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My dog Lexi, has no interest in her food. I feel she has low energy. I have taken her to two vets who say she is healthy.

Here are some strange things that I am hoping some of you can help me understand.

- She is ready to eat all human food - vegetables, fruits, including lettuce.
- She eats almost all other things - dog poop, paper napkins, anything from trash, insects (including moths and crickets) - my house is full of dog chew bones and toys which she likes.
- She loves all dog treats. Not choosy.
- She has no interest in her food - I have to coax her to eat by offering her the first few spoons of her food, drawing her slowly closer to her food, and moving the food closer to her. Once she starts, she polishes her bowl clean. But this is getting tedious and does not always work.

We do not give her much human food. Maybe an inch of carrot or some blueberries when we eat. On some days nothing.

I got her from a shelter six months ago- she is about 1.5 years old poodle mix with bichon. We had a friend's dog over and when she saw the other dog eat, she ate well. Now that the other dog has gone, she is getting worse.

I have tried many brands. Currently, Taste of the Wild- salmon, Addiction - salmon, Zignature- Lamb, Nature's recipe stew mix.

Thanks in advance for your help.
 

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If she eats other things, is apparently healthy and has been seen by vets, then she is being finicky. You got her used to being spoon fed and that’s what she wants. For the attention. Now you have to reverse this. It might take a while but it shall pass. The longer it’s been going on, the longer she will resist.

She needs a bit of tough love. No healthy dog will let themselves starve.

Find 1 kibble you feel is healthy for her and that she likes. Then, that’s it, if she won’t eat, take it away and give it back next meal. Same thing if she doesn’t eat again.

Dogs can go easily 2 days without eating, so don’t be worried and don’t give in (unless she’s a very tiny dog or the vet says she can’t skip a meal, which would be rare unless she is sick).

Lots of us have finicky dogs and have gone through this. It only gets better from now on. Remember, don’t give in and don’t give her more treats to compensate. Just do everything the same, except the fussing and hand feeding. Put the bowl down at the same time everyday and walk away. I would not free feed for now until she gets into a routine of eating well.

Good luck !
 

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Stop giving her any human food or access to forbidden foods and objects. A healthy dog will not starve themselves. You have spoiled this dog which is easy to do when you are desperate for the dog to eat. My mom's mpoo has a picky eater history too. she used to put all sorts of toppers and warmed broth and such on his food and he was still picky and slow. I have had him at our home when she has traveled. The first night I would give him 15 minutes to eat and then I would send one of our dogs to eat his food in front of him. Next night he got ten minutes, and by the third night he finished on his own in five minutes. He always goes home a good eater and she has no need for the toppers anymore. I also remember a vet show once with a woman with an Afghan hound who wouldn't drink plain clean water. The owner would add milk, juice, and broth to the dog's water all to relatively little avail. The vet checked the dog and found it to be healthy so he took it outside and played and ran with it. When he brought the thirsty dog back inside she happily drank water.
 

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My spoo Princess has shown similar resistance to kibble. The only way I could get her to eat it was offer it and nothing else. She eventually came around, but it was so hard for me to not offer something else. Cuz I felt like I was staving her, geez!
Jcris
 

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I feel all of your pain.

We are going to have to try tough love as all have suggested, including his breeder.

I'm tired of the nightly food-fight.

But how do you people deal with the pup following your around licking his chops and/or jumping on your legs asking for food when you're in the kitchen?
 

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I own a picky eater. If Evie starts jumping on me and such while I am in the kitchen I either tell her no and then sit, or I send her to her bed. That seems to have solved the problem for me.
I hope this helps.
 

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For awhile I would tell them to get out of the kitchen. Then they would both sit in the dining room within sight. Then I would tell them to get and they would sit in the hall, not necessarily out of sight. Now I tell them to get and I walk out into the living room and tell them to lay on their beds, completely out of sight, and I watch for a moment until I'm sure they comply. For the most part now I walk them out to their beds and watch until they comply. They get it now but need a reminder occasionally HaHa
 

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I feel all of your pain.

We are going to have to try tough love as all have suggested, including his breeder.

I'm tired of the nightly food-fight.

But how do you people deal with the pup following your around licking his chops and/or jumping on your legs asking for food when you're in the kitchen?
A very strong NO and remove them from the room if necessary. They are not allowed to come to the table when I am eating or when I have guest. They get very little if any table food. Mine are toys and when I first got them they would put their front paws on anyone setting at the table, that stopped immediately.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
This solution seems to be working for Lexi - maybe it will help other finicky dogs

Lexi has been doing better recently. I stopped the spoon feeding as suggested. When she eats her food, I praise her and tell her she is doing a good job. As soon as she finishes her food, I follow it up with a spoon of plain yogurt in her bowl - which she loves. I think she is understanding that if she finishes her food she can get yogurt. I also stopped keeping the food out for long, and if she did not eat in at most half an hour, I put it away and offered it to her at her next mealtime.
Oh yes, sometimes, I add a half inch piece of toast or some human food that she loves to get her to start eating. In her case, once she starts eating, she polishes her food. The problem has always been the initial unwillingness to start eating.
 

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I am glad things are going better. I hope the yogurt is plain without added sugary stuff. Our dogs all love yogurt too.
 

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Lexi has been doing better recently. I stopped the spoon feeding as suggested. When she eats her food, I praise her and tell her she is doing a good job. As soon as she finishes her food, I follow it up with a spoon of plain yogurt in her bowl - which she loves. I think she is understanding that if she finishes her food she can get yogurt. I also stopped keeping the food out for long, and if she did not eat in at most half an hour, I put it away and offered it to her at her next mealtime.
Oh yes, sometimes, I add a half inch piece of toast or some human food that she loves to get her to start eating. In her case, once she starts eating, she polishes her food. The problem has always been the initial unwillingness to start eating.
I’m glad she is eating better but in my opinion you should now go a step further.

No dog needs to be praised to eat. It’s not a good habit to give them. Eating is a means of surviving, and all living creatures do it without having to be asked to.

In my opinon, again, she should not be rewarded either for eating. You are merely perpetuating the finicky habits, just in a different way.

Right now you are raising a dog who won’t eat when she has to go into someone else’s care or at a vet’s clinic. Or if you go away on vacation. That is just not healthy. Don’t make her dependent on you for eating.

Give her independence. Put the food down, don’t praise her, don’t say anything. Just walk away and let her est when she wants to.
 

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They won't starve, when they get hungry enough they will eat, I have a 3.7 LB that tries that. If she does not eat, dinner, she does not get anything until morning. If they are sick that is different, then I will prime her with chicken or cheese to try to get her to eat
 

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My thirteen year old is on his own version of food aversion... he turned down his Grandma Lucy's Venison which he usually gobbles up. I waited for a day, and then offered him kibble. This was his response, "Yum, yum, kibble!" gobble, gobble, gobble. It is Acana that I keep on hand for just this type of "old man" boycott. If it was one of the younger dogs, they would eat what they were given, and be given the same thing (fresh) the next day. Of course, they are big dogs, so I don't have to worry about hypoglycemia. I swear Sailor grins at me when he manages to make me do what he wants. Now here is where mixed feelings come in; he has been such a good boy that he deserves whatever he wants.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I’m glad she is eating better but in my opinion you should now go a step further.

No dog needs to be praised to eat. It’s not a good habit to give them. Eating is a means of surviving, and all living creatures do it without having to be asked to.

In my opinon, again, she should not be rewarded either for eating. You are merely perpetuating the finicky habits, just in a different way.

Right now you are raising a dog who won’t eat when she has to go into someone else’s care or at a vet’s clinic. Or if you go away on vacation. That is just not healthy. Don’t make her dependent on you for eating.

Give her independence. Put the food down, don’t praise her, don’t say anything. Just walk away and let her est when she wants to.
That is a good point - about my traveling. I thought maybe she would develop a more positive attitude about her food and that will become a habit. Anyway, since yesterday, even my reinforcement ideas have not worked. She has not eaten for 24 hours. It is not easy for me to see her starve like this. afraid::banghead:

Btw, I don't know if anyone remembers, this is the same dog I had posted about 4-5 months ago (soon after we got her from the shelter) that used to growl at us if she was petted. She is not like that with people in the family anymore. Total sweetheart. But is still weird with strangers or people she meets only occasionally.
 

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That is a good point - about my traveling. I thought maybe she would develop a more positive attitude about her food and that will become a habit. Anyway, since yesterday, even my reinforcement ideas have not worked. She has not eaten for 24 hours. It is not easy for me to see her starve like this. afraid::banghead:

Btw, I don't know if anyone remembers, this is the same dog I had posted about 4-5 months ago (soon after we got her from the shelter) that used to growl at us if she was petted. She is not like that with people in the family anymore. Total sweetheart. But is still weird with strangers or people she meets only occasionally.
If she is a good weight and healthy, just let her be or she will drive you nuts by wanting more and more fancy foods...

My Merlin weighs 6 pounds and will occasionally go 48 hours without eating. It’s his choice. I put the food down, if he doesn’t est it within 15 minutes, it’s gone until next time !
 
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