|Barked: Wed Jan 8, '14 7:54pm PST |
|A picky dog is ill, overfed, or spoiled. A healthy, UNDERFED dog will rarely refuse food, and if fed twice each day, will rarely take more than 5 minutes to eat, and isn't picky about food so long as changes are made gradually.
No dog is so spoiled that it will starve to death. Provide it with fresh water and a 1/2 cup of whatever food you've been feeding it. Measure what's left after each meal. If it isn't drinking after 1 day, or isn't eating a normal amount after 3 days, the dog is ill, TAKE IT TO A VET.
-Unlike people, dogs don't easily tolerate rapid dietary changes. If food changes are made too quickly, the dog's intestinal flora don't have enough time to rebalance, giving the dog an upset stomach.
If a past experience with a food of similar smell, texture or taste has made it ill, it will be reluctant to try a new type that shares that characteristic smell, texture, or taste. That is why a transition to a new food should be done over 2-3 weeks. Reversing an experience-based picky eater requires that the dog have an eating experience that is incident free, and then very gradually reintroducing the "non-preferred" types of foods.
- If the dog is eating close to the amount of calories that your vet says it should, but manipulating you into offering it more choices, it may not be getting enough bulk to feel full, or getting enough chewing time.
My "small" dog acted this way when I tried to feed it a small breed small bite size kibble. Switching to the brands' normal sized kibble helped a lot. Switching to that brands' "diet" food while keeping the total calories the same, helped more, because of the larger amount needed to provide the same amount of calories.
Take your best estimate of how much this dog HAD been eating daily (KCal), divide that amount by 2 and put out that much food at a time. Leave it out for no more than 1 hour, then remove it. If the food isn't a dry kibble, throw it out.
PS A way to increase the appeal of a particular food is to replace a small amount it with pieces of raw carrot, pumpkin, or sweet potato, that are slightly larger than the size of the kibble or chunks.
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