One of the most common issues that loving owners have with their dogs is fussy eating. Some dogs can be picky, while others are simply stubborn and refuse to eat. It’s important to remember that there could be several reasons behind your dog’s unwillingness to eat when you want them to. Changing your dog food is just one thing that you can try to help your dog eat. Let’s take a closer look at a few ways that you can deal with a fussy dog…
Is It Fussiness or Something Else?
The first thing that owners should determine is if their dog is simply being fussy over their food or if there is another reason behind their habits. An unhealthy dog may not feel well enough to eat when you want them to. It’s important to determine if there is a medical reason behind their lack of appetite.
Your vet will be able to determine if your dog has any health issues like digestive problems that are causing them to be fussy. Your vet will also check your dog’s teeth to ensure that they don’t have any dental problems that make eating uncomfortable.
A Hungry Dog Will Eat
Many owners overestimate the amount of food that their dogs need to be satisfied. There are millions of pets in the U.S. that are considered to be overweight. This is primarily from regular overfeeding. Smaller breed dogs are often fed too much. When you account for the treats and snacks that your dog gets through the day, they may not be as hungry as you think when it’s feeding time.
If your dog is healthy, they will eat when they are hungry. For fussy dogs, this can still be a bit of a challenge. Your dog can be stubborn if they don’t want to eat. Try putting down their meal at the regular time and if they don’t eat it after 20 minutes, remove the portion. After an hour, place the same meal back down. Repeat this process until they are hungry enough to eat.
If your dog simply refuses to eat a certain food, you may want to try a different brand. When you present your dog with a different option, they are likely to eat it up quickly, at first. Once they get a taste for the new food, they may go back to their old habits. Making a slower transition from one food to another can help your dog to adjust.
You can start your transition by adding a small amount of the new food to their regular meal. Over time, change the proportions of new to old foods until they are eating a completely new diet.
If you are trying to feed your dog in your busy kitchen, there may be too many distractions. Choose a place in your home that is private and quiet for your dog to eat without being bothered. Always feed your dog before you start preparing your own meal so they won’t be distracted by the sounds of your food preparation.
As a dog owner, you want to provide the happiest and healthiest home for your furry best friend. If you are dealing with a fussy eater, try these tips to help them get back on track.
Graphic created by Albright’s Raw Pet Food, offering raw beef for dogs.