Have a nonemergency question about your pet's health? Dr. Heather Oxford of L.A. veterinary hospital California Animal Rehabilitation (CARE) is here to help! In this installment of Ask a Vet, Dr. Oxford offers some tips for dealing with a puppy who refuses to eat breakfast.
Jillian's question: My friend adopted Poppy, a 6- month-old puppy, from the county shelter. However, Poppy, who is fed three small meals a day, has been refusing to eat breakfast. She will eat lunch and dinner, but she picks at her food and does not always finish. My friend gives her Wellness dog food and mixes in some wet food as well. Is this a sign of illness? Do you have any recommendations to encourage young Poppy to eat?
Heather Oxford, DVM: This is actually one of the most common questions I am asked as a veterinarian. Some dogs are just finicky, or don't seem to be very food-motivated. In these cases, the most common meal for them to skip is breakfast, and they usually require a little bit of activity or stimulation to become hungry. Also, if your friend is going by the feeding instructions on the pet food bag, there is a strong possibility it is simply too much food. In general, food labels instruct owners to feed 2-3 times what their metabolic requirements call for, which is a major cause of animal obesity in this country.