View Full Version : How do I combat a "FUSSY EATER"

9th February 2008, 01:11 AM
Hi Alex is almost 6 months old and he is still a bit of a "picker".He doesnt eat an awful lot of his doggie food ..... I feed him Pedigree puppy complete .... I put his food in his bowl each morning along with water yet he never seems to want to eat it ! should he not be hungry after a good night sleep? he,s not underweight as I had him at the vet recently for his rabies vaccine and they said he is slightly skinnny but not underweight
:confused: he prefers to eat off the floor rather than his bowl so i fill his bowl and then empty it onto the floor he picks at it for a couple of moments
but that might be it for the day... should he not be having a least 3-4
puppyfeeds a day ...Alex eats the equivelant of 1/3 of his daily supply
maybe thats enough for him but I dont think so! when I stand behind him he has a waist ...so he' not overweight, he has a nice figure yet i dont want him being underweight either ...he,s an angel but he is as awkward
to feed ????????????:paw:Alex:paw:ALEX

9th February 2008, 01:23 AM
Ok, you have a few things going on.

At six months he is more than ready to be on only two meals a day so that's probably why he ignores the food. He also doesn't really need puppy food at 6 months.

You also could ideally get him on something other than Pedigree -- it isn't a great food -- full of food colouring, filler ingredients, mediocre protein sources and preservatives. I'd recommend James Wellbeloved, Burns or Royal Canin as good foods widely available from good pet shops in Dublin.

Finally, you need to stop feeding him on the floor and stop giving him all day to eat his food (ie he is training YOU to make mealtimes major social events for him).

This is what you need to do -- give him ONLY the amount of his individual meal -- about 1/3rd to 1/2 a cup of food ONLY for most cavaliers this age at each meal, or from 2/3rds to 1 cup food a day (but some need less than this and some more -- one of my cavaliers only eats 1/4 to 1/3rd cup of food a day!). Do not make a big deal -- just put it on the floor in his bowl. Give him 15 minutes. After that time, lift the bowl without comment, without looking at him, without at any time trying to coax him to eat. Put it away and do not give him ANYTHING to wait til his next scheduled and meal, and repeat. He should be eating normally within a few days. If he doesn't want anything fine -- no big deal. Just give the food his next scheduled mealtime. If he holds out for a day or two that is fine too.

If your vet says he is in fine weight, don;t worry about it. Cavaliers are MUCH healthier slightly underweight, if anything -- any extra weight puts lifetime extra strain on the heart and most cavaliers will have heart valve problems eventually. Your dog should have a distinct waist. Also some puppies are thin, some can be a bit roly poly -- it isn't a big deal. Most cavalier owners I have met have overweight dogs and think they are in good weight! So go by what your vet says is a healthy weight.

You can get more feeding advice and see waists of healthy cavaliers here:


PS Why are you getting a rabies vaccine in Ireland? Are you going to take him abroad?

9th February 2008, 01:28 AM
Oh you've got to be fast around here. Karlin got in before me. :D

Only other thing I can add, is do not hover around while he is eating. Leave the room! Hovering can do two things: It can pander to attention seeking behaviour, and it can also make the dog think you are challenging him for his food. Dogs stare at each other when they are challening. So just leave him alone. :)

9th February 2008, 04:53 AM
Hi all,
Yes both Karlin and Caraline are right !!! I had a very similar problem w/Lance. His 1st 12 weeks all he ate was raw meat while at the breeders. Which I understand is very healthy. I, however, dont have the time for the prepartion. Anyway, I was told that Lance was "trained" to eat, I think it was Purina - this happened about 6 moths ago. Needless to say, he wouldnt eat. So in desperation, I started giving him raw chicken mixed with the Purina. And it would work for the next two feedings, but then he would stop eating. So then I would change the diet by buying a different brand of food... well as you can imagine Lance started to become a very finicky eater - thanks to his mother- and I was still concerned about his weight :shock:. Well, I was concerned after the 3rd day of him not eating, I then took him to the vet. As expected, Lance was fine and his weight was "normal". And was told that some dogs can "regulate" themselves, thus not gaining weight, and yes, mommy got a little reminder as who the mommy was. So, as explained by the vet, it will be very difficult for a dog to die of "stubborn" starvation, unlike a cat. So sooner or later, no matter how stubborn they are, they will come around and eat. The vet was certainly very happy that I had a self regulation dog.
So armed with my vet's very gentle scolding and new info, I made it a point to follow the instructions that Karin mentioned - 15min, no fuss no must, lift food and repeat next meal time the next day. So after 3 days, Lance got the picture that No, I was not going to play his game and decided to eat :rah:.
Every once in awhile, he reverts back to his old behavior which prompts my husband to throw or drop food on the floor. Of course Lance thinks is a game, will go after it and eat it. Dont worry, I just read this email to him and STRESSED the point of not making this a social event for Lance - we both had a big laugh:jump:

Anyway, just be patient and unless your baby goes through several, and I mean several, days of not eating, he will get the picture. And if in doubt, take him to the vet to ensure a medical problem is not present. Other than that dont do what I did and be trained by him :).
Good luck !

13th February 2008, 12:06 AM
Hi everyone thanks for all your info will let you know if alex's eating habits improve with your good advice and "my learning" he is our first pet and i feel that i should know everything but i dont :( alex is well looked after we all love him tooooooooooo much :luv::luv::luv: yet i still need to learn a lot more :confused:. Ive been told to get him neutered if i dont plan on having him become a "dad" yet that increases their weight and being overweight is
not so good for CKCS!do i or dont i!

Karlin :) Alex got his rabies vaccine because the little cheeky monkey is going on holidays to France in July with us for 5weeks and we especially the children cannot wait. Their main concern is who is looking after him while on the ferry ship as it takes 16 hours to get to France.They are so excited they,ll have me buying swimtrunks for him ! imagine :snap::snap::snap: