GO!

How to get picky shih tzu to eat his dog food?

Small dogs have big personality! This is the place to talk up your favorite small breeds, ask questions, and share tips and stories. Be sure to visit our Small Dog Breeds area for profiles of all your favorite small dog breeds, featured articles, and more!

  
(Page 1 of 4: Viewing entries 1 to 10)  
Page Links: 1  2  3  4  
Carter

Professional- Fetcher
 
 
Barked: Fri Jun 1, '12 1:20pm PST 
I have switched my dog's food a ton of times because he is picky, but he rarely eats well. The only food he ate a lot of was the Cesar food, but I fed it to him before I knew how unhealthy it was, and am not willing to feed him garbage again. He is currently on Acana Pacifica and loved it about the first two days (that's how he is with every dog food pretty much... loves it the first few days, then very little interest in it). He has been on Acana Pacifica for less than a month, so it's not like he's been eating it a long time and tired of it... I am planning a rotation of Acana's Pacifica, Grasslands and perhaps their Ranchlands as well.

Today I cut up a small amount of fruit and added it to his food, but he had no interest. I have tried to get him to eat his food out of his Kong twice with little success. Putting some peanut butter on top of his food has worked twice so far, but he'll probably get sick of that soon too. Is there anything else I can top his food with that's still healthy to get him more interested in eating?
[notify]
Daisy Baby

Daddy's Spoiled- Little Girl!
 
 
Barked: Fri Jun 1, '12 10:54pm PST 
Honestly I did that with my dog Daisy as well and up until a month ago she was one of the most picky picky dogs I have ever seen. I had to finally just give her the food and let her eat or not and in 15 min take the food away, I did that in the am and the pm. After two days of doing this she realized she was super hungry and there will be no different food if she pouts and she has never ever been picky after that. It was a bit of tough love and it was very hard to do but everyday I am glad I did it because for one I don't have 15 brand new bags of dog food anymore that we have tried because she got tired of it. Mabey someone else has some better answers but this is the only thing I have found that works...good luck smile
[notify]
Carter

Professional- Fetcher
 
 
Barked: Fri Jun 1, '12 11:06pm PST 
I've actually done that and it didn't work frown I've had him on a feeding schedule for numerous months, give him about 15 minutes (used to give him 10 but he's a slow eater)... he would just keep going hungry, he's that picky. The peanut butter trick is already losing its effectiveness, he was much more hesitant to eat dinner today, so I'm hoping I can figure something out or can get some suggestions lol. Thanks for your input smile
[notify]

Cooper

Coopiepoo!!!
 
 
Barked: Fri Jun 1, '12 11:37pm PST 
Stop switching kibbles.

Stop adding toppers.

Stop catering to him.

Once you do he'll stop expecting you to and begin eating like a normal dog.



Put the food down, give him 20 minutes to eat it, then pick it up. You can do that twice a day. Offer it at the same times every single day, the same thing every single day.

He will not starve himself.
[notify]
Bingley,- Emmett &- Martika

Little Ewoks
 
 
Barked: Sat Jun 2, '12 8:57am PST 
Some shih tzu are just weird and picky. Bingley is, and I know other people with the same problem. When they are like this, they DON'T care how long they go without eating, they don't care about the 20 minute rule (usually they are happy when the icky food gets put away)... they will let themselves get hungry and throw up because their sugar is dropping, and just not eat.

To this day, I will sometimes have to do what I call "brushing his teeth" with is food. I will hold his head with one hand, and brush his front teeth with his food with the other. He's forced to taste it then he'll eat. He rarely eats the recommended amount for his size, I just have to be satisfied when he eats something each day.
[notify]
Keeva

My name is- Gaelic for- "Gentle"
 
 
Barked: Sat Jun 2, '12 7:10pm PST 
I do believe picking up the food is the right way to persuade the dog to eat.....however...I just plain have trouble doing it. What I do is take a hard-boiled egg and chop it up and keep it in a little custard cup in the frig.
I add just a tiny bit of this to her dry kibble in the morning (maybe like a 6th of it). In the evening I add about a half-inch piece of lunchmeat chopped up fine to her dry kibble. So far this is working and has been with her for over a month. If she didn't eat it I would cover and refrigerate it for the next meal (I think since I have added stuff to her dry kibble then it would be safest refrigerated). Spoiled....yes and there may come a time I quit doing it but for now I just like to see her happy and eating. We spoiled our old dog too...put gravy on top of his dry kibblered face
[notify]
Carter

Professional- Fetcher
 
 
Barked: Sun Jun 3, '12 6:22am PST 
Thanks for your input everyone, I will try some of the suggestions and see how it goes. Any other suggestions are more than welcome smile Maybe some people disagree with me, but my dog is so fussy and stubborn and I decided that it was better to 'cater' to him than allow him to starve himself... I had tried for over a week at one point to just put his food down for 15 mins 2x daily, gave no treats or people food, and he only ate a few small bites of food for the whole week. He is very long for his breed (I've seriously never seen such a long shih tzu, only him... lol but he's a shih tzu mix) and only 11 lbs, which IS a good weight, but he can't afford to lose any or he would be underweight.
[notify]
Cooper

Coopiepoo!!!
 
 
Barked: Sun Jun 3, '12 9:25am PST 
"Maybe some people disagree with me, but my dog is so fussy and stubborn and I decided that it was better to 'cater' to him than allow him to starve himself..."


Repeat - he wouldn't ordinarily starve himself. Dogs aren't born fussy and stubborn about food. It goes against the one instinct every animals has and needs to stay alive.

You are however *creating* a dog that might eventually starve himself if you keep trying to help him out of this mess only to cave back in. He's now established that you'll totally give in if he just holds out as long as a week. That's incredibly dangerous.


If you had a child that refused to eat anything without candy sprinkled all over it would you continue to sprinkle candy on all of his food just to get him to eat it?


I'm sorry, but I would never do that to my dogs.


My sister has a 6-7lb shih-tzu, Bella. I had to watch her for a couple of weeks after the birth of her daughter. Between my mother and sister's doing the dog came with a bag FULL of toppers, gravies, canned foods, shredded cheese sprinklings, parmesan, lowreys etc -AND- the food came with wetting, warming and then feeding instructions that included me sitting on the floor right next to her bowl for nearly an hour and feeding her pretty much kibble by kibble every single bite.

I told them sure, no problem, and they left.

Then twice a day I put her kibble and kibble alone down in the same spot in the kitchen and walked away. At first she'd follow me when I walked away and look at me as if wondering why aren't you on the floor at my dish with your hands in my food and face? Then she started staying at the dish but looking at the food as if she'd never even seen plain kibble before. Then she dug her heels in and refused to even acknowledge me when I scooped her food and put it down. That lasted several days. Frankly, I didn't care. It was a brat attitude and I don't have the time or want to have to deal with a dog like that. I love my kids and I love my dogs. Any attitude that is going to hinder their health and well being will NOT be tolerated under my watch.

It occurred to me then maybe she was catered to sooooo excessively she simply forgot how to eat normally. I threw some kibble in one night and let my pug have at it in her dish. He eats raw, and snorted at the kibble like what the heck is this? but then puggy instinct kicked in he happily inhaled it. She stared, seemingly in horror lol. On the second day of that she went and sat by the dish after he was done and then started licking the sides. I threw a couple of pieces in and then walked away again. Over the next few days I added more and more pieces of kibble to what I was offering and she'd happily DEVOUR more and more until she was up to her whole quarter of a cup daily. I never put more in than she would consume and still be left hungry for more.

Took almost the full two weeks and yes she dropped a bit of weight but it was worth it. I refused to return the bag of topper crap. I explained to both my mother and my sister, this is how you feed a dog - kibble scoop, dump, walk away. She inhaled and they were SHOCKED. But also incredibly grateful. They now spend the time they used to have to waste sitting on the floor with her trying to convince her to eat every single individual kibble going on walks with her instead. She never got walked before because at the end of the day there just wasn't any time between that and trying to keep her alive.


People think that catering with ridiculously fatty and unhealthy sodium filled toppers will keep weight on a picky dog but Bella has never weighed more or been healthier since she started eating like a normal dog. Her quality of life has improved exponentially since the people in her life stopped keeping her picky.



I do hope OP that you are eventually able to get your dog out of such a dangerous cycle. The longer you allow it to go on the more perilous the situation becomes, not only in regards to being able to keep any weight on the dog but those toppers usually aren't healthy at all...peanut butter daily all over the food? Do people realize how much sodium and sugar is in that? Gravy toppers, seasonings and cheeses are exactly the same. Long term that's practically begging for pancreatitis and heart, liver and kidney diseases.
[notify]
Peach

Etsy's Pooch &- Puddy mascot!
 
 
Barked: Sun Jun 3, '12 12:24pm PST 
You ARE creating an unhealthy behavioural cycle by allowing your dog to determine when and what he eats. A dog who feels off and refuses food for a day is fine- but a dog that refuses food because it's not to his taste is not. What you're doing is rewarding his behaviour (Refusing food) through positive reinforcement (Giving him better food) You are training him to refuse to eat, and it's working, because every time he refuses, you give in. And if you try to fix it and he refuses for longer, you give in. So now he knows that if he just holds out for X amount of time, you'll give in, and when you don't, well, maybe if I hold out for one more day... And one more day... And one MORE day...

The only animal I'll cater to is a cat, because their bodies can shut down extremely fast. Dogs are more robust. It won't hurt for him to have to wait a few days to eat, and when he's finally really hungry, he'll eat.

What I don't agree with are the previous poster(s?) who are acting like canned food or other healthy food additives (Water, egg, etc) are bad things. If you want to include something in your dog's bowl, go ahead. If he expects it and refuses to eat without it, then you have a bit of a problem. So feed him kibble with canned food if you want, and the day you run out of canned and he refuses to eat until he gets it, don't give in until he eats his kibble dry. His next meal will be the reward- you ate the boring food, here's the good stuff, good boy!

Peach eats 1/4 cup dry and a tablespoon of wet each meal. If she doesn't get her wet, she looks at me like I'm crazy until I sit down and ignore her, and then she realises, well, that's it, I might as well eat it! My in-laws own Peach's mother, and while she lived with me she ate what I gave her when I gave it to her, but they cater to her whims, so she won't eat until she puts up a proper amount of fuss. People create dogs with food issues; dogs will happily eat anything that they find, naturally.
[notify]
Cooper

Coopiepoo!!!
 
 
Barked: Sun Jun 3, '12 12:30pm PST 
Peach - to clarify, I never said water or egg was bad.

I said adding peanut butter, processed gravy toppers, seasonings and cheeses is.

Because they are.


The nutritional value is right there in the ingredients. None are a species appropriate or healthy addition to a dogs daily diet.
[notify]
  (Page 1 of 4: Viewing entries 1 to 10)  
Page Links: 1  2  3  4