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Won't eat dog food.

Species: Dog
Breed: Terrier Mix
Age: 2-5 years
Inherited my Mom's 4 year old terrier mix - 14 to 15 pounds - who has always eaten and will only eat people food. After a month of trying every kind of dog food available I decided to make him chicken/turkey and rice. My questions are how much to feed daily and also if a vitamin supplement is needed could you suggest one? Thank you so very much, Happy New Year.....


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

It is always a really tough situation when a dog has been only fed people food and won't eat dog food.

I am definitely not a fan of just feeding chicken/turkey and rice. It is really hard to make a homemade diet that is balanced. You can buy vitamin supplements (check out Hilary's Blend) that can help, but really it's not the same as buying a well balanced dog food.

My recommendation when a dog has been spoiled with human food is to be extremely firm in only offering him dog food. A dog will not starve himself to death and will eventually eat the food that is given to him provided that you do not give in and feed him table food in between. It may take a couple of weeks for him to eventually cave. I know that two weeks seems like an eternity to go without food, but right now he is playing a game of wills and he is winning. If all he has is dog food, trust me, he will eventually eat it. He will not do his body harm by going without for a time. (This would not be true for a cat as cats can get something called fatty liver if they go without food, but a dog will not be harmed.)

I have had decent success by adding things to dog food such as IAMS gravy or even ketchup in small amounts. It may also help to soak kibbles in warm water or to give him a mixture of canned and dry food.

I hope this helps but let me know if you have questions!

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.