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Tips And Tricks For Picky Eaters, Please


Guest Vers
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Perhaps this can become a topic that may help any of us who have only had "hoover hounds" before and now have a picky hound...

 

Stella has been a fussy, finicky, picky eater since she came home last fall (and was reported to be a picky eater in the adoption kennel before that). It has thwarted my efforts to put just three or four pounds on her to get her to an optimal weight. So, it was exciting last week when I added nutritional yeast and she gobbled her meals. But like everything else I've tried, it lasted less than a week.

 

She seems to do well on canned Kirkland, so that is the base for nearly all her meals

 

Add-ins I try or have tried (note, some of these I'm not very proud of):

Kibble of various flavors and brands

Sardines

Raw egg

Cooked egg

Dehydrated liver bits

Parmesan cheese

Nutritional yeast

Yogurt

Home-cooked beef or turkey and sweet potato stew

Cat food (EVO)

Turkey hotdogs

Itty bitty chunks of steak

 

She eats in her crate, so she's not bothered by Simba or the cats. Except for her eyes, her health has checked out fine -- we did battle with hookworms, and seem to have won that for now. She nearly always eats her treats, but I don't overdo it on treats. Raw meals are very hit or miss with her, with a success rate of probably no more than 30%. Her digestion and poops seem fine. Her energy level and coat are good. She's a very happy if still somewhat shy girl.

 

Ideas? What's worked with your picky hounds? I make sure to not give her any left legs ( :wave hi Bill!)

 

Help!

Edited by Vers
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Storm is 12 and is our resident picky eater. She never cared much for people food in her younger years but this past year, it's been a test to keep her eating.

So far, her favorite things have been cantaloupe, cooked carrots, Kraft macaroni & cheese, cooked oven-roasted chicken we buy already cooked at the grocery and bread of any kind, preferable buttered.

We hand-feed the bread, butter and cantaloupe. We sparingly add the macaroni and chicken in her food but she can have a bunch of the carrots.

 

We regularly cook up a batch of green beans and carrots for the other two dogs to add in their food. We don't season it with anything....and cook it 'til the carrots are soft.

post-7960-077969500 1284926814_thumb.jpg

Mom to BridgeGreys~~STORM 07/99-02/08/11, VICKI 12/15/00-01/12/11, BAY 02/00-10/25/10 and CASHEW 10/99-2/23/10

and cats ~~ IRISH, MUMBLES, MUFFIN, TJ, PUNKIN and Bridge cats SARAH (07/29/97-07/07/06) and BRIE (04/11/96-01/22/12)

a very lively Whippet, OLIVIA and JAKE, the Iggy

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Guest greybookends

I have had Bill for almost 6 years and it has been an on going battle. I have tried every trick in the book. Sometimes they work sometimes they don't, sometimes none are needed. Bill is quite literally a cat in a dogs body. Out of self preservation I started the breakfast with Bill dialogs and they are now Dinner with Bill. They best trick I used was going from 2 feedings a day to one. Bill will NOT eat in the mornings.

 

When I got Bill I was mixing kibble with chicken and rice. I went to raw and things got better, but it is still a struggle. I swear he would let the others steal the food out of his mouth and he would never care.

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I should have added that with Storm, we went from feeding twice a day to feeding her about 4 or 5 times a day.

She seems to prefer smaller meals more frequently. We add different things to her meals so she doesn't get bored as fast. Creative cooking for dogs can be a challenge!!

Mom to BridgeGreys~~STORM 07/99-02/08/11, VICKI 12/15/00-01/12/11, BAY 02/00-10/25/10 and CASHEW 10/99-2/23/10

and cats ~~ IRISH, MUMBLES, MUFFIN, TJ, PUNKIN and Bridge cats SARAH (07/29/97-07/07/06) and BRIE (04/11/96-01/22/12)

a very lively Whippet, OLIVIA and JAKE, the Iggy

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Guest greybookends

Here are some of the things I've done.

 

Sauces, flavored powders, gravies, tiny marshmellows, cooking, warming in the microwave, cutting into teeny tiny pieces, hand feeding, spoon feeding, NO feeding, standing on my head( not really :lol ) burpdog crumbs, Squirty cream(canned whipped cream), squirty cheese (cheese whiz), every kind of meat I can find. He LOVES THEM, but I am not feeding him THEM everyday and you do not want to know what THEM are! I have added fruits, veggies,leftovers,stinky fish, you name it, I've tried it. He simply is not food motivated unless of course you are feeding strictly cookies. Good luck I hope you have better luck then me. He is still alive after almost 6 years , so I am getting enough into him and he does not look malnurished.

Edited by greybookends
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Two things come to mind. Do you free feed? If so you might try a scheduled feeding and if the meal isn't eaten in 15 minutes then pick it up and don't give her anything (well OK maybe a mid-day cookie) until her next meal. I have had a cpl of finicky eaters and this seemed to work with them and they learned to eat everything in their bowl when it was offered.

The other suggestion might be to use a different add in with each meal on some kind of rotating schedule. Toss some green beans in one meal, some jack mackerel in the next, the nutritional yeast and so on. Maybe if she doesn't get the idea that each meal is the same old thing as the last she would be more enthusiastic.

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Guest IrskasMom

I have had Bill for almost 6 years and it has been an on going battle. I have tried every trick in the book. Sometimes they work sometimes they don't, sometimes none are needed. Bill is quite literally a cat in a dogs body. Out of self preservation I started the breakfast with Bill dialogs and they are now Dinner with Bill. They best trick I used was going from 2 feedings a day to one. Bill will NOT eat in the mornings.When I got Bill I was mixing kibble with chicken and rice. I went to raw and things got better, but it is still a struggle. I swear he would let the others steal the food out of his mouth and he would never care.

My Words exactly. My Morty is such a picky Eater. It makes me crinch when Dinner Time comes around.We went today to our Annual Greyhound Rescue Picnic where Pizza and fried Chicken ( of course a lot of other Food)were offered. My Friends Hounds where chowing down on the Chicken , not my Morty.He just stared at them eating away. I switched Kibbles to Blue Wilderness Salmon and sometimes Chicken. He is not crazy about it but he eats it barely. He did not eat his Breakfast ( it's hit or miss ) and has not touched anything yet not even the Dinner that has been standing there since an Hour. Morty cannot afford to loose any Weight.

I have Nutritional Yeast here and I want to give it a try again.Do you spread it on Top of the Food or do you mix it in ???? :unsure

I wanted to add, there is just NO Cookie or Treat my Morty will eat with Gusto. :rolleyes:

Edited by IrskasMom
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Here are some of the things I've done.

 

Sauces, flavored powders, gravies, tiny marshmellows, cooking, warming in the microwave, cutting into teeny tiny pieces, hand feeding, spoon feeding, NO feeding, standing on my head( not really :lol ) burpdog crumbs, Squirty cream(canned whipped cream), squirty cheese (cheese whiz), every kind of meat I can find. He LOVES THEM, but I am not feeding him THEM everyday and you do not want to know what THEM are! I have added fruits, veggies,leftovers,stinky fish, you name it, I've tried it. He simply is not food motivated unless of course you are feeding strictly cookies. Good luck I hope you have better luck then me. He is still alive after almost 6 years , so I am getting enough into him and he does not look malnurished.

 

Lori, you might recall it was Breakfast with Bill that got me hooked on GT before I even had a hound (and we still love those posts!). And then when Simba came home and needed to lose about ten pounds, I never imagined I'd be so worried about getting a grey to eat.

 

Stella weighs exactly the same as the day she came home, and on a good day maybe a pound over her racing weight. So, we're not losing, but we're not gaining either. Greyhounds, Stormy is very fortunate to have you as her caterer -- and she is beautiful! -- but Stella is only three years old, not yet a senior. Not sure how much of a difference that makes.

 

Stella does eat a bit better in the evening, but I am loathe to give up completely on breakfast for two reasons: the Yellow Bile of Death when she doesn't eat, and the fact that I can't even imagine her taking in enough nutrition in one meal a day. I've tried one evening meal, regular-sized, and she still doesn't finish it. I've also tried more frequent smaller meals and gave up on that due to her lack of interest (=tossing food).

 

So... she ate about 70% of a dinner of canned Kirkland, a couple spoons of canned cat food, steak, egg, cheese and nutritional yeast tonight. Sounds like a lot, but the overall amount was just a little more than a maintenance amount. In less than half the time she took to eat, Simba devoured a chicken leg quarter, hearts and giblets.

 

Oh, THEM? Yes, I know what they are and why Bill loves them. THEY won't fly with Stella, at least most of the time. Simba would eat THEM like candy, of course :rolleyes: .

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you for the responses and ideas. Sheila, I don't free feed except to the extent that I will leave Stella's breakfast in her crate if she hasn't eaten it before I have to leave for work. It's often gone by noon, but not always. Your idea of rotating flavors is one I'll definitely purposefully try (been doing it sort of accidentally). The tactic of taking food away after fifteen minutes if not eaten and waiting until the next mealtime... tried it early on, and I'm fairly convinced I have one of the few hounds who would rather starve than eat on schedule. I'd actually consider free feeding, except I have another (hoover) hound and two cats who will eat anything left out.

 

Erika, I've been using about a tablespoon of nutritional yeast sprinkled on top of the food, though if I end up adding something else to the meal, it does get mixed in. I have evidence that it's highly palatable, since I brought it home in a plastic bag from the bulk bins at the health food store and left it on the counter while I was putting other groceries away -- and one of my cats tore into it. As far as treats, Stella will ofetn hide cookies in her bed, but will practically do backflips for homecooked dehydrated beef liver -- has Morty tried that yet?

 

I forgot raw/canned tripe in the list of things I tried, and they've both worked for a few days. Raw tripe is honestly hard for me to handle hacking into pieces in the morning; I did pick up canned tripe over the weekend, and it looks like that might be the enticement to eat dinners this week (I really hope it lasts longer -- I just ordered four cases since I can't often find it in the stores here). We did get a second all clear from hookworms this weekend as well. I am also starting to try manuka honey as an appetite stimulant, but nothing to report yet.

 

Still open to ideas, or at least spells to help her appetite! :rolleyes:

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Vers,

I have this problem with Sage. She either loves the food but has the worst diarrhea and gas EVER, or she hates the food. We've tried every kibble under the sun from crap all the way up to the healthy fancy stuff. We've also tried add-ins. If she does show interest in one food, she'll loose that interest with in 2 or 3 days and we're back to square one. And- she HAS to eat her breakfast! Her belly grumbles SO loud, and that's when she'll refuse to eat because her belly is sick, but she doesn't realize of course, that eating is what will make her feel better. I have to whet her appetite with cookies and once her belly settles she'll eat some kibble. If she doesn't eat she throws up bile. A viscous cycle I tell you.

 

For the past 3 1/2 weeks we've found something that is working! This is a record and I hope and pray it continues to work. In the morning she gets dry kibble- Purina One beef and rice. It's like a mix of kibble and soft "shredded meat". Definitely not my first choice in kibble, but she thinks it's candy so she gobbles it up. Then for dinner I mix Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream (got to get a healthy kibble in there!) with canned food. The trick? A new canned food every 2 days. I use Merrick- they have an awesome variety of healthy canned. Sage loves it because it mixes things up. Something new all the time! They have some varieties that have an actual whole chicken wing or thigh! The cooking process makes the bones soft, and Roscoe and Sage think they've died and gone to heaven when there's a whole wing sitting on top of their kibble. :rolleyes:

 

Check it out Merrick Magic!

GTsiggy_zps0481d543.jpg

Lisa with Finnegan (Nina's Fire Fly) and Sage (Gil's Selma). Always missing Roscoe
www.popdogdesigns.net pop art prints, custom portraits and collars

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Guest AmazinGreyz

I have had Bill for almost 6 years and it has been an on going battle. I have tried every trick in the book. Sometimes they work sometimes they don't, sometimes none are needed. Bill is quite literally a cat in a dogs body. Out of self preservation I started the breakfast with Bill dialogs and they are now Dinner with Bill. They best trick I used was going from 2 feedings a day to one. Bill will NOT eat in the mornings.

 

When I got Bill I was mixing kibble with chicken and rice. I went to raw and things got better, but it is still a struggle. I swear he would let the others steal the food out of his mouth and he would never care.

 

 

Dinner with Bill has become one of my favorite things to look for. Both Ivan (my grey) and Chancy-Dancer (my whippet) are picky boys. I have to keep the variety going for each of them...both both like different things at different times.

 

This week, Ivan's been liking a spoonful of peanut butter with his kibble. Chancy-D has been liking to go over to Ivan's dish (he eats around the p-butter). I have to chase him back to his own dish, but it seems that if he make the effort to eat Ivan's food this week, he's happier.

 

*sigh*

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Rascal is my picky eater, and breakfast is her might-not-eat-anything meal.

 

I feed all the dogs a high quality kibble (Fromm Adult Gold), and I give her and Ruby a bit of canned food (couple of spoonfuls) with each meal. I find that I MUST keep changing the canned food. If she liked it last week, she might turn her nose up at it this week. There are days when she takes one sniff and walks away.

When my kids were young they had a computer game called "The Logical Journey of the Zoombinis". At one point in this game, the little Zoombinis have to make a pizza for this other creature....and they have to figure out what toppings he wants. If they figure it out, they move to the next challenge, if they don't, the creature says, "THERE'S SOMETHING ON THERE I DON'T LIKE!!" and throws the pizza away.

 

Rascal IS the creature. Every breakfast, I put her food down, and watch her sniff it....and I can hear her thinking, "THERE'S SOMETHING ON THERE I DON'T LIKE!". :lol It's very frustrating, but she's been here nine years, and is in pretty good shape. :)

Edited by rascalsmom

Phoebe (Belle's Sweetpea) adopted 9/2/13.

Jack (BTR Captain Jack) 9/28/05--11/2/12
Always missing Buddy, Ruby, and Rascal.

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And - she HAS to eat her breakfast! Her belly grumbles SO loud, and that's when she'll refuse to eat because her belly is sick, but she doesn't realize of course, that eating is what will make her feel better. I have to whet her appetite with cookies and once her belly settles she'll eat some kibble. If she doesn't eat she throws up bile.

 

Lisa, this is exactly what Stella's deal is including the stomach growlies and the cookies to settle it; I truly feel your pain. Call it a coincidence, but I also picked up a handful of flavors of Merrick canned last weekend -- so your suggestion was spot-on! So far, she likes the Working Dog Stew and Wild Buffalo Grill; Cowboy Cookout was an outright complete refusal and was tossed. I have a can of Turducken on hand and Wilderness err... something on order. Does Sage have favorites that she can share?

 

We're going to give the revolving flavors thing a shot here as soon as I gather a few more clues as to which Merrick flavors Stella likes. I'm tempted to list all of the pantry ingredients in my arsenal now, but let's just say today breakfast was a total loss, and dinner was Wild Buffalo Grill with a bit of canned tripe, and that I succumbed to adding sardines to it to achieve an 80% dinner finish.

 

An aside: a while back I changed the cats over to Merrick (Cowboy Cookout canned cat food) from EVO, and they love love love it, and look and act terrific. Also an aside: nearly all or all of the Merrick dog foods have potato, so Simba both misses out and can't be Stella's clean up crew (he's allergic).

 

Rascalsmom, love the sound bite, but are you okay with me having "THERE'S SOMETHING ON THERE I DON'T LIKE!" ringing in my head breakfast and dinner for the next ten or twelve years? :rofl: :rofl:

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Funny, but out of the 7 or so flavors she's tried so far, the one she doesn't like is the working dog stew. The one that she truely eats with gusto is the little Italy. There's meatballs in there, I'm almost tempted to try (or maybe not..). And the tailgate one with the whole chicken thigh she really likes as well. We continue to have great success so fingers cossed.. For me and you! Lol

GTsiggy_zps0481d543.jpg

Lisa with Finnegan (Nina's Fire Fly) and Sage (Gil's Selma). Always missing Roscoe
www.popdogdesigns.net pop art prints, custom portraits and collars

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Lisa, thank you -- that gives us two more flavors to try. Stella has actually finished! a can of the Merrick Wild Buffalo for breakfast the past two days, nothing added -- that never happens. I'm trying to round out dinner with other ingredients, and that's proving to be a bit challenging now. So, Merrick for a win!

 

Look for one of my next questions to be about feeding a picky eater affordably :)

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Sutra can be picky sometimes with his meals. If he turns his nose up at his kibble (TOTW Pacific Stream) more than a few times, I usually know he's having a pancreatitis issue and we need to have him checked out. But, if he just turns his nose up at it once, he gets canned Blue Buffalo fish and sweet potato. If he won't eat that, then I REALLY know he's not feeling well.

 

He's GOT to have something in his stomach to take his medication with. I can't give him his deramaxx unless he has eaten something.

 

When I first got him he was just out of the hospital from an acute pancreatitis attack. He would not eat any sort of dog food. I cooked chicken, ground beef, mashed potatoes, and macaroni for him and added cottage cheese, yogurt, turkey baby food...lots of easily digestible things (all mushy) to get him eating again.

 

Ace used to be a picky eater when she was an only dog. After adopting Fritz, she has learned to eat her food :lol

Kristin in Moline, IL USA with Ozzie (MRL Crusin Clem), Clarice (Clarice McBones), Latte and Sage the IGs, and the kitties: Violet and Rose
Lovingly Remembered: Sutra (Fliowa Sutra) 12/02/97-10/12/10, Pinky (Pick Me) 04/20/03-11/19/12, Fritz (Fritz Fire) 02/05/01 - 05/20/13, Ace (Fantastic Ace) 02/05/01 - 07/05/13, and Carrie (Takin the Crumbs) 05/08/99 - 09/04/13.

A cure for cancer can't come soon enough.--

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Guest jade1046

My Bizzie is a picky eater too when it comes to kibble. She would eat just about anything we eat, but I'm not about to feed her strictly people food and doggie treats! I've tried just about everything you all have suggested and some of it works one day, but maybe not the next - you probably all know what I mean. :lol One of the things that she likes somtetimes is if I microwave about a tablespoon of peanut butter in an empty PB jar for about 30 seconds, pour in about a cup of kibble and shake. It coats the kibble with PB, which she loves. The second thing I've found which has worked every time so far is to cook up one of those frozen minute steaks (Steak Ums) and mix it up with kibble. I know it's not very good for her, but one cooked Steak Um is a very small amount and it's enough to make her finish her bowl of food!

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  • 3 weeks later...

The element of surprise AKA rotating canned foods seems to work to a good degree. Stella has given paws up (which to me means an 80% finish) to many Merrick canned flavors. Her current favorite is Wing-A-Ling; she also likes Wild Buffalo Grill and Working Dog Stew. Little Italy and Turducken were a bust. There's a dozen of the Fall Seasonal Tailgate on its way now (Petfooddirect has Merrick on sale, and it's about $10 less than the local store). She's also eaten a couple of good meals with Tripett tripe :puke I've changed the base of the meals to TOTW mixed with Holistic Select, and am mixing dry with canned pretty much 50/50.

 

Funny thing; I barbecued chili/lime/coconut chicken last night and of all things, every cat and dog here was wild for it. They only got small bites since I didn't know how the spices would treat them, but Stella went on to eat her first raw meal in weeks!

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Guest avadogner

Hi fellow picky eater parents,

My girl Ava has always been a purist with wanting ONLY her Pro plan Salmon based sensitive stomach kibble but since she turned 9 she's becoming really difficult to feed. I had to board them with at our local Grey rescue while we were out of town. I came home to a hunger striking Ava with open sores on her nose (see my previous post). When she is refusing to eat something, she pushes the bowl away with her nose. She has been hunger stiking for about 7 days now and her poor nose is breeding from so much "food snubbing". I've gotten a little freshly cooked ground sirloin, rice, yogurt with a tiny amount of her kibble in her. She not dehydrated and Big D free but she is just so droopy. I've tried various can food and human food add ins. She has now started putting the bleeding nose in the dish and moving it around the dish to "Trick Me" into thinking she's eating. She gladly eats treats, peanut butter and sandwich deli slices (reduced sodium style from our local butcher and deli shop). I am to the point of wondering "Is there a form Ensure Plus for doggies?" She is dropping weight slowly and my vet isn't worried but I am worried for her. She has arthritis and needs her Rimadyl but needs to get a decent meal in to take the meds. I feel like feeding her treats, deli slices and peanut butter is bad parenting. I worked NICU for years and we had a powder we used to bulk up premies and am looking for something that will work with her too. Any suggestions?

-ava and augie's mum

 

p.s. she outrights refuses to even push her nose around any new can foods. She has to have her salmon kibble in there. I don't think she will eat anything new. She eats about 1/3 a cup of her 1 1/2 cup feeding so I need to boost the little she eats. We tried holding meals, offering more frequent meals and hand feeding.

Edited by avadogner
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Guest xshivax

My boy Byron is super slow eating at mealtimes. He prefers to walk and then comeback and eat. I feed my dogs Nature's Variety Praire either the beef or the chicken formula. I was adding in a spoonful on canned dog food which didn't always interest him. I decided to buy some ground turkey to try with him. After I cooked it I just gave him a spoonful mixed in with his food. He really likes it and will eat most of his food right away now. It is much better for him than the canned food anyways. The only thing else my dogs get is a squirt of Omegderm - 3 for their coats.

Nice solid stools for my two boys.

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