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What can I do to get my dog to eat more? For most of his life he has never been a big eater. Since he is my first dog I've had, when he was a puppy I used to give him a lot of human food or table scraps. I regret ever doing that because I think I made him into the picky eater that he is now. All of my other dogs eat fine and they pretty much eat whatever I give them.

My dog Buddy is a miniature poodle, weighs approximately 15lbs, and is 8 years old. He has always been thin and the vet annual exams always come out fine. For his first 2 or 3 years I fed him Eukanuba small breed dry food. Since I was ignorant and didn't know nothing about nutrition around his 4th year I switched him to Pedigree small breed. These past 6 months I've been taking him to the vet because of back problems and possibly joint problems too. Because of all this I've recently decided to change his food and I am in the process of experimenting with different brands.

The first one I tried was Innova small bites. I think my dog loved it (btw the food had a similar fishlike smell to Eukanuba) but I took him off it because I found out that P&G bought out Natura products. I then switched him to Blue Buffalo Wilderness small breed which he hated. He barely ate it when I softened the food w/water. He will not eat the little black pieces. After a few days he went a day without eating so the next morning he vomited yellow bile. I found that this only happens when a dog is starving. I immediately stopped BB and switched him to Orijen. The food looks so good on paper, it even smells good haha, but he got bored of it. Every meal he started eating less and less. Now I have him on Solid Gold Wee Small bits. Same problem, he will finish his meal the first 2 days after that he will not finish the food.

For all of these high quality foods I've noticed that most of their feeding guides say that he is supposed to eat about 1 cup a day. After a few days of eating the new food he will eat about 3/4 cup. Yesterday he only ate about 2/3 cups. I can force him to finish it but only works for a couple of days. I force him by bringing my other dog and pretend to give it to her. He'll then come back to his plate, growl at her, take a few more bites, and then leave. Eventually he'll stop getting jealous and just let my other dog finish his food. Someone please give me some advice, I don't know what to do.

I've recently begun to change his feeding style from free feeding to scheduled. He has now been on a feeding schedule for about a month and I've managed to get him to eat when I put his plate down but the problem is that he won't finish his meal.

This feeding schedule has made my other dog Dixie into a wolf eater, she goobles her food down and she never did that when I free fed them. Is it possible that a dog is picky for life? I have not given my dog any treats for 2 months now. This one time I left a sandwich on the table, he jumped on the dinner table and ate it. That was about a month ago and ever since I am very careful about leaving food outside. Nobody on my family has given him humman food or table scraps. I take him out every morning for a 15-30 min walk and in the evening for another 15-30 walk.

I can feel my dog's ribs and bones but I don't think he is anorexic. He barks and runs at cats that pass by my window, he jumps up and down when I'm getting his leash, and basically drags me when I take him out for walks (yes he is on a harshness leash). He has had some loose stools because of all the food changes but on this Solid Gold his stool seems to be improving day by day.

I just wish that he would fisnish his meals because I've heard that beeing too thin can be bad for the dog's bones and joints.

Help me out folks. How can I get him to eat? He almost makes me think that he really cares about what he looks like, as if he refuses to gain any weight. Seeing him get a little fatter would be a dream come true.

I really don't wanna try wet food or raw becaue I don't have the time and money to feed him that type of diet. I have 5 dogs and he is the only one that is so fussy. I care about him a lot because he is my 1st pet ever and he is the oldest too.

I am sorry about this very long post but as you'll can see I am not a man of short words.

PS: Buddy already had heartworm test and fecal exam on February. A month ago when he had neck problems he also had blood tests for kidney and other organs and a pancreatitits test. He even had Xrays of his chest and abdomen. All came out negative. He had his teeth cleaned by the vet like 3 months ago. He is on heartworm prevention too.
 

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I would keep him on the scheduled feeding but feed less. Set him up for success. If he's only eating 3/4 of a cup.. only give that amount. Once he starts finishing that, then increase it slowly.
 

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Poodles tend to be picky eaters, but mine does the happy dance at each feeding. whining and carrying on like he's never been fed before! You should be able to feel your dog's ribs just a little bit. Poodles tend to get luxating patellas (back leg joint issue), so you don't want them to be overweight. A cup of food is a lot for a 15 pound poodle, IMO, esp. if it's a premium brand. Remember, the amount posted on the dog food bags are just a starting point, and the company is trying to sell dog food, so it's usually too high, unless the dog is extrememly active!

Potsie's just under 13 pounds, and he gets 1/2 cup of Innova Prime (fish) daily, divided into 2 meals. I'll be transitioning him over to Evo Herring and Salmon when this is gone, b/c my terrier mix is allergic to almost everything, and does better on this food. I'm lazy, and want them both on the same food - lol. Even though this food is expensive, I can feed less b/c it's very nutrient dense and high in calories. In fact, I've had to slightly reduce Maddie's portion when I changed her to Evo, b/c she started gaining weight. She was eating 1/4 c. a.m. and 1/3 c. p.m., but now she's eating 1/4 c. both a.m. and p.m. Again, the better the food, the less of it you have to feed.

Good kibbles (IMO): Acana (grain free), Innova Prime, Innova Evo, Orijen, Earthborn (grainfree), Taste of the Wild (if on a budget, Tractor Supply makes a generic version, called 4 Health in a grain free-Potato and Fish, I believe); Costco sells a grainfree kibble, if you're a member, which is very budget friendly.

I agree with Loki Love - reduce the amount of food, maybe to 1/3 c. 2x daily, and go from there. Have you tried slightly wetting the food? It brings out the aroma of the food, which is appealing to some dogs. Also, the food is so dry, the wetting makes it easier for them to eat and swallow.
 

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Poodles tend to be picky eaters, but mine does the happy dance at each feeding. whining and carrying on like he's never been fed before! You should be able to feel your dog's ribs just a little bit. Poodles tend to get luxating patellas (back leg joint issue), so you don't want them to be overweight. A cup of food is a lot for a 15 pound poodle, IMO, esp. if it's a premium brand. Remember, the amount posted on the dog food bags are just a starting point, and the company is trying to sell dog food, so it's usually too high, unless the dog is extrememly active!

Potsie's just under 13 pounds, and he gets 1/2 cup of Innova Prime (fish) daily, divided into 2 meals. I'll be transitioning him over to Evo Herring and Salmon when this is gone, b/c my terrier mix is allergic to almost everything, and does better on this food. I'm lazy, and want them both on the same food - lol. Even though this food is expensive, I can feed less b/c it's very nutrient dense and high in calories. In fact, I've had to slightly reduce Maddie's portion when I changed her to Evo, b/c she started gaining weight. She was eating 1/4 c. a.m. and 1/3 c. p.m., but now she's eating 1/4 c. both a.m. and p.m. Again, the better the food, the less of it you have to feed.

Good kibbles (IMO): Acana (grain free), Innova Prime, Innova Evo, Orijen, Earthborn (grainfree), Taste of the Wild (if on a budget, Tractor Supply makes a generic version, called 4 Health in a grain free-Potato and Fish, I believe); Costco sells a grainfree kibble, if you're a member, which is very budget friendly.

I agree with Loki Love - reduce the amount of food, maybe to 1/3 c. 2x daily, and go from there. Have you tried slightly wetting the food? It brings out the aroma of the food, which is appealing to some dogs. Also, the food is so dry, the wetting makes it easier for them to eat and swallow.
Yes I've tried wetting the food more and Buddy seems to like that. He normally finishes his meal and eats faster too. I was hesitant about adding water because of the saying that "dry food cleans their teeth" yet I've also heard that dry foods can lead to severe dehydration or kidney & liver problems in the long run if the dogs don't drink enough water.

Another reason why I've decided to add a little water too his kibble too is because I notice him regurgitate of couple of kibbles at times... if he doesn't spit out a few kibbles then he will gag. I think he just swallows some of his kibbles insted of tearing them up or chewing them. Normally he gets a sip of water while he's feeding then goes back to munching or he will drink water as soon as he's done eating. I really do think the dry food is to too dry for him. I don't think he has any dental problems because he just had a dental cleaning (surgery w/no tooth extractions) like 3 months ago. Since Buddy is 8yrs old I did put him on a wellness plan that includes annual dental cleaning I so I guess I shouldn't be too worried about maintainng his teeth clean huh?
 

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Since Buddy is 8yrs old I did put him on a wellness plan that includes annual dental cleaning I so I guess I shouldn't be too worried about maintainng his teeth clean huh?
Yes, his dry food will not clean his teeth. There are other ways to keep a dogs teeth clean :)
 

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Changing the food every time the dog is a little picky is going to make for a more picky dog. Dogs are smart enough to realize that refusing food = better food! if you follow that pattern enough. Bile vomits just mean the stomach was expecting food. It doesn't mean the dog is starving, or even necessarily hungry. Feeling his ribs is a GOOD thing. As long as you can't see most of them, he's probably getting enough food. Some dogs just don't need as much food. My old dog weighed 45 lbs and only ate 1 cup of food a day.

You could mix in a little canned food if you're really worried about it. It's often healthier for them, anyway.
 

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It sounds like you just have a dog that stops eating when he's had enough to eat. 1 cup of premium kibble is a lot for an 18lb dog. When my 25lb dog was on kibble (orijen and blue wilderness) he was only getting 1 cup a day to maintain body weight and he is very active. Depending on activity level your dog may only need 3/4 to 1/2 a cup a day.

As long as his body condition looks good I wouldn't worry about it. You stressing over his food and switching it up constantly isn't going to help. If you really think he is too skinny you can always ask your vet how is body condition looks.

Here's a general body condition guideline that may help you better assess how he's doing:
 
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