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Kibble for picky eater

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Kibble for picky eater
  • I've been trying to get my 2-year-old Papillon to put on a little bit of weight. I've tried the "tough love," but he tends to just eat barely enough to survive. He'll eat when he gets really hungry, sure, but not enough to gain some weight back.

    He's had a lot of traumas recently (most significantly losing his previous owner), so I'm sure that's affecting his appetite. But he's also never been food-motivated and was never a voracious eater to begin with.

    He likes natural gold canned food, but on its own it gives him very soft stool, so I've been mixing it with dry food (in the hopes I could eventually wean him back fully to dry food). He still doesn't eat tons of the wet/dry mix, but at least he's eating closer to the amount he should be.

    He was on Science Diet and Newman's Own Organics kibbles when I got him (gross!!!). I tried gradually switching him to the Nutro Max dry food, but he would spit out all of the Newman's food and just eat the Nutro. And who could blame him! He doesn't like the Canidae All Life Stages dry food, which I had hoped he'd enjoy. He eats the Nutro when he's really hungry, but I just don't think he likes it. I'd love to find a  nutritious dry food that he also finds appealing. I don't want to start picking blindly, or else with gradual transitions and all I could be trying foods for the next several months! Any ideas?
  • I don#%92t have the most discerning eaters but I do have a couple of suggestions that might be helpful.

      Many canned food formulas give my dogs soft poop as well so first off if canned is causing soft stools then perhaps you could try a little bit of evangers canned 100% meat to add a little better flavor.  The 100% meat varieties are NOT intended to be a balanced diet, but my dogs love the hunk o beef and it really adds some flavor to plain kibble. I also have had great success with adding a little plain yogurt with the kibble and I also crockpot for my dogs.  SO a couple times a month I make either chicken, beef or lamb and put it in the crockpot with water and a little salt free type seasoning.  I add a little bit of meat with broth to the kibble and my dogs love it and have perfectly fine stools.  I also have had better results with then eating plain kibble if I add a tad warm water to it before feeding it.  You could also try a little canned wild pink salmon, sardines or mackerel since this adds LOTS of flavor.

      As far as kibble, I have had really good results with Timberwolf Organics.  My guys seem to prefer the taste of it over any others I have tried. Only downside of it is that it is rather expensive and can be sometimes hard to find locally.  I have to order mine off the website but I actually save money by doing so since they offer free shipping.

      Wish I had some better kibble suggestions for you but perhaps some of the suggestions for things to add into the kibble might be helpful and I am sure lots of other people will have good kibble suggestions for their picky eaters!

      Good Luck!!    
  • ggg
  • sorry....got cut off

    we use chef k9 now but wellness worked pretty well.

    we had problems when we used science diet and iams. He did like the wellness though
  • I have had the same problems as you.  The only food that my papillon will eat with gusto (and that made him gain weight...finally!! lol) was Bil-Jac.  
  • Another vote for Bil-Jac. My Chinese crested is not picky but she loves the tiny kibbles in EVO, also. We use them for training treats - the only bad thing is she can eat like, um, maybe six kibbles and she's done for the day. [sm=biggrin.gif]

    And, if all else fails, may I suggest Puppy Crack? It's Royal Canin Yorkshire Terrier 28. I think all the foods are highly palatable, but this one makes all my guys half kill each other to get, when I open the bag, and they've never gotten any! I used it to put weight on a BC that had just about starved himself into ketosis. Worked like a charm - if he didn't weigh 47 pounds I wouldn't have taken him off it, but it was just too expensive. We do the Bil-Jac now, alternating with EVO Red Meat (and we're going to try Nature's Variety next).
  • No treats, and pick the bowl back up as soon as he shows no interest in it. Don't offer it again until the next feeding. Evenly he will become really HUNGRY! Then he will start eatting the food. It may take a week or couple of days!
     
    Most of us steer clear of Science Diet since its major ingredient is corn and that is one of the grains many dogs are allergic to.
     
    Leave it for 15-20 min. then pick it up.  He doesn't get it again until it's time for the next meal.  no snacks in between either.  He will most likely find his appetite within a few days and understand that you are not going to beg him to eat.
     
    I'm currently feeding Misty Natural Balance she loves it!
  • My Trudy also loves Natural Balance. She loves the canned and kibble Fish. Just find a food he likes. Little dogs need to eat a couple of times a day.  Eating should be fun and yummy! Life is short!  
  • Leave it for 15-20 min. then pick it up. He doesn't get it again until it's time for the next meal. no snacks in between either. He will most likely find his appetite within a few days and understand that you are not going to beg him to eat.

     
    Tried that. Unfortunately, as I mentioned, he'll take a few half-hearted mouthfuls but not enough to gain the weight he needs. Sort of how I felt in my school cafeterias, heh... Plus I just feel bad giving him food he so obviously doesn't like.
     
    Thanks for all the tips - I'll give the Bil-Jac and/or Nature's Balance a shot. If only they had free samples like in the supermarkets! If those don't work the Royal Canin sounds interesting, but I'd hate to have to check little Rascal into puppy rehab later... [:D]
  • No plm, try Innova, California Natural, Eagle Pack! Theirs more options for good dog food you can try :-)
     
    Also don't give up to easliy give it a week or two
  • Timberwolf Organics kibble is all small in size and my picky dog loves it. Have you checked that his teeth are healthy? My mom's Chi would not eat hard kibble and she discovered that it was because they hurt her teeth.
  • If you are wanting kibble, Bil-Jac seems to tempt even the finikiest of eaters.  It's not holistic or anything but if a dog needs to be encouraged to eat, it works.

    Also, since Pap's are pretty small, you might consider switching to canned. I like PetGuard, Chicken Soup (for the pet lover's soul), INnova, California Natural and others.
  • Oh, Scout, good thought - his teeth aren't awful (he's only 2) but they could definitely use a cleaning or two. I'll see if that helps, and in the meantime I'll try softening the dry with a little water.

    I wouldn't mind giving him canned all the time except that it loosens his bowels to the point that when he has to poop, he has to do it RIGHT NOW, and if I'm not quick enough we get a nice puddle of poop on the floor. Yummy.
  • the only dry kibbles all of my dogs will eat dry with great joy are Timberwolf organics wild n natural and Solid Gold's barking at the moon.  I almost always mix some canned or homecooked foods in with the kibble (1/3 wet is my rule) and then they happily gobble it up.
  • I always recommend the tough love route first, but there are some dogs like mine that still won't eat. Gingerbread has never been impressed with ANY kibble. I did the tough love thing for about 4 months. He ate enough to stay alive, but he was underweight and would frequently vomit from an empty stomach because he didn't want to eat. That's not a healthy way for any dog to live!

    So I finally started adding canned food, cooked meat, or babyfood and now he eats much more. He's filled out a little to a healthy weight and he's much happier with the food he's given! Luckily he doesn't get loose stool from canned food, but then I only mix in about a tablespoon of it.