My dog has turned into a VERY picky eater!
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Thread: My dog has turned into a VERY picky eater!

  1. #1
    Junior Member TottiLove's Avatar
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    Question My dog has turned into a VERY picky eater!

    So maybe this is almost a good thing; maybe not.

    Totti is 8 1/2 months now. When we first got him 5 months ago, he loved any kind of treat- milkbones (hard and soft), snausages, bone marrow treats, etc., etc. He also loved eating his kibble! He would come up to you with his little bowl in his mouth begging for more- so cute!

    Today, Totti has turned into a very picky eater. We have become guilty of feeding him table food; however, we have stuck to a very healthy table food diet according to a beagle book I picked up back before we took him home. We stick to low fat foods and meats, fish, rice and vegetables such as carrots, string beans, etc. We also give him Mighty Dog.

    The problem is that Totti will no longer eat a dish if there is no meat on it. You give him a baby carrot and he drops it and leaves it on the floor permanently. He no longer eats kibble- he gave that one up 2 months ago. Among other things that he no longer eats, he turns down "dog" treats! What kind of dog doesn't enjoy a milkbone?! We have been buying all different kinds of treats to test him out and the only treats he will eat are these gourmet chicken strips I found in PetSmart. The only problem with them is they're so close to table food that it's like he's completely abandoned himself from dog food altogether! Not to mention, he tries to pick out his vegetables from his dinner- basically the only thing he wants to eat is meat. No peanut butter, no cheese, nothing!

    I don't know if I should be worried that he's not eating foods dogs are supposed to love. I don't know how to get him to eat these foods other than to mix them into his dinner; but this smart little cookie enjoys picking out the stuff he doesn't like and leaves it on the floor.

    Any advice, suggestions, thoughts, etc. would be really helpful and appreciated!

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  3. #2
    Senior Member wvasko's Avatar
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    Re: My dog has turned into a VERY picky eater!

    Quote Originally Posted by TottiLove View Post
    So maybe this is almost a good thing; maybe not.

    Totti is 8 1/2 months now. When we first got him 5 months ago, he loved any kind of treat- milkbones (hard and soft), snausages, bone marrow treats, etc., etc. He also loved eating his kibble! He would come up to you with his little bowl in his mouth begging for more- so cute!

    Today, Totti has turned into a very picky eater. We have become guilty of feeding him table food; however, we have stuck to a very healthy table food diet according to a beagle book I picked up back before we took him home. We stick to low fat foods and meats, fish, rice and vegetables such as carrots, string beans, etc. We also give him Mighty Dog.

    The problem is that Totti will no longer eat a dish if there is no meat on it. You give him a baby carrot and he drops it and leaves it on the floor permanently. He no longer eats kibble- he gave that one up 2 months ago. Among other things that he no longer eats, he turns down "dog" treats! What kind of dog doesn't enjoy a milkbone?! We have been buying all different kinds of treats to test him out and the only treats he will eat are these gourmet chicken strips I found in PetSmart. The only problem with them is they're so close to table food that it's like he's completely abandoned himself from dog food altogether! Not to mention, he tries to pick out his vegetables from his dinner- basically the only thing he wants to eat is meat. No peanut butter, no cheese, nothing!

    I don't know if I should be worried that he's not eating foods dogs are supposed to love. I don't know how to get him to eat these foods other than to mix them into his dinner; but this smart little cookie enjoys picking out the stuff he doesn't like and leaves it on the floor.

    Any advice, suggestions, thoughts, etc. would be really helpful and appreciated!
    Quick answer is he would get a lot slimmer before he got fatter. He would be fed a good quality dog food. 1 days food divided in a morning and evening portions, Food would be left in pan 15 minutes and picked up and he would be fed on his next scheduled feed time. You have created, a instead of a cookie monster a meat monster. I know this sounds harsh, especially to somebody who has spoiled their pup. Now why would/should the pup eat dog food instead of steak. I don't expect you will take my advice because of harshness. Think about it this way should an emergency arise and pup has to be boarded etc, unless you're wealthy enough to hire a nanny for pup he will have a tough time.
    Good Luck.
    Dinosaur Dog Trainer


  4. #3
    Senior Member briteday's Avatar
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    Re: My dog has turned into a VERY picky eater!

    I second the motion. YOu have created a picky eater by giving the dog only what he wants. Beagles can be very funny eaters, usually over eating and becoming obese.

    On that note, I would find a kibble that you can live with, put down a measured amount for 15 minutes twice per day, pick up whatever isn't eaten. A healthy dog will not starve itself. When your dog realizes that it's kibble or nothing he will eat. And no fair doctoring the kibble with human food, ever.
    Being smart is learning from your own mistakes. Being wise is learning from others' mistakes.
    Cally- 14 yo papillon, Moose the puppy, McKenna 8 yo pomeranian grand-dog, and chickens

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    Senior Member TooneyDogs's Avatar
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    Re: My dog has turned into a VERY picky eater!

    I'll take a slightly different view. My kids get SMALL amounts of left-overs mixed in with their kibble about every other day. Yesterday they got roast chicken (less than a wings worth of meat). Today they got all kibble. Tomorrow they get sliced apples and kibble.
    I rarely have to pick up a bowl but, when I do, I'm more concerned about a possible bad tooth or not feeling well than being picky.

  6. #5
    Senior Member poodleholic's Avatar
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    Re: My dog has turned into a VERY picky eater!

    Unfortunately, what the others have said is true. You have created your picky eater. However, a healthy dog will not starve himself, so do as has been suggested; put his bowl down for 10-15 min., and if he doesn't eat it, too bad. He has to wait until his next meal. What others have hinted at I will say outright: Mighty Dog, and other grocery store brands are pretty much crapola when it comes to good nutrition. Do some research and switch to a premium brand that's actually made with real meat, not meat by-products and fillers like corn and grains.

    Feeding "people food" does not create a picky eater. My dogs' main food basic is Innova EVO kibble, a grain-free, high protein, low carb food. I also provide them with fresh meats (lamb, beef, bison) and chicken, poached, added to their EVO once a day. Steamed fresh vegetables, eggs, low-fat cottage cheese, plain, live cuture yogurt, sardines in olive oil, and other wholesome foods are made available, but they never turn their noses up to a bowl of plain kibble.

    There are much healthier snacks/treats to give your dog than things like Snausages (with ingredients that are questionable, at best). Raw meaty bones, a hard boiled egg, string cheese, green beans, Natural Balance meat rolls (come in Turkey, Beef, or Lamb), grape tomatoes, peeled and cubed apple or pear, are but a few of many things you can offer your dog as a healthy alternative to those packaged for dogs (and are made from gawd knows what).

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    Senior Member wvasko's Avatar
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    Re: My dog has turned into a VERY picky eater!

    Quote Originally Posted by poodleholic View Post
    Unfortunately, what the others have said is true. You have created your picky eater. However, a healthy dog will not starve himself, so do as has been suggested; put his bowl down for 10-15 min., and if he doesn't eat it, too bad. He has to wait until his next meal. What others have hinted at I will say outright: Mighty Dog, and other grocery store brands are pretty much crapola when it comes to good nutrition. Do some research and switch to a premium brand that's actually made with real meat, not meat by-products and fillers like corn and grains.

    Feeding "people food" does not create a picky eater. My dogs' main food basic is Innova EVO kibble, a grain-free, high protein, low carb food. I also provide them with fresh meats (lamb, beef, bison) and chicken, poached, added to their EVO once a day. Steamed fresh vegetables, eggs, low-fat cottage cheese, plain, live cuture yogurt, sardines in olive oil, and other wholesome foods are made available, but they never turn their noses up to a bowl of plain kibble.

    There are much healthier snacks/treats to give your dog than things like Snausages (with ingredients that are questionable, at best). Raw meaty bones, a hard boiled egg, string cheese, green beans, Natural Balance meat rolls (come in Turkey, Beef, or Lamb), grape tomatoes, peeled and cubed apple or pear, are but a few of many things you can offer your dog as a healthy alternative to those packaged for dogs (and are made from gawd knows what).
    Just an additive, feeding the people food properly, may not create a picky eater but I'm going to assume that bunches of people do not have your expertise and could find themselves in the trick bag of picky eaterdom, (does that word make any sense)
    Dinosaur Dog Trainer


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    Senior Member poodleholic's Avatar
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    Re: My dog has turned into a VERY picky eater!

    LOL wvasco, "picky eaterdom," too funny! I suppose you're right. It amazes me just how many intelligent people have absolutely no common sense! I will admit, however, that I can (and do) share certain foods with the PooDells while I am eating them (i.e., PIZZA, ice cream), but never until they've learned Lesly's Law . . .ask nicely and it might happen, demand? Forget it! LOL

    (I'd REALLY like to know how they know the Pizza Delivery Guy is pulling up! And they KNOW - they do their IT'S PIZZA DANCE!)

  9. #8
    Senior Member Meghan&Pedro's Avatar
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    Re: My dog has turned into a VERY picky eater!

    A dog who is not stimulated properly mentally and physically every day with develop unwanted behavior and quirks, and picky eating is a big part of that.

    You need to put your foot down and stop spoiling!

    And this is coming from an owner of a 'picky' dog!! When I first rescued Pedro he was allowed to free-feed at his previous home, he was underweight, his blood panel came back with deficiencies in every area, and he was boarderline anemic.

    It took me two weeks of playing 'tough love' with him to get him to eat meals properly, and two years later, he'll still eat whatever I put down.

    You need to ensure that if you are home cooking you are providing a fully balanced and properly proportioned diet ( animal protein : animal fat : carbohydrate : fiber ratio's are SO important!!, as well as proper supplementation! When you cook food, you cook a lot of the nutrition out of it!)

    You need to walk him before meals, not after, so that you are meeting his psychological need to travel/hunt in order to find food. You eat first. You then put his meal down for 3-5 minutes. If he does not eat it, you pick it up and he is then fasted until the next meal - no cookies, no bones, no treats. He will start to get the idea, and he will start to eat well.

    If he is eating well, then yeah sure, he can have cookies and bones and treats....but he needs to eat well first.

    Good luck, you can do it, it's just a matter of whether or not you want to!

  10. #9
    Senior Member TooneyDogs's Avatar
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    Re: My dog has turned into a VERY picky eater!

    [QUOTE=Meghan&Pedro;393442]

    You need to ensure that if you are home cooking you are providing a fully balanced and properly proportioned diet ( animal protein : animal fat : carbohydrate : fiber ratio's are SO important!!, as well as proper supplementation! /QUOTE]


    Just for clarification...canines do not need carbohydrates. They are physically unable to store them. They go entirely to producing energy immediately.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Meghan&Pedro's Avatar
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    Re: My dog has turned into a VERY picky eater!

    Canine's do need carbohydrates.

    That is their main short term energy source.

    It takes a lot more energy to store animal fat or animal protein as body fat. It also takes a lot more energy to turn animal fat or animal protein into usable energy.

    Mind you, I feed a lower carbohydrate diet than say a traditional dry dog food diet in my home cooked, but I definatly have a strong source of carbohydrates (Squash or Sweet potato, and Green beans or Brocolli in every meal)
    I have to. My dogs are too active to survive on a super low carb diet.

    And I would never put my dogs on a no-carb diet. I try to mimick the proportions of eating whole carcass with my dogs (that includes stomach contents and first few inches of intestine, dontcha know.) because that's what they're engineered to eat.

    Try it with your dogs if you like. You let me know how that goes for you:P

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    Senior Member Dogstar's Avatar
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    Re: My dog has turned into a VERY picky eater!

    I agree that you've probably created this by overindulging the dog, but it might not hurt to start keeping a food log of what your dog gets and eats each day and any um... digestive upset (even if it's just mildly mushy poo) that results. Some dogs can have intolerences for certain types of foods. I don't think it's the case here, but just like people, dogs are all individuals. Dogs will sometimes turn down things that don't agree with them (but don't actively make them sick).

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    Junior Member B-doggy's Avatar
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    Re: My dog has turned into a VERY picky eater!

    That's a really good idea, to keep a food diary. I sympathize with you, because I too, way back when, had a picky dog. I quickly realized that I needed to dole out some tough love, harden my heart against those puppy dog eyes and dramatic sighs at the lack of 'good' food and put my foot down. I incorporated a little of what everyone suggested here- took away the treats first of all- why should your dog eat dinner when he knows he will get treats later on anyways? And took the dinner away after 15 minutes if he didnt touch it. Low and behold, 2 days later of picking at his food, he was hungry and discovered a new found love of his dog food! Dont be worried if he doesn't love 'typical foods dogs should love'- he's just been a little spoiled and will rediscover his taste for it (case in point- my dog at one point was refusing straight peanut butter for a while! now *that's* spoiled)
    "Nobody can fully understand love, until he's been owned by a dog" -Gene Hill

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