Hi,

my 1,5 y/o Zelda has always been picky about her dry food. I don't know which approach is better: keep giving her the same food until she gets hungry enough and eat it all (I know dogs can easily survive without food for couple of days, but for me it's a little bit cruel :( ) or try tweaking it with something tasty, like olive oil, yogurt, can food, cooked meat, etc (but this can make her even more picky, right?).

I've tried many sorts of dry dog food (don't know if you know them all in the US): Belcando, Josera, Happy Dog, Harmony (Taste of the Wild waits for its turn). Different tastes, with and without wheat/rice/corn, for adults, for sensitive dogs, all of it. The food I give her right now is actually a mix of different brands, so she has some choice.. Doesn't matter, she is still picky :( She loves snacks though: pig ears, dried or smoked meat, anything like that (so she has absolutely no problems with chewing something for a long time).

Recently I've bought Belcando Adult Diner and it turned out that the kibbles are extremely big. Zelda doesn't even try to chew them. I've tried mashing few kibbles from my mix and it helped -- she ate it all (took her some time).

Now I don't know what to do. I don't want to switch to wet / cooked food. It doesn't seem she has any problems with her teeth. She had her annual vet check-up last month, everything was fine.

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I have 3 Corgis that don't really care if they eat or not. I add 1/4-1/2 cup warm water to their dry food every meal and they eat their dry food. I have been doing this for years. I don't know if this makes it more appealing or not???? I feed TOTW but usually Canidea ALS. I would stick to one food for awhile and try the water. Some corgis are more fussy than others...even though most aren't...

I have a picky eater too. I just put a little warm water in the kibble and put it down for 20 minutes. If he doesn't eat, tough luc for him. He had a few missed meals here and there but he's figured it out. In my experience adding things to the kibble just makes them even more picky.

How much do you feed her at a time?

I agree with both Janes, add some warm water and see if that helps. Not only does it make the food more aromatic but it will soften the kibble too. Franklin doesn't like really large hard treats or pieces of food and will carry them around in his mouth for a long time before deciding to chew them up, he will however eat an entire knuckle bone in one sitting so I know he CAN eat the hard food if he wanted to, he just chooses not to.

I wouldn't keep switching things up or you will create a VERY picky eater that won't eat anything. Pick a food and stick to it, it may take a few weeks for her to realize you aren't going to offer her anything different and she will eat all her food each meal. Also make sure you aren't feeding her too much and that is why she won't eat it all.  

Enticing a dog to eat is the best way to develop a picky eater.  Dogs and people have different metabolisms and how much to feed a dog is just a general guideline.  No dog will starve with food available.  If the dog is picky, simply feed less until it finishes all its food and then stay at that amount.  If you've played the enticement game, the dog may hold out for one or two meals.  More than that and I would make a trip to the Vet.Mixing different brands is not a good idea.  Pick a good quality dry food, add a bit of water and stick to that.  You can add some appropriate people food to the meal if you have a good eater, NEVER to entice....

Thank you all for all the suggestions. Unfortunately, adding water helps only a little. She sniffs it, may take few bites, then leaves. I'll try reducing the amount of food. I really hope she is intelligent enough not to starve herself :)

I wouldn't worry about her starving herself. I do know that some Corgis are more finicky (like my Sage). Just decide what you are going to do and stick with it. I did have to up Sage's amount for about 6 months as she was skinny but they do go through that stage!

Keep feeding a little less and a little less until she finishes every kibble.  When she finishes it all, praise her.  Stay at that amount a few days.  Only increase slightly when you see she is eating eagerly each meal and excited about mealtime.  Make sure she is not eating junk in the yard... this can affect her appetite for normal food.  You are looking to form a new pattern in her thinking, not just in her eating habit.  To get this change she needs to finish her meal completely and wish there were a bit more.  New habits in dogs as well as in people take time to form, so do not expect instant results if her being picky has been going on for awhile, however we're talking two or three weeks, not two or three months.  You can help the process by deciding you'll not worry about it either.  Remember that "a watched pot never boils".  If you are truly worried, you'll get a Vet check, not change foods or add goodies.

The only time I cater to a dog being picky is when they are very old.  I have a 14 year old who cannot afford to loose much weight, so I do a combination of dropping back her food a bit, adding something she likes, and keeping up with her dental needs via the Vet. 

I have a picky eater, not a corgi. We kept trying different foods, feeding one until he seemed to tire of it and lose interest. He didn't seem to mind missing many meals. My husband would add junk food which appealed to the dog, but then he'd hold out for that. Not until I read the ingredient labels out loud to DH was I able to correct THAT issue :) What finally worked? One meal a day. The corgi still gets her two meals, but the spaniel prefers to stay in bed in the morning. We now give him his meds with peanut butter in the morning so he doesn't hold out for peanut butter instead of his dinner. He still skips the occasional meal, usually because he gets distracted by something shiny (really), but he doesn't seem to mind going a day without food, so neither do I.

I hope you find the right amount/trick to get her to eat.

I've had picky cats...actually I'm more surprised when a cat isn't picky...but I've never had a picky dog.  I've had slow eaters but not picky.

It seems reducing the amount of food was the best idea. As long as she takes at least few bites per day, I'm not worrying anymore. Thanks for help everyone :)!

UGH, my Lulu is soooo picky and she has allergies so I have to be careful what I feed her, so there are not that many choices. I am consulting with a Holistic vet Thursday to hear his suggestions to boost her immunity to the food allergens...I know he suggests home cooking + supplements.

I've just recently heard that giving them a tablespoon of locally grown honey can help with boosting immunities to allergens.  I'm guessing this is more for wind borne pollens and such, rather than food, but you might want to research it. 

 

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