Owning and raising a dog is not an easy task. It is a long-term process that requires a lot of patience, discipline, investment, and effort. Some people who sincerely love dogs raise and train dogs on a commercial basis which involves them selling such dogs as pets to other people. While others simply keep dogs as strictly family pets. Whichever you decide to do, you must pay attention to your dog’s diet and feeding. A dog’s nutrition is key to its growth, development, and survival. Dogs are active animals and so consume a lot nutritionally, so it is necessary to provide such. Though your dog’s diet and feeding pattern can be challenging but with the help of your veterinarian and observation, you can wrap your hands around it.
However, there are times when your dog becomes selective as to what to eat and when to eat. This occurs in most dogs from time to time, although it should not be accepted as normal. When this behavior is steady, constant, and repeated, there is a slight cause for alarm. This is because once your dog starts skipping meals and turning down food, there is a high tendency for it to begin to lose weight which would gradually result in sickness due to poor nutrition. In times like this, you should try every means possible to get your picky dog to eat.
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Tricks to make your picky dog eat his food
It can be a little worrisome when your dog becomes choosy and selective as to taking its meal. However, there are some ways in which this tiny problem can be curbed easily, and they are as follows:
Visit your veterinarian
When your dog begins to avoid meals, it might not mean much, but it is reason enough to visit your vet doctor. Several reasons can amount as to why your dog keeps refusing to eat, which your doctor alone can explain. Conditions like infection, tooth disease, allergies can result in its loss of interest in food.
Temporarily withdraw meal
When you observe your dog’s nonchalant attitude to a meal, you should take away the meal for a while to stir up hunger and desire for the food.
Switch your dog’s diet
It is easy for your dog to lose its desire to eat when being offered a certain form of food, so to correct this, you should swap its diet more often to tasty foods when your dog begins to select food.
Improve food flavors
Dry foods and meals with little taste can easily make your dog lose its appetite or even chase it away, and this is where food toppers come in. They act as a seasoning in dog food and make meals easier for picky dogs to eat.
Carry out exercises
This method works every time as exercise tends to make dogs hungry, and a hungry dog would not be selective about its meal.
Place food on the floor
Sometimes your dog’s food bowl might be the reason for its refusal to eat. In situations like that, serving the food on the ground would solve the problem.
Make mealtime entertaining
Dogs naturally love entertainment, and a little game during mealtime can get your picky dog to consume food quicker than expected.
Get the measurements right
Overfeeding can be a problem for dogs, especially small ones, and would readily make them lose interest in the meal. The right amount of food would stop your dog from being picky.
Make your dog earn its meal
The feeling of satisfaction that a dog gets when it labors for rewards would ensure that any food offered is eaten, thus transforming a food-selective dog into a regular eater.
Pretend to eat
This also works with giving your dog medications. You can easily cajole your pet into eating by feigning eating while it watches you.
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Stop giving out treats
This is the best decision to take when your pet refuses to eat food to bring an end to that development.
Heat food before serving
Most animals do not like cold foods, so heating your dog food will go a long way as it increases the flavor and taste of food, offering a great chance of it being consumed.
Switch diet slowly
Changing diet for your dog is quite helpful, but it should be done slowly while letting it gradually become familiar with the new meals.
Guarantee your dog’s safety
Fear and anxiety can interfere with your dog’s appetite and make it turn down food. To prevent this, make them feel safe, especially during feeding time.
Avoid dry foods
This is a major turn-off in a dog’s diet choices and can make your dog neglect food. When your dog becomes picky, try serving foods with enough moisture content in them.
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Follow a specific routine
When you keep doing a particular thing in a certain way regularly, the brain of your dog registers the action and does not question it, leaving no room for rejections.
Be creative and introduce variety to meals
Popular theories state that variety spices things up when added. Spice up your dog’s meal now and then, much so that it looks forward to mealtime.
Always serve your dog fresh foods
Rancid foods can be poisonous and also affect the interest of your dog; therefore, feeding fresh foods should be encouraged.
Use special and fitting food bowls
It is easy to get a dog interested in the meal you offer when it is placed in a bowl that fits its mouth and size, making it a much better eating experience.
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Be mindful of food allergies
Usually, your dog would run away from foods that cause it stomach problems and discomforts. It takes observation to discover such foods and then ensure that you remove them from its diet to allow your dog to eat freely without fear.
When your dog refuses food or is being extremely selective, take the necessary steps before it leads to gradual weight loss.