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

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I dig in mud- puddles!
Barked: Tue Jun 26, '12 5:51pm PST 
way to go Way to stick with it!

Smurph Man
Barked: Wed Jun 27, '12 2:26am PST 
I went through this with Murph before switching him over to pre-made raw. He was so picky that he wouldn't eat to the point that he threw up from an empty stomach. He was always underweight! I will say that back when I did feed him kibble, the one thing that would work on occasion is the freshpet select deli rolls(they are really healthy). I just added a little of that into his food and mushed it up and he loved it usually. Hopefully the suggestions here work out for you, gotta love a Tzu's stubbornesslaugh out loudshrug

Edited by author Wed Jun 27, '12 2:30am PST


Member Since
Barked: Sun Mar 10, '13 2:26pm PST 
A few days ago I adopted an adult Shih Tzu. He as several issues. However, i need to take his well-being in order to address the other issues. He has an eating problem. I was told in the past he did not for weeks; had to be forced fed and placed on appetite boosters. he has lost weight; I am concerned as he is already malnourished. I have tried: Stella's Chewy, Spot' Stew, iams kibbles, wellness... Homemade chicken, homemade liver, wihite rice, pasta, bananas, etc, etc, etc. The only item he will eat is burger meat and Zuke,s mini naturals. Help!!!

In addition, he barks when left alone--for hours, scratches at the door until his paws bleed. Otherwise, he is a sweet daog. I am out of ideas.


Barked: Sun Mar 24, '13 9:33am PST 
Hi, my Milo also likes Cesar a lot!!!!!!...... What I do is mix the Cesar with his Natural Choice Small Breed, Puppy food, that is better quality and it seems to work pretty good for him. I try to teed him two cups, 3 times a day. Good luck!!

Giant Shih Tzu
Barked: Mon Mar 25, '13 2:36pm PST 
Gunther went through a little picky phase as well when I was feeding him the occasional can of organic duck, buffalo etc. as a topper. Now, while these foods were healthy for him, it made it to where he was protesting the dry EVO kibble by itself. Put his food away the rest of the night. I didn't give him another chance.

Sounds harsh, but he ate it the next day and hasn't done it since. He is passionate about that scoop of kibble!

tiny...but fast!
Barked: Tue Mar 26, '13 3:03pm PST 
My sandy is a really picky eater and I had alot of trouble getting him to eat until I switched to the Stella and chewys premade raw patties now he loves to eat!

Member Since
Barked: Mon Jan 6, '14 7:24am PST 
My shih tzu is about a year and a half old and I got him from a friend. I feed him Royal Canin #24 which is specifically made for this type of breed. I find that I have to be in the same room before he eats and he leaves food over. He gets a 1/2 cup in the morning and night. He drinks his water. My vet feels that after a half to 3/4 of an hour if there is food left take it away. Some dogs are grazers that eat throughout the day. Her feelings is that you will never know if the dog is sick, if you do not take it away. I feel badly about doing this since I feel I am depriving him of his food. I need help from you on this issue. What are your feelings on talking his food away? Should I mix wet food with his dry food? He was raised on wet food but I find it horrible looking at it and its easier for me with dry food. He has been eating dried food for about 4 months since I got him.

Member Since
Barked: Mon Jan 6, '14 7:00pm PST 
Stop switching kibbles.

Stop adding toppers.

That's should help.

Member Since
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.
Lil Girl - R.I.P- Sweetheart

Barked: Tue Jan 14, '14 7:45am PST 
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