Picky eater!! How do i get her to eat her dog food?

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Barked: Fri Jun 14, '13 10:16pm PST 
I've changed her dog food about 4 times already, (I don't think that's to healthy) and she still won't eat. She will go and pick at it but will not eat the amount she is supposed to. I don't want to give her house food, but i'm running out of options. Help!! Oh, I free feed them, don't know if that has anything to do with it.

Akita Pals- Always.
Barked: Fri Jun 14, '13 10:43pm PST 
Would love to help you but I'm not really understanding the problem. Is she not eating the amount of food recommended on the bag or not eating at all?
Have you had her to the vet to see if there is anything physically wrong that is interfering with her appetite? Does she just not seem to like the food you are using? I don't want to seem rude and really would like to help but the information you gave was a bit too limited to be of much help in trying to advise you. If you could provide a bit more information it would be helpful. Thanks.

Spoiled Little- Girl
Barked: Sat Jun 15, '13 12:44am PST 
Hazel is picky when I switch her food to. I recently switched her from Nutro Naturals to Merrick. At first she refused to eat it, but now she likes it as much as her old food, and seems to even be eating it faster ( I free feed her as well ).

What I did was wet it down mix it in with a can of wet puppy food she likes and pop it in the microwave. I did this for two meals everyday and left her food out in her bowl the entire time. If she willingly did not eat I hand fed it to her. I also did not give her any treats while I did this.

After about a week she started to take from her bowl and I cut out the microwaved meals and hand feeding. Now she loves the food, and eats it on her own. Yes I know my way of hand feeding was super spoiled, but at least she started to eat it on her own laugh out loud


Barked: Sat Jun 15, '13 10:30am PST 
I have taken her to a vet, but everything came out normal and she is in perfect health. She won't eat for days and the day she does its a very small amount. I've tried wetting it; she liked it for about two days and then didn't eat. I've tried hand feeding but she turns her noes up at it. She just doesn't seem to like any food I buy her. Right now i'm giving her the Iams Pro Active Health mini bites for adult dogs. I'm not sure what else to try. Though mixing her food with canned food sounds good.

tiny...but fast!
Barked: Sat Jun 15, '13 3:25pm PST 
I have a dog that was the same way, but I switched him to frozen premade Stella and chewys patties and now he licks his bowl clean. U should use probiotics during the switch their website www.stellaandchewys.com has a phone number and they will tell u all about it.

We don't doodle!
Barked: Sat Jun 15, '13 3:46pm PST 
If, according to her vet, she is in perfect health and everything is normal then I also do not see a problem. How are you determining the amount she is supposed to be eating??? FYI, if you are using the amount listed on the bag as a guideline, those top amounts are for dogs who are active, working all day dogs. The average adult house dog shouldn't eat anywhere near that amount.
Example, Quincy is a growing puppy, 11 months old. His food bag says he should be eating between 5 and 6 cups per day for his size. He eats TWO cups per day and is extremely healthy and at an excellent weight. If he ate 6 cups each day he would be obese and not healthy at all!!!
Crystal, my Chinese Crested, weighs 12 lbs and she gets 1/2 cup per day, and often won't finish that. She is actually on the heavy side and could do with even less. The bag says she should be eating 2 1/2 to 3 cups per day!!!
Both these dogs are quite active and play outside for most of the day.

Edited by author Sat Jun 15, '13 3:53pm PST


Miss- Pig!
Barked: Mon Jun 17, '13 10:01am PST 
I have a picky eater too and I have to mix her kibble in with tinned wet food to entice her to eat. Has worked wonders for her and she mostly eats her food all the time now. Sometimes she will skip a meal or two but much better than what she used to be.

Sometimes with free feeding the dog can feel overwhelmed with constant food on offer so it might be an idea to start picking her bowl up after 10/15 minutes if she ignores it and then only offer her the food again later that day/night. Also, be careful you're not overfeeding her and offering her to much food in her bowl. Again, I've found this overwhelms Missy and puts her off eating. She gets very small amounts of food, smaller than my sister's Maltese x Toy Poodle even, but she does better this way and it keeps her more keen. Exercise helps build up an appetite too. Missy is always ready to eat her food after a good walk/run.
Hucky and- Ringo

Barked: Tue Jun 18, '13 9:02am PST 
Ringo is a very picky eater and if he stalls on eating, Huck will make a run for it which is no good cause he's overweight as it is. I use to have to sit there and watch and wait for him to either get done eating or take it away. Now I put beef gravy on their food and just that little extra smell gets Ringo going.

Ice cubes? YES- PLEASE!
Barked: Tue Jun 18, '13 10:14pm PST 
My advice is less gentle, but it has worked with every picky eater we have owned. First, do not give any more treats between meals than is necessary for training purposes, etc. Feed her two or three meals per day and let her eat until she is full or until you need to control portions to prevent obesity. Place the food down in front of her and walk away for 5-10 minutes. Since I see you have another dog, upon returning after the set time, let him eat the food she did not eat and the bowl goes up. She skips a meal if she eats nothing. Do not change the food until you run out of it. Jealousy is a powerful motivator for dogs and it may be all you need to get her to start eating.

You could also try putting the food in a treat ball to make eating more fun for her.

If she goes days without eating, she is fine as long as she is drinking water and isn't looking emaciated. You need to nip the pickiness in the bud or else she will learn to starve herself to death to get her way... not a good scenario. If you're really worried, I believe there are mixes that can be added to the water to put some extra nutrients in her body during the "hunger strike".

We did it with our puppy, Louie. He was picky with the breeders and when we got him, we simply left the food out all day and never did anything to encourage him to eat other than placing the food in treat balls and letting Clyde gulp up any rejected kibble lying on the floor. He would go 2-3 days without eating except for the occasional snack. This happened for a month or less and now Louie will eat almost any food we give him for his meal. He still picks through his food, but will eat everything if he is still hungry after picking.