I have a 2-year-old Havanese that is so picky about food that he will go for long stretches of time without eating. What can I do to encourage him to eat?
From the Editors of The Dog Daily
Havanese dog owners often describe their pets as being picky or quirky eaters. There are even reports of these very social dogs not eating unless a person is in the room with them. If you spend a lot of time with your dog, his wishes make sense. He basks in your company and then may feel suddenly abandoned come mealtime.
The food itself could be part of the problem. Choose a high-quality dog food and try out a few different flavors to see which one your pet prefers. If you are feeding dry food, select a "minichunk" variety that is easier for small dogs to chew. Pet food manufacturers now also offer sauces in flavors like bacon, country chicken and pot roast that can entice many picky eaters to nosh.
If you feed wet food, try warming it for a short time in the microwave. You can also add some warm water or the previously mentioned sauce to boost the food's mouthwatering aroma appeal.
Feeding times are also important. Some Havanese owners offer food for limited periods, such as 15 minutes at a time. If the dog doesn't eat then, remove the food for a while and offer it later. Constantly leaving food out may not provide enough mealtime stimulation for your pet.
Even though your breed does have a reputation for being finicky, you should also make sure that there isn't an underlying health issue affecting your dog's appetite. Stress, teeth problems and many other health issues can lead to loss of appetite. Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to rule out any of those other possible causes.