Dog Food Crisis

Updated on July 10, 2012
M.M. asks from Los Angeles, CA
15 answers

My dog will not eat her dry dog food without canned (wet) dog food. I have her on wellness which if it's only dry, she does great on. However, when I add the wellness wet food she gets the worst diarrhea(watery stool). If I spread chicken on the top, she ends up just eating the chicken and spitting the dry dog food out. She does not have a parasite or other medical problem. She is stubborn and old though. I have tried different brands of wet can food, all give her watery stool, not sure why. I have tried Ian's savory sauce and that is not cutting it. Neither would chicken broth. I have her on kaopectate to get rid of the diarrhea. Vet said a diet of human chicken and rice is not well balanced for her. So now that I have eliminated every possibility, does anyone have any suggestions? She does eat some dry food, but not enough. She will eat when you hand feed her a bit. Maybe she will feel better once the diarrhea is gone. Thanks.

eTA: I have always fed her just dry food, and I have for the last 10 years been measuring with a measuring cup, so she has never been overweight. However, about 2 months ago, she turned her nose up to her usually brand of Wellness, so we went through switching up the food and adding wet food, which gave her diarrhea, so now back to her original brand of Wellness with no wet food. She is only eating about 1/2 a cup a day, she needs 2 cups a day. She will try and beg off the kids and I have to lock her in the laundry room while they eat, so she really has to eat her dry food. I was just wondering if there was an easier way....

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So What Happened?

thanks for all the suggestions. She will eat anything almost as long as its not dry dog food, sliced bananas, bread, you name it she eats it. The key for me is to get the dry dog food in there. I like the suggestions that say mix it with water. I will try that tonight. I have added chicked and yougurt and she just eats that and spits the dry dog food out. I just worry about her because we have always measured our dogs food and they have never been overwight, so I do not want her to loose too much. Also, diarrhea has gotten better, does not shoot out anymore, but still needs some work. I have thought about the teeth. I will have to check it again. When she started turning her nose to this food, we did take her to the vet for her annual and the blood test came back normal. Also, she got her teeth cleaned in the same appt. and they did not say anything about the teeth. She does like certain dog biscuits that are hard, but I will make sure and check her teeth again tonight.

More Answers



answers from San Francisco on

My first thought is: teeth. Have her teeth/gums been checked out by the vet? If she has a sore/bad tooth (or several) she may avoid the crunchy food.
Does she avoid hard biscuit treats too?
Maybe soak the Wellness in a cup of water for an hour so it's thick, soft, and soupy. She may not think it's 'different' and avoid it at first(because it doesn't smell extra special like wet food) but if she tastes it and notices that it's soft maybe she will eat it. Worth a shot.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

The one time our dog started turning up her nose at her normal dry dog food and wanting canned was because she had a bad back tooth. Could she have something hurting in her mouth?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I agree that the wet food causes more watery poo.

I have 3 spoiled dogs on the Science diet. They love for it to be flavored more. I take about 1/4 teaspoon of chicken or beef instant broth and add to about 1/4 cup of water. Heat and pour on their food. They like this.

When the have been sick in the past, I boiled hamburger meat and mixed it with rice. They love that mixture.

We still mix rice with their food because they love it.

Sometimes, they won't eat because they hold out for better things. We've found that if we leave them alone and don't push it, they will eat their dinner. This happens especially around holidays and when I have flavorful foods that we do give them a taste of occasionally.

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

mix yogurt in. it'll give the probiotics to help the tummy plus you can coat each piece of dry food....
she probably is not eating well because she doesn't feel good right now.
the yogurt should help that too.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I would try to cut out the wet all together. You can try to crack a raw egg into her dry food and mix it around....that way it will taste good and be 'wet'? Raw egg is supposed to be really good for dogs coats/fur? My mom swears by it!

Talk to your vet about it. Maybe he/she will have an idea?

~I have never fed my dog (whom I adore) wet food, so I have no other great ideas for you. Sorry!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Shreveport on

First go get a couple of cans of pumpkin, just plain pumpkin. You will find it in the baking aisle probably near the other pie fillings like cherry and so on.This is by far a better cure for diarrhea than the kaopectate. You can feed her a couple of tablespoons throughout the day.
She may be in a mood to self regulate. I know odd term but dogs can and will do this and sometimes it can last for several days. I feed my dogs raw and my mastiff and small poodle mix self regulate about every 6 months or so. The mastiff is suppose to have about 2 pounds of food a day and when she is in a self regulate mood she will eat maybe one. Now does that mean she will turn down treats or she will gobble them up but her regular food she will skip. I have learned to just relax and let her decide when she is in the mood to eat her regular amount again. Before I learned about self regulating I was doing everything I could think of to coax her into eating.
Also the vet is a bit mislead to say they can't get enough from the chicken and rice mix. A lot of vets are trained that kibble is better balanced for dogs and that is all they should eat. My vet at first was leery of me going to raw but once he saw how healthy mine are he says I'm apparently onto something with the raw food. Not saying you have to switch just saying take a grain of salt with what your vet said about your dog not getting enough from chicken and rice. Look at some of the newer more natural dog foods and you will see they are getting more and more basic and better geared for what dogs truly need.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

I cannot remember what it's called but something almost like w/d 40. They have both wet and dry dog food of it. It is pricey, they only had it at my vet. I've never seen it at a pet store, but it 100% takes care of runny stool issues. Ask your vet, or message DVMmom.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

I would say have her teeth checked too if you have not already, possibly blood work and full exam due to age if she has not been in recently. Also ask your BTW about EN or i/d for wet food. They are both used for sensitive stomachs and when pets do have diarrhea. EN seems to taste a little better to not dogs.

Most dogs will still go for the good stuff even if something US bothering them.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

my dogs the same way, hes an old fart now so we just do what he wants.. about 2 years ago my mom had a coupon for some new wet food that came out so she bought a can and mixed it with his dry food and ever since then he refuses to eat the plain dry, hed rather not eat at all.. even now if u dont really stir the wet food in really well he will pick out the dry pieces and spit them all over the floor and just eat the ones that got the gravy on them.. u could try vitagravy and mix that around with the dry food just to make it wet for her.. i will say though my dog wouldnt eat that either .. believe it or not my dog has lost weight over the past 2 years and is finally almost down to where the vet says he should be he only has 2lbs to go .. we use a scoop to measure his food, im going to assume one scoop=a cup. i dont know how big your dog is but being that my dog is sort of a beast we give him a scoop and a half of dry food and half a can of wet food every day and its been working great for him. also my mom found theses little plastic lids that cover the opened can of wet food until we can use the rest the next day so it doesnt get all gross and dried out

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Our dog is spoiled. She's an 80lb lab terrier mix. Dad buys bulk chicken from Costco. He seasons it with paprika, spikes it with garlic and bakes it. He then minces it. He feeds the dog roughly 1/2 cup of chicken, and beneful kibble. Like yours our dog would just pick the chicken off the top. So he puts the chicken the beneful and some water in her bowl. Gives the whole thing a good stir till its well incorporated, and she can no longer pick the chicken out. This has been going on for years.

barring some medical issues, a bit of tough love, and an insistence that she eat her dry food should work. as they say, a dog won't starve itself.

good luck to you and yours,
F. B.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

sorrry....but it's just like with kids: you have to stand firm & not give in.

both of my dogs went thru stomach issues this spring. Both were put on antibiotics, probiotics, & special dog food. Once that was over, both dogs were put on diets. We now measure their food daily, & have found that both dogs are now cutting back themselves! It's a rare day for the bowls to be empty.....& they both are showing the results of sticking with their new diet!

Sooo, I'm much dry food is she actually eating? Are you measuring what you give her, & how does this compare to the recommended daily amounts? Our dogs are being served about 1/2 what they used to eat. :)

Oh, & our vet said NO table foods whatsoever- he said it's the worst thing in the world to give dogs. I asked him about the old remedy of hamburger & rice, & he said "absolutely not!". Hope this helps!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Omaha on

Have you tried Science Diet? It is a bit more expensive, but we have always used it with all of our dogs per our vet's recommendation. (We have had multiple vets too. They all have recommended it.) I do know they have a chicken and lamb recipe in the wet food and also the dry. Good luck!


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

There is a reason she won't eat that dry dog food anymore.

Stop giving it to her. Sorry but her body knows.

Try other things:
-other dry dog foods
-a different wet dog food

Even better yet, boil chicken & make white rice. That helps their tummies & the chicken protein is good for them.

She's not eating so something is definitely going on.
It can be pain, gums, upset tummy (intestines), parasites etc.

Try different things. Give her some cooked lean meat.

As they age, their bodies change just like ours which includes intestines.

Plus you say she's had that dry dog food for the past 10 years. It's time for a change. Their bodies change & so do their nutritional reuirements.

Keep trying different things.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

How long have you gone with just feeding her the dry food? Most of the time the reason they won't eat the dry food alone is because if they don't eat the pet owner gives in and gives them the wet food or chicken or whatever is preferred over the dry food. You are right, she is being stubborn and she is playing you :) She knows if she turns her head at the dry food she will get the wet food. Just don't give in to her. Offer the dry food all by itself and leave it. If she doesn't eat for 1-2 days it will be okay as long as she is otherwise acting fine. It may even help clear up the diarrhea she gets when she eats the canned food. Unless something is truly wrong in a few days she will eat. Dogs will not willingly starve themselves. They will eat when they get hungry enough. If you want start slow and mix canned food and dry food 1/2 and 1/2 and gradually take away the canned food and add more dry food so all you are left with is the dry. That way it isn't a sudden one time it's there and the next it's gone.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Wet food is notorious for causing diarrhea. My husband used to manage a petsmart, and he would always encourage his customers to avoid buying the canned food for that reason. For dogs who would refuse dry dog food, he always suggested that you make rice with chicken broth instead of water, and mix the rice with the dry dog food. The rice will make the dog more interested, but it won't cause diarrhea.

My father-in-law also keeps cooked chicken breasts in his chicken so that he can mix chunks of chicken with the dry dog food. His dogs seem to eat that very well.

1 mom found this helpful
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