Is Your Dog A Finicky Eater? You feed good nutritionally rich kibble or canned food, and yet your dog only sniffs at it and walks away. You keep the food and re-present it next meal time, same thing happens. You have a finicky eater!
You maybe fooled into thinking your dog wants or needs variety.
The facts are your dog will happily eat the same food every day its entire life. It’s up to you to make sure you provide a tasty meal. Your dog is descended from opportunistic hunters that were accustomed to eating what they could get when they could get it.
The cause could be you!
Most times, the cause of a dog’s finicky eating isn’t a result of its bad behaviour. It’s usually the result of people feeding table scraps or too many treats. Not only does this increase the risk of obesity, but it also can encourage finicky eating. Your dog avoids eating in hope of getting more exciting food than w,hat’s in the bowl. The best thing to do is to stop feeding your dog from the table and stop the treats. Remember that dogs have different nutritional needs than we do, so what we eat isn’t always balanced for them.
When your dog was younger, if you tried offering several different foods to determine the right fit, you may have encouraged your dog to hold out for something better. If you’re opening multiple cans of food and trying to coax your dog into eating something every meal, then your dog has you trained.
Best ways to correct this behavior:
- Help your dog understand that no options exist.
- Set out your dog’s food for 30 minutes. If it isn’t eaten, take it away.
- When it’s time for your dog’s next meal, set out the food again and take it away in 30 minutes, whether it is eaten or not.
- In a day or two your dog may start checking around for extra treats. Maintain your position. Don’t give in! Your dog isn’t starving. If hungry, your dog will eat.
Is Your Dog A Finicky Eater? or are you the problem?
You may have to endure disappointment from your dog, but this is an effective technique in eliminating finicky eating behavior. You will be glad you did it in the long run.
If you are changing your dog’s food, do it slowly
It’s always best to change the food gradually, over a couple of weeks. This may seem like a long time, but it’s best to be patient to avoid any problems.
Never change their food suddenly unless you are advised to do so by your vet. This is because sudden changes to diet can cause a tummy upset or even diarrhoea, and for some pets it may make them less likely to eat the food offered to them.
Day 1-3: Introduce a small amount of the new food separately
- Give your dog their regular meal as normal. On a separate plate or bowl, put down a small teaspoonful of their new food.
- Keep them on separate plates or bowls and don’t mix the foods together yet. This is to introduce them to the new food slowly.
- They’ll probably sniff it, and may even eat it (but don’t worry if they don’t yet).
Day 4-10: Increase the amount of new food and decrease the amount of old food
- You can now start mixing the foods together, though if your pet is very picky and/or you’re introducing a wet food it’s best to keep them separate for the whole process.
- Start by mixing a very small amount of the new diet in with the old diet – less than a teaspoon is plenty at this stage.
- If adding the new food goes down well and they’re still eating all their food, then you can slowly increase the portion of new food and decrease the amount of old food in equal parts every day
- If you reach a point where the amount of new food being added is turning your pet off, then decrease the amount back to a level they’ll eat and stay at this for a few more days. After several days they should start to show interest again and you can then start to add a few more sprinkles of the new food.
- Gradually keep adding the new food and decreasing the old until you have made the transition fully.
- The gradual change over will help to avoid tummy upsets.
Day 10-14: Gradually phase out the old food completely
- Once your pet is consistently eating the mix of new food alongside the old for at least a week, start phasing out the old food
- Again, if they don’t want to eat it at any point, then you may need to decrease the amount of new food for another few days.
If you follow these steps, you should be able to introduce a new food to your dog without difficulty. If you’re having trouble, it’s best to speak to your vet to make sure that the food you’re feeding is best for your dog and that they don’t have any health issues that might be affecting their appetite.
Is Your Dog A Finicky Eater? Or is it a medical problem?
- Start by combining new food with the old food and gradually increasing the amount of new food as you reduce the amount of old food. This will be helpful in getting your dog accustomed to the new food and avoid a hunger strike.
- If you’re switching from wet to dry food, try mixing in a small amount of warm water with the dry food.
- Is Your Dog A Finicky Eater? or is it a medical problem. If your dog suddenly becomes finicky with no previous signs of this behaviour, a medical disorder could be the issue. Observe your dog for vomiting, sluggishness, diarrhea, or weight loss. If you become worried that a medical problem is causing his behaviour take him or her to the vets
A good article is here on all about dog food
Is Your Dog A Finicky Eater? Let us know in the comments section.