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Will your dog only eat YOUR food? You have tried everything to get him to eat food from the can or a colorful package of dry dog food, but no luck, he only wants the good stuff, and that's whatever you're eating!

There is only one person we can turn to for this. Head for the mirror because it's the owner -- yep, you and probably a few other members of your family.

It's easy when you have kids who don't want to finish their chicken and dumplings and happen to drop a few pieces under the table, letting your dog Ralph gobble it up. Problem is, those table scraps leave a taste that lingers in the dog's mind. If Ralph has a choice of what's in a can or what's under the table, table wins paws down.

Eating table scraps can cause health problems in your dog -- pancreatitis for one, and it can also give your dog diarrhea which can be messy and uncomfortable for both your dog and you. The table-scraps habit creates a dog that begs and that's not a becoming attribute for your little friend.

“Never let a dog associate your food with their food," says New York veterinarian Margaret Hoppe. “You have to keep it very separate. Otherwise they’ll start to think they can eat their food and their owner’s, too.”

Your dog should only eat food out of his bowl, and should never see food as coming from your plate or from something you’re preparing for yourself.

Too many snacks

Is your dog snacking during the day? Feeding too many treats can cause a dog to be full and not want to eat at the appropriate time, just like a human.

This next suggestion will require strength on your part. Put down the right amount of food at a certain time of the day. Leave it there for a while. If your dog doesn't eat it, pick it up and try again the next day. As long as your dog has water they will be OK without food for a day. (It's hard, I know -- you feel sorry for them.) Unless your dog has a medical condition like diabetes or some other illness, he should be fine. 

This should spark his appetite and soon he will get it that this is what he is eating and nothing else.

I'm sure you know the feeling of working out and sweating and as soon as you are done you have this appetite as big as a sumo wrestler's. Dogs work that way as well. You might want to take a stroll around the block, toss a ball and work up an appetite and then try feeding after the exercise.

If you do decide that maybe he just doesn't like this food. make sure you introduce a new food slowly -- otherwise you are back to that messy cleanup situation with diarrhea. Start off by combining the new and the old, gradually increasing the new a little bit each day. If you are going from a wet food to a dry, you can add water to the dry to make it palatable.

Above all be persistent and patient and you will win in the end if you can hold out and just give the dog his own food.

Be aware there are many illnesses that could be why your dog is refusing his food -- old age and joint pain to name a couple. Just walking to his bowl could be hard on him.Your only real method of knowing is a check with your vet if you suspect there could be a health component to the problem.

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