He Don't Want To Eat His Dog Food
June 30, 2010 5:49am CST
I have a cute dog, he's a shih tzu. He's so cute, active and playful but I'm having problems with his eating habits. Each time I feed him, I have to convince him that the food is really good! Not unless he's really super hungry. How? By looking excited each time I give him his food! Just imagine how hard that is. To add up to that, he don't want dog food! He'd rather eat table food. What should I do? Is that good for his health? I'm getting worried... I really love my cute dog...
30 Jun 10
Hi licalopez, and welcome! I don't have to imagine how hard it is for you, because I had a dog with the same issue. :)) After 3 years of struggle, I decided to change that, and we got rid of that bad habit. This is what I've learnt from my experience: The main problem with this fussy eaters is that they are too spoiled. If you decided to feed him dog food, you mustn't give him anything else to eat for now. At the meal time, give him the bowl filled with dog food. You put the bowl up 20 minutes later no matter if he eats or not. Don't give him anything else to eat until the next meal time. Then you do the same. You don't have to convince him that the food is good. If he is hungry, he will eat without any encouragements from you. Don't worry if he don't eat for a day or two. If he is a healthy dog, he will eat eventually. All the people from the household must do the same: no treats between meal times, no matter how much the dog begs for food. Good luck! My mistake, I had to begin with this: first take him to the vet to be sure your dog has no health problems. If the vet says your pooch is healty, it means he is only too spoiled.
30 Jun 10
licalopez, I've been where you are now. Nera (that's the name of my fussy eater dog) used to eat just like your dog: I put the bowl in front of her, she ate 2-3 kibbles. "Oh, poor baby, she don't like the kibbles! Mom will give you something good!" and I put some yoghurt on top of the kibbles. She licked the yoghurt and ate another 2-3 kibbles. "Oh, my sweet little dog, don't you like this food? I'll give you something better!" and I put some pieces of meat on top of the kibbles. She ate the meat and she left. That was the way we did for almost three years. Then I decided to change things. And I succeeded. I wish you will succeed, too.
1 Jul 10
My advice would be to continue giving him the dog food. He will eventually eat it when he is hungry. As for table food, do not feed any of those. The salt and MSG is harmful to them and their fur. If you really can't bear to let him be too hungry, then cook table food separately for him. Steam the food without adding any extra ingredient.
30 Jun 10
I've read from a pet site that if your dog is too picky to eat the foods given to him, just let him be. He'll surely come around when he gets hungry. They always say table food is bad for dogs but we do give our dogs, so far they're doing fine. Just give them clean water everyday.
30 Jun 10
My mum has a shih tzu and yes, they are damn pecky eaters. Whisky just wouldn't touch his bowl the other day - mum had to hand-feed him doggy biscuits! I think it was the heat. She found puppy food worked the best - maybe they have a harder time digesting normal dog food? She also supplements his diet with chicken and other food she cooks herself, cut up small. He's 11 this year so it hasn't done much harm!
30 Jun 10
I also hand-feed him biscuits and bread. He also loves it when I put small bits of meat. But he is so full of tricks as well! I tried putting small bits with his dog food. Once he finished digging for those small bits, he'll stay away from his food and won't eat the food unless I add small bits again.
4 Jul 10
I agree with inu1711. This is what I'm doing with one of our miniature pinschers right now. My mom spoiled him to bits. He doesn't eat his dog food unless it has meat in it. My mom even worries about what to feed him more than what to feed us! Now that she's on vacation, I'm doing it the "hard" way. It may seem painful and hard to watch them walk away from their food, but know that dogs aren't hungry when they turn down their kibbles. My mom would always feel sad and bad and everything when Milo didn't eat. Now, whatever the minpins eat and don't eat is up to them. I don't give them extra yummy stuff in they kibble. They will get another bowl next mealtime, but we won't leave it out for them to finish on their own time. Oh, and try to enforce a constant schedule for mealtimes. They will learn when it's time to eat and to finish all the kibble we have out for them.
1 Jul 10
Hi, A lot of dogs (especially little ones) can be very picky eaters. I would suggest that if he is not eating his food you could give him about a tablespoon of canned dog food, and mix it in really well with his bowl of dry food. A lot of the time just the smell of the canned food will stimulate a dogs appetite. Make sure to get some sort of low residue food, so that it won't upset his stomach, or, if it is available, get the canned version of the kibble that you are already giving him. In most cases dogs won't starve themselves unless there is something wrong with them. So he should eventually eat it (it might be later that day, or even the next) once he realizes he's hungry. A lot of small dogs are just grazers, and will only eat if and when they are hungry. Have you tried just leaving a small bowl of food out for him during the day instead of having set meal times? Hope this helps you. Good Luck!
1 Jul 10
Hello! That's so strange that dog doesn't eat! Maybe you could try other brand food, maybe it's the brand that he doesn't like...it will not be good if he will start to eat your table food. I know that dogs if they feel that they ca have everything they start to play on you, not listen to you and after all you will be doing everything the dog wants and not the dog that you want...try to be main person! because if it goes too far, the situation can come uncontrolled...good luck!
• Puerto Rico
1 Jul 10
I have had a shih tzu for now 11 years and my Cody has been eating Pedigree food from the beginning and I only changed the food to adult when he got older. Sometimes cody won't eat unless I put a treat on top of his food. Its like they need a appetizer before the real food. They also live by a schedule I find. Cody will come to me early in the morning for a treat and then again about 3 or 4 in the afternoon. They are very smart dogs I would either try putting a treat inside his food and if that doesn't work try adding alittle bit of water to make it moist. Cody will take the treat from his bowl eat it somewhere else then go back to the bowl and eat everything up. Good luck to you.
• United States
1 Jul 10
He may not be eating his dry food because it is not palitalbe to him. Small dogs often have a hard time with shape or size of the kibble. Usually kibbles that are of mixed shapes (usually triangles and ovals) are easier for them to handle. Or choose a kibble specifically designed for toy breeds.