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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello!

I've been having some recurring trouble with my Buddy when it comes to food. He's sort of a picky eater, in the sense that every so often, he drops into phases of not eating his kibble. He still plays actively and goes for the food, so I know he wants to eat and isn't sick, but then he doesn't eat the kibble. It's very frustrating and worrying b/c a small part of me always worries that he maybe IS sick (he's my first dog), but it's almost always just me being overly paranoid.

I am aware that this might be my fault, but I do refrain from feeding him table scraps (it happens literally once or twice a month and even then it's really little). To be honest, I think he may have become picky because of another dog food that I was trying to mix with his kibble.

I recently found some wet food that he really liked and my plan was to mix that with the dry kibble to maybe give him a good balance of food/taste, though maybe that was a stupid idea. I also occasionally put in some other foods like a bit of sliced apples or scrambled eggs which he also, generally, seems to like.

However, it's getting to a point where he will now just sift through the dry food to get at the other stuff.

On one hand, I'm annoyed because he's wasting the dry food, on the other, I'm wondering if maybe I should just get rid of the dry food and change his diet. Would it be fine to just start giving him mainly wet food, now? Was I wrong to try and mix them--is that like a big no-no?

He's otherwise a really good boy and I always feel like he genuinely wants to do the right thing. That's why I say he's sort of a picky eater, because he's not holding out for human scraps from my plate, he knows that his food is in his bowl. He just won't have anything to do with the dry food.

Do I need to try and correct his behavior or mine?

Thanks in advance (sorry if this was a long post).
 

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He may just not need that much food that particular day. How old is he? What is is breed and weight? What's his body condition?

It's possible the food is going off. How long has the bag been open?

Sometimes picky human children are that way because the food gives them upset tummies. How is his stool? Any gas? Does he have skin that's too pink? Itchy ears? Lick his feet?

Unless he is getting skinny or having hunger pukes because he doesn't eat all his food every day I really wouldn't worry about it.
 

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I have a dog that goes off her food randomly. Some days it's like she just can't get enough, others she'll only eat about half. I don't worry too much, as long as she's acting normally and eating super yummy things when offered. I find that she will always finish her food on days we go for long hikes or she in some other way exerts herself.

My small dog will not even touch dry food - he's been raised on a raw/home cooked diet.

The dogs that eat kibble will only eat 'higher end' kibble. They were raised on Alpo, but when I took over their feeding, I switched them to brands like Orijen, Acana, Evo, Earthborn, etc. I definitely noticed an improvement in their energy and overall condition. I rotate through those brands for them, and I once tried to add in Sportsmix, which is an okay food but not as 'fancy' as the other brands, and they wouldn't eat it. I guess they really can taste the difference.

It's not bad to supplement kibble with canned food, or home made food (ie chicken, beef, eggs, etc). I actually recommend this for people that are able to do it. There are canned foods that are complete diets, and there are others that are meant as only supplements. I point this out because if you use the ones that are, for example, 95% meat, they may not have the added vitamins and minerals needed. In that case, you need to make sure you only switch out about 30% of his kibble for the canned food to keep his diet balanced. Same goes for home made food - you could, for example, switch out 30% of his kibble with ground beef and still be sure he's getting the nutrients he needs.

Also, I personally don't see any harm in feeding table scraps, as long as the dog isn't over weight and the food is of course not toxic or poisonous to dogs. I don't recommend feeding him from the table, but if I don't finish everything on my plate and it's safe for the dogs, I'll give it to them after I've finished eating.

So, in short, if you want him to eat kibble and only kibble, I'd recommend putting his food down for 15 minutes and then take it away whether he's done or not. Tough love. He'll learn to eat what he's given.

If you want to add canned food or cook for him or add raw, that'd work too - just do a little research to make sure he's getting a balanced diet. Adding to dry food isn't super complicated, it's when you feed your dog ONLY cooked food/raw food that you have to put in time and effort into creating a meal plan/diet plan. If he picks out the 'good' stuff, just take away the bowl after 15 minutes. He'll get hungry enough to eat the kibble.
 

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My shih tzu was quite an erratic eater. Some days he would eat the whole bowl .. some days he didn't eat at all. I just left it to him to decide. He was in great physical condition and had plenty of energy to play.

My sister's shih tzu seems to have very similar eating habits.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi everyone, thanks for the responses. I am ashamed to say that I did not actually realize kibble could go bad if the bag was left open, even if it was stored away in a cool dry space. Regardless, I went out and bought a new bag of kibble and stored it in ziploc bags. He is now eating his entire bowl, wet and dry food together. I'm also noticing a dramatic difference in his energy level. He was still excitable before, but not he seems at puppy-levels, again, which is great. So sorry for the mistake with the spoiled kibble and thanks to all of you for the advice and support!

Also, in case anyone is still wondering, Buddy is a Terrier mix (though with what, I'm not sure, the shelter said dottsen, maybe). He's about a year and a half old and usually weighs between 22 - 25 pounds.

Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It was getting close to about a week, week-and-a-half, but something consider is I live in an area where it's been extremely humid and moist in the summer. Maybe that had something to do with it.
 

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It shouldn't have gone bad that fast. I tried to get a bag of kibble eaten a month after opening but 2 months is fine. If it was stored in a humid situation then that isn't good. Putting it in the freezer is probably a good idea.

Did he reject kibble as soon as you opened the bag? Could be it was stored improperly at the store or the warehouse.
 

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I was just having an issue with my Yorkie who had some tummy issues. I was at a panic because she would just take 1 bite and walk away. Yesterday after talking to the vet he suggested I put her on a schedule until Monday to see IF there was an issue or if she was just being a brat. I followed it to the letter, yesterday and she didn't seem to care. This morning on the other hand she ate more than she had since Friday of last week. I sat a timer when I put the food down,she nibbled and nibbled about 6am,15 mins later I took it up and just left water, at 10:30 I did it again, she ate a fair amount. I'm waiting for the timer now. I'm not offering any more till this evening though to see if she will continue to improve. Maybe you need to put your dog on a schedule as well, food down same time everyday for X amount of time and then nothing till next meal. I'm not offering any treats either until she's eating more normally as well.
 
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