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Dogs aren’t picky. If I were to drop my car keys on the floor, my dogs would be on them like a duck on a June bug.


June 1, 2020

E. Katie Gammill, Emeritus AKC Judge


My dogs aren’t discriminating, they are land sharks! They eat horse manure, dead animals, garbage, cat food, and kitty litter “treats” if the opportunity presents itself. Therefore, if your dog that normally inhales food suddenly gets “picky”, check for health problems such as sore throats, tonsils, a bad tooth, obstructions, earache. Diarrhea and vomiting are indications you should head to your vet immediately!


Dogs can play food games! When full, some dogs will hold food between their paws simply to keep another dog eating it. I’ve seen dogs drop food in their crate and lurk shark-like, waiting for a victim. Other dogs prefer “privacy” during mealtime. Then there’s the “musical bowls” game which always guarantees the most persistent is the plumpest.


If your dog rejects his dog food, check the label. Many companies change recipes or as dog show exhibitors know, dogs may go off food when coats blow. If your dog turns up his nose at kibble, trust his senses as they may be correct regarding spoilage. I avoid food and products made in China. Smoked bones can cause pancreatic problems. Limit snacks and ignore pleading eyes. Dog food DOES get old so check expiration dates. Be aware of dog food recalls. Strange odors should be investigated, especially if your “come and get it dog” turns food down.


Dogs eliminate promptly after eating due to their intestines being much shorter than a human. Therefore, food passes quickly through their system.


This is why nasty things have little effect on a dog’s digestive tracts but why food poisoning makes people sick for days.


If you feed raw do not warm up food in microwave or this defeats your purpose. Buy a high-quality food. Make sure the list of ingredients starts with chicken, turkey, venison, or beef. Dogs are NOT birds; they do not eat grain normally. The ingredients listed on the bag of dog food as “meat meal” can include beef guts, chicken feathers, intestines, feet, offal, and diseased animals. Therefore, buy dog food that starts with MEAT, unless your dog has a specific condition you must address.


We feed deer bones. Each dog is separated, and bones left are picked up and disposed of, never left in the yard. My husband, the deer hunter, once hung a deer from the rafters in the garage for processing. Our smallest sheltie came in, wrapped itself around the deer’s head with all four feet and hung suspended. Laughing, we peeled him off.



When possible, I cut a package of raw meat into squares and freeze them to use later. Try a soup made of V-8 juice and vegetables especially for them, they find eating dry all the time boring. In the “old days” a can of tomato paste would rid a dog of a tape worm. Six-week-old puppies will chew bones to help cut teeth.


DO NOT leave the food bowl on the floor or free feed. Teach the dog to eat on a timely basis. Let the dog get hungry! He won’t starve. Encourage a picky eater by combining a new with old food to avoid stomach upset. Use a little canned food in the kibble. Sprinkle cheese on the food. Most picky eaters like rice with boiled chicken or hamburger. As appetite improves, decrease the special food. Many dogs like fruit and vegetables.


Some pet owners feed “BARF” or a raw diet. If so, do not heat the food in a microwave before feeding as that can destroy the very nutrition you are trying to supply. If your dog is diabetic, contact your Vet and buy specific food for your situation. Allergies and urinary tract problems may require this. Crate your dog when you feed it IF it is active. Some dogs prefer privacy. If you have several dogs, place bowls far apart. This may trigger confrontations; however, competition encourages eating. You know your dog’s personality, so act accordingly.


This recipe of “liver cookies” may help. Puree a pound of liver (yep). Use a box of Jiffy Corn Bread mix, ˝ cup milk, 2 eggs, mix, and then bake in a greased pan at 350 deg. until firm. Use as treats or crumble on food. Most dog foods have all the nutrients your dog needs.


My husband learned that dogs love fish. Leaving his filleting of fish when the phone rang, he returned to 3 sets of innocent eyes and no fish. When man domesticated canines, many breeds lived on fish... Therefore, we feed Mackerel or Sardines upon occasion and it seems to satisfy a “hankering”.


Owning “garbage disposal” dogs may cause chubby canines. If your garden is missing fruits or tomatoes, check your pet. Our dogs chomp pecans that fall from the tree.


If your dog refuses to eat at all, have the vet check for cracked teeth or gum problems. Change their treats to raw carrots or celery. If you have a slaughterhouse in the area, contact them for large beef bones for your dogs. A puppy may be given scraped frozen liver for energy although we no longer take extreme measures to save weak puppies. If the puppy doesn't suck or the mother pushes it away from the litter, this is an indication something is wrong. Trust mother’s instinct. EST 2002 © 20S06



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