Monday, February 1, 2010

Is Your Dog a Picky Eater? How to Get Your Fussy Pup to Eat His Meal

Dogs are often stereotyped as being naturally hearty eaters who can devour a bowl of dog food in seconds. But from personal experience we have come to a jaw dropping conclusion that this is not always the case. There are some dogs who are finicky eaters and refuse to eat what is in front of their snout. With that said, coaxing a fussy pup into licking his dog bowl clean can be a challenge. So here are some dog tips to make meal time with a picky eater easier.

1. Picky or ill?
It is important to rule out any potential underlying medical issues in order to determine if your dog is just a finicky picky eater or ill. If your dog is experiencing symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting and lethargy. You may also want to give your dog a dental exam to make sure he or she is not having pain or problem eating. If this is the case seek your vet, these symptoms could be warning signs of something more serious.

2. Sniff, Sniff! Be a sleuth and examine closely the food being placed in Fido's dish, stale & spoiled food can put a damper on a meal. Keep an eye on dog food expiration dates and your nose aware of unusual odors. Discard dog food that is no longer edible.

3. Does it taste good? The key to good dog food is nutrition, quality and of course taste. Just say to yourself "Would I eat this if I were a dog."

4. Mix it up a bit! Dogs can become bored very easily life and food. Perhaps mixing some canned or wet food in with the dry will make your pup excited about food again. Let's face it, it does not take a lot to get dog's tail wagging and stomachs smiling. Many vets feel that combining both dry and canned is the ideal diet.

5. Consistency is the key to good eating habits. It is also important to remain consistent with your dogs feeding schedule & diet. It is best to feed your dog one type/brand of dog food. Constantly changing foods or feeding human food or scraps will only cause your dog to become more finicky, beg and hold out for your tasty dinner fare. But if you are going to transition your dog over to a new brand of dog food or diet do it gradually, mixing the old with the new.

6. Give your dog peace & quiet to eat. Set your dog's food bowl down and walk away making sure their is no distractions & noise. But never force feed your dog, he or she will eat when hungry. Wait 15 minutes. If your dog does not eat his food, remove the bowl and try again at the next feeding time.

7. Scheduled feeding time. Feed at around the same time each day. Dogs like routine, and when their routine is upset can put a damper on their day.

8. Avoid Spoiled Appetite. Make sure you and family members are not enabling the problem. Overindulging your dog in treats and table scrap can spoil his or her dinner appetite, make them finicky and reinforce bad eating habits. Set house rules amongst the family about your dogs feeding habits, diet and the number of dog treats to be fed per day. The first thing on the agenda should be "NO" table scraps or human foods.

Make sure your trash cans are secure & food is stored away off counters out of paws reach. Dogs are often tempted to raid the garbage cans for leftovers which can be dangerous. Dogs that dumpster dive can accidentally ingest something deadly or become very ill.

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