Some dogs seem to eat anything and everything they come across, whether it is edible or not. It makes you wonder about their palate and taste buds. On the other hand, there are those dogs that turn up their noses as if to say “this is not good enough for me! Where’s the steak and people food?” Many pet owners have both types of eaters at home.
Handling a finicky eater can sometimes be frustrating and of course, there is always the worry that your dog(s) is not getting the proper nutrition. But you cannot force the dog to eat. And you certainly cannot feed it people food just to get it to eat. Your dog would learn in no time that if it holds out on food, it will get what it wants, what you are eating.
There are some tips you can follow to encourage your fussy eater to be more interested in the foods placed before him or her. The first thing you want to do is be sure your dog is in good health. If the finicky eating may is accompanied by vomiting and diarrhea or any other medical symptoms, there may be a physical or internal reason why your dog does not want to eat. Your veterinarian can help you in ruling out issues such as oral diseases, gastrointestinal problems or any other underlying problem causing a loss of appetite.
Be sure the food you are giving your dog is good, not spoiled or expired. Evaluating the food you give your dog can detect if there may be a problem why your dog does not want the food. Choosing a high-quality food recommended by your veterinarian is always the best option. You want to provide food that has all the necessary nutrients needed for a healthy dog without the need for diet range. Try to avoid variety as your dog may hold out for a particular food. Constant change is not always good and also can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
To encourage your dog to eat you can try to modify the current food to a new more nutritional type of food. Gradually switch over by mixing the new food in with the old food, half, and half at first and slowly adding more of the new and less of the old. Make the change over several days. Try to find something tasty with protein as the number one ingredient. Switching to a semi-moist food may be more desirable for your dog. You may need to experiment with various foods until you find one that your dog likes and then stay with that choice.
You can try heating the food to bring out the distinct aromas that will entice your dog. Or add hot water to the dry food for the same effect. Just be sure to stir the food before serving to be sure there are no “hot spots” that can burn your dog when eating.
Try adding a particular flavor or item of sorts to your dogs’ food such as a cut up dog biscuit, add a little meat-flavored baby food or sprinkle in a small amount of shredded cheese. You may add a good sized tablespoon of warmed quality canned dog food to the dry food and most times it works.
Getting your fussy eater to eat will take lots of time and patience on your part as well as your dog. Organize a plan with your veterinarian and follow through to gradually get your dog to enjoy mealtimes. Use a lot of praise when your dog does eat. They say when a dog is hungry it will eat. We as pet parents worry about them because we love them. Be patient.