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Question
I have a female blue healer about 2 yr. old. I recently bought a different dog food which she apparently was not happy with. In order for her to eat it..I had to put milk or something else yummy over it..she is very picky about her dog food..however for some reason she has started eating sticks, wood, and last night threw up after eating some old tile she must have found outback from our old kitchen floor. she has been eating these weird things and getting sick several times a day..but sticks her nose up to her dog food???

Answer

Hi Jeanine,

Dog's are a lot like people, neither people or dogs can, or should eat tile. Tile can be dangerous to eat because of the potential that a sharp edge can cut your dog's throat or her digestive tract. When chomping down on hard tile, she could also break a tooth. Your dog may be eating sticks and other odd things because she's hungry, but still is stubborn enough to avoid the new food. You should take care not to give her access to, or let her eat these inedible things. If you're taking care not to give her access to the sticks/wood, etc, but she continues to vomit and doesn't want to eat anything, she needs to be examined by a vet. She could have an intestinal blockage.

You didn't say how you tried changing your dog's food. Did you do it abruptly, or gradually over a period of about a week or longer? If you switched your dog's food rather suddenly, try taking a step back, and go back to feeding your dog her the old brand of food. When she's finally eating again try adding just a little bit of the new food into the old food, switching her diet over V-E-R-Y gradually. Every day add a little more of the new food, until she's finally eating just the new food. You can't rush this, and you know your dog is finicky, so just go slow. During the period of switching foods, give your dog more daily exercise so she's good and hungry, and will be more likely to eat without picking out the bits she likes.

Dogs definitely can develop food preferences, and mixing something tasty into the food is a tactic many people resort to. I'd use it as a last resort after trying to switch foods over a period of several days. Some dogs will just pick out the tempting food, leaving the new food uneaten in the bowl. Tempting your dog with Milk can be a problem as it could give your dog diarrhea. Try mixing in a canned dog food, or a little Beef, Chicken, or Turkey baby food into her food. You could also use apple sauce (without added sugar), peanut butter or anything your dog finds very tempting. Even a little cat food is okay, most dogs seem to really love cat food! Warming her food a little can release it's odors and make it more appealing. The danger with tempting your dog to eat with this method is, eventually you're going to stop adding in the tasty mix-ins, and your dog still might not like the food.

You didn't say if your dog gets treats during the day. During this period of switching foods, don't give her treats or snacks. If absolutely nothing else works, I'd just feed the original food, it's better than having her supplement with inedible objects! You didn't say what brand the old food was (or what the new food is). If you're trying to feed a better quality food, maybe doctor the old food with some better ingredients, or try another brand of dog food. Many dog food companies will send you a sample sizes of their dog food, if you email them and ask. That way it's not the big commitment to a large bag of food your dog might not want to eat.

I hope I've been a help.
Best of luck,

Patti

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Patti

Expertise

To date, I've owned 7 dogs, all of which have lived into old age. Having cared for them in all stages of life, I feel I can offer sound advice to other pet owners, and people considering getting a dog. I am knowledgeable about the AKC (American Kennel Club) dog breeds, training and exercise, caring for sick and elderly pets, feeding, as well as many holistic treatments pets can benefit from. My only request is that you write me using standard English and punctuation.

Experience

My life experience in this field is more like "on the job training" rather than an actual degree in animal welfare. You may benefit from my experiences over the past 30 years. Aside from the dogs I've owned, I'm also involved in "breed rescue" and have fostered several dogs, all of which have been adopted to wonderful "forever homes". I find helping people who want a dog very rewarding.

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Real life experience, based on over 30 years of dog ownership.

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