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  • #81627 Report Abuse
    Craig K

    Hey everyone,

    I have a 7yr old male Shih-Tuz.

    I’ve had him for almost a year, he was owned by a relative of mine and given to me. He’s been a picky eater most of his life, mostly eating chicken and rice.

    The chicken is usually either chicken breast or meat from oven-baked chicken quarters which are de-skinned and de-boned. I also give him white rice.

    I had him eating a mix of dog food and chicken, but he got a serious case of tapeworm in September that caused his little tummy to get irritable whenever he ate dog food. The vet suggested rice and chicken – which was his favorite anyways – so that’s what I’ve been doing.

    It’s been a few months now, and I’m ready to introduce a better diet to him.

    I’m wondering what you guys recommend? He’s a very picky eater, but when I mix something up with chicken, he’ll usually eat it for me.

    So I’m hoping to find something nutritious for him that I can mix with chicken to give him a complete nutritional meal.

    Money is no object, time is available if needed and I want the very best for him.

    Thanks for your help! 🙂

    #81630 Report Abuse

    Newman’s Own Organics canned turkey (95%) is a decent topper, imo.
    I use Nutrisca salmon and chickpea dry food as a base, it seems to agree the best for my dog with allergies and a sensitive stomach (she is 1/2 shih-tzu), the others like it too.
    I also use Nutrisca canned foods, 4 years now, no problems.
    Check out chewy.com for prices and delivery.

    Homemade and tips, see general guidelines http://www.homeovet.net/dynamic/php/downloads/dog-c8470f2c75dbe4b683205c3919ee2310/dog_diet_complete.pdf

    #81636 Report Abuse

    Hi Craig,

    Chicken and rice shouldn’t be fed long-term unless recommended by your vet. This diet lacks vitamins, minerals, amino acids, Omegas, etc. White rice has very little nutritional value.

    I would suggest that you consider rotating proteins that you’re adding as toppers. Your dog would benefit a great deal from the addition of tinned sardines a couple of times weekly. Chicken is fine occasionally, but rotate that with the sardines and a red meat protein. Make sure that the extras (including treats) make up no more than 20% of your pup’s daily intake to avoid throwing off the nutritional balance of his diet.

    Since you have a smaller dog, and he seems to like homemade (probably warm) food, you could fully investigate making home cooked meals, that are complete and balanced. It must be properly balanced or it’ll do more harm than good when fed long-term. A good book to read would be Dr. Karen Becker’s Real Food for Healthy Cats and Dogs. Dogaware dot com is a great website with lots of information about nutrition and home cooking meals.

    If you are looking for commercial diets, you might investigate dehydrated or freeze dried foods. My favorite dehydrated foods are from The Honest Kitchen. Zeal might be a good choice to start. Freeze dried (and canned) foods tend to be higher in fat which is very important in your dog’s diet, but should be fed in moderation. Your dog is eating very little healthy fat currently, so any increase in fat should be done gradually. A good freeze dried food is Orijen, but it’s high in fat. You might also look at a lower fat canned food as an option, such as Wellness Core Reduced Fat.

    You’re obviously a very caring pet guardian! I’m sure you enjoy cooking for your dog and you could fix him chicken and rice once a week or so. As long as his diet is balanced the rest of the week, it’ll be fine. I’d probably use brown rice for a little more nutrition and fiber rather than white rice. Good luck and have fun!

    #81643 Report Abuse
    Craig K

    Thanks for the replies.

    I understand the low nutritional value of his current diet, which is why I want to bring him back to something better. He had a serious case of tapeworm which made his stomach very tender, and that is why he’s been back to chicken and white rice.

    I’m hoping moving him to other foods now will be fine, and that his stomach has had a chance to heal and toughen up. Before, I was mixing chicken with dog food.

    I should add he is an extremely picky eater. I do give him extra lean ground beef, eye of round steak and even a 95% fat free hot dog now and again to mix things up but most other things like fish, etc he will not eat. He will not eat dog food by itself or wet food, even premium, high protein brands like Royal Canin Gastrointenstinal or Isolated Protein which I have used from my Vet.


    #81656 Report Abuse

    Hi Craig,
    DogFoodie gave you some great suggestions.
    We have two very picky maltese, one with a sensitive stomach.
    After a lot of trial and error with many types of foods, we found the freeze dried is the most palatable, easily digested and tolerated by our pups. I suggest starting with freeze dried that is pathogen-free (HPP process removes bacteria, salmonella, parasites, etc). Add filtered water and let soak in a few minutes. Rotating foods keeps them excited about mealtime, and is healthier than eating only one type of food. The following are some of the pathogen-free freeze dried mine will eat.
    Stella and Chewy
    Northwest Naturals (pretty sure it’s HPP)
    Dogs for the Earth (it’s already lightly cooked using all organic ingredients).

    Honest Kitchen makes a great food. I wish mine liked it. You can order sample packs online.

    I always add probiotics and enzymes to food which helps strengthen gut, digestion, immune system and vitality….we alternate between Dr. Peter Tobias, Mercola and Animal Essentials….all source non-GMO, pure ingredients. We keep Perfect Form by Honest Kitchen on hand in case of loose stools, but we rarely need to use anymore. I always start any supplement at a much lower dose than suggested and slowly build up.

    When your pup gets stronger you may consider adding freeze dried foods that do not go through the HPP process since it’s less processed, like Orijen. Ours are crazy for the crunchy freeze dried like Tru Dog, which uses grass fed, free range meats, Only Natural Niblets and Vital Essentials. The only dry type food we give is an air dried, grass fed, minimally processed food from Real Meat Food Co. We buy the 3 pack sample bags for our rotation. They love this it and it’s easy to serve when in a hurry.

    FYI, we use toppers on meals to entice our picky eaters. When feeding cooked food like Dogs for the Earth we add a cooked topper such as Dogs for the Earth liver and parsley treat, egg yolk, a sprinkle of parmesan, some lean meat or Lakse Kronch Wild Salmon Treats, etc. When feeding the raw freeze dried we top it with a few freeze dried treats (Stella and Chewys or Orijen). I try to add cooked toppers to cooked food and raw toppers to raw food to make it easier on digestion.

    #81657 Report Abuse
    Craig K

    I will definitely try this out! Hopefully he’ll eat it!

    Do you purchase the freeze-dried food locally or do you purchase online? Amazon or something perhaps?


    #81658 Report Abuse

    Many of these foods are available in the small non-corporate type pet food stores but you can also order from Chewy.com. Usually food comes within two days of ordering.

    I buy Dogs for the Earth here:

    Real Meat Food Co.

    Good luck!

    • This reply was modified 8 years, 6 months ago by JeffreyT.
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