Won't eat normal food and we're going away on holiday

Hi all

I hope someone has some ideas to help us!

Our Corgi, Fortie, won't eat his regular dog food, ie the dry food. He loves his treats, hangs around me while I'm preparing/eating food waiting for something to drop but when it comes to his food he barely eats any.

We tried the method of taking it away if he doesn't eat and making him hungry so he will eat: it worked a couple of times then he just wouldn't eat at all. He would actually spit the food out because he didn't like it.... We changed brands and that seemed to work and then he started not eating it again. So we started adding a little something to the dry food to make it more interesting: a splash of milk or we'd cook up a piece of meat in water and use a little of the 'juice' to put on the dry food. This works well.

However, in a few weeks we have to go away for a wedding and none of our friends can look after him while we're away. So it looks like we will have to leave him in a kennel for the week and I'm worried he won't eat while he's there! We've started trying to make him eat the dry food but it's day three and he's still barely eaten anything : / First day he ate half his food in the end but only because I sprinkled a little cheese over the top! This morning I put a fresh bowl of food out and locked him in a room so he'd have no choice but to be near the food and he pushed it around a bit and ate a couple of bites and that's all. I'm going to try again throughout the day but does anyone have any other ideas on what to do??

He's a Corgi -- he should eat! I'd prefer that to have to watch his diet for over-eating rather than for not eating :,(

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I have had a couple corgis who could care less about eating. If you don't think it is health related or had him checked then I would add warm water and try that. Mine do eat theirs with the warm water. How much food do you feed him.? I split my feeding up. For my 2 I feel like the food is so dry it bothers their tummies. I would not add extras as that teaches them they will get good stuff to eat and then not want to eat without it. Good luck...it's frustrating!

I know what you mean about the extras! And yes it's frustrating :(  I want him to eat his food as it is, but he just won't :/  I've tried the warm water previously, maybe I'll have another go. It's not health related because he had an issue in January where he ate something bad and ended up in the vet hospital for a couple of days. He had lots of tests then and he was ok. We feed him around 200gm per day, broken into two sessions, so 100gm in the morning and 100gm in the evening.

He's barely eaten for 2.5 days and wasn't doing much/playing so I was getting a bit worried. I broke and sprinkled a tiny bit of grated cheese over his food an hour ago and he scoffed it down in a few mins. He came looking for more but when I put more food out, he wasn't interested! He just won't eat it as it is...least he's not spitting it out like the other brand we had...!

Although you should switch food gradually, I highly recommend Orijen. I also add warm water to the food to "bring the flavor out" a little.  Orijen is made by Champion Pet Food in Canada and is the highest rated food on dogfood advisor. You can order it from www.chewy.com if you don't have any specialty stores in your area.  There are a few different flavors. Bogart is on the "Six Fish" type. LOVES it, and has also had their other flavors and loved them all.

Thank you! I live in France, but I'll keep an eye out for it and maybe try some other types if I can't find it. The breeders recommended Purina Pro Plan Salmon but he hates it - that's the one he spits out! We're now using Royal Canin Medium-Junior (he's 9mnths) and he doesn't hate it so much as he just doesn't want to eat a bowl of it : /  Maybe in future we'll have to swap brands around often or something so he doesn't get used to one type, it's just really annoying cos we're going to have to leave him at the kennel...

you can visit the website www.dogfoodadvisor.com and you will see that those brands you have been feeding are not highly rated.  I imagine that www.chewy.com also ships to other countries, but you can probably do a web search to find a distributor in France.  For the stay at the kennel, maybe give them a couple of cans of canned dog food, so that they can mix in a spoon or two with each feeding and that way he might eat, and it won't be difficult for the kennel people. Bonne chance!! Et bonnes vacances!

If he eats it when you sprinkled cheese on it, then IMO he's just being picky. I would just stick to adding some warm water and leaving it down for 30 minutes or so, and then picking it back up. It's tough but it will only get worse if you keep adding things to his food.

I'm not sure how much 100 grams is...any idea approximately what that would be in cups?

@ Jane -- Hmm, I'm not sure! I just put 100gms into a 'grams to cups' calculator and it says just under half a cup, not sure how accurate that is, but am assuming it's US cups.

I tried the warm water this afternoon and he's still not interested! Urgh FUSSY. He must be so hungry though...

@ Bogart the Cardigan -- I will look up the sites - thank you! I've seen some other brands that look better at a pet store here so I might have a look to see how they're rated and try some sample bags to see how it goes.  I was just saying to my husband that maybe we should give the kennel a bag of cheese to sprinkle over his food cos if I had just a spoon of grated cheese, he scoffs the lot in a min! At least then we know he'll eat while we're away and then we can work on the food issue properly when we get back.

Thanks for your advice everyone :)

Honestly...I would give them cheese too and ask them to add a small amount. You don't want to be worrying about if he's eating or not while you are gone.

I'm not sure how young your dog is but I would try Taste of the Wild(salmon because it has lower protein for pups under 18 months) if you can get it. I am not sure if they have a large breed puppy food or not...again you can check it out on Dog Food Advisor. Find a food and stick with it.

When putting water on and backing off on the cheese I wonder if you add just a bit of chicken broth(you could freeze some in ice cube trays) would work...

I suggest not giving any people food at all with kibble or as treats. Keep a bowl of kibbles on the counter and give a couple pieces as treats instead. He will learn that kibble is all there is so he might as well eat it. Sounds as if he's a smart guy who knows he'll get cheese if he waits you out long enough. He might just want what's up on the counter because that's where your food comes from rather than what's in his bowl. Is he losing weight? Is he lethargic? Most dogs can go a few days without eating without danger and will eat when they are hungry, unless there is a medical reason for their lack of appetite. Is he drinking his water? That would be a bigger problem. If his kibble has lots of fillers (corn esp.) he may be sensitive/allergic to it and feel bloated and crummy after eating it. Also, people food might do the same thing, even though he likes the taste of it while he's eating it.
Don't be too alarmed if the kennel workers report that he didn't eat for the first couple of days that you are gone. Some dogs get weird about eating when they are not in their usual environment. Even when I care for my good friend's dog, who is at our house frequently and knows us well, she won't eat the first day or two. Good luck and safe travels.

He'll eat when he gets hungry.  Trust me...he's not going to let himself starve.

I agree with others that he is just being a picky eater. He's got your number and knows that you will cave before he does. A healthy dog will not starve himself. If he doesn't eat his food as is, he doesn't get to eat. End of story. It sounds cruel but by constantly adding new and different things you are creating a dog that a few years don't the road will refuse to eat ANYTHING and that will be MUCH harder to manage. It may be good for him to stay in a kennel for a week and have the kennel owners just give the dry kibble with a little warm water. He will learn that he has to eat what's given or he doesn't eat. You can continue this when you get home as well and eventually he will eat. This may take a few weeks because corgis are stubborn, but as long as he is picking at his food and eating a little bit I wouldn't cave. If he stops eating completely its time to see your vet again and make sure he doesn't have something going on internally. Corgis are smart and stubborn and he has learned that if he holds out long enough he will get something better (i.e. human food) so he will keep doing this as long as you give in. I can promise you after a few days the sprinkles of cheese will quit working and you will be trying something else and pretty soon he will refuse to eat the kibble all together and only want to eat McDonalds McNuggets (true story, I have seen a dog who has eventually ended up here!). I have also seen dogs who will only eat cooked chicken and rice with melted cheese (not a balanced diet), taco bell breakfast burritos with extra gravy (also not healthy), etc. All of these dogs are being fed highly processed human food that often causes more harm than good because their owners always gave in in the food war early on. Be strong!!! You can win this! :-)

Thanks guys. I really appreciate the advise. We don't usually give him 'human food', we're very strict about him not 'begging' for food from people, but we sometimes use cheese as a treat so that's why I added a spoon this week to get him to eat. I think what I'm going to do is buy a new, better brand of food and then he can eat only that. I know that if it's new, he'll like it from day one, so no extras after that. He's getting no treats at the moment, only his dry food bits! Poor baby -- he's such a stubborn *&!$!

@Melissa and Franklin -- OMG I just re-read your message! Who feeds a dog McDs and burritos? It's bad enough for humans -- we would never give that to Fortie! I won't even let him have sandwich ham scraps : /

Ok, we're not so bad as fur parents, we just have to win over the stubbornness!

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