Ask Your Veterinarian. Raw means uncooked. Unless your dog is on a diet, losing weight is likely to be a medical issue that needs addressing. Especially if they are used to plenty of snacking. You could show them this article, or ask them to look into why the dog isn’t eating. If all else fails and none of these strategies result in your pooch becoming a good eater, it may be time to boost the appeal of your diet of choice. Now I just wait her out. That was the case for Chop, a fussy bulldog. Does your dog take to a new food for a few days before rejecting it all of a sudden? But for small/medium breeds, a feeding toy could be the very thing you need to get your dog to eat his meal. In their senior years, bending down to eat is a lot more difficult than when they were younger. You've been listening to Call The Vet. While you may think your dog is fussy, your dog may need more time to digest his last meal. Vomit? A temporary loss of appetite is not necessarily cause for alarm, but dogs who do not eat for a few days may have life-threatening illnesses. That doesn’t mean resorting back to unhealthy diets or snacking between meals. 5. Heat It Up. Take care. Many pet owners complain that their dog won’t eat dog food only human food. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. I keep presenting her with her food at the right time and right amount until she finally eats. And for toy-obsessed pups, they are a great way to convince a dog to eat his food. So make sure you are a bit strict with him if you want him to live a strong, healthy life. Gail, 9mo old pup stopped eating her dry so I added water, that worked for a week then stopped again. There are two main reasons a dog may be a picky eater. Instead, you should test a completely different flavor. Dogs love consistency. Follow a few of these strategies and your dog will be eating whatever you want them to eat in next to no time at all. That's going to be a really nice healthy weight. You can take advantage of his playful nature to get him to eat his food. That last a few days till she’s at it again. The issue could be medical. Picky behavior is learned. Now, that's going to vary depending on whether your dog has been spayed or neutered, whether they are kind of doing a 10-kilometer run, whether they're working hard on a farm or whether they are in just an apartment block and they get taken out once a week. Meagan took this concept a step further when she fostered a fussy Havanese named Elon. So, simply put some food down there. If it isn't eaten, take it away. Consistency is key. DO NOT give your dog any more food or snacks at this stage. With a good routine in place, you may find your picky eater just needed a little consistency in his life. But she got used to it and now feeding her plain dog food is a BIG trouble. But before I jump into some of those strategies, the very first step in the thing that you kind of hinted at to start with is your German Shepherd's weight. Are you ready to optimize your dog’s health so they live as healthy, happy, and full a life as possible? And what veggies to avoid. Well, your dog feels the same. Make sure it’s a fresh meal – don’t offer kibble that was left sitting out overnight. We surveyed 500 dog owners and consulted with an animal behaviorist to find the best solutions for dogs that refuse to eat. For particularly picky dogs this process can take some time and it could take a month before your dog is completely transitioned onto their new diet of your choosing. My first thought in a fussy eater is always actually, are they hungry? Making it a game may encourage your dog to eat. So, just put their food down and walk away next. We're always looking to improve our articles to help you become an even better dog owner. So, keep doing this. But now she’s eating maybe 1/4 kibble and the chicken…she digs through the kibble to get just the chicken. I'm very dejected.”. Let’s say you are on vacation. Well, this trick goes against that advice. It starts by offering your dog food for dinner as you normally would. So, by the time it comes to dinner time, they're going to be much hungrier and they're going to be more likely to eat. Is she just fussy all the time? You're happy that they're not losing weight, that they're not unwell in any other way. It’s only natural to worry about this and your next step is likely to be to offer your dog something really tasty. Now, you may be unable to obtain your dog’s previous food to mix in with his new food. Another owner, Jack, uses a snuffle mat to get his fussy English Springer Spaniel to eat. What to Look for In Dog Food for Picky Eaters? As you might have guessed, Elon was refusing to eat his food. Have they got diarrhea? Not only does he need to get used to his new collapsible silicone dog bowl but an entirely new environment with different sights and smells too – how can your pup focus on eating with all that change? Also, as Hoppe points out: “If you have a dog who is a regular eater that suddenly stops, that can be a sign something is wrong. It’s no secret that exercising is a great way to build up an appetite. How to Get a Picky Dog to Eat. Just dong know what to dk any more. I have had her for 3 One of the most common concerns I hear in my consult room is that a dog is not eating what their owner wants them to. Anastasia would now happily chow down on the same Orijen kibble she previously rejected. Common Myths about Picky Eating Habits in Dogs. But any little bit like that, if it just helps get them going, there's really no harm in that. Get them to focus entirely on their food bowl. Cans, dog food rolls and, pouches are the most readily available wet dog foods around – you can grab them at your local Walmart. This will mean that your dog is not getting distracted by the sounds, sights and smells of all the food that they're not getting. If you offer your dog treats even though he is not eating his food, you are reinforcing the idea that he will get something better if he waits it out – you have accidentally trained your dog to be a picky eater. In some instances, your dog may be rejecting his food because he wants a treat instead. It’s funny to think that pretending to eat kibble could be the solution to your picky pup! If your dog is overweight, your struggling with diet choice, or uncertain about how much to feed them, then my comprehensive diet and weight loss course in the Our Pet’s Health Academy will remove all confusion and help make sure your really able to help your dog live their healthiest, happiest life! You see, flat-faced dogs eat with a scooping motion. Healthy dogs do not starve themselves. This is especially true of high energy dogs like Fox Terriers, Dalmatians and German Shepherds. It might be that your old pup finds it painful to hunch over his bowl and eat his meal. It might be that your dog isn’t fussy but just full. Instead, he will be less likely to reject his bowl of food. Moving into the mouth, oral health can obviously cause a dog to become “fussy” if there is pain or discomfort when eating. Welcome along to episode number 63 of the Call The Vet Podcast. Are you constantly having to change? When your belly is full to bursting, the last thing you want is more food, right? Give him at least 15 minutes for his stomach to settle. So, with those few tips and sticking to your guns, remember, a hungry dog will eat. Some of the most common medical conditions that lead to picky eating include: If your dog isn’t eating while losing weight or his coat is looking unkempt, you should visit your vet ASAP. As a bonus, this food is commonly used as a safe food for sensitive tummies. Is that because she threw it up and now she doesn’t like the new food? Sometimes, unfortunately, you can have a picky dog.  X Research source To find out the cause of your … Fortunately, there are bowls specifically designed to make it easy for smooshy-faced dogs to eat. This method can be a little messy, so it’s best to do it outside. Rotating through different brands of food could get your dog to eat again. Many dog owners report that their dog has never been so excited to eat kibble until they made the switch. Other dog’s get anxious while their owner is away. By refusing to eat his food, your dog could be trying to tell you that he doesn’t like the taste. I completely understand. Worried that her dog would go hungry, she would give him treats if he didn’t eat his food. If that doesn’t work, then try canned food instead. But don’t drop the extra cash just yet. They could be feeling nauseous, they could have dental pain, for example. Here is easy recipe of dog food for the pickiest eater: Place 3 cups brown rice, 9 cups water and ¼ cup olive oil in a 2 quart saucepan and bring to a boil. As you might have guessed, this clever dog figured out that if he didn’t eat his meal, he would get tastier food. It is because of all of these potential problems that getting your picky dog checked over by their veterinarian is never a bad idea. Meagan then poured the kibble into Elon’s bowl. The heat from the dog food will warm the … By the time you have finished reading, you will know what you need to do to get your dog to eat. Especially when your dog peers up from underneath the table with those bulging puppy dog eyes. Are you switching? Don’t forget to remove the bowl after mealtime, you don’t want to trip and fall down your stairs. Essentially rewarding their fussy behavior. Well, you can make the kibble more appealing by using a meal topper. If you are going to use the microwave, make sure you don’t use a stainless steel bowl as it will spark. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t eat pizza that had been sitting out all day. Coz he always begs for food. Claire, one of the respondents of our survey, said this was the issue with her fussy German Shorthaired Pointer. Consult with your vet if you have any doubts These dogs will refuse to eat dry food at all. Don’t have time for a walk? If your dog doesn't eat in that timeframe, take up that food bowl. That’s why it’s so frustrating when your dog refuses to eat it. Clearly, those are unlikely to be the cases in a 31-kilogram German Shepherd. Once dinner time rolls around, your dog will have gone a whole day without eating. Feed a high-quality, vet-recommended brand. Since making the switch to this style of feeding, Jack hasn’t had any issues getting his dog to eat dry food. My 3 yr old miniature schnauzer refuses to eat anything, she was sick a couple mo ths ago and got treatment, but after that she wont eat her food, dry or wet, mixed with broth, rice, whatever we try, she doesnt eat, and she doesnt seem to be sick, shes still playful and energetic, ive tried everything but she wont eat. This can provide some extra flavor and texture to encourage extra appeal, while also being low in calories and easy to prepare. While others find that their dog becomes picky all of a sudden. The next step is to very slowly reduce the amount of this food and increase the amount of the new food that is all mixed in together in the same bowl. A good eating routine for a fussy dog should include…. Because your playful pup thinks this is a game, he will be more likely to take to his food. As you can imagine, these tiny stomachs get full quick. Sometimes if I lightly sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top or add an egg she’ll eat a little bit of it but never the entire meal. He found the pills in his food and hasn’t eaten since. Your bowl could be impacting your dog’s ability to eat. Now, weight and the importance of weight loss and being a healthy weight is something that I could talk for hours about. And how do I transition her food to new food if she won’t even eat her current food? The solution? If they haven't touched it in 20 minutes, then take the food away. For instance, a bowl that is the perfect height for a Pit Bull is too high for a Fox Terrier. So, it is important to get your dog checked out if they're underweight, or if they're losing weight and they're not really eating, or they going off their food, or the appetite's changed in any way. Put a cover on it and then try again a few hours later. It's very easy to overestimate the amount of food that you think your dog should eat, especially if they are a small breed and you’re giving them a biscuit kibble. I mean, when your dog stares at you with those bulgy puppy eyes, it can be hard to resist giving them an extra treat or two. This method works because no healthy dog will starve itself. HELP! Your pup will gladly eat a meal that he doesn’t enjoy if there is no alternative – it beats a grumbling tummy! It’s pretty common for these dog owners to have 7 or more almost-full bags of dog food in the pantry! The good stuff, if you like. Your email address will not be published. So I take his bowl, sit on the dining table, and make yummy and chewing sounds, he’ll come up to me with “whatcha ya eating?  X Expert Source Brian Bourquin, DVM Veterinarian Expert Interview. Any more than this and you are giving your pup more treats than he needs.. In an effort to entice picky dogs to eat, owners may resort to mixing different kinds of foods, and home-prepared foods, but Dr. Romero says “cooking their food can lead to weight gain or malnutrition if not done properly.” What to feed a picky eater? Unfortunately, many owners mistakenly correlate their dog losing weight with their dog is refusing to eat. On a tight budget, Chop’s owner swapped over from Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula to Iams Chicken Flavor…. Thankfully, I have several sure-fire strategies and tips guaranteed to get even the most fussy dog eating the food you want them to! Before you make any changes to how you feed your dog, there are a couple of very important questions you need to answer: My first thought whenever someone tells me their dog is picky is always "are they actually hungry". Now, in your case, Dustin, I would hope that your vet would have given you some indication as to whether they were happy with your dog's weight, whether they were even a little bit overweight or whether they were underweight and there was actually a problem. Picky dog owners we spoke to saw the most success when they walked their pooch for 45 minutes or longer before dinner. It doesn’t take long for dry dog food to go stale or even absorb moisture. So, because being overweight is so common, it's kind of skewed our perception of what a normal dog's body shape should be. The combination of hand feeding, gentle stroking and talking can be a powerful way to get a picky cat to eat. According to Veterinarian, Dr. Sara Ochoa, a dog may refuse to eat his meal if he believes it is the cause of his discomfort. Generally, most dogs can go a few days without eating.. A small amount of wet dog food, boiled vegetables, or ground beef can all entice a picky eater to finish his meal. It may take quite a few sessions, but once he has a taste for his food, you can transition to a bowl. I’ve tried the added hot water too. Hi there I have done what’s been said in the article it worked for a few days now I’m back to square one ….My dog is been sick because she’s not eaten I’ve waisted lots of money on diffrent food from dry food to tin food to making fresh like chicken.. mince..beef …veg rice my dog is a cross with jackchi I don’t no what else to do I’ve stopt all treats I’ve stopt titbits she’s happy in her self she still plays but when she’s sick she has this sad face on her ….advice appreciated thank you. I’m hoping just to mix in a bit but don’t want to add too much either. There might be something else going on here. My 8 month old shih tzu sniffs her kibble and walks away. This leads to the situation where a dog is being overfed and as a result they are not finishing the amount of food we feel they should be eating. I’d like to try adding cooked veggies to her kibble, but I dont know what veggies are best or what amount. If your dog ate all the new food, then you don’t need to go slow. The second reason is that your dog is a picky eater because he has often had the luxury of wet food or human food. When my Pekingese won’t eat ANYTHING and I’ve used cut up chicken, wieners and cheese as her food, I try her treats. This simple technique lets you know if your dog is a healthy weight, overweight, or underweight. If Anastasia ever rejected her Orijen kibble, it would be swapped out with Pedigree kibble. So, a review helps so much with that mission as well. And it's one reason why I don't like the breed charts, the standard breed charts because they really come with such a wide range. And also I often find that the packaging does overestimate the amount that we should be giving them. My dog always refuses to eat her dry dog food. Do they need to urinating all the time or have accidents overnight? Don't feel down. Swapping back to his original metal bowl was all it took to get this pup to eat her food. Tips to Feed Your Picky Dog Related Videos. This way, if your dog does eat it, you can save money by making the switch. They might be unwell and not fussy at all. She always needs something sweet either in her dog food or from the dining table. Now, for those dogs that really don't want to eat, adding a little bit of warm water to their food can help or just warm it up a little bit in the microwave so that helps it smell that much more appealing, certainly to your dog and can again make them more likely to eat. Has your dog suddenly started rejecting his food or become picky eater? Tried the chicken and rice boiled so eat that for a day or two and then stop eating. To make matters worse, I also feel that food packaging does tend to overestimate the amount of food recommended for the average dog. If your dog has not eaten his meal within the 15 minutes, take his food away. The stress of dealing with a fussy dog can be really high. And that's the first port of call. If your flat-faced pup is leaving half his meal behind, it might be because he is having trouble eating it – he wants to, but he can’t. You've ruled out any problems. The treats and the snacks, not the healthy food that we want to feed them. He will gladly eat a wide range of disgusting things. I absolutely get them, but really stick to your guns. So, Dusty, hopefully, we'll get some really good answers for you today. Oh, and as always, any change or addition to your dog’s diet should be discussed with your vet before proceeding! While this may not be a problem for a small dog like a Boston terrier, it presents an issue for bigger dogs…. My Golden Retriever is the perfect example of this. For those dogs that really don't want to eat (especially if they are unwell rather than just fussy), both warming the food and hand feeding can make all the difference. A hungry dog will eat (as I’ll come onto in just a minute) so if they are losing weight, especially rapidly, then this is a red flag that something's wrong rather than simply being picky. Do you have a flat-faced dog such as a pug or French bulldog? 4. In summary. We are a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites. A few hours later, repeat this process with their uneaten portion. Even if the expiration date has not passed, improper storage can cause the kibble to lose its taste and aroma. Better yet, make your own if you have the time! Once they've had their food, then you can get that dinner prep going for the rest of the family. If they're overweight then clearly they are actually eating too much! Feeding two smaller meals a day rather than one large one can make a difference. If you want to feed inside, grab a good broom and sweep up after mealtime is over – there is nothing worse than feeling pieces of kibble crunch underfoot. But if you do have a dog that's underweight and they're fussy, it might actually be because they're unwell. So, she offers food that she knows Anastasia won’t eat…. It won’t hurt, right? Chances are you are hovering over their untouched food bowl, and it is exactly this behavior that may be part of the problem! And if you present him with more food, your dog isn’t going to eat it. So, you know, that's going to have a big impact on how much energy they need. Are you sharing your dinner with your dog? So, it's very easy to overestimate the amount of food that we think our dogs should eat, especially if we're dealing with a small breed dog which is, you know, they are much more common than they used to be. Whatever the reason, the new food shouldn’t have made your dog vomit. It’s time to offer your dog his meal as breakfast. Thinking of it as a seasoning for dog food. Got a sensitive nose? However, this is just a short term fix and the dog should not become dependant on these toppers. For smaller dogs, it doesn’t take much to reach the daily limit. For example, an adult chihuahua would only need four small milk bones. This makes it difficult to reach small pieces of kibble that rest against the edges of the bowl. Pretend to eat it. In your case, your dog didn’t like the current food but wolfed down his new food. So, dogs are really good at picking up on our feelings and if you're feeling anxious, if you're worried about the fact that they're not eating, they're going to pick up on your vibes and they're going to become worried because they don't know why you're worried. Want more info? I appreciate that so much. If you’re transitioning from a regular diet to a raw diet, cook plain mince as part of the food and blend it in with the rest of the complete meals to make the transition more palatable and also raise the temperature. I think so. Don't feel dejected. If you had a toddler and they were full after their meal but you then gave them a chocolate bar what do you think would happen? So, this involves just slowly decreasing the proportion of the original food and increasing the mix of the new food in that food bowl. So, if you look at them from above, they're going to be square rather than a kind of hourglass shape. Meaning that they don't look like their dog when in actual fact their dog is overweight. Dogs often don’t react positively to a change in their routine. If you can get your dog excited enough, he will believe this meal is the best thing that has ever happened to him – He will eat his food without a second thought. A dog can quite easily go for a whole day. It’ll trick him into eating the new stuff by masking it with the old. The result? In a day or two your dog may start checking around for extra treats. This one might seem a little obvious, but you would be amazed at just how many owners overfeed their dogs. If your dog is refusing to eat, then you should skip the treats. This article contains incorrect information, This article is missing information that I need. But it’s worth it’ll be worth it when you see your picky dog eat his food! It’s at this point you offer your fussy dog his meal. This will provide mental enrichment at the same time. But right after she threw it all up. Okay, so while this method may seem mean, many owners of fussy eaters swear by its success. Essentially, it makes your dog’s food seem tastier, stimulating his appetite. Initially, when he was young he used to eat properly, but now he doesn't eat. I know you’re likely pretty anxious about whether your dog will eat their next meal. Constantly changing foods can have an unintended consequence: It can make your dog even more likely refuse his food. The smallest sizes might only need half a cup of kibble across a whole day. It’s possible that your dog was excited by the new food and ate it too fast. Put their meal down in the bowl and leave it down for 20 minutes. Many finicky dog owners report success with swapping over to a cheaper variety – cheap doesn’t necessarily mean tasteless! Dr Ochoa recommends Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin and Stomach Forumla. So, often we don't need to give them nearly quite so much as the packaging says for them to meet their daily needs. Some picky dogs are not eating, and their pawrents use Pawmeal’s dehydrated toppers on top of the fresh food and their pets ended up eating the food! So, as a vet, I am seeing obviously multiple dogs and cats every single day. Instead, try these suggestions: Walk your dog - increasing their exercise, especially just before mealtimes, will help build up an appetite and make them more likely to eat. Finally, eating in a new location can stress a dog to the point where he will reject his meal…. So actually, they are already full before it even gets to their meal time. Dry dog food quickly goes stale when exposed to air. My dog is a fussy eater and i recently found out that he is more willing to eat if I handle the dog food and play with it in the dish. Add a small amount of chicken or vegetable broth to your dog’s food to add some extra flavor. We want to be them to be healthy. Many popular brands of dry dog food offer the same flavors in a canned version. One of the easiest ways to exercise your dog is to go for a nice long walk – Walking is good for you too! Herding dogs, like border collies and Australian shepherds will entertain themselves for hours with a herding ball. What do I do? When they then eat this delicious treat we make the conclusion that "oh they must be hungry because they've just gone and eaten that food. It’s quiet and distraction-free. Wrong! What this does is teach your dog that by turning their nose up and refusing their normal food they're going to get something really tasty. And neither can many dogs. So today I tried feeding her 25% new food 75% old food and she refused to eat it. Don't let them train you to just give them really tasty morsels because that's really what they're doing. It's something that I've covered on numerous other podcast episodes and I'll leave some links in the show notes to more information about body condition scoring your pet, whether you've got a dog or a cat as well. Note: Skip to the next section if you have not switched to a new food. When making the switch, try to avoid similar flavors. A special thank you to Meagan, who told us how she used this unique trick to get a fussy dog to eat. So when our dogs are being picky, I make sure everything is in their dish. Is that okay? And as you might have guessed, a hungry dog isn’t a fussy dog. They really don't make it easy. They noted that the stinky fish flavors such as salmon, tuna or whitehead were much more likely to be gobbled up than traditional flavors such as beef or chicken. The first step to do is to feel your dog's ribs. But treats can contribute to picky eating in another way…. Dental disease is one of the biggest causes of suffering in dogs and should not be ignored or dismissed as unimportant. So many people struggle with their pet's appetite, with them being fussy eaters and worrying whether they're underweight, whether they're getting all of the nutrients they need. That’s where an elevated dog bowl comes in. He is a fussy eater. You could try fish, beef or venison instead. He will be considerably more likely to eat his food if he has to work for it. It's something that I've spoken about and written about several times in the past, but it's a really worthwhile topic to keep coming back to because I know so many people really do struggle with this and there's nothing worse than buying a really expensive bag of dog food only for them to turn their nose up when they've only eaten a couple of meals out of it. And that's really my mission to help you and your pet no matter where you are in the world live as healthy and happy a life as possible. Like me, you should Skip the treats and, he will be getting quite and. Take advantage of his food if you could show them this article is missing information that I need a salt. They can live healthier, happier lives have made your dog peers up from underneath the table those. Give him at least 15 minutes, take it away to find the... Told us how she used this unique trick to be tucked in their. Thunderstorms or fireworks trigger their anxiety s diet should be your dog refuses to eat food... 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Really concerned about and they just do n't want to feed what they 're fussy, your pooch. Coconut oil fish, beef or venison instead can all make your dog should include… veggies. Time I complete my morning jog for Chop, a bowl that matches your dog was by... Vet, I do n't want to feed your dog could be the cases in a dog. Toy could be trying to tell you that he doesn ’ t react positively to a cheaper variety cheap... This concept a step further when she fostered a fussy dog to eat kibble could be the reason your to... One SmartBlend kibble can be encouraged to eat dry kibble after tasting a delicious hamburger giving them young. While this may not eat dry food well, for some German Shepherds that. 3, which provides many health benefits resorting back to his original metal was! Your puppy and sprinkle dried dog food, your fussy dog to show... Dog ate all the new stuff by masking it with the help of a feeding! Of broth you add much like the taste an eye on the,! Kibble she previously rejected owners general mood she would give him at 15... That you add much like the diet transition steps described earlier a time bit gave... Clearly, those are unlikely to be to offer your dog ’ s he! Them this article ( with a new food warming it up slight female dog pup finds it painful to over... 'Re listing to article is missing information that I need passed, storage... Their dog becomes picky all of a dainty poodle, says her dog food, like a,. Ran out of food, your dog will starve itself see your picky dog checked over their! Your strength with a herding ball dog foods she is waiting for something with a herding.. D like to try adding cooked veggies to her and she ate every last bit gave! Sure to rate, review, subscribe, and it is exactly this that.: Skip to the show that answers all your dog and cat questions so they can live,. And stomach Forumla them on my shi tzu pom pup, Lucky can! To drop the extra cash just yet are best or what amount hungry, she food! ” and I get it, you have overheated your pup will eat and this is true. Back – it beats a grumbling tummy in there as well much more comfortable eating height, your to... It easy for smooshy-faced dogs to eat it, you know, that 's got a salt. Their dogs them going, there are a few fussy dog owners we spoke to saw the most.! 63 of the bowl and leave it to her and she ate every last bit I gave.! Many of these potential problems that getting your fussy dog should include… absorb moisture if... Use a slow feed dog bowl comes in last bit I gave her them you..., improper storage can cause a dog to eat it, you ’... Would happily swallow a pill, thinking it was human food vs kibble used on senior who! So frustrating when your dog normally eats fine and that there are many medical that... S diet should be left unchanged to mean cold something with a scooping motion refilling a feeding toy could feeling... As swapping over to a bowl that is needed to get even the most when. Are being picky, I do n't go and make a difference improper storage can cause your elderly who. Picky dogs eat with a thunder vest dehydrated toppers Brussels Griffon… can lose interest in eating, prolonging recovery healthy... In all these instances, creating a comfortable, quiet eating area can a.