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We just got a new 1yr old dog this week...he is a 1/2 pekinegse and 1/2 lapso apso....the love of our lives already! Its become very obvious to us that he was fed strictly table food at his old house. I would like to get him to eat regular dog food..I've bought him a few different types...canned, dry, slices, ect...but he refuses them all...he even refuses treats, I've bought milk bones, bacon strips, ect. The vet said to just not feed him that he will eventually start eating when he's hungry...but that just seems cruel to me. What do you think??
 

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I would like to get him to eat regular dog food..I've bought him a few different types...canned, dry, slices, ect...but he refuses them all...he even refuses treats, I've bought milk bones, bacon strips, ect. The vet said to just not feed him that he will eventually start eating when he's hungry...but that just seems cruel to me. What do you think??
You got good advice from your vet.

First of all, though, start with the NILIF "training". Buddy has to "work" before he gets his food. At first and for some time thereafter, the "work" can be quite simple such as a 'sit'. But later on, you may mix in some harder tasks such as 'watch me', 'curl', etc.

Second, pick one high-quality food and stick to it. There is no reason to keep changing foods and many good reasons not to. Follow the amounts for your size dog.

Third, offer the food for only a short time. Fifteen or twenty minutes is the general recommendation but since you are doing corrective training, you could start with a little longer period. Do not leave any food down after the time period expires - if the food or any part of it is not eaten, remove the food and the bowl and put the bowl away until the next meal.

Remember that very small dogs have to be fed small meals - so you will need to feed multiple times during the day. Some small dogs do get down to one or two meals a day but many of them stay with three meals. Simply divide the total daily recommended amount by the number of meals. Each meal is separate - do not carry over any leftover food from meal to meal.
 

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The Vet and previous advice is accurate. A healthy dog will not starve.

However, I've got a few gentle suggestions you can try.
1. Pick a brand dog food that you like and is in your price range. The better the quality of the dog food, the better it is for your dog. However, I fit my dogfood to my own life style. I eat average food, so I feed my dogs fairly average food. If they develop problems, then I spend the extra money to get better ingredients. But most dogs will thrive on grocery store brands, such as Purina dry food. But, pick one that you trust and stick with it.

2. No more table scraps, no more people food. And no treats, until you have feeding under control.

3. He's a small dog with small teeth, and he may not like the new textures, so try two things:

A. At the normal feeding time, put the food on the floor, and add one or two tablespoons of warm water to soften the food. If he sniffs and laps the "sauce" ... it is the texture, not the flavor, that bothers him. If he then eats the food, you can slowly wean him off the water over the course of two weeks.

B. If he still doesn't like the food, then add 1 teaspoon of ketchup to a cup of warm water, stir well, and add two tablespoons of that flavored water to the dogfood... then put it on the floor for him. If he doesn't scarf it down, then go the route that Poly recommends.... because he was spoiled by the previous family, and he needs to learn that he's not getting steak anymore :)

Let us know what happens...

- Hank Simon
 
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