Your Pet Question:
One of my dogs recently passed away and my other dog is a pug. The pug now has become a very picky eater; sometimes he just stands there and stares at his food, or walks away. What can I do to help him enjoy his food again? Is he grieving the loss of his buddy?
Cathy Rollit, Perth Ontario
The Expert Says:
Canines WILL grieve the loss of a family member (human, canine or otherwise). A lack of interest in previously enjoyable activities or objects is common for a short period of time. It’s likely that only the most prized food is enough to entice your pug to eat at the moment. Freeze dried liver can be purchased at most pet stores and is a high food motivator for most dogs. Try breaking the chunks into very small pieces or crushing them it into powder and sprinkling it on his food. Dogs very rarely starve themselves and are able to fast for short periods of time. Should your dog stop eating all together for more than a day, contact your vet to rule out medical issues. Otherwise give him comfort through his grieving process; he will resume enjoying his food in time.
Jessica O’Neill is an Animal Behaviour Consultant in Perth, Ont.