Dealing With A Picky Eater Dog

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

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I always gasp when I walk into a house that has multiple dogs and a food bowl that is always sitting out, filled with food.  That is completely unheard of in my house, especially with 3 of my 4 Chihuahuas being completely food-oriented.  There is no way I could pull that off. 

Pixie would eat all the food each time.  Even when Rocky finally finishes his bowl, all 3 of the girls swoop in to eat the rest or lick the bowl.  They bonk heads and grumble and growl at each other. 

Rocky has never been food-oriented.  If he's laying with me and someone shakes the treat jar, he still keeps laying with me unless I tell him to go get a treat.  Rocky is the oldest, at 13, and he's also the one with a heart condition that he takes medicine for.  That being said, we usually don't have problems getting him to eat his 2 meals a day.  But every couple of months he gets super finicky for a few days and sometimes wants to skip both meals.  He is a tiny thing as it is and the vet never wants him losing weight.  So today I wanted to go over a few things I do when Rocky gets picky.  Hopefully these things help you guys if you ever have to deal with a  picky dog.

[1] Don't Rush Them
Pixie scarfs her food down within seconds, seriously.   It's horrendous to hear the snarfling sounds she makes.   Rocky on the other hand takes his good old time and carefully takes bite after bite.  Being the slow eater means that when the girls finish their meals, they immediately go to his bowl and wait for him to leave and see if there's anything left behind.  That upsets Rocky and sometimes causes him to scarf his food down and then gag it up a few minutes later.  So I always make sure to either block off the dogs with a baby gate or I will shoo them away and hold Pixie so she can't circle his bowl.   Sometimes I even feed him first so that by the time the girls finish, he's basically done.

[2] Create a Quiet Area for Food
The girls have food bowls in a row because they respect each other's space and don't mind being near each other.  Rocky gets to eat in two places - the kitchen (the others are in the dining room) or in the dining room at my feet when I sit at the table.  And when I keep the other dogs at bay he has a nice quiet spot to eat.  There are times when I've even brought his food bowl to the couch when he's sleeping and he'll calmly eat it there.  I do cater to him only because it's important that he always eat.

[3] He Can't Resist Delicious High Protein Food
So I normally feed Rocky little trays of standard dog food shredded chicken but for the times he's really picky I have to break out something even more appetizing.  My go to solution for this issue are Blue Buffalo Wilderness Trail Trays from Chewy.  You get chicken and duck which means Rocky gets two of his favorites.  He's a bird-guy obviously! They're easy for Rocky to chew and eat because they're soft and they're also grain-free which is great for dogs with sensitivities. The first ingredient is real duck or real chicken and there are no artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors.  Rocky absolutely loves these trays.  I even stir some of his regular dry kibble in with them and he eats it so fast and I can see him skip away afterwards with his full tummy.  These trays are from the Blue Buffalo Wilderness line which has extra protein which is great for picky eaters.  Whenever Rocky struggles I give him these so I can ensure he won't drop weight and he'll have the energy he needs to play with his sisters everyday. 

[4] Water EVERYDAY!
Even when Rocky is finicky I make sure he drinks water every day even if he skips a meal.  Dehydration is dangerous and water is more crucial than food when a dog doesn't feel like eating.  Sometimes when I leave for work and he's in his cage I'll even leave a tiny bowl of water, just to make sure he gets a couple licks.


  1. I wonder if my little fusspots would eat that wet food? I have to mix people food in with their dogfood to get them to eat. Perhaps I'll try a few of those and see how they do with it! Monkey is my pickiest eater....Molly and my old girl, Lily are better. However, they will often pick out the people food and leave the pebbles, unless I get all the pebbles saturated with people food. It's such a process every evening trying to make sure they all eat. And of course my old girl is a complete glutton (like Pixie) and tries to eat everyone else's food. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your new hubby and your wolfpack, Ellen!!

    1. Oh my gosh this should def help!! Rocky loves this. It's got a higher protein content which makes it that much more enticing for them! Happy Thanksgiving Deb! I hope it was amazing!


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