Originally Posted by Ella's new mom
Ella is eating Wellness Core puppy food....she doesn't eat much....only about 1/2 cup or less a day split between 3 meals. She doesn't seem to love her kibble but does eat. She is not interested at all in lunch. Also she doesn't seem to love this food....picks at it, looks at it and walks away etc. She eats better out of my hand or off the floor than out out of bowl, but I feel these are not very good habits. She liked the kibble when offered as a treat for obedience. Well, at least she did until I made a treat for her from rice flour, pumpkin, and peanutbutter. She loves these cookies and goes nuts when she knows I have them. Now if I try to give her a piece of kibble for a trick she won't take it. So, my questions are: Would it be bad to only feed her twice a day at this age? Could she be afraid of her reflection in the stainless bowl (sounds crazy...I know)? Should I try to find a food she would like better, or would that just encourage this picky eating? Should I stop all treats except kibble. BTW she is growing, is energetic...see my last question ha ha and seems all around very healthy etc. Thank you so much!
Well, you didn't say how old she is, but with ALL of mine, I let them make the decision. When they weren't interested in lunch anymore, I dropped it. My adults eat about the equivalent of 1/2c of kibble a day (though kibbles DO vary in caloric value) so what she's eating is not far off from what it should be.
Some dogs do have a preference for certain types of plates or bowls, and there is no harm in playing around with that. I don't think I'd be hand feeding her though. Put it down, wait 10 minutes, and if she hasn't eaten, pick it up, and don't feed her again until the next meal. Healthy dogs won't starve themselves.
It's up to you if you want to continue with this food or not. I, and many others, prefer not to feed kibble, as there are many other, better quality foods, and kibble can cause long-term, mild but chronic dehydration if the dog doesn't drink enough to compensate for the dry diet. Besides, even if a food was nutritionally balanced for you, would you enjoy dry back packing food day in and day out? You might want to consider either canned food, cooked commercial food (like Fresh Pet) or dehydrated (reconstituted with water) or frozen raw food. All of these are better choices from a nutritional standpoint, and most dogs enjoy them more too.
Kibble isn't a great training treat, because it takes a long time to chew. By the time they have chewed the piece in their mouth, they've forgotten what it was they were working on!. You really want very small, moist treats for training.