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What Do I Do If My Dog is a Picky Eater?

Posted by Mary Ida Young on
What Do I Do If My Dog is a Picky Eater?
Take a moment to reflect on your childhood. If your mother gave you a choice between eating a cookie or steamed broccoli, what was your choice? If you say broccoli, you’re lying. Just like how humans prefer certain foods to others, there is no difference when it comes to your dog – your pup favors their tasty treats to regular food any day. After all, if dogs didn’t have a preference with their food, then treats would be completely unnecessary! Keep in mind there is a reason treats should only be given in moderation. If you regularly feed him kibble or treats, not only does his risk of obesity rise, but he’s also going to expect to eat food that tastes as good as those delicacies. This can lead your pet to become a picky eater when it comes to his normal everyday chow.

Why Are Some Pets Pickier Than Others?

Although this may be hard to believe, some dogs are naturally finicky eaters, just like his dog parents. Another common issue for restrictive diets is when a dog has a food allergy or dietary restriction. Whether your pup is just a picky eater or he has an actual dietary issue, figuring out why he refuses to eat his food is a serious issue to tackle. The sooner you can reach the underlining issue, the faster you can get your dog back on track to a normal and healthy diet. Don’t cave into feeding your furry friend copious amounts of treats. Know that this will lead to serious health issues like diabetes or obesity. You want your pet to be able to play fetch, swim, and chase squirrels for the rest of their doggy lives. Do you really want to limit his energy or mobility by causing premature health issues? An easy solution to prevent this from happening is by taking control of his diet now while he’s still healthy.

Situations and Solutions

If your dog is refusing to eat the yummy food you placed in front of him, either he's picky, sick, or could have possibly even gotten into the cat's food, and now he’s got a full belly. If that’s the case, separate your dogs’ foods and feed them at separate times. Another common issue that occurs with a picky pup is when the owner switches their dog food with a different brand or flavor. If this is why your dog refuses to eat, try mixing the old and the new dog foods together at feeding time. After a couple of meals your dog will adapt to the new flavor and will be chowing down without any issues. Is there stress in your household? Just like us, dogs respond to stress, and that can affect their appetite. Make sure your pet is as comfortable as possible. If there is something that could be causing anxiety for your pup at home, try removing him from the situation. Check with your vet to make sure your dog doesn’t have any food allergies or health issues. A common illness that could cause food allergies in dogs is diabetes. If this is the case, then immediate treatment is be necessary.

Spice Up His Meal

If you want to make your dog’s food taste better, heat up his food and mix either chicken or beef broth. Adding cooked sweet potatoes or peas is also another tasty idea. If this still doesn’t work, try feeding him three to four times a day instead of once a day. Remember that stinky and old foods are not appealing to some pups. A foolproof trick for getting your dog to eat his food is mixing sugar-free peanut butter into their normal chow. The good thing is that your dog won’t be barking for at least 20 minutes. No more table scraps! Seriously…do not do it. You must stop giving your dog table scraps no matter how much he begs and whines and bats his eyes at you. Be patient with your dog and watch him carefully for signs of stress or illness. Contact your dog's vet if you assume this is the source of the issue. As a pet owner, time, love, self-discipline, and consistency are critical in order to help your pup change his eating habits.

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