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Discussion Starter #1
Desmond never really cares about his meals. He gets fed Orijen 6Fish (best food you can buy in my town). I'll be like "Desmond!! You want some dinner?!" and he'll give me this look like "... I'm interested. Go on." I'll go get the food and put it down and he just... stares at it, walks away, disappointed that it's not something awesome. Sometimes if he's hungry enough he'll take a few bites when I set it down, but... eh. He gets so bored with it. Sometimes he just won't eat it, and I know it's not cause he's sick or anything like that. He just doesn't care for the food, finds it boring.

He'll eat it handful by handful if I toss each kibble individually at him to catch in the air lol. I think that entertains him, so to get him started I'll usually find myself with a handful of Orijen every time I feed him just to TRY to get him interested. :doh:

So, fellow poodle owners, do you have any advice for me to get him at least interested in his food?! I feel awful feeding him something he doesn't like. Do you think that if I did something crazy and fun with it (like an interactive toy or game or.. idk) he would eat it? Or am I just in denial about the fact that he doesn't like this food? I could switch it... but I JUST bought a 30 lb bag and have made enough of a dent in it that I don't want to be rude by returning it... xD

Now, I guess this is kind of important: he has always been less than enthusiastic about his meals (compared to most dogs, he never gets excited about them). However, he would eat his Blue Buffalo when I put it down in one go, and he would more or less eat his Orijen Lg Puppy, at least with more enthusiasm than the stuff we feed now. He was never the kind of dog to get psyched up when the food bowl came out or to eat his food quickly, and he wouldn't always finish his puppy food either. I have tried only leaving his food down for a limited time, but it made no difference to him.

He doesn't get much of it each day either, to be honest. In comparison to most other foods, he barely needs any. He gets like.. 1/2 scoop or less twice a day (and he doesn't always finish it). The bag calls for like 1 1/2 cups a day or something like that, but he would never eat that, so he gets a cup, more or less. So it's not like I'm feeding him too much and he's just not hungry... hmm
 

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How I made Vegas more interested in his food was by getting fish oil and putting a few squirts on his food. Makes it a little more interesting while getting an extra boost of healthiness. Though he's liking his solid gold a lot more than he liked wellness core.
 

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Sounds to me as if he simply doesn't like it! Why not donate it to a local shelter, and get something he enjoys - or shift to home cooking or raw feeding? Mine LOVE every meal since I made the change.
 

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Kodi is a very picky eater too. About every 8 months to a year I switch foods. It seems like he gets bored with it. His original food he decided one day he was just going to stop eating. He would only eat a few bites if he was REALLY hungry. Usually I feel like if they are hungry they will eat. But he was loosing weight, and at 13 lbs he couldn't afford to loose weight. So I switched him to Evo and he LOVED it. But after about a year on it, he decided he didn't like it anymore. He stopped eating as he did before. So I switched foods again. He is doing well on his new food. I wish it was better quality but he needed the higher calorie content.

I do mix in something yummy occasionally hoping that he won't get bored with it. Sometimes I mix in pumpkin, plain yogurt, chicken, or green beans. Not too often, as I don't want him to stop eating his food if it has nothing in it.

I have also used this. It isn't the original website I used (its bookmarked at home) but here's the idea. Feel free to PM me if you want the original site. This has made a huge difference in his eatting habbits.
Teaching Your Dog To Eat, AlpineSibes.com, Alpine Siberian Huskies, AKC Champion Siberian Huskies, Oregon Washington Dog Breeder
 

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I do mix in something yummy occasionally hoping that he won't get bored with it. Sometimes I mix in pumpkin, plain yogurt, chicken, or green beans. Not too often, as I don't want him to stop eating his food if it has nothing in it. QUOTE]

I do the same thing. Jasper has been a picky eater since we adopted him. At first I thought that it was all of the changes and that hunger would win out. He lost 5 pounds quickly and I began to worry. So I began adding 2 heaping tablespoons of warm/cooked ground beef to his new food TOTW High Prairie mixed with his old junk food and meal time was good again. Now Jasper dances around the kitchen at mealtimes and he is the first one done. He will even finish Lilah's if I am not vigilant. I call him the chow hound!

I will rotate the extra between ground beef, chicken, ground venison, cottage cheese, yogurt & smashed veggies. Sometimes I will warm up the kibble too just to get the nose extra excited. This is much more economical and effective so far...
 

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I've come to the conclusion that kibble must simply taste yucky. If I try to mix it with wet food, Teddy just eats around it. I have a friend who solved that problem with their dog by grinding up the kibble before mixing it. He showed that poodle! LOL!
 

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my cairns and lab x are finished with their meals in about 45 seconds and licking the bowl clean.

takes temperance about 10 minutes to eat. srsly. she's also a picky poo. right now she's eating her wellness (for the most part). she eats it better than most foods.

after the other puppers eat they come and watch her laying there, in her crate, taking one small bite, chewing 30 times, swallowing and then reflecting.

she'd sell her soul on the black market for beneful, though. i swear it's puppy crack.
 

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We had a similar problem with Henry. He could care less when you put food in his bowl, so we started leaving it out until he finishes it. Eventually, he will eat. But he spreads it out throughout the entire day. We put his morning portion in his bowl in the morning, and he usually finishes it by dinner time lol. Then, when he finishes it - we give him his evening portion. He usually eats in the middle of the night. Weird boy!

You could try leaving Desmond's food down all day, or until he finishes it. And if this doesn't work, I would assume he must really hate his food! In that case, I would try to find the next best quality food and see if he likes it :)
 

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I put down morning meals dry and mine do not eat a whole lot either, but for dinner I take wet food mix a little water in to make it like a pate so it dose not make the food soggy and mix well they clean they bowls up and some time I use fish oil also they love it. My spoos never eat what the bags says much less in fact and no one is under weight, I think they know how much they need I have never found spoos to be big eater but that's IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I do spoil him and put something tasty on his food on occasion, just to get him interested. Mostly just a small amount of shredded cheese, which usually gets him to eat most of the food, and he'll finish the rest later. I leave his food down all day, and he basically does what Henry does lol. He gets it when we wake up, and will finish it in the late afternoon, then get his dinner at like 9 PM or later. He may or may not finish it, depending on how he feels.

I may talk to the petstore about exchanging it for a different bag, as they are very kind people and say you can return a bag if your dog doesn't like it. But at $75 a bag, I don't think I want to just toss it out (or even donate it for that matter, as selfish as that sounds). There are other flavors of Orijen that I could ask for a sample bag of, and see how he likes those. Maybe he just doesn't like fish :)
 

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Riley was the Exact same way at Des's age! Could really care less about eating his dry kibble. There were brands he liked better then others, but after a week or so those would loose their flair too. I felt kinda sad that he didnt really like to eat. I wanted him to be at a good weight, but enjoy his food. Do you know how i solved his problem? I switched him to raw! :D Riley has literally not missed a meal (unless sick) in 7 years from the switch!! He could/would literally eat just chicken everyday for the rest of his life, so i know it is not the variety he is looking for. He just loves his food now!
 

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Paris is like this, always has been.... She is pretty good at eating 2 cups at night most times, but a night or two every week she'll need encouragement for the last bit, and for a couple of nights every month or so she wont' touch it, but then goes back to eating it all again (albeit when left with it for 10 mins or so!)
 

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Much as I would like to experiment with a raw diet, I just don't have that time.

I do feel strongly about my dog having a cast-iron stomach, though, so he gets a few spoonsful of whatever I have for dinner on top of his. I usually feed him first, he takes a few bites, then lies down to wait patiently for whatever else I add after I'm finished. He likes it all, and generally cleans his bowl, even if it's only a few bits of 'people food'. The only thing that's made him sick was curry :), and he's not that fond of lettuce.

It's a thing for me ... both my sisters have dogs who vomit if they eat anything, ANYTHING, other than their usual kibble. Treats, stuff they find in the park, any table food including dry toast crusts ... all gets vomited up. It is a royal pain in the behind, and a real obstacle to training, as there isn't much motivation you can get with plain dry kibble.
 

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JE - I do agree about getting dogs used to a range of food - nightmare if the manufacturer changes the one and only, too! Home prepared really doesn't take much time - I shifted first to home cooked, and more recently to mainly raw. I worked out that with two toy dogs and two cats it saves me several hundred pounds a year, and I know exactly what they are getting. It really is not onerous - especially the raw feeding. I buy chicken wings from the supermarket, and freeze them on a tray so when bagged up I can take them out one at a time (I halve them, but a mini would eat a whole one). I get lamb bones or ribs when available, cut them into one meal portions, and do the same. One 2 kilo bag of beef chunks, and one 2 kilo bag of tripe (ugh) chunks, so I can take out a few chunks at a time and defrost them. Heart (from Morrisons) I again spread out and freeze so I can use it a bit at a time. Remember you are probably only preparing one of these a week, so 10 minutes a week will be enough. Liver I make into liver cake for treats - about once a month. Add in a few tins of sardines, left over veg pureed, healthy table scraps and the occasional egg, and you have very, very happy dogs for an hour or so's work a month. The only tricky bit is remembering to defrost it!
 

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It sounds to me, like Desmond knows if he holds out on eating you'll add some good stuff in, or play with his food with him.

Dogs (typically) will not starve themselves, if there's food out and he's hungry he'll eat it. If you want him to eat only at certain times I'd suggest either using a tug-a-jug (toy you put food in and dogs have to work at getting it out) or putting food down for about 10 minutes, if he doesn't eat it within that time frame put it away and he only gets fed at the next feeding.

Or you can always get another dog (LOL). That's what I told people when I got Stryder (dog #2) was to get my first dog to eat on a regular basis. Four dogs later there's never a full bowl left in the house!
 

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JE - I do agree about getting dogs used to a range of food - nightmare if the manufacturer changes the one and only, too! Home prepared really doesn't take much time - I shifted first to home cooked, and more recently to mainly raw. I worked out that with two toy dogs and two cats it saves me several hundred pounds a year, and I know exactly what they are getting. It really is not onerous - especially the raw feeding. I buy chicken wings from the supermarket, and freeze them on a tray so when bagged up I can take them out one at a time (I halve them, but a mini would eat a whole one). I get lamb bones or ribs when available, cut them into one meal portions, and do the same. One 2 kilo bag of beef chunks, and one 2 kilo bag of tripe (ugh) chunks, so I can take out a few chunks at a time and defrost them. Heart (from Morrisons) I again spread out and freeze so I can use it a bit at a time. Remember you are probably only preparing one of these a week, so 10 minutes a week will be enough. Liver I make into liver cake for treats - about once a month. Add in a few tins of sardines, left over veg pureed, healthy table scraps and the occasional egg, and you have very, very happy dogs for an hour or so's work a month. The only tricky bit is remembering to defrost it!
I have toyed with the idea, though my S.O. would be hurt as I only cook for him on weekends :).

How do you deal with traveling, though? We go away quite often for hiking weekends or to visit friends, and the dog goes with. When we don't have refrigeration, the commercial stuff seems safest.
 

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If I am travelling, I use a combination of frozen from home for the first day, NatureDiet, and a high quality kibble. One advantage of home made food is my two now consider kibble a treat - and I collect sample bags for that purpose. They also like scrambled eggs, sardines, mince beef - lots of stuff that is readily available. I'm about to try them with Robbie's, from Holistic Pets, which would be perfect for hiking weekends. I'm not a purist as you can see - I enjoy the occasional junkfood meal myself!

(I doubt your SO will be jealous - not once he's seen and smelled the raw tripe, anyway!)
 

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Honestly, I thought my poodle was only about a handful of dogs that was such a picky eater. But eat human food in his presence, and he'll be a good boy for you and sit, thinking he'll get some. :rolffleyes:

Would putting small amounts of peanut butter, honey, or other tasty doggy favorites work? My mom puts hot dogs in his food (not everyday, but once in a while) and Ted (most of the time) will lick that plate clean.
 

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I guess it would be like us humans... if we ate peanut butter and jam on toast ALL the time we'd get bored and "hate" it. He needs some spicing up! Maybe add some plain yogurt one day, cottage cheese the next... maybe some cooked chicken or fish... or veggies...
Maybe do some raw days? Mine love raw days, they alternate between raw days, their Orijen and cooked food. Though on kibble days it's free feed, they eat when their hungry. I would just spice it up a bit... Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Eh, like I said before, we will put something tasty on his dinner once in a while as a treat, but I'm avoiding doing that because I don't want him to become dependent on his food having toppings. (also, I don't want to go off to college and have my mom put cheese on his dinner every night and have him get FAT lol!! ) And knowing Desmond, he would become dependent on it, no matter how infrequently we do it. He does look up at my mom before eating hoping she will put cheese on his dinner... xD He gets kind of snotty about special treats like that, and I don't want to encourage him being so picky.

However, I have tried being more strict with his eating, and not leaving the bowl down for more than 5 minutes if he doesn't eat anything. Obviously he's hungry by the time he gets dinner, so he eats dinner but hasn't eaten breakfast in a couple days. But the last 2 nights in a row I've put his dinner out and he ate the whole bowl in one go!! :) Yay! (he got a tasty cookie put in his bowl for bein' so good ;) )
I used to do exactly that forever ago, when he wasn't eating his puppy food, but he got so much better about eating that I forgot he had a problem until we switched foods. Thanks for the help, I think with a little more tough love he will start eating healthily again.
 
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