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How to Get Your Picky Dog Finish Its Meals
You love your canine friend, and they are a great way to burst your stress until they start giving you stress by not eating their food. Dogs, in general, are not fussy eaters, as they are thankful for getting food. But you may come across a few fussy eaters, and that may stress you out. Firstly, the wastage of food is something that may bother you; secondly your dog may go on a hunger strike, which can be worrisome.
Do not worry; you are not alone in this. You will find many owners complaining about the same issue. There are different ways to tackle this, and, as an owner, you need to pick one that best fits your situation.
1. Verify If You are Giving Your Dog the Right Food:
Canines are intelligent animals. One reason they may refuse to eat something is that it is not suitable for their health. Verify the ingredients to ensure you are feeding them the right kind of food. You can refer to We Love Doodles, where you will find a lot of similar information about what not to feed the dog.
2. Implement 10 Minutes Food Rule:
Put out your dog's food out for 10 minutes and wait for him to eat the food. If the dog eats only half of it or leaves it entirely, just pick up the food in 10 minutes. Do not give your dog access to food the entire day or else he will not value his meals. Your dog may skip a few meals just to seek for better food, but you need to worry about it. Your dog will not starve itself. Dogs can go without food for a few days easily, hence follow the same trick. When your dog gets hungry, he will definitely eat whatever you feed it.
3. Do Not Feed Your Dog Table Scraps:
Any dog considers human food as the highest valued food. This is why if you have been feeding your dog table scrapes, it has made your dog picky. You should refrain from sharing any table scraps with your dog and ask your family members to do the same. Once your dog learns that human food is off limits, it will show interest in its own food.
4. Avoid Giving Treats:
If you give your dog treats the entire day, it may not feel that hungry to eat the food you have been putting out. When our dog is on a hunger strike, do not give it any treats the entire day. This will help in breaking your dog's hunger strike quicker.
5. Do Not Modify the Food You Have Been Putting Out:
If your dog is not eating the food, you may be tempted to add some additives to make the process easier. Well, if you do that, you will be teaching your dog to be more picky as your dog belives you will surely give in soon. So your dog will not eat the usual food expecting you to upgrade the food. This is why just stick to one food till your dog agrees to eat and appreciate it.
6. See Your Vet:
At times, your dog may seem healthy but it may be having some issues, which is why your dog is refusing to eat a certain texture of the food. If you are unsure, better visit a vet to get a full health check up one.
7. Swap the Food:
If you feed your dog a certain brand of kibble, you can switch it with another brand, which is equally nutritious. If your dog likes the taste of the other brand, then you will not have issues feeding your dog. Like humans, dogs also prefer certain tastes more than others, hence you can get tester packets of few different brands to see which one your dog likes.
8. Make Slow Transition:
Have you switched the dog food recently? Maybe your dog is unable to understand the new taste. You should never switch your dog's food abruptly. It needs to be gradual. Start from 80% of old food and 20% of new food. This ration needs to slowly shift towards adding higher ration of new food. This way, your dog's digestive system will stay intact and it will get used to the new taste gradually.
9. Mix a Meal Topper:
Do not try this right away. Try hard to feed your dog its kibble, but if that is completely failing and you do not mind making a few food toppers, it can add nutritious value to the food. You can start by adding chicken broth and a few chicken pieces. This will make the food more appealing and your dog will enjoy eating it.
10. Exercise Your Dog:
When your dog is tired, it will get more hungry and would want to eat. Exercising your dog is essential for its overall well-being as well. Ensure your dog is tired before you feed it so that they will be less picky.
11. Use Toy Feeders:
A few picky eaters like to eat their food out of a toy as they enjoy working for their food. This also stimulates their mind and makes the food as a reward, which makes it of high value. You can use snuffle mat, wobbler, Kong toys or puzzle feeder to feed your dog.
12. Heat the Food:
When you heat up toppers like chicken, the aroma will entice the dog to eat its meal. Similarly, adding hot water to kibble will enhance its flavor and your dog may want to eat it. Remember, wet kibble can get sticky. Hence, you need to take care of the dental hygiene of your dog.
13. Take Away Distractions:
Keep your dog's mealtime separate from yours. If your dog can smell your food while it eats its food, he may leave his food in between, as he prefers your food. This is why, keep your dog's mealtime distraction free.
The Bottom Line:
Every dog is different and will react differently to the methods mentioned above. The key is patience and will power. It is tough to be harsh with your furry friend as they may look at you with those innocent eyes and make your heart melt. You need to stay strong for the wellness of your canine friend.
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