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You wouldn’t think that a dog would be fussy with food. Most of what we see on TV or in movies is a dog eating everything and anything, including things that aren’t even food! But some dogs can be particular about what they eat, which can be difficult to deal with as a dog owner.
The good news is that there are things you can try to encourage your dog to eat. Take a look at some of the tips below to help you tackle your fussy dog problem.
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Change their food
If your dog doesn’t want to eat their food, it might be time to try something new. You’d get bored of eating the same thing every day, so it’s no wonder your dog is becoming picky with his food. Change to a type of food with different flavors so that you can keep things interesting.
If they’re still being fussy with their food, it’s a good idea to consult your vet who can check your pet over for anything that might be causing your pet to be off their food.
Try the tough love approach
There are a lot of dos and don’ts for your dog’s diet that can help you make sure you’re giving them the right foods, but sometimes a tough love approach is needed to encourage them to eat.
Having set mealtimes for your dog can get them into the habit of eating at certain times of the day, and you need to be strict about not feeding them table scraps or alternative foods throughout the day.
With the tough love approach, you set your dog’s food down for no longer than 15 minutes. If they don’t eat in that time, take the bowl away and repeat at their evening mealtime. A dog will not choose to go hungry and so eventually will come to realize that’s when they need to eat. Many owners have success with this, but you might need to persevere.
Encourage good food behaviors
There are some good food behaviors you should encourage in your dog, such as:
- Praising them for finishing their food
- Dissuading them from jumping at the dinner table or begging for food
- Limit treats to training rewards
- Avoid giving them human food
Training your dog to behave well around food helps stop them from being a nuisance at mealtimes, which can also be handy when you have guests over or they go to someone else’s home.
Try making your own dog food
Some dogs prefer the smell of their owner’s food, including fresh meat and vegetables. If you’re struggling with a fussy eater, you could consider making your own dog food to keep them happy. This can include a blend of meat and vegetables, some carbohydrates and some vitamin-rich ingredients. You can also try liver supplements for dogs to help keep them healthy. What’s great about making your own dog food is that you can make it in large batches and freeze to use as needed.
Having a dog that’s a picky eater can be a cause of frustration, but there are ways around it if you want to encourage them to develop good eating habits. A solid diet keeps them healthy and keeps their coat nice and glossy too, so make sure you give your dog what they need for a full and happy life.