Q. We have a 1-year-old Miniature Poodle who we have to coax in order for him to eat. Every day we mix cookies, peanut butter and other small snacks in his food. He is eating around 6 ounces a day. Is this amount too little and is it normal to have to coax your dog to eat?
A. This sounds like a household where the dog is now the master! It is very rare that an otherwise healthy dog will not eventually eat whatever good-quality dog food you set out. Dogs can go several days without eating, as long as they are drinking water, so wait him out. Now that he is used to waiting for peanut butter and treats, it may take longer to get him to eat his regular diet.
There is no disease I know of that would cause a dog not to eat enough; if he were truly sick, you would most likely see other evidence of gastrointestinal disease, such as vomiting, nausea and diarrhea. You can check his weight once a month to make sure he is not losing weight.
In the meantime, take back control of the situation, and have no worries!
Jon Geller, DVM