View Full Version : Lady's declining her food

Lady Cavalier
27th August 2008, 03:20 AM
Our little "Lady" has become very finicky about her food. She was eating Nutro Ultra since coming home. After leaving her with grandparents a couple of months ago, she started this habit. We have tried several tricks including mixing some hight quality wet food, putting a few "treats" in with the food, even bought a new food - Purina Pro Plan Select - and mixed it. The mixing of the foods worked briefly, now she just sniffs and turns away. She will eventually eat some, but not until very late in the day. She will gladly take a treat or a bite of people food, which we have restricted in an attempt to encourage her to eat. While visiting a neighbor yesterday, she ate a whole bowl of the Bichon's store-brand food. I feel certain she is not sick, and the vet's only suggestion was to mix the wet food, which she really didn't like - she just licked the gravy up. She is as happy and playful as ever, and she is drinking fine. I'll take any and all suggestions. I guess I could go buy her the cheap store-brand food, but I had really committed to this high grade food. Also, I shouldn't change every few days - right? Thanks in advance for your advice.

28th August 2008, 12:17 AM
Please don't switch to poor quality food.

This is a very common problem and the issue is entirely a behavioural issue. She is manipulating you because you reward that behaviour -- even though you don't mean to -- by trying all these new foods and I bet, coaxing her to eat and giving her lots of attention to try and get her to eat. Food time has turned into a fascinating social period for her and a game playing session, where she has learned that simply by not eating right away you bend over backwards to feed her lovely new things and give lots of attention. :)

Resolving it mainly requires will power in ignoring the behaviour, managing her food times strictly (giving her just 10 minutes in which to eat after which the food goes away, no treats, no food til next scheduled eating time), and trusting me when I say she will not starve herself and will have no problems missing a few meals if she decides to test wills. You really do not want to allow this to continue or it will drive you insane and can cause more serious feeding issues to develop.

So have a read of this:


And follow that advice. Most dogs start eating properly within three meals or so.

Lady Cavalier
15th September 2008, 02:16 AM
This is great advice, and you are absolutely right. We get down on the floor and pretty much hand feed her - she likes us to toss her the kibbles. She's got us very well trained, I guess. Thanks for the little "kick" we needed.

Jan Bell
15th September 2008, 08:45 AM
We thought we had a problem with Toby when he was young, but when our feeding patterns were investigated by the our vet, it turned out we were just feeding him too much! I went by the measures on the James Welbeloved packet which were just too much so he got indifferent to the boring stuff - always reading to have a "treat" though. Once his rations were cut down we had no problem.