Gransnet forums

Ask a gran

Dog not eating properly

(57 Posts)
Nanjust60 Thu 31-Aug-23 19:15:46

Hi all

Just wondered if any of you have had dogs ours is a poodle that picks at their food we have mentioned it to the vet and she says she is basically trying it on but it’s getting us quite anxious now we have tried changing her good a little but that doesn’t work either any ideas ?

EEJit Sun 03-Sep-23 12:17:37

Our last dog was picky. We kept trying different foods, she'd be OK for a couple of days, then go off again.

At one time we 12 opened bags in the kitchen, fully accessible to her, and she never touched any of them

Happypie Sun 03-Sep-23 12:38:14

I have three very picky Pomeranians. They like variety in their food, so some days they have their regular dry food, some days tubs of pate style dog food, other days cooked lamb chops or cooked steaks. Sometimes I feed them by hand, piece by piece. Your poodle won’t starve though. When they are really hungry they will eat. Try varying the textures and tastes and hand feeding occasionally.

Nannashirlz Sun 03-Sep-23 12:55:09

I used to have a Wolfe spitz she was a small eater she was a picker bought her up on bakers it was only one she would eat she would rather stave herself than try anything else. She did enjoy her Sunday dinner that was only other thing she would eat lol at the end last few months she just barely ate took her to vets and said she was an old lady older ppl don’t eat much. I tried alsorts porridge chicken you name it I tried it but I just had to except our time was coming to an end. Still broke my heart the day she died. 17yrs she was my baby. Also adopted a staffie she loved her food but when she got old she also hardly ate. My nanna used to have a poodle when we were kids.

Esmay Sun 03-Sep-23 12:59:29

I've had a lot of dogs and in general - the smaller they are - the more fussy and manipulative they are !
They are brilliant at getting their favourite tidbits .
I've known mine do the full tragic act with their food bowls .
Two brothers used to lie in their dog bed with paws in the air as if they were dying .
On one occasion , I called the vet as an emergency .
They bit the vet and his assistant !

Like us - they like variety .
Put less in their food bowl so it doesn't become dry and stale and top it up when they finish it .

If your dog isn't eating for a couple days , vomits or is listless - then it's something to worry about .

I really laugh at the antics of the little dog , who lives next door.
She's trained the entire family to give her endless treats and is completely disobedient .

bytheway Sun 03-Sep-23 13:00:24

I sympathise, I have a Cavapoo who is extremely fussy/picky with food. Apparently it’s a trait with them so unsurprising that your Poodle would be the same.

I can honestly say that I’ve probably tried 20 or more different foods, all acceptable to her for a few days then doesn’t want to know.

I can’t say I’ve found a solution but I do put her food in the kitchen and shut the door (I’ll be in there too) and not open it until she’s eaten at least some of the food.

Sometimes I have to hand feed a few bites and once her gastric juices are going she generally Eats the rest, sometimes I have to mix the n he4 favourite treats to get her to eat.

Usually manage to get it down her eventually but I understand the struggle

JdotJ Sun 03-Sep-23 13:17:38

We have a Bichon Frisè (did have 3 at one time) who were all fed morning & evening.
Youngest one (the one who is left) was a great one for picking/leaving food and it was suggested we just feed her once a day instead (evening)
Works a treat.

ruthiek Sun 03-Sep-23 14:08:24

My elderly dog is wasting away because she will hardly eat. A little bit of chicken a day and that’s it so worrying

Hedgehog2908 Sun 03-Sep-23 14:28:41

Poodles are notoriously fussy eaters. I've had 4 and they can be do stubborn, refusing to eat for days.
The vet told me to get vitamin B capsules and sprinkle a little on food and this should help.
Mine will eat the tinned Butchers Tripe, ham, chicken. I buy cheap chicken thighs and cook them in the airfryer and freeze them for him.

Jess20 Sun 03-Sep-23 14:37:02

My cockapoo is reluctant sometimes, I put a tiny bit of whatever I'm having - as long as it's safe - on top of hers and she eats the lot.

Bijou Sun 03-Sep-23 15:21:00

Dogs are carnivores and all these biscuits and propriety dogs foods don’t contain meat. Years ago when I had dogs and cats I used to feed them offal (where does the offal go nowadays) and bones to gnaw for their teeth and rarely called the vet. One cat I had would go over to the copse and come back dragging a rabbit or pheasant and would not be near until he had devoured most of it and never had to call the vet.

Bea0802 Sun 03-Sep-23 15:34:59

I've got a fussy labradoodle. I cook her food. Chicken, carrot, kale and sweet potato. I do a batch to last 3 weeks. She'll sometimes has a bit of kibble in the evenings. She's very active and has good condition. No farting, either.

annodomini Sun 03-Sep-23 15:57:38

To be accurate, Bijou, dogs are omnivores. My parents had a Labrador who was reported to have taken cauliflowers out of the garden and devoured them. Dread to think of the subsequent gaseous emissions!

3dognight Sun 03-Sep-23 17:04:50

I wonder if he misses his meal time companion? I think there is an element of competition when two or more dogs are fed together.
I always have a abit of a routine around meal times for mine -if I am having issues around lack of interest in food.
Which isn’t often, I might add.
Their evening meal is given after we have eaten and taken plates through to the kitchen. Dogs bowls clatter out onto the cupboard, kibble goes in, I make a big show of literally scraping in a tiny bit of say, gravy, mash, veg. I shout to DH, have you left anything for the dogs? bring your plate through please. Even if there is nothing on it I will give it a good noisy scraping into their bowls. Dogs are waiting in their baskets watching and waiting, eyes on me. Kettle goes on, for a cuppa, make tea, trickle a bit of boiling water onto kibble, and I make a big show of mixing it in and sniffing, if DH is in the kitchen I make him sniff it too and we agree it is a very good meal!!

Dogs outside in usual positions, one two three, sit, wait, get it, and it’s gone in a flash!

It’s all absolute kidology, but I swear because I have fussed, sniffed, and made them wait for it - it’s the finest food in dogdom.

Chardy Sun 03-Sep-23 17:14:52

Last week dog turned her nose up at her evening meal. I wiped the spoon (that I'd used to scoop the cat's wet food) across the top and she then ate quite happily. Was it the smell of fish that motivated her taste buds? No idea!

sazz1 Sun 03-Sep-23 17:25:10

We don't have this problem as we put dry food in a bowl and leave it there all day until 8pm. Its topped up when it's empty and our 2 dogs eat when hungry and regulate their own food intake. Both are an ideal weight and have a small portion of wet food every other day which they eat really fast. This system seems more natural to me as dogs don't feel hungry at set times. Perhaps you could try this.

KathyG54 Sun 03-Sep-23 17:41:36

We have a standard poodle and they are notoriously picky! When we try new food he’ll eat it for a couple of weeks then goes off it Basically he’ wants a bit of what we’re having with his own food he loves a bit of broccolli ! And sausage of course but just need to be careful onions in particular are not good for dogs

rascal Sun 03-Sep-23 17:56:56

Gingester I want to thank you for posting the details of that dog feeding toy.
My Border Terrier is over 12 years old and has been diagnosed with renal failure. Vet has advised her having special renal food. She has no appetite and was refusing everything. Very worrying. I sent for that toy and for the first time today she has eaten some of the renal food out of that toy! We are delighted!
Thank you again Gingester. smile flowers

Arto1s Sun 03-Sep-23 18:21:27

We rescued a tiny mix breed a year ago. She weighs 7lbs. Feeding her was a huge problem for us too, but I think I have finally solved it. I boil a boneless, skinless chicken breast, which I cut up into small pieces, mix with a small amount of kibble, and give her this morning and evening. Dividing the meals up really does seem to be working. The chicken is kept in the the fridge and lasts for quite a few days. I also use some of the stock to mix her food. Good Luck.

Iam64 Sun 03-Sep-23 18:56:29

3dognight - I have my daughter’s ‘fussy’ eater doodle staying. So it’s a daft young lab, a rather superior cocker spaniel and ms fussy pants. She eats exactly what’s in her bowl with a smile of her face 🐕🐶😏

dogsmother Sun 03-Sep-23 19:31:12

Truly grateful never to have experienced an anorexic dog that must be horrible.
We’ve ever had a problem because we’ve never worried, reasonably confident in the knowledge that sometimes they just don’t feel like it.
Currently have a toy poodle who lost his terrier partner (. My heart is still broken) in April he has the occasional off day and is now definitely not eating the fish variant of the raw complete we use. That’s the only giving in to him we have to do.

busybee6969 Sun 03-Sep-23 20:31:37

mine fussy,kibble is not great for them wet is better,everyone raves about raw feeding but i cant really afford it,mine has renal problems is on royal canine renal wet pouches, i add a bit of chicken or ham on they have a sore mouth,

icanhandthemback Sun 03-Sep-23 20:32:37


To be accurate, Bijou, dogs are omnivores. My parents had a Labrador who was reported to have taken cauliflowers out of the garden and devoured them. Dread to think of the subsequent gaseous emissions!

They are but their diets should be predominantly meat, bones and offal in a 80/10/10 ratio but if you want them to have veg then it’s up to 10% on top of their meat mix. Interestingly dogs have to have veg frozen or cooked first otherwise nutritionally it does nothing for them. They don’t need grains and they can set up an inflammatory response. Proteins other than meat like beans and veg protein have been indicated as a cause of heart disease in recent research.
Kibble is very heavily processed and if you look at what the scientists are saying about UPF it is hardly a leap of faith to think it is likely to be the same for dogs and cats. From my reading, the incidence of cancer and other problems seems to be more prevalent these days and I don’t think it is a coincidence that we have seen a huge rise in people feeding kibble rather than wet food.

tictacnana Sun 03-Sep-23 21:00:30

My Yorky used to try it in like this. I gave him what he wanted - cooked chicken and fed in front of the tv or the fire in the sitting room. That’s what he wanted. That’s what he got. Simple.

Lucyd Sun 03-Sep-23 21:01:14

I know dogs love sardines but I was told never to give dogs tuna because of the mercury content. Not sure if this is true. Always avoid giving dogs anything in brine as it is way too salty.

merlotgran Sun 03-Sep-23 22:28:27

A while ago I read on here that crumbling dry Weetabix on top of a dog’s food is good for them. Does anybody know if that’s true?