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Discussion Starter #1
I (theoretically) feed her NB Synergy, but of course after trying canned food, water, canned cat food, chicken, freeze dried raw daily boost, different bowls, different locations, being with her, coaxing, leaving her alone, or any combination of these for a total of four hours, she will not eat. Now I want to be nasty and give her the food as is and if she doesn't eat, tough but is there ANYTHING at all that anyone can think of that might do some magic? A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G!!!!
 

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Finicky eaters are finicky because that is what they learned to be. "If I don't eat, mom will give me something even better!". To teach a finicky eater to eat you simply stick with something and play the "tough love" game. Eating when there is food put in front of the dog is beneficial for many reasons. You'll know their potty schedule better, if they refuse to eat you might suspect something is wrong, if you are traveling and you need them to eat at a certain time they will, etc..

Assuming she is at a healthy weight and is healthy in all other regards, do this:

Say you feed her 1 cup NB. Put 1 cup of NB in her bowl and put it down then give her a command to eat. "Let's go" or "Okay"! Walk away. Come back in 15 minutes. If she is not eating it then pick it up and put it away. At her next scheduled feeding time put 1/2 cup in the bowl and put it on the ground. Say your command to eat. "Okay!". Walk away. In 15 minutes come back. If she is not eating, then pick it up. The next morning put half of that half in the bowl (so 1/4 cup) and repeat. Healthy dogs do not starve themselves. She will eventually get hungry and eat. If she does it's "good girl!". Then at her next schedule meal feed her the amount she ate plus 10 kibbles. If she eats all of that then her next meal she gets the amount she ate previously (1/4 cup and 10 kibbles) plus another 10 kibbles. Do this until she learns to eat everything in the bowl when it's in front of her and she is back to the amount she should be eating.

She will learn to eat this way. But you can't cheat. No snacks or treats throughout the day.
 

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I guess tough love is the only option. I just want her to be like my other dogs and eat without coaxing, ect. I never thought about reducing the food each time. I guess that keeps her from eating then skipping, eating, skipping. You gradually increase the food to prevent that as well.
 

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The idea behind reducing the food is that you want the dog wanting to eat. So the day they get hungry enough to eat they will eat only 1/4 cup and go "aww man, I wanted more! I'm still hungry". Thus, by the next meal they will eat everything in the bowl. Then gradually they will be eating a full cup at every meal. If they want to skip it, then fine. They wont get anything till the next meal. Some dogs just don't eat as much as other dogs. Some dogs need only 20 kibbles/day to survive and maintain a good weight. That's fine, so long as you know that and the dog is healthy. It could also be a taste thing too. Some dogs just aren't crazy about fish flavored kibbles or turkey flavored kibbles, for example. Maybe she's just not crazy about NB. But again, you have to kind of be careful you don't get caught in a loop of changing kibbles every month to satisfy her finickiness.


The thing with adding stuff is now the dog expects things to be added. Eventually they will just wait out the owner who, in desperation, will start adding even more exotic and wonderful things. Which is fine as long as the owner is willing to accept that. I think after a day or two she will get the picture and be right up there begging for her dinner too!
 

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I agree with the above. But you also have to work on your feelings about it, because the dog will pick up on whatever you're feeling. If you put the food down and you simply DO NOT CARE whether the dog eats it or not, she'll probably eat it (if she's hungry). But if you put the food down and you worry about whether she'll eat it or not, she'll pick up on your anxiety and probably won't eat, no matter how hungry she is. I mean, if her food is making you that anxious, there must be something wrong with it! :p
 
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