Almost all the pets we’ve come across look forward to their mealtime and enjoy getting fed by their owners. However, with dogs, things are a little different. Your dog’s breed, size and age often dictates whether he’s a foodie or a moody. If your dog turns up his nose to the food you’re feeding or doesn’t show normal delight at the mealtime, you might think to yourself “Why is my dog a finicky eater?” But you’re not alone in this. Many dog owners complain about finicky dog behavior, which proves that dogs are notoriously picky eaters.
However, there are several different reasons for your dog to exhibit this behavior. Let’s look into them.
Seasons Can Affect Your Pooch’s Eating Habits
With the arrival of summer comes heat, and so dogs need to work harder to maintain their body temperature. Like hot, humid temperatures affect your body and eating habits, they affect your dog as well. Therefore, vets recommend something light that is easily digested by the body such as boiled chicken or boiled chicken and vegetable broth.
If your dog acts a little finicky during summers, it’s completely normal. Feed him little but nutritious food along with healthy water intake to combat dehydration.
Too Many Dog Treats
Dog treats should only be given as a treat during training or if your dog has behaved well. However, some owners offer too many dog treats which results in negative behavior. A dog in return desires more of these treats over their regular, nutritious food. Limit the treat intake to only 10% of your dog’s daily calories and you’ll notice a significant difference.
Switching The Dog Food Frequently
Dog owners change their dog’s food frequently just for a change or depending on what deals are on at the store. What they don’t understand is that a dog doesn’t respond well to a change in his routine. When presented with new dog food frequently, your dog may refuse to eat it.
If you want to switch your dog to a new brand of food, do it slowly. For the first few weeks, mix it with the dog’s current food and then see if he likes it. If he does, you’re good to go, otherwise don’t! You can see some wonderful organic pet food kibble and treats options on Rover.
Illness or Food Allergies
Most of the time, a dog’s reluctance to eat may result from food allergies or a medical condition. In such cases, consult with your vet immediately and have your dog checked. If your dog has food allergies, switch him over to a limited ingredient dog food recommended by your vet to try and rule out the foods he is sensitive to.
You might notice your dog taking an interest in his mealtime and then suddenly, he turns his nose up to food and runs away! Dogs find it difficult to chew the food when there are periodontal problems such as soreness of gums, gingivitis, tumors or a broken tooth. If you notice any of the above dental problems, rush to the nearest vet and get your dog checked.
Tips to Increase your Dog’s Appetite
No matter what the problem is, there is always an easy solution. But let’s remember one thing: if your dog has always been a finicky eater, there is no need for concern. A finicky dog is all good as long as he is healthy, energetic and graced with a shiny coat. Sometimes, dogs choose not to eat because they are regulating their body mechanisms. As long as your pooch is healthy, just provide him with a balanced diet and let him eat whenever he wants.
However, if your dog’s eating habits have changed drastically, especially from anxiety moving, it can lose a few pounds and the shine on his coat and be inactive. There may be something wrong. Now that the finicky behavior is a symptom, not a habit, take him to a professional vet to figure out what’s bothering your pooch. If there’s nothing wrong, there are tips to increase your dog’s appetite:
Add Variety To Your Dog’s Diet
What would happen if you eat the same meal for dinner every day? You’d get bored to the core!
The same happens with your dog and he eventually stops eating. Add variety to your dog’s food. You can add a meal topper to improve the flavor. Many dog owners claim that their pooch enjoyed the dinner after they introduced them to a meal topper.
Just add the meal topper on regular dog food and stir through it nicely so it coats every piece of the kibble.
Offer Some Yoghurt
Dogs love yoghurt! And why wouldn’t they?
Yoghurt is creamy, full of nutrients and tastes delicious. Therefore, add a tablespoon of yoghurt in your dog’s regular kibble to make it more enticing and exciting for the dog. Besides, yoghurt is good for digestion and helps your dog stay full for longer periods of time.
Blueberries can do wonders for dealing with a finicky eater. Dogs love blueberries and would do anything to gobble them up. Just include 3-4 blueberries in your dog’s food and they will dig right into the food. However, if they eat just the blueberries, leaving the food behind. STOP!
Service Their Food on the Floor
Dogs are pack animals by nature, and their nature is to pick and eat food from the floor. When you’ve tried everything and still nothing works, try putting some food on the floor and wait for your dog to eat it. Once he eats it, throw more. This way your dog will playfully finish his meal.
Dogs are finicky eaters, but it has nothing to do with you or your training. That’s how they function. Just know that a dog will never starve himself to death and will eat when he wants to. However, if there are any health concerns that are bothering you, consult with a veterinarian immediately.
All in all, stick to a strict feeding schedule; feed your dog twice every day and don’t leave the food in the bowl all day. If you are worried about your dog, schedule an appointment with your vet.
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