Puppy is bored of dry food

Hey gang,

Me again! Our lovely little Bailey has recently started turning up his cute little nose at dry food. We use "Oven Baked Tradition" as it was the food our breeder recommended. For the first month he gobbled it up happily but within the last few weeks has started to leave more and more in his bowl.

We have tried adding broth, then adding crushed up dried beef liver cubes. These each worked for a while but then no good.

He's four and a half months and he's definitely teething so that can't help. We tried softening the kibble with broth then just plain water. Also tried heating it. Again, these work for short periods then stop.

Any thoughts? Or maybe better food recommendations?

If you can, try fresh food: raw meat, soft bones, cooked vegetables, eggs, chewing stuff like tendons, cartilage. Our Lela was a muncher with kibble but when we changed to raw, she became a little wolf, really into food. And despite what vets say, I hold fresh food healthier than kibble.

Honestly never heard of Oven Baked Tradition.... I use grain free and I have never used puppy food, if good quality, puppy food is not necessary in my opinion. I have raised all my litters on the same food as the adults eat. That said I use Fromm's grain free, Surf and Turf, Pork and Applesauce and Game Bird. I use also Natural Balance small bites Duck and Potato and also other different grain free. I change up kibble every few weeks, so by changing food I never have to worry when traveling that I can't find certain foods... and never have to worry about tummy upset with different foods. I mix with canned wet along with veggies (raw/fresh) meat/fruits also....
Note that at 4 1/2 months teething will be an issue and note UNLESS sick when hungry they will eat, period.... You should have set feeding times (NO free feeding)... give them 10 to 15 minutes to eat and if they don't, take it away until the next feeding time. At 4 1/2 months should be getting 3 meals a day at least... I have also found that when the only puppy they are not getting challenged to eat as they do with their litter... so sometimes they will pick and choose because they know that there is not competition. That is why it is important that you set the rules... 10/15 minutes to eat, if not GONE! Make yourself the competition so to speak

last edited by tanza

I have never had a Basenji turn up his or her nose at food, not when young and healthy! So what has changed? Did you notice the reticence after opening a new bag of food? If so, that is a major clue that something is wrong with the food. Are you giving a lot of treats while training? It can impact how they feel about their regular fare. Teething could definitely make a difference and might be the issue. You should not have to be tempting a young healthy dog to eat, IMO. I agree with tanza, no free feeding!

Because I used to share a snarky-titled articled named "Picky eaters are made, not born" I got a basenji with very low appetite. But I have not seen it in puppies. It is good that you can get your pup to eat.. indicates a "making a picky eater" issue. Give food for 15 mins, pick it up, offer again at next meal time. If the pup still doesn't eat, please get a vet to check him over.

My thought is that he's training you. Smart doggie at such a young age!

I'd do as Debora suggests and just take it up after fifteen minutes. He'll probably start eating. If you feel that something else is needed you might add something special now and again.

My guy Rickie has always been picky, but eventually will eat. My opinion is that Basenji's are not "food hounds"

Is he teething ? Are the guns red or sore ? It is certainly most unusual for a Basenji not to clean the bowl and then pretend they haven't been fed.

A diet solely of dry food would bore me too. Mine get grain-free mixed with tinned commercial food.

@branch - LOL, I disagree with that.... most all my Basenjis have been or are food hounds in the 30+ years I have been in the breed

Thank you very much to everyone for your input! I've tried being more strict with the feeding times and taking it away if he's picking. I think I'm going to consider the switch to wet food and actual meat products because any time I add in some "bonus" meat to his kibble, he goes nuts.

Teething certainly doesn't help, but variety is definitely key as well it seems. Also feed him out of the big Kong rolly thing sometimes where he has to tap it the right way to get food out. Seems to engage the hunter in him.

Anyway, on with the battle! This little guy is growing into quite the little gentleman 🙂

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