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Well, Tav is a finicky eater. He will seem to like something for a while and then he will just stop eating it. And no matter how hard I try, he will not go back to it.

Over the last year I have tried many different types of dog food. He won't eat dry at all, so we feed him canned, but he doesn't even really like canned food. He does like chicken, but he's not crazy for it. Ham he loves to death, and baby hotdogs. Anyway, I did some research and bought some Merrick dog food. I was certain I had found something he would enjoy. Guess what? Nope. By five this evening I decided to heat it up on the stove and try it that way. I managed to get him to eat some of it, about 1/8-1/4 of a can. This stuff looks great! It's the best looking dog food I have ever seen! I don't understand what the problem is! I can tell he is still hungry, so I put more out this evening, but to no avail. Does anyone have any recommendations on what I can do to help my picky eater? If he could live on a diet of treats he would be a happy boy.
 

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Stop the treats. Only food. He will eat when he is hungry enough. He will not let himself starve to death. Alex is not a big eater either. He prefers ham and sausage too. There are days he eats well and there are days he eats almost nothing. There have been days he did not eat at all. He will smell his food and go away. He never eats in the morning. So the first food he will get is after we had lunch. The little bugger will wait to see if I am taking cookies out and if not he will come up to me in the couch and paw my face to beg. He will not touch his food before he is sure there are not going to be any cookies. Then, there are days when he is really hungry, he will ask for his food.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Oh, he doesn't get any treats unless he eats something... but like your Alex he'll try to beg one out of me. I know he won't let himself starve, but I hate when he doesn't eat cause he can go a couple of days with almost nothing. Then I cave... I can't stand it. I'm really going to stick with the Merrick though. I'm going to give him only that and see what happens. It is such a wonderful quality food that hopefully he will come around. I have to say thank you for sharing though. It is so good to know that some dogs just don't feel like eating much or at all somethimes!!
 

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I don't believe in starving our little ones "until they eat the dry food". Finicky Maltese can quickly become Malts with dangerous levels of hypoglycemia.

Sylphide is super finicky and likes variety in her food. She likes chicken breasts, and can't resist chicken livers. We also feed her chicken hearts chopped very finely, and used to feed her kidneys as well--which she loves but we tired of cooking because they smell so strong.

We mix her fresh food with Chicken Soup for the Puppy Lover's Soul dry kibble.

We cook in batches and switch the fresh food type every food days.

It took us months to find this formula, which has been working for us now for about a year and a half (Sylphide will be 2 next month). We tried all the premium and gourmet dog foods first, to no avail. We had lots of open, unused bags on our hands!
 

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Ruby Jean is also very finicky and I worried about her not eating too...so I took her to her Dr. and he told me she can get by on a teaspoon of food a day!
Anyway...I have tried every kind of food that is out there--and she just doesn't like any of it--she's even very finicky about her treats...
Well yesterday I went to the Three Dog Bakery and bought some of their food that is in a foil package--Entrees for Dogs--SHE LOVES IT!!
I am so dang happy!!
Its all human quality food too--so its very good for her.
I'm just keeping my fingers crossed she doesn't get tired of it really fast.
 

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When I began researching home cooking for Pico (he can only eat a special diet that only one company makes) I found he only needs about 3 oz of food a day for his weight of 4.5 pounds. I sure doesn't look like much to me but then he doesn't look like much of a dog next to me, either.

So when I make up the two recipes for his wet food I package 2 1/2 oz in snack baggies and freeze them in larger freezer bags. Every day I pull one out and give him 1/2 at lunch and 1/2 at dinner, along with 1 tsp cottage cheese at lunch and 1 tsp yoghurt at dinner. He also gets dry kibble, free-fed, and a few treats during the day.

I know how distressing it can be to not see them eat because Pico would sniff at his canned l/d and walk away and leave it for so long that I would have to just throw it away. Sometimes I'd get busy and forget and he'd get hungry enough, I guess, and eat that old, dried out food. Ugh! At least now he really likes my cooking and eats it all, immediately. I also learned that with the liver problem, it is best if he's fed small meals instead of one large one.

I hope you find the solution for Tavish. He's so adorable!
 

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Originally posted by Pico's Parent@Jul 8 2005, 10:47 AM
When I began researching home cooking for Pico (he can only eat a special diet that only one company makes) I found he only needs about 3 oz of food a day for his weight of 4.5 pounds.  I sure doesn't look like much to me but then he doesn't look like much of a dog next to me, either.

So when I make up the two recipes for his wet food I package 2 1/2 oz in snack baggies and freeze them in larger freezer bags.  Every day I pull one out and give him 1/2 at lunch and 1/2 at dinner, along with 1 tsp cottage cheese at lunch and 1 tsp yoghurt at dinner.  He also gets dry kibble, free-fed, and a few treats during the day.

I know how distressing it can be to not see them eat because Pico would sniff at his canned l/d and walk away and leave it for so long that I would have to just throw it away.  Sometimes I'd get busy and forget and he'd get hungry enough, I guess, and eat that old, dried out food.  Ugh!  At least now he really likes my cooking and eats it all, immediately.  I also learned that with the liver problem, it is best if he's fed small meals instead of one large one.

I hope you find the solution for Tavish.  He's so adorable!
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I am going to try Pico's diet as soon as I get extra time... but in the mean while I have been buying baby food in a jar that has only water mixed in it and I will mix it in with kodie's dry dog food. He loves it.
 

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I think they often outgrow this. Kallie was extremely picky. She would nibble and only eat every other day and I had to put the food on a plate in the hall as she wouldn't eat out of a bowl in the kitchen. Now, she eats every day and gobbles her food.

Both K & C are totally berserk over their food ever since I got Newman's Own. I even use it for treats.
 

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Chester is extremely picky and will go without eating for a least a day...but not because he does not like it... that just how he is... One day he will eat so much food it is scary and the next day nothing. He has been like this for 4 years.

We changed his food 4 times and they all ended up being donated.
The only one he liked was Royal Chain and Innova that he is on now.
He eats when he wants too. It does not matter what you give him except for lettuce.. he loves that. We also have lots of dog gourmet treats that are healthy that he likes as well but when he is not hungry he will not eat that either. The vet said he is fine and he has maintained the same weight for three years. I would only get concern if your puppy is not drinking water as well as not eating. That's how I know if Chester is not feeling well. But you would not what is normal for your puppy.

Oh we also noticed that, if Chester has his water first he will not eat.
So I give him a taste of water. Not the whole bowl then put his food in his crate. When he is done eating then we give him the bowl of water. We find he also eats more when he is in his crate then he does not get distracted.

What we use to do before we got chelsey was put his food out free so he could free eat.
What chester would do is run around all day and take a bit here and there. We can't Do that now cause chesley will eat all of the food. She loves food

One more thing that worked was scattering the kibble on the kitchen floor. He also ate it that way too.
 

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Is Tavish underweight? If so, it would be a good idea to run some bloodwork on him to rule out a physical problem causing inappetance. Mikey just stopped eating when he was about 13 months old, having been a normal pup before then. He ended up having inflammatory bowel disease and microvascular dysplasia.

Try 2-3 small meals per day. Varying the diet is fine, but be careful not to encourage his picky eating. I've found what helped get my dogs onto meals was crating them at meal time and using the 10 minutes rule (food down for 10 minutes and if you don't eat, too bad). I never minded adding extras (a little yogurt or cottage cheese or something) to make it a bit more palatable. Another trick with Mikey was to put kibble in a treat toy. He likes to eat meals like that.
 

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Originally posted by SylphidesMom@Jul 7 2005, 09:12 PM
I don't believe in starving our little ones "until they eat the dry food".  Finicky Maltese can quickly become Malts with dangerous levels of hypoglycemia.

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I could be very wrong, but I think its rare for adult, normal sized maltese to get hypoglycemia. But I am not sure though?! They really do need much lower level of calories per day than we do. I once was looking at some foods and I think for 6-7 lb dog, they only need 300-400 calories per day. Miko often has days when he doesn't eat much, but then other days he eats everything. For some reason, he prefers dry food (I have tried different types of wet food and nothing!!).
 

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Mikey is 5.3 lbs = 2.4 kg and his caloric intake need is about 142 calories/day. Most dog food bags and cans overestimate the amount that needs to be fed. I've never found my dogs to need the recommended amount on the bag.
 

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Originally posted by JMM@Jul 8 2005, 07:18 PM
Mikey is 5.3 lbs = 2.4 kg and his caloric intake need is about 142 calories/day. Most dog food bags and cans overestimate the amount that needs to be fed. I've never found my dogs to need the recommended amount on the bag.
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That's great to know!! I am not sure where I found the 300-400 calorie figure - it wasn't based on any research. But I did figure that they need a lot less than what people think. We feed miko lower calorie food so I don't quite worry about the amount as much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Oh, thank you everyone for all of the replies! I have thought of making Tav's food myself, but I am worried that he won't get enough of what he needs if I do it that way. There seems to be so much involved in homecooking. What recipes do you use for Pico?
Tav is not underweight... I did have bloodwork done on him months ago because I was worried that there might be something wrong, but everything came back normal... they said he was just a finicky eater and to try some different things with him. Whenever I have had him weighed at the office he has aways increased. He has never lost weight. I think he's at 5lbs now.
This morning we came downstairs and I got out the Merrick Thanksgiving Dinner again. Heated it up, put it on the floor, and... nothing. Wouldn't eat it. So later on I opened a different one made with beef... Cowboy Dinner or something like that, and he ate almost half the can! I couldn't believe it! I have no idea if this is something that will last, but at least he ate today. He hasn't really had anything since then, and that was around noon, but I think that was about his daily portion anyway.
Thank you all for all of the wonderful tips. I'm definitely going to try them.
 
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