Is your pooch a picky eater? I have mentioned before that my old boy Lucas seems to prefer to eat his food if I put his dish down, but he also tends to go through cycles where no matter what I do, he snubs his nose and walks away from his dish at mealtime. I have been trying to figure out the reason behind his ambivalence. Maybe he bores easily, or maybe it’s the change in seasons, perhaps we spoiled him by letting him have a treat from the dinner table, what I do know is it befuddles me. In the four years he has lived with us I have resorted to many desperate measures to entice him to eat. I have cooked him ground beef and mixed it with rice and his dry food, added a little grated cheese, we’ve tried numerous brands of wet and dry foods. Without fail we always end up where we are today, he stares at his food like its slop and walks away. On the weekend I was visiting my father-in-law, whose is in his 80’s and I have to say he has become very selective about what he feels like eating, basically, if it has sugar and doesn’t involve too much chewing, it’s palatable. I am now starting to wonder if it’s an age thing that has my canine friend completely disinterested. I have never had a dog that lacks the motivation to eat. Before Lucas I had Shelties, they would eat themselves to death, they don’t seem to have a shut off valve. Maybe it’s his make up and he’s not a food hound. I know he’s healthy, we have done loads of blood work and regular check ups, it just seems to be that food isn’t that exciting. Perhaps I have created a monster…most of the time we don’t let him eat human food, but there are some days where he looks so sweet and you offer him a bite of chicken or pour the water off the tuna onto his dry food. It is frustrating to have to change things up with him to convince him that eating is worthwhile. I heard myself saying to him this morning, when he was making a mess by spitting his dry food out onto the tile floor, eating about a third of what was in his dish before backing up and staring at it like I had fed him rocks, “there are dogs that don’t have homes that would love to have your meal.” Nope, guilt didn’t work either, he wandered over to the couch and laid down. I am going to have to resign myself to the fact that my boy is a finicky old fart who is going to test the limits. I think he has things pretty much figured out, if he goes on a hunger strike, I am going to go to great lengths to make food interesting. As I scratch my head trying to understand him I realize, he’s got me well trained.