As a pet store owner, one of the most common complaints I hear from dogs owners is “my dog is so picky, he won’t eat his dog food”. From my experience, I have found that the fault usually lies with the pet parent.
Yes you, I’m talking to you.
Many people give in to their dogs far too quickly. They often feed them food that the dog perceives is better, and while there is absolutely nothing wrong with giving dogs species appropriate human food, you should get your dog to eat and enjoy his dog food first.
Picky Picky Eaters
One of the most successful way of getting your picky dog to eat his meal is to get him to understand that if he doesn’t eat what is in his bowl, then he doesn’t get anything. After putting his food bowl down, wait about 20 minutes. Then, lift the bowl with any uneaten food, and DO NOT feed him again until next meal time.
Most people find this very difficult as they are worried their dog is hungry and is suffering. Hopefully your dog is hungry enough to eat next time, but unless there is a health issue, your dog is not suffering. If you really find you can’t bear waiting until next meal time which should be about 8 hours, then at least wait 4 hours, and lift the bowl again after about 20 minutes.
You may have to continue to do this for a day or two, but most dogs will eat when they get hungry enough. Please note this is not recommended for cats, as cats may choose to starve themselves.
Another reason dogs will wait for something better is because their owners have been feeding them too many treats, or foods that may not be appropriate for them. Do not feed treats within a couple of hours prior to meal time.
If you want to give them some of your own food, a good suggestion is fruits, or lightly steamed or raw vegetables. You can also add fruits and vegetables to their meal to entice them to eat. Pure pumpkin, green beans, blueberries are all good low calorie choices.
So, in summary, you must be willing not to give into your dog. Remember that you should be controlling what and when your dog eats. If you find being picky is a new thing with your dog, or their eating habits have changed, it might be wise to book a vet visit to rule out any medical issues.
Opinions expressed in this article are opinions of the writer and not necessarily those of Bark n’ Yapp.