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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all! My four year old Morkie has always been picky about food and treats. As a puppy, I fed him Nature’s Recipe Grain-free but as he grew, he seemed to not be getting enough to eat so I started introducing new foods, wet and dry. He refused all dry food and would only eat the wet once his stomach was making sounds from a horror movie. He will also only eat the Milkbone chewy dog treats. I then started cooking rice, ground chicken or turkey with shredded veggies and he loved that. After several months, I started noticing him acting lethargic and just didn’t seem healthy so I started introducing new food again and he definitely showed more interest in grain-free options and after going through the whole process again, he actually liked the Purina One Grain Free. He was eating regularly but has recently refused to eat it. Here’s where it gets weird…he will only eat this very wet food out of my hand. I admit the cat shows interest in this food so I separate them but he still refuses unless I hand feed him. His dog tag would hit the bowl, so I tried taking it off for feeding, still nothing unless hand fed. We moved almost a year ago but he did fine for several months in the new house. I have yet to find a vet in this town where I could make an appointment for a new patient in person which is required for new patients. His old vet is three hours away and since it’s been over a year, they won’t do a video appointment without seeing him first. This pandemic is even affecting our pets!! Any advice?
 

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The vet situation for you sure is tough! The first thing, as you clearly know, is to have him checked out at the vet....and you are doing your best with that one, but finding it hard.

Your question, though, is whether the dog is spoiled or finicky. I say both.
When it comes to finicky, the best thing is to find what your dog likes and continue to feed that, varying it slightly with enticing toppings to keep it interesting.
But if the dog keeps not eating everything that you try, or suddenly refuses the food you know he likes and he checks out OK at the vet, then the approach needs to get a little bit firmer. This means putting down something you know he likes, and if he doesn't eat it, pick it up in 10 minutes and put it away. No food or treats until the next mealtime, when you put it down again. And so on, until he eats.
A healthy dog will not starve himself, if continually offered tasty food. The problem you have is that you cannot get in to see a vet right away to be sure of his health. Personally, I would drive the three hours to take him to the old vet if I thought there was a chance that something was wrong.

Now, the other thing. the spoiled part is that you have hand fed him and now he won't eat any other way. This is a problem you caused (as I am sure you know). Just stop. Once again, put down the food he likes, make it even more enticing by putting something special he really likes on top (shredded chicken?) and if he doesn't eat, pick it up again. That is the only way to stop him from refusing to eat unless hand fed.

I have used both these approaches with dogs (not my own) and they always work. If your dog is healthy, going without eating for a day, two days, even three or four will not harm him as long as he is drinking water. It's just something to get through and then the problem is over.

I do want to note that making food for your dog is not a good idea unless you know a lot about dog nutrition and are carefully balancing everything to give them all the nutrition they need. The diet you were feeding him was seriously lacking in essentials, which is probably why he started doing poorly. A good nutritious high quality dog food is far better than just rice, veges, and meat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you so much for the reassurance and advice. I will definitely follow these steps as I continue to work on getting him to the vet. I do not take offense to the claims that I’ve done this myself. I know I have. Of course, I just couldn’t stand to hear is little belly growling. As for making the food, you are so right and I definitely noticed a difference and won’t be doing that again unless instructed by a vet. Hopefully someone else can also learn from my mistakes by reading here. Again, thank you!!
 

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My dogs KNOW that what I give them is all they'll get. Now, don't get me wrong, most days, almost always, I put at least a raw egg and water on their kibble. Frequently, as in most of the time I also have meat scraps of one sort or another to add in as well LOL!

But, on those occasions when I don't I'll give them dry kibble, or nothing, or kibble with a little water on it, or nothing...and they know that because I do it from time to time out of necessity or due to the situation.

Anyway, the result is, I've never had a picky eater in my life! They all know that what I give them is all I will be giving them, so eat it or don't LOL!

If your dog is healthy, going without eating for a day, two days, even three or four will not harm him as long as he is drinking water.
While I absolutely agree with this 100%, I am just a bit shocked to hear that from you MA! Good on ya! :cool:
 

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The vet situation for you sure is tough! The first thing, as you clearly know, is to have him checked out at the vet....and you are doing your best with that one, but finding it hard.

Your question, though, is whether the dog is spoiled or finicky. I say both.
When it comes to finicky, the best thing is to find what your dog likes and continue to feed that, varying it slightly with enticing toppings to keep it interesting.
But if the dog keeps not eating everything that you try, or suddenly refuses the food you know he likes and he checks out OK at the vet, then the approach needs to get a little bit firmer. This means putting down something you know he likes, and if he doesn't eat it, pick it up in 10 minutes and put it away. No food or treats until the next mealtime, when you put it down again. And so on, until he eats.
A healthy dog will not starve himself, if continually offered tasty food. The problem you have is that you cannot get in to see a vet right away to be sure of his health. Personally, I would drive the three hours to take him to the old vet if I thought there was a chance that something was wrong.

Now, the other thing. the spoiled part is that you have hand fed him and now he won't eat any other way. This is a problem you caused (as I am sure you know). Just stop. Once again, put down the food he likes, make it even more enticing by putting something special he really likes on top (shredded chicken?) and if he doesn't eat, pick it up again. That is the only way to stop him from refusing to eat unless hand fed.

I have used both these approaches with dogs (not my own) and they always work. If your dog is healthy, going without eating for a day, two days, even three or four will not harm him as long as he is drinking water. It's just something to get through and then the problem is over.

I do want to note that making food for your dog is not a good idea unless you know a lot about dog nutrition and are carefully balancing everything to give them all the nutrition they need. The diet you were feeding him was seriously lacking in essentials, which is probably why he started doing poorly. A good nutritious high quality dog food is far better than just rice, veges, and meat.
Theres quite a few dogsin my area that periodically stop eating for few days. All very healthy dogs small breed dogs. If jesse however didnt eat even one meal id know something was very very wrong
 

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Hi all! My four year old Morkie has always been picky about food and treats. As a puppy, I fed him Nature’s Recipe Grain-free but as he grew, he seemed to not be getting enough to eat so I started introducing new foods, wet and dry. He refused all dry food and would only eat the wet once his stomach was making sounds from a horror movie. He will also only eat the Milkbone chewy dog treats. I then started cooking rice, ground chicken or turkey with shredded veggies and he loved that. After several months, I started noticing him acting lethargic and just didn’t seem healthy so I started introducing new food again and he definitely showed more interest in grain-free options and after going through the whole process again, he actually liked the Purina One Grain Free. He was eating regularly but has recently refused to eat it. Here’s where it gets weird…he will only eat this very wet food out of my hand. I admit the cat shows interest in this food so I separate them but he still refuses unless I hand feed him. His dog tag would hit the bowl, so I tried taking it off for feeding, still nothing unless hand fed. We moved almost a year ago but he did fine for several months in the new house. I have yet to find a vet in this town where I could make an appointment for a new patient in person which is required for new patients. His old vet is three hours away and since it’s been over a year, they won’t do a video appointment without seeing him first. This pandemic is even affecting our pets!! Any advice?
He sounds like my cat
 

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First vet check to make sure there is no dental issues. Small breeds especially yorkies and maltese are notorious for dental disease. If everything checks out than I agree with others he is spoiled. If you want to home cook meals for him than this is a veterinary nutritionist website that has balanced recipes.BalanceIT.com
 
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