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I am needing some suggestions for good things to give my girl to get her to eat better.  She is MUCH thinner than I would like her to be and is super picky.  I have tried everything I can think of with her and am looking for some other ideas that I maybe haven't thought of.  She goes running with me several times a week as I am training for a half marathon and we usually go about 5 miles at a time.  My vet is saying I probably should stop running with her until we get her weight back up but there is just no living with her when she doesn't get the time out running in the fresh air.  I've tried every brand of dog food I can find that might work better.  She is currently on a 30/20 Performance dog food, no corn, no wheat, no gluten, no by products, and I mix canned food, same brand, or cottage cheese or eggs in with it whatever I can find that she is interested in eating that day.  I've also started giving her 1/2 lb of hamburger meat a day.  Which thankfully that is something she has not yet turned down although she does need a little coaxing.  We did a complete health check with physical and blood panel, there is no physical reason she isn't gaining.  Just a super high metabolism and low interest in food.  Any and all suggestions are welcome!!

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Ellie was a very fussy eater but now will eat anything and Arthur is also very fussy.One thing that helps me to get him to eat is a tin of tuna mixed in his dinner......and then hand feed him.A pain but he does eat!

Ellie would refuse raw meat and almost everything then,one day, I gave her some of the cat's food.It was Classic cat food.She ate! She still  has it now.

Try not to worry, I am sure that your dog will pick that up and maybe enjoy the reaction to her not eating.

Good Luck!

My girl Ruby was a dreadful eater as a youngster - she would eat breast of lamb which I cooked in a pressure cooker. I mixed this very fatty meat with her dried food and she would eat it - sometimes hand fed.  When I got Lulu, Ruby did start to eat better - if she didnt Lulu would finish it off. At least she is healthy so thats one less worry for you
The canned food I mix in with her dry food some days is lamb and she definitely likes it more than the chicken based cans, I may have to try some fresh lamb and see how she takes to that.  Yes, I am very relieved to know she is healthy and that her being thin is just her high energy and not because of a health issue.

Add Cash to the picky eaters club.  Do you find your girl is more apt to eat after exercise?  Cash will refuse a morning meal often even with his favorite canned foods mixed in, but comes back from his running starved!  And usually after some napping wants another meal again late evening.  I hear mine is too thin also and have left him at 20 months on puppy food for the extra protein and fat it offers.  I think some dog live to eat (must be other breeds) and our setter eat to live.

That is exactly how I explained it to my vet, she eats enough to maintain bodily function but not enough to put on any type of muscle or mass.  I'm so wanting to get her in the show ring but need her a little less boney before I try that.  Her ribs are covered but her back bone is more prominent than I like as are her hips.  She hangs right around 50 lbs and I'd really like her more between 55-60.  She will eat the hamburger if I hand feed it to her and now today ate most of her dry food, cottage cheese mix from this morning, came back from our run and desperately wanted the leftover spaghetti from our dinner so I was bad and let her have some of it.  I hate giving her pasta but she just loves it and right now I'm just wanting to get some calories in her.  Thank you so much for the suggestions everyone, I will be trying some new things slowly and see if we can't find something she will take too.
Same here Katie.  Cash is at 60lbs and is has no meat covering his spine and hips. 

Hi Katie. 


I had the same problem with my Flora. She had 21 kg at the age of 2. She had no interest in food. She would eat just enough to survive and leave the rest of food. A few times a months she wouldn't eat at all. I fussed at first, but..... now why should I? She can eat if she likes and doesn't have to if she wont. She is 5 years now has 27-28 kg and about two years ago or so she showed more interest in food, she can even tell the time - when it's 6pm she would find and "tel me" it's time for supper. Before... I could forget to feed her and she wouldn't even notice - that ever happend.  

My advice is don't worry. As long as she is healthy there's nothing to worry about. She might find more interest in food later on or she might not. Don't complicate.

Good luck!  

Pitanga has always been a picky eater. She weight 19 kg at the age of two, and she is a big girl. she was just skin and bones. Having Romã has helped, she eats  better when her daughter is sniffing around, out of competition. I tried every brand of food, canned food, chicken, lamb, beef, etc. They all work for a while and then she stops eating. Also tried vitamins and appetite enhancers - worked for a couple of weeks.

She has been putting on weight very slowly - she now has some healthy 24/25 kg and looks like a dog, not a skeleton on a red robe. She had to be on steroids and was spayed after that - Worked wonderfully in getting the weight on, now she just has to keep it, but I don't think feeding your dog steroids is the answer... =)

She is better now, and will nibble on her food on an almost daily basis - every four days or so, she may even show interest in it! But every once in a while she goes back to one of her hunger strike weeks.


The one thing that seems to work when she goes on hunger strike is a Food ball! I put on her portion of food inside, and then make her watch me put just a tiny bit of ham, cheese, biscuits, sausage or whatever crosses my mind. She gets interested on the extra treats, and plays on with her food ball - when her food comes out instead of the treat, she eats it anyway. I guess she just enjoys the game - for me its a lot easier than all the other variations of "please, please will you please just it a tiny bit of the meat i have been cooking for the past two days for you?"

...And that's how I feed my unfeedable dog! It's a bit uncommon, but it may do the trick.

1am!  A nocturnal Setter!
Her picky eating and super high energy all started after her first heat cycle.  My vet is thinking it may be hormone related as she seems to get more nervous energy the closer we get to her next heat cycle.  I'm hopeful that with some time and tempting food I can get her to at least put on a little weight.  It's a hard balance between not making her lose more weight and still getting enough exercise.

Don't worry about the weight. Setters are not labradors, after all.


As someone mentioned, a bit of canned fish may help heaps.

To get some weight on her, if you think she needs it, try to add a tablespoon of mashed chickpeas (if she eats it). You can actually bake chickpea flour bickies for her. Roast the chickpeas (180 degrees, 15 minutes), then grind them if you have a food processor and mix them with carob, maybe some peanutbutter, or if she likes chicken, mix the flour with some ground chicken. Then shape them into cookies pop them into the stove, 150-180 degree, about 15 -20minutes. My dogs love them, also because they watch me making them. And they have a good dip into the dough like kids, really.

It's not just the food, it's the love you bake in...


I have another idea. Worked with my picky eater.

Try feeding always at the same time. Don't beg her to eat, just put the bowl down and if she turns away, pick the bowl and put it on the kitchen counter and live the room. No comments, no words. She will be able to smell the food, but won't be able to get to it. A few hours later try feeding again. Mine was in a bit of a shock when I first did it, like: "Why are you taking away my food?" She must certainly eate a few hours later ;) Worth a try. 




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