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I Know We Have Discussed This Before, But Any Tips For Picky Eaters? P

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Sorry, I know we have discussed this topic of picky eaters a lot and I've tried everything, but I guess I'm hoping for a good advice.


Let me explain the case, I have a greyhound who eats everything so I have never had such a problem, so now I'm fostering a Greyhound mix.

She is from Korea, so she was probably a stray dog, that's maybe why she is very picky and more familiar with junkfood.

She is in foster because of her weight, now she is currently with 57lbs, but for her size and being a mix she is really underweight, we can see all her ribs, back and bum bones, so she is basically bones.


So my homework is fatten her up, but it's so hard, she doesn't like dog food at all.

She came with a kibble (that she didn't eat) and some treats, which she just like those one and doesn't accept any new ones.


That's what I've tried:


Changed the kibble and brands, tried meat, chicken, pork, finally it seems she accepts more fish kibble.

Tried all sorts of wet foods and brands, the cheap ones, the expensive ones... also canned tuna and salmon, a little bit of success.

Home made food, tried chicken, brown rice, fish, red meat, even a delicious chicken soup.

Olewo carrots and beets, she didn't even touched them!

High calorie gel for dogs who need get fat, didn't even touched it.

Peanut butter in a Kong, she sometimes eat, sometimes doesn't.

Cheese, fresh white cheese, she likes, but I've heard a lot of cheese it's not good for dogs.

Last try, I bought Freshpet, it is that fresh food for dogs that comes in big rolls and are refrigerate, I had some success with this one! Very little!



So she seems to go better with fish meals, but every time she eats a whole meal for 2 days, the next 2 days she doesn't eat at all! So it's and ups and downs, when I finally get happy because she ate 3 meals in a day, next day she won't.


It's scary for me to see a dog that doesn't eat at all for 2 days and her belly does very disturbing loud sounds.


There was one day that I was so desperate to make her eating that I gave her a donuts, because it seems to be the only thing that she wants to eat when we eat.


She had a Vet check last week, so we ruled out any sort of illness. The Vet knows how hard she is to eat and told me just to keep trying.

I don't know if is because she was a stray and was used to eating trash from the streets it might had affected her taste for dog food.

It seems she wants to eat only the things she can't like our junk food that is not healthy.


What should I do? She is supposed to eat 4 cups of kibble/day and I am not able to feed her even 2 cups/day.

I never saw a dog refusing a treat, even a piece of bacon! I've reached the point that I cooked pieces of bacon to her and she totally refused.


Help meeee!!!

Edited by denisetanaka
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:dunno if it applies but when Rex had grumbly tummy I just had to prime his pump. If I could tempt him to eat a few tasty bites then I cold immediately go to some canned and then on to kibble. Problem was what he wanted changed daily. I was on the futon at 4 a.m. many times playing "spin the wheel of food" but If I gave enough options he'd always get started then go on.


Problem was his fancy changed every night. Some favorites were freeze driied liver, the aforementioned cheese and tuna, sardines (tomato sauce was his favorite), jack mackeral, hot dog pieces, braunschwager, liverwurst, canned Sheba cat food, and a scrambled egg. I'll think of more.

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I think it's highly likely that her inappetence (unwillingness to eat! ;) ) is due to something medical. What exactly did your vet check for? Is she interested in food while you're preparing it, but then walking away from her bowl without eating? That indicates nauseau to me. The gurgly, rumbly tummy can also be indicative of worms, which I think would be a huge issue for a former stray. Even if she has negative fecal tests, I would worm her *at least* once and probably a couple times. Tummy gurgles can be a sign of something more serious like IBS/IBD, or other intestinal issues. What did the vet say about the condition of her teeth, and/or has she had a dental yet? Bad teeth or mouth issues can affect their desire to eat, as well.


How is her poop? Liquid stools would probably indicate worms to me. Watch for dark, granular stolls as that indicates blood is passing through her system. Of course, a brighter blood color is a cause for concern as well.


I know she's a foster, so you'll need to talk to her group about continuing to investigate her medical issues.


IF she is clear medically, you're vet can still help. Cerenia is a drug for car sickness, but they also give it for general nauseau. There's also a drug - starts with an M but I've forgotten the name of it for the moment - that helps increase appetite. Shots of vitamin B-12 can also help increase a desire to eat. One other thing to discuss is whether an anti anxiety medication could be helpful for her. She may be experiencing a lot of PTSD or anxiety about her change in circumstance, and reluctant to eat because of it. She might be a stray, but if she's from Korea, the other option would be from a dog meat farm, and I imagine those weren't great places to be. The adjustment to a new place may be too much for her.


Other things that have worked for picky eaters for me:

>Don't set down a whole bowl full of food right away. Drop a few tasty things in her bowl at a time, then add her food in small, small amounts as she eats.


>Soak her kibble in water or broth beforehand. Slightly heat it to make it smell better before giving to her.


>I actually hand feed my IBS girl nearly all her food. I use a spoon and feed her like I would a baby. (It was the *only* way I could get her to eat for months, and now that she's feeling better, it's the only way she knows to eat! But she *IS* eating, so I'll do whatever it takes.) At one point, all her food had to be the consistency of baby food - smoothly pureed, not hot, no lumps. So I soaked her kibble and then mashed it with a potato masher along with some canned food. If I home-cooked for her it was the same thing.


>Don't watch her eat. Having someone around so close to her food may make her nervous (especially if she was a stray). If you can put it down and walk away, or even leave it down, or leave it with her in her crate, that might encourage her to eat.

>Smaller meals given more often are more successful than one or two larger meals. Try and not let her tummy get empty, cause that's when the gurgles begin.


>There's no law that says she *has* to eat kibble. It's just cheaper. So if she likes canned food better than kibble, that's what she should eat. Look for a canned food that says it's a "complete" food (has extra vitamins and mineral additives, and maybe a carb source added, so that it doesn't need anything else for nutrition).


Picky eaters can be frustrating and worrisome. You just want them to eat something - ANYthing!!! I know that feeling well! Good luck!

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)


Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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Guest lovingloki

I think the suggestions in this thread are great! I particularly agree with the idea of feeding her somewhere she is comfortable and leaving her alone to eat if you haven't already been doing this!

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Post #11 in this thread contains Seamie's List. Hopefully something there might tempt your picky eater. Good luck!

Old Dogs are the Best Dogs. :heartThank you, campers. Current enrollees:  Punkin. Annie Oooh M. 

Angels: Pal :heart. Segugio. Sorella (TPGIT). LadyBug. Zeke-aroni. MiMi Sizzle Pants. Gracie. Seamie :heart:brokenheart. (Foster)Sweet. Andy. PaddyALVIN!Mayhem. Bosco. Bruno. Dottie B. Trevor Double-Heart. Bea. Cletus, KLTO. Aiden.

:paw Upon reflection, our lives are often referenced in parts defined by the all-too-short lives of our dogs.

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  • 3 weeks later...

having a former street dog can be challenging. my daughter has 2. some how she managed to transition them to dry kibble and that's it! she grew up in the home of hard knocks when it comes to food, as a fussy eater she carried around her lunch for 2 days until she finally ate it and that was then end of being a fussy eater. i'm that way w/ my hounds unless there is a medical problem. they do eat after a while, and my kid is 34 and eats every and anything!


i'm sad to say, most likely a diet of left overs will keep your dog the happiest. this sounds like the food conversation that i recently had w/ a good friend who also has had dogs for 45 years. she went from top of the line holistic to anything that they will eat.they are approaching 18 years of age. don't go grey over this, i know dogs who lived to 16 eating fried liver and left overs every night!!!


as long as you don't have to contend w/ loose stools and your dog is happy, a multivitamin should make everyone happy.

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We had good luck adding a probiotic. Our girl was super picky when we got her and we had the awful tummy sounds when her belly would be empty, but she still didn't want to eat. This is the one we use and it really helped balance her out I think:



She is still pretty picky but we finally found a food that she likes and we end up having to entice her with SOMETHING at each meal, usually broth or cheese or other meat we have around. Like someone else said, we have also found that "priming the pump" helps entice her to eat when she is not interested. Her favorite treat with an extra bit dropped in her bowl, and we also don't watch her eat either. Too funny- when we take her on walks, there is almost a guarantee that she will poop in the yard of the person who is outside to watch, but she wants to eat in private!



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  • 2 months later...

My Schnookie has been causing me grief for weeks now. She has an advanced heart murmur and is on medication. Her appetite has been terrible. I have had a breakthrough!! she is finally eating a good meal. I fry a steak of pork scotch fillet a steak of beef scotch fillet and a lamb steak to only just well done. I cut it up very fine whilst it is still quite warm. to this I add 1/4 cup of plain freshly cooked couscous which has had a tiny drizzle of olive oil stirred through. when it has cooled off to a tolerable temperature (not cold) I present the meal and she scoffs the lot. Her stools were terrible before I added the couscous, but now we have something almost solid instead of a tarry mass. She has this meal morning and evening. I think she has esophagus issues so the fresh cooked meat dish slides down easily. Whatever the reason, we now have a skinny dog eating. The lack of vitamins here worries me, but for now my fourteen and a half year old is eating with passion again. Hope this idea works for others! :catscat:gh_face

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  • 2 weeks later...

If you've got a hound from Korea, you may need to add some smells that are more familiar to her ... focus on fish and use rice or Asian noodles to fill in some calories. Soy or fish sauce may add some yummy flavors to her as well. good luck!

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We just adopted our grey last week and she's a very picky eater- she refused to eat in the AM when she came home with us and would often leave a half a bowl of food untouched in the evening, so we've been experimenting a lot. She likes peanut butter Kongs as well, and I found that she'll be more than happy to eat her kibble with some warm water and a small spoonful of peanut butter mixed in. Now she's more than happy to eat in the mornings as well. We use an all natural peanut butter powder (instead of full PB from a jar) so it really soaks in and she can't pick out the pieces, but it may be worth a shot if it isn't something medical that's causing her issues?

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