I have a two year old Maltese mix and for about almost two weeks, I've noticed he only eats when he's hungry and not during the normal time I feed him. His daily meal consists of boiled chicken and rice and half a teaspoon of "The Missing Link" (he eats twice a day). Typically, when he eats his food would be done in less than two minutes. But lately, he takes a few bites and turns his head away, only for him to come back to it a few hours later when he's really hungry. I also recently purchased (about three weeks ago) Natural Balance Fish and Sweet Potato, and I leave that out for whenever he wants to eat it. He's ok with the taste, I guess, because he only eats that when there's no other food for him to eat (like late at night/early morning).
I know he's not sick because he's very lively when it's play time and just earlier my friend gave him a small piece of rib eye steak and he LOVED it, but that's a big no. I also gave him some fish (fried) and he liked it as well. How could I fix this behavior?
***Edited By: Hale0812 on 8/7/2007 3:28:20 PM*** Reason: extra info
I wouldn't be to concerned with him not eating right away on command when you put his food out. When he get's hungry he will eat. I think most dog's go through that & exspecially if you feed table scraps he maybe holding out because he knowes if he does he will get scraps ..By far dogs are not dumb. I know in the summer months when its hot out my dog tends to eat here & there and lounge around on more humid days. But if you notice any new symptoms he's showing it may not hurt to take him in to get checked out.
By giving a dog too many choices about what to eat (boiled chicken, rice, missing link, other dry kibble) you're turning him into a picky eater! I don't want to come across as mean, or insincere, but the best thing to do, is pick one diet for your dog, and stick with it!
I agree with D.D, you can give him a treat once in a while but since you're free feeding him he could easily be picking away at it, and you're not noticing it. Just stick with one food, he'll eat it, when he's hungry.
Thank you all for your reply. And yes, we have been giving him lots of choices but the one we've stuck to the most is chicken. I weighed him and he's still normal weight for his breed, which is good. Like your suggestions, I've limited his food to just what he usually eats and he does eat it when he's hungry.