Expert Q&A

My Shih Tzu will only eat its food if I spoon feed it. How can I get it to eat on its own?

My Shih Tzu will only eat its food if I spoon feed it. How can I get it to eat on its own?

BY: The Dog Daily Expert

It sounds as though you may have spoiled your Shih Tzu. You have made it easier for your dog to eat by spoon-feeding it, so why should your pet make the extra effort? Admittedly, it can be cumbersome for some Shih Tzus to drink out of a bowl and eat wet food: Their furry faces can absorb some of the product when they have not been groomed.

For drinking, one solution is to offer your dog a water bottle with a drinking nozzle, such as the ones used to feed hamsters and gerbils. Eve Adamson, author of Shih Tzu for Dummies, suggests placing some soft food on the tip of the nozzle to stimulate your dog and to get it interested in using the device.

For feeding, Adamson says mixing wet and dry food can give your Shih Tzu the the best of both textures. Offer meals two to three times daily -- always at the same time and in the same bowl and place. Shih Tzu dogs are comforted by consistency. Since you’ll need to retrain your dog to eat by itself, you may have to be near the bowl or offer it up to her at first. Try warming wet food briefly in the microwave in order to help release some of the odors that your dog will find enticing.


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