it down every time and ah, stool is beautiful, just the right amount of moisture and solidity. (oh yeah, get used to crazy pet owner talks!)

July 22nd, 2005, 12:54 PM
Has your dog always been a picky eater? Having always had hounds - who trust me, will eat anything - and now an Eskimo who will do same, I have not had that problem. But our Beagle decided at about age 9 or 10 that he no longer cared for his dry food - this was around 1981 - back in the days before we had so many food options. We had to find a moister variety for him and immediately he started to eat again. I recently saw a former neighbour whose 12 year old Border Collie has started just pushing her dry food around - very unusual - vet check, no health problems. So I suggested moistening it - dog is eating with gusto again. But if always a picky eater that is different.

July 22nd, 2005, 12:58 PM
Dogs and puppies eat much better on a schedule. If you leave the food out all the time your dog will know that and rarely finish a meal at one time. You would never allow your children to eat this way. We expect them to eat when their meal is given. Not having your dogs on a regular feeding schedule will affect all areas of training that you do with them, especially puppies. Also, if your dog were ever to become ill you may have a difficult time at the vet answering questions about their appetite. For those of you that free feed your dogs, you would probably disagree unless you try it and see the difference. It takes a few days of hard work to get them back onto a schedule.

How many of you out there that have your dogs on a good quality kibble diet, don't switch brands and don't add extras have finicky eaters?

July 22nd, 2005, 01:19 PM
Some reasons why a dog or puppy may seem like they no longer like their food besides the ones who have had options.
The bag of food has expired.
" " has become stale.
There is something wrong with the bag.
Your puppy is teething.
Your dog is ill.

It is usually the food if you reached the bottom of the bag and now they don't seem to want it or you just purchased a new bag of the same kind and they don't want it. Try another new bag of the same type, return the other. If you have determined that it is not the food, check out your dog to make sure that they are healthy.

Some dogs will decide that they only want to eat one or two meals per day. You will notice this if they eat well at one of their meals but not at the other.
I have had students worried that their dogs were not eating enough, especially the little ones but in fact they were eating the amount that they were supposed to. These little ones require such a small amount that they thought that they were not getting enough. The quality of food being used will differ with the amount that their body needs.

July 22nd, 2005, 03:13 PM
:rolleyes: "How many of you out there that have your dogs on a good quality kibble diet, don't switch brands and don't add extras have finicky eaters?"

I do. my Chihuahua is very picky. She does like her food now though,
and thats why she eats it.
If i dont let her free feed she eats the cat food

July 22nd, 2005, 03:22 PM
How many of you out there that have your dogs on a good quality kibble diet, don't switch brands and don't add extras have finicky eaters? I feed a high quality food, I don't switch but I DO add fabulous tasting extras, mostly Merrick's canned foods, and my dogs are not finicky eaters. They could very well hold out for some canned on days I don't give them any. They don't. Like I said, the food is tasty on it's own. If you don't believe me get some samples of the Wolf King and you'll see. Your dog with no appetite will eat the whole sample bag. My dogs ripped the sample bag to pieces looking for more.

Prin I think you should be branded the official Solid Gold girl LOL Ya, me and coppperbelle. We go from thread to thread (totally unpaid- not even a discount!!) preaching, hoping somebody will believe us. :D

July 22nd, 2005, 03:41 PM
Parker and Hazel both eat Solid Gold. I have to order it over the net. They both love it. I don't add anything. Although I always keep food in the bowl, Hazel has a pretty set schedule. She'll eat 1 1/2 cups at about 6 in the evening - sometimes she'll eat another cup during the night, sometimes not. At work she eats 1 1/2 cups at breakfast and a cup or so at lunch, but she's only 5 months old so she's eating more than she will when she's grown.

July 22nd, 2005, 03:49 PM
my pup eats at the same time everyday, quality kibble, i don't switch brands, but he won't eat the dry food w/out any wet, canned, bagged, whatever, food on top. I've had this problem since he came home at 8wks. He won't eat breakfast, he wouldn't eat lunch, but would eat some of his dinner. so we now make him hold out for dinner so he's HUNGRY, and will eat it... well... i still have to put wet food ontop for him to eat it.

I thought he wasn't eating enough, but after a few vet checks, they said his weight is just right.

I can vouch for the yogurt though, I did that, worked great.

July 22nd, 2005, 03:53 PM
I switched my beagle to Solid Gold recently (thanks to Prin's advice) and she eats it twice a day. She loves her new food! I switched because Solid Gold was better than what I was giving her before, not because she was bored of it or didn't like it. (Try finding a beagle, or any hound, that doesn't like food!) She had eaten the same thing for a few years. I don't switch her food often, in fact, it is not recommended. I also don't have to add anything to it.

July 22nd, 2005, 04:01 PM
Wow, I really am pushing this food, aren't I? At least it's really good food. :)

July 22nd, 2005, 04:19 PM
Yes Prin you really are pushing the solid gold food but I took your advise and switched my siberians to wolf king and they love it. I even bought the wolf cub for the puppies we have. I do have to say thanks for suggesting wolf king to me.
:crazy: crazy bout huskies