If your dog is a fussy eater, it can be difficult to get them to consistently eat foods that allow them to maintain their energy and overall health. Here are a few tips designed to help your dog stick to the best possible diet.
If you’re a proud dog owner, you’ve probably – at least once – been tempted to give your pup an edible reward for good behavior or overall cuteness. Maybe you’ve snuck them table scraps or given them a treat because they gave you a certain wide-eyed look that reminded you that they love you more than anyone or anything in the world. While these behaviors are certainly natural, they might contribute to your dog becoming finicky about what they eat.
Your dog’s diet is critical, and your feeding routine needs to be consistent whether you feed your dog Pedigree, IAMS or Zignature. DCM, intestinal distress, obesity and pancreatitis are only a few serious health concerns that are directly influenced by nutrition, so if you want to keep your dog’s eating habits healthy, follow these tips.
- Don’t give your dog a variety of foods. Of course, dogs enjoy certain foods more than others, but giving them different foods on a regular basis will teach them that they don’t necessarily have to accept what is offered.
- If they don’t care for their meal, take it away. If your dog responds to their food with less gusto than previously displayed, don’t immediately search for something they’ll find tastier. Take away the food they’re ignoring, and feed them a fresh bowl of the same food at the next mealtime. If they are hungry (and otherwise healthy), they’ll eat.
- Limit the treats. While giving a dog an occasional edible treat is fine, it’s not advisable to do it every day. You can give your pup non-food rewards, such as a game of fetch or a walk, which they love as much as dog biscuits!
- Make sure your dog gets lots of exercise. When your pooch hasn’t worked up an appetite, they’ll be more likely to turn their nose up at the same old meal. Make sure they stay active, with lots of high-energy play and long walks, and they’ll be ravenous by mealtime.
While some dogs are naturally stubborn, the above tips will work well for most breeds. If you find you and your dog locked in a standoff, it’s important that you don’t cave and go back to your old routine. If they persist in ignoring their food for an extended period of time and start losing weight, consult your vet to make sure there are no underlying medical conditions.
I’m a dog enthusiast and the proud parent of two rambunctious rescue mutts. I love writing about my girls, offering dog-rearing tips and posting puppy pictures on Instagram.
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