Skip to Content

Ask Dr. Diane: Dealing with a Picky Eater

Share with fellow dog lovers!

45386588.thbDear Dr. Diane,

My 60-pound dog is a picky eater! She lies beside her plate but won’t eat. After 15 minutes, I pick up her food and refrigerate it until the next meal time. If I try to hand her some food, she jumps backward like she doesn’t want the food to touch her! She is two years old, in good health, and a former stray dog. I always feed her after her walk so I feel like she should be hungry. Do you think she’s just being picky or could she have other issues with food?

Regarding your 60-pound formerly stray dog who is a picky eater, I have several suggestions for you. First, have her examined by your vet to determine if there are any health issues related to her lack of appetite. She may have anemia, a digestive problem or some other gastrointestinal disorder that is causing her to refuse food. Secondly, I would seek the advice of your vet as to the type of food best suited to your pet’s needs (after assessing her size, age, health history, activity level, and so on). Thirdly, she may crave nutrients and vitamins in her diet that you are not currently providing. Finally, she may also appreciate variety in her diet just as we humans do. Adding some roasted lean chicken or turkey, beef or fish and rice in addition to her dry or canned food may really increase her interest in food and her appetite.

Also, I would feed her small quantities (in accordance with your vet’s advice) several times a day, for example, in the morning and the evening and only offer her healthy food that she definitely likes and enjoys. If she does not eat the food, simply take it away. I would not refrigerate the food she obviously doesn’t care for and definitely not recycle it the next day.


Dr. Pomerance is an animal behavior specialist and an expert on topics such as deciding which puppy is best for your family, how to pick out a rescue, and on healing from the loss of a pet.

For More Information on Dr. Pomerance:

Paris Permenter
This post originally appeared on and is the sole property of