How to deal with picky eater dog
With more and more people owning dogs, many owners are facing the issue of picky eaters. There are some key ways to address this problem.
Picky eaters can display different behaviors for different reasons:
once you rule out health issues, observe their behavior. (some examples below):
- They don’t like dog food, don’t like some brands of dog food; or need to be coaxed into eating food.
- They only eat meat. Even though meats are mixed with other food, dogs only eat the meat and leave other food.
- They prefer treats to their normal food.
- Will only eat your food rather than dog food.
In the blog “Why my dog is a picky eater” we already discussed some reasons that cause picky eaters.
In this blog, “how to deal with picky eaters” is discussed further:
- See your vet if you believe there are health issues to be addressed.
- Feed dogs at a regular time
- Don’t change food suddenly
- Increase exercise
- Reduce treats
- Make food smell better
- Add supplements
- Don’t feed your dogs from your table
- Bring a friend for dinner
1. See your vet if you believe there are health issues to be addressed.
A Dog's health situation can be reflected by its appetite. If you found your dog is losing their appetite, please take them to see the vet. If your dog is in poor health, the vet will give some good suggestions based on its condition.
2. Feed your dog at a regular time
Keeping a feeding routine can be beneficial. Don’t give your dog too much food at once. If dogs don’t eat the food in 15-30mins, you need to take the food away and do not give anything until the next feeding time. Give them new fresh food, do not use old food. Your dog will learn if I don’t eat my food, I don’t have anything to eat. They won’t let themselves go hungry for long.
3. Don’t change food suddenly
Variety can increase dogs' appetite but, changing food suddenly can create issues. You need to change food gradually so that the dog can get used to the new food.
See guide below .
4. Increase exercise
More exercise is another way to increase their appetite. You can feed your dogs after exercise. This makes food a reward for playing, working, and exercising.
5. Reduce treats
Reduce the amount of treats you give them, or temporarily cut them out altogether. Only give them treats sparingly when they do something right. Overfeeding treats can make your dog ignore their normal food which is very unhealthy.
6. Make food smell better
Dogs have a highly developed sense of smell, if it smells good they are more likely to eat it. Dogs love food that smells fresh and warm. If you warm up the food it will be much more attractive for your dogs.
Fresh human grade dog food is much healthier and smells delicious compared to cold dog food.
7. Add supplements
Nutritional unbalance is another reason for picky eating. You can add some supplements to your dogs' food. Adding Lactobacillus can improve digestion so that your dog will have improved appetite. However, use Lactobacillus Sparingly, too much and too often can cause diarrhea.
8. Don’t feed your dogs from your table
Please do not give your dogs your food. We add sugar and salt to our meals, however, your dog cannot digest that much sugar and salt.
If they develop a taste for your food they may refuse to eat their own. Too much sugar and salt can cause skin issues, organ issues, and coat issues.
9. Bring a friend for dinner
Bringing a friend can encourage your dog to eat, as they will have to compete for food, this is normal pack behaviour.
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