You feed tasty and nutritious dog food, and yet your dog only sniffs and licks at it. It’s time for the next meal, but the previous meal still isn’t finished. You might have a finicky dog!
You may think your dog wants or needs variety. The truth is your dog will happily eat the same food every day its entire life, so it’s up to you to make sure you provide a tasty, nutritious meal. Your dog is descended from opportunistic hunters that were accustomed to eating what they could get when they could get it.
Don’t Teach your Dog Bad Habits
Frequently, the cause of a dog’s finicky eating isn’t a result of its behavior. Remember dog’s are not born fussy eaters , they are made in to one by their owners. It’s usually the result of their humans feeding table scraps or too many treats. Not only does this increase the risk of obesity, but it also can encourage finicky behavior. Your dog avoids eating in hope of getting more exciting food than what is in the bowl. The best approach is to stop feeding your dog from the table and limit the number of treats. Remember that dogs have different nutritional needs than we do, so what we eat isn’t necessarily 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 options of food from the fridge and trying to coax your dog into eating something every meal, then your dog has you trained.
How To Correct This Behavior
- Time your dog’s food bowl for 30 minutes, if he doesn’t eat it 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. So if the morning meal was dog food and it was not eaten the next meal should also be dog food and not another option.
- Do not treat your dog the day he doesn’t finish his meal
- No table scraps
- If your dog has not eaten for 2 days. Maintain your strategy, if he is hungry he will eat. Dogs digestive systems are very different from ours and they can go a full day or two without eating and it will not cause any harm.
- Stick to your dog’s feeding schedule
- Stop hand feeding
- Gradually increase levels of exercise. A tired dog is a happy dog and will eat well if his energy is spent.
- Make sure the entire family are all agreed on the approach . If one person caves in when they see the sad eyes then this sets you right back to square one! It is also good to check with dog walkers and neighbours to make sure no one else is caving in!. Also make sure that your dog doesnt get an opportunity to raid the dust bin.
When Could Picky Eating Be A Medical Problem?
If your dog has been eating well and then becomes picky, especially if he is losing weight or looking unkempt, do not brush it off. Visit your veterinarian immediately to look for a reason. Anything from a bad/spoiled bag of food, to dental disease, to neck pain to other serious medical problems could be the cause. Before you decide to stubbornly stand firm and wait for him to start eating right again, consult your veterinarian.
Tried everything and still cant get your dog to stop being a picky eater please contact us by subscribing to our email list with any queries that you may have