Picky dog on hunger strike

Alright, this gets asked ALL the time, but my question/situation is a bit different.

Ralph is a shih tzu pug mix, so its in his genes to be a picky eater. I have tried dry food, canned food with kibble, adding broth or warm water to dry food, high end, low end foods etc. I briefly fed him cooked meals (chicken giblets, potatoes and carrots idea)which he LOVED but it took too much time to prepare, so I had to give up. A year later, ralph is still a picky dog.

I would prefer for him to eat kibble because its better for his teeth and gums and easier on his waist line. The trouble is, Ralph will go for DAYS without eating because he doesnt like kibble. Infact, he will vomit bile from being so hungry! I try so hard to not give in to feeding him people food, but by day 4, I cave and add a bit of tuna juice with his kibble in which he gobbles up.

Any suggestions as to what I can do to get him to eat? I'm tired of spending $$ on food. The only thing he likes is tuna and veggies.

Asked by Ralphie on Dec 27th 2007 in Pet Food
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It's absolutely a misconception that kibble is "better for his teeth and gums". The majority of kibbles have all sorts of things including sugar that cause plaque build up and dental issues.

That said, if your dog literally will go for days without eating, then you really need to look for a different solution. For a small breed to go several days without eating can be very dangerous.

Your only real choice, if you've tried different kibbles and adding different things, might be to go to a completely home-cooked or raw diet. As you have already found out, home-cooked diets take a lot of time to prepare. They should also not be undertaken unless you have done some serious research on the subject first. Providing balanced nutrition is not as easy as boiling some foods and calling it a day.

What I would try are dehydrated raw foods. Basically, they include all your dog needs, and all you do is add water. A good (small) pet store will carry The Honest Kitchen, which is a good brand.

Abby answered on 12/27/07. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I can relate to your frustration. Riley used to be a really picky eater too--very odd for a lab. I actually had to make a game out of feeding time by putting his food into treat balls and letting him chase the balls around for the reward. If he did go a few days without eating I would give him rice and scrambled eggs so he did get something in his tummy. As it turned out he prefered beef over chicken. He also likes duck & potato and salmon & potato...not a fan of lamb though. You mentioned he eats his food when you pour tuna juice on it; have you considered trying a food that contains fish? Or how about a vegetarian food since he likes veggies? (There are a few brands out there that offer vegetarian formulas, but I'm not real familiar with them) ...just a thought. Good luck with it.

Riley answered on 12/27/07. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Did you try Beniful?? I bought some food that was opened but it was on sale for $10 the avergare price it around $20 it is kibble the puppy version has milk in it (my dog is hates milk but he loves it! They have one that has tuna and milk in it it the one for the shiny coat. They also have an organic food (all which I name are kibble,dry food) I think that it is called "organic" or "Natural" my dog LOVES these! I hope your dog will try this and stop going on strike. Please try this!

Member 494169 answered on 12/28/07. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer