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

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My name is- Gaelic for- "Gentle"
Barked: Sun Jun 3, '12 4:29pm PST 
So I take it that the little bit of chopped egg I give Keeva is ok to give?big grin

Professional- Fetcher
Barked: Sun Jun 3, '12 7:34pm PST 
I've only given him peanut butter added to his food two or three times, to clarify. I have been adding very small amounts of fruit lately (think of the size of about 3-4 of those Temptations treats cats get), or a teaspoon full of plain Greek yogurt. I'm not adding super unhealthy things to his food, although admittedly, the peanut butter for the 2-3 times was probably not the best choice. I would never buy the pre-made food toppers, nor have I ever given him those, or any seasonings or cheese. I just want to do the best thing for my dog's health, but I guess I know now that I have been going about it the wrong way.

I am willing to try just plain kibble again and no treats or healthy people food rewards when he's not eating enough, it was probably a mistake to cave after only a week... I just have no experience dealing with a dog that will not eat their food and admittedly, I am a huge worrier so I was terrified of what negative consequences not eating at that time could have on his health. Should I reduce his exercise or something? I don't want him to collapse or get very sick, so I just want to know if there's anything I should do.
Kashmir- ♥ CGC

Boxer Beach Bum
Barked: Mon Jun 4, '12 8:56am PST 
My boyfriends family have this problem with their 3 year old 11# Shih Tzu Tilly. She is very spoiled and wont eat regular kibble. They have now been feeding her canned chicken and thats what she eats silenced I tell them over and over until my face is blue about keeping the food down for 30 mins and then picking it up. But they refuse to listen to me and continue to spoil her rotten naughty

But yes this schedule does work because we have the same probem with my Boxer Zoe. she has never been interested in food.


Barked: Mon Jun 4, '12 9:25am PST 
I'd keep everything exactly the same. Make sure he's got access to water at all times and his regular kibble food (no toppers, no treats, no fruit, no yogurt) two to three times a day for 10-20 minutes at a time.

He won't refuse to eat to the point of collapse.

If he does there's something medically wrong with him.

Personally, and this may sound harsh, I wouldn't give into him unless or until he did actually tip over. At this point if you don't hold out indefinitely you may never have another opportunity to turn this ridiculous behavior around.

Keeva - I feed raw egg with shell a couple of times a week. However, if my dogs were dependent on the egg to eat the rest of their food then I wouldn't feed it. I will never feed anything that hinders my dogs drive to eat what actually sustains them. (Reason for the raw instead of cooked egg is I don't believe in feeding processed or species inappropriate foods.)

Barked: Mon Jun 4, '12 11:50am PST 
I agree with Trigger.

Kato has held food protests on me before. But he either chose to eat the dog food I have him or not. And usually when the hunger got to him, he just ate it.

I had a much worse time when I was a kid. I would protest eating my veggies, and my parents wouldn't let me leave the table until I ate them. I'd sit there for hours in protest. I didn't have a choice.

They won't starve themselves. Not even close. And sometimes, the dogs just aren't hungry when you do feed them. It may not be a protest at all.

Just set the food down, and if they eat it, good. If not, just tell yourself they weren't hungry and feed them at the next feeding time.

dog-sitter in- charge.
Barked: Mon Jun 4, '12 2:22pm PST 
I agree with Trigger/Cooper..

Once, Luna went 4 days without eating because she didn't want to have a whole quail (didn't like the feathers). Tough luck. She's 7lbs. She ate it on the 5th day.

Barked: Mon Jun 4, '12 8:12pm PST 
I Foster alot of dogs and dogsit so i have seen many hunger strikes. The method I found best was the ok you don't want to eat then ill take it away method. Or let my dogs come eat your food. My dogs will never skip a free meal especially a food That's not theirs! They learned if they didn't eat someone else would.

Professional- Fetcher
Barked: Wed Jun 6, '12 1:54am PST 
It's been a few days and he's barely eating (have taken away all treats, bones and people food), but is eating slightly more each day it seems. Hopefully in a while all this will be sorted out.
Daisy Baby

Daddy's Spoiled- Little Girl!
Barked: Wed Jun 6, '12 6:09pm PST 
Just don't give in. If you feel like he's eating nothing then I would suggest giving him Nutri-cal or Nutri-drops to make sure he don't get low blood sugar. But your doing great. Don't give in and eventually you will win as long as you have the will power. My little girl didn't eat for 4 days and I supplemented her with Nutri-cal twice a day (per my vets instructions) and on day 5 I have never eat so quickly and that was it, strike was over. Keep up the good work.

blue dog

Professional- Fetcher
Barked: Thu Jun 21, '12 5:34pm PST 
Carter has made a lot of progress! During the first few days of this new way of feeding him, he only ate about 25% of what he should have been in a day... but he was very active and seemed to be his normal self, so I didn't see any cause for concern. He's eating about 75% of what he should be in a day now, sometimes more. I've noticed that he doesn't eat much of his first meal, but eats most or all of his second meal. I guess he gets hungrier as the day goes on. I also think he's starting to realize that he gets yummy things like treats or a bit of canned food in his Kong on the days that he eats well but doesn't get anything at all when he doesn't eat enough. If he only eats about 50% of what he should be in a day, I give him nothing, but if he eats 75% of what he should be in a day or more, I allow treats, etc. He has lost a bit of weight (his ribs are protruding a bit more, but nothing super severe). Thanks for all of your help everyone smile
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