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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All!

I have a mini poodle/ cavalier king charles mix and he's about 10 months. When we got him at 8 weeks, we started him on blue buffalo small breed puppy. He rarely ever eats his food when we put it down for him and it takes him about 2 hours to completely finish it. I've tried soaking it in water, putting wet food on top, sprinkling some cheese on it, but he just sniffs it and walks away. I am getting the feeling he really does not like it, so I am looking in to other brands. Does anyone have any particular success with small-breed puppies on any food?

I've been looking into Innova, Wellness, Merrick, and Nature's Recipe. He loves the wellness puppy treats, so i bought the canned puppy food to put on top of the blue buffalo. The first day, he gobbled it all up and I thought it was a success, however the next day he just sniffed it and walked away. I give him bully sticks, trachea, etc as treats, so I'd prefer to feed him something that isn't so high in protein, as the treats make up for this.

Any input would be greatly appreciated! thanks!!!
 

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I'd recommend Acana. Most dogs seem to love it - mine do! Also, once you decide on a good kibble, don't play the switcheroo game. You'll be creating a picky eater that way. Been there, done that. Wet the food, put it down, pick up the bowl 30 minutes later, eaten or not. Repeat at the next meal. A healthy dog won't starve himself for long. I've been down this road with two different dogs and each lasted three days before succumbing to hunger. After that, no problem! Both Maddie and Potsie do the happy dance at every meal!

Another thought - cut out the treats while your pup is in the picky phase, or use kibble as the treats, taking it out of the measured daily portion (you're feeding twice a day, right?) so as not to overfeed. A hungry dog is easier to convince that their kibble is the best thing since sliced bread.

Ignore the stink - eye looks you're bound to get!
 

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I disagree with Georgia Peach on switching foods. I personally don't think it creates a picky eater, I think owners create them. Changing foods and proteins helps to prevent allergies.
 

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Switching food is actually a good thing as long as you don't mind doing it. My dog is on a rotation diet, so far he's been on 4 different brands with different protein sources and he's doing great (Wellness, Taste of the wild, Orijen & Fromm) Rotation diets can help prevent food allergies since dogs can become allergic to food that they eat all the time. I switch every bag.

Use the 15 minute rule, if he doesn't eat after 15 minutes, take it away and only feed again at the next scheduled feeding. Do not give any treats or chews in between meals if he didn't eat.

I also give my dog food toppers which I make myself. I cook up meat or use canned sardines, salmon or chicken in water with organic broth or yogurt and freeze them in icecube trays. I've also used merricks canned food as toppers but Brownie enjoys the homemade stuff more. Although I do all this for Brownie, he's not picky, he still eats dry alone.
 

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I meant not to switch foods simply because the dog turns up its nose at it. I do switch kibbles from time to time to avoid the allergy problem, but it's MY choice, not the dog's.
 

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Meh, I like to know my dog is enjoying their food. I don't doctor it up but I do search out foods she likes because why not? I'm running a household, not a prison. Don't we all do what we can to make our dog's lives happy and enjoyable?

My dog started enjoying her food a lot more when I switched to grain-free foods with more meat and less carbs. To me that only makes sense for a carnivorous animal. She particularly enjoys Taste of the Wild. Some people have issues with Diamond, the company that manufactures it, but if you don't it's worth a shot.

That said, I would institute the 15 minute rule. Whatever your dog doesn't eat within 15 minutes you take up and don't put down again until the next meal. It doesn't take most dogs long to figure out the pattern and start eating when they're supposed to. Hunger will get the better of him-- no healthy dog will starve themselves. I would also discontinue the treats until he starts eating better. That way he isn't filling up on treats.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
thanks for the input! I bought the Innova canned food and tried that as a topping, and it seemed to work for a few days. I will also try cutting down the treats and picking up the bowl. We had tried picking up the bowl after 30 minutes in the beginning, but it didn't really help. I will try again!
 

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My doxie mix pup has been eating Chicken Soup for the Puppy Lover's Soul since I transitioned him off the Puppy Chow he was eating at the shelter. Some days he wolfs it down, other days he picks. It seems like some days there are just more interesting things going on!
 
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