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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone-

We've had our 1.5 year old mpoo Jessie for a fun 2 weeks now! We went on our first long road trip together and she loved it :) However, feeding her is still a struggle. Her previous owner warned us she's a picky eater, and that's definitely the case. Sorry for the long winded post, but I'd like some advice and I want to give you the details.

At her previous home Jessie ate a homemade chicken stew with vegetables over Royal Canin kibble. Due to the amount we travel, it's imperative that we find a commercially available food she likes since we won't always have access to a kitchen. So we tried the Royal Canin kibble that she was used to. After these 2 weeks she's still turning her nose up at it. We feed twice a day for 15-20 minutes and did the whole "tough love" approach with no treats or other food during the day, and she'll grudgingly eat a little. We tried adding water (no effect) or a little unsalted homemade chicken bone broth. If we let the broth sit on the kibble for half a day in the fridge, she'll eat a little of it willingly (maybe 2 Tbsps) before having to be encouraged to eat more. With the dry kibble it's always a struggle. After a week and a half or so, we also tried Bil-Jac Picky No More and Small Breed dry and with the broth with no change in behavior or excitement.

Jessie is a healthy weight, has tons of energy, clear eyes, and is happy and playful. Her teeth are fine too. Normal poos.

Yesterday for dinner after she turned her nose up at the dry food again, I tried mixing in some wet Royal Canin small dog breed wet food with her RC poodle kibble. She dove into the bowl and ate all of the wet food only. Didn't touch the kibble. Same with breakfast this morning with the wet food mixed well with the Bil-Jac kibble.

I want Jessie to enjoy her food, and like I said before homecooking isn't a feasable option for us. But I also want Jessie to stay healthy. Assuming we stay on top of brushing her teeth and choose a high quality food, any issues feeding a wet food diet only?
 

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Nothing wrong with wet food only if it meets requirements of nutrients.

Kibble is most convenient but the fats in it can get rancid quickly so you need to check the kibble....if it smells rancid, toss and open a fresh bag.

My minipoo eats only wet (homemade). She loved kibble too, but I cannot find any that she can eat given her food intolerances and allergies. I used to use her kibble as training treats.
 

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I can see no issues at all with feeding wet only - as Skylar says, kibble was invented to use up cheap ingredients and appeal on the grounds of convenience. It has been refined over the years, but as long as you feed a complete food I think there are still advantages to a wet food. Less chance of dehydration and urinary issues, and much more obvious when the food has gone off.
 

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The only disadvantage I see is the dog not using his teeth to grind, and the fact that without good dental hygiene, his teeth will get more cavities, faster.

Also it’s not as practical, and it smells bad, in my opinion.

Have tou tried going to a pet store and getting 10-15 food samples and seeing which one she likes to eat ? Then you stick with that one, and if she doesn’t eat, she’ll eat next time.

That’s what I did for my 2 picky eaters. Dogs can go 48-72 hours without eating and they’ll be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I haven't tried other kibble varieties than the ones I mentioned, but I am heading to PetSmart today and will see if they have any sample sizes. I'd love to find a kibble she'd eat and enjoy, but I'm dubious. I've never had a picky eater pet before! I'm also more used to cats where not eating can become a serious problem fast, so I'm being too paranoid about it. I was just out mowing the lawn laughing to myself that I actually posted a question if feeding my poodle dog food would be bad for her. You know what they say about the first child... ;)
 

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I don't see anything wrong with it as long as you brush her teeth at least most days of the week. I agree dogs should enjoy meal time. I've had to change some things for my dogs to make their meals more enjoyable. You can just use canned, but you also might try dehydrated food like The Honest Kitchen (a little more expensive). You might also check out pour overs which might make dry kibble seem more appetizing. Switching to another kibble might help, too. My dogs were not too enthused about the last brand they ate, even with the different meat flavors, but they really love the dry salmon kibble they currently are eating. I even was able to transition my Jasper from eating canned to eating dry food as long as I added some water and a topper.
 

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I think wet food is okay, though I would second trying a dehydrated food. Misha's on a raw diet, but I use dehydrated complete foods as training treats for him. My favorites are ziwipeak and Real Meat air dried diets. Misha is crazy about these and the Real Meat smells so good I've actually tried it and found it pleasant if a little low in salt. Both of these are expensive but are good supplements. I also use Vital Essentials which is freeze dried and has a harder more kibble like texture, and Misha likes that one as well. These sorts of foods are more appetizing than most dog treats, so there's a good chance your picky eater will go for them.
 

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Misha's on a raw diet, but I use dehydrated complete foods as training treats for him.

My favorites are ziwipeak and Real Meat air dried diets. Misha is crazy about these and the Real Meat smells so good I've actually tried it and found it pleasant if a little low in salt. Both of these are expensive but are good supplements.

I also use Vital Essentials which is freeze dried and has a harder more kibble like texture, and Misha likes that one as well. These sorts of foods are more appetizing than most dog treats, so there's a good chance your picky eater will go for them.
Thanks Raindrops;
My spoo is also fed raw, and I appreciate the suggestions for training treats:)

I often use bits of leftover cooked chicken or beef from my own meals for treats. I totally avoid giving him things things like hotdogs or other items with preservatives and artificial food coloring, etc.
 

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I don't see anything wrong with wet food. I have a standard he of course gets a bigger portion than yours but I take 1 1/2 cup kibble and mix it with a heaping tablespoon of wet food, and I mix it well till all the kibble is basically covered with the canned.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Toppers/canned food added to kibble doesn't work well for us. Jessie is very adept at eating the good stuff and leaving the kibble behind even if it's well mixed. That's why I was hoping the broth would work, but to no avail.

The manager of our local small pet food store recommended goat's milk as a mixer for kibble instead of broth, has anyone tried that?
 

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Wet-only is very bad for their oral health unless they are eating raw meaty bones. My teenie tiny Chihuahuas will eat chicken wings cut up. If they're too tiny to break the bones or don't yet have enough strength, you can take a meat cleaver & whack it with the back of meat cleaver to break down the bones.

As for goat milk. I buy goat milk replacer at the feed store. I have been known to spritz the kibble with warmed coconut oil & then coat it with the a light coating of the goat milk replacer. If it's colostrum that's even better. We were helping a little dog years ago who had never eaten anything solid in her life. Did what I described above after several people tried various things including syringing yogurt & pumpkin puree down her throat, fearing she'd starve to death. She did lick the good stuff off the kibble for awhile then it tasted so good to her it was better to just eat the whole thing. It wasn't very long until she was jumping up & down looking for her meals. Every dog is a little different in what that thing is that tastes just so good to them. If you try this just remember to spritz lightly with coconut oil (it's very good for dogs) & then add the powdered goat milk or colostrum. If you over do the oil you can upset her tummy.
 

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maybe try a natural dog food store instead of big box, pet smart/petco for a better variety of food that has been researched. check out Farmina, Fromm, Victor. They should have samples and can easily switch proteins. Switching up proteins every so often is good. I feed kibble in morning and Answers Raw at night. never the two together. There is freezed dried raw which is easy to take when traveling. hope this helps.
 

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I just thought of a brand of food you might try. When our oldest Chi was unable to eat raw because she'd lost her teeth I was looking for something because she still liked to chomp on food but it couldn't be very big. I got her a dry kibble called Solid Gold Mighty Minis. It's very tiny bits of kibble. Then all 3 of our tiny dogs got hooked on it. I still use it for the filler feed for our tiny dogs. It got the thumbs up from our vets.
 

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Something to think about when looking for a new food is to avoid foods with high amounts of peas, potatoes, and lentils (canned or dry). There are brands deemed "good" that are full of these ingredients. They also are usually more expensive.

Short version:
http://veterinarynews.dvm360.com/fda-targets-peas-lentils-potatoes-investigation-grain-free-diets-and-dcm

Long version:
https://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/news-events/fda-investigation-potential-link-between-certain-diets-and-canine-dilated-cardiomyopathy
 

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If she will chew bones you can make up for the dental problems by giving her a recreational bone a couple of times a week. Bones are actually much better for oral health than kibble.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for the suggestions! I'll give Solid Gold Mighty Minis a try soon. I have a bunch of kibble samples of Fromm's from our local pet store that I will be trying too. Maybe we'll find a flavor she'll actually eat :) For now, Crave wet food is working for when she turns her nose up at anything else.

She's not a big chewer- I've been trying to interest her in nylabone dental chew bones. She'll chew for a minute or two and then just move on. What kind of recreational or dental bones/chews do you use?
 

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Wet only should be fine. I have had lots of luck with Weruva, which I tried when Sunny had some dental issues a year ago. He is 11 now and never was keen on wet, but I like Weruva. Also, recently found ND stew, which is good. I always keep his senior kibble down (Petcurean NOW Fresh!) which he grazes once in a while. I like to mix it up. I use Stella & Chewy's dehydrated raw, which I hydrate, too, but find it has more fat than I like. There are so many options. Whatever works! Just stick with high-grade, nutritious foods.
 
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