Nothing can be more frustrating than when a dog begins refusing food. Since our furry friends cannot talk we have no way of knowing if they are sick, tired of their current dog food formula, or being just plain picky. Listed here we have five tips for pet parents of picky dogs.
When dogs exercise they tend to work up an appetite, just like humans. If your dog is refusing his or her food, ask yourself whether your dog’s activity needs are being met. Chances are that a 20 – 30 minute walk around the neighborhood is all that is necessary for getting your dog’s appetite back on track.
Check Caloric Intake
Unlike humans, dogs eat solely out of necessity. Therefore, when they have had their fill of food for the day they tend to stop eating (Labrador retrievers and certain other breeds are the exception to this rule). If your dog stops eating at meal times, check your pet’s caloric intake throughout the day and make sure that his or her appetite isn’t being spoiled by treats and table scraps.
Avoid Free Feeding
Free feeding may be convenient for the dog owner, but it can wreak havoc with a dog’s eating habits. When dogs are given constant access to food, they are likely to under-eat or over-eat. If your dog is suddenly turning his or her nose up at food, you must teach your pet that he or she only has a limited window of opportunity for breakfast and dinner. Give your dog his or her meals at predictable times throughout the day, and remove any food that has not been finished within 30 minutes.
Sometimes dogs simply grow tired of their food. If you have tried other methods for encouraging your picky pet to eat, consider switching dog food formulas. Before committing to an entire bag of food, though, visit your local pet store and ask if any samples are available.
Make a Vet Visit
Finally, if you have given the above-mentioned tips a try with no success, it is time to schedule a visit with your dog’s veterinarian – especially if the picky eating habits have suddenly appeared. Sometimes, dogs stop eating when they are ill, so it is important to rule out underlying causes. If no illness is apparent, the veterinarian can certainly provide additional tips for overcoming your dog’s picky eating habits!
Please note: all dogs should be treated as individuals. The Actijoy™ blog is for educational and entertainment purposes only. In the case of emergency, always seek qualified healthcare from a local veterinarian or emergency facility. Actijoy™ blogs are not designed to treat, diagnose, or prescribe medication for your pet.