5 Tips for Feeding Dogs that are Picky Eaters
Every dog is different, but one thing people think all dogs have one thing in common: a love for food! While most dogs do have a hearty appetite and inhale all food put in front of them, some dogs are pickier when it comes to food. Having a picky eater for a dog can be frustrating as a pet owner, and it’s not much better for your pup.
Having a dog that’s a picky eater doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a major concern, but it can make mealtimes stressful. Here are a few tips to help entice your picky pup to chow down!
Tip 1: Figure Out the Cause
The best way to help a picky dog is to figure out what’s causing it. The first step should be ruling out anything serious. If your dog used to be a good eater but suddenly stopped, it could be a sign of something medically wrong, in which case you should consult your vet.
A poor appetite could also be a sign of dental issues. If your dog avoids chewing on bones or other toys, a cracked or infected tooth could be the cause. Food allergies are also another big reason your dog may not get excited to eat. They aren’t always easy to spot but look for skin irritation or loose stool.
Tip 2: Stick to a Schedule
While picky eating can be due to health-related issues, it can also be behavioral. There are a few tricks pet owners can use to train their dogs to eat better. One is to set and stick to a strict feeding schedule. Set a finite window in which your dog can eat. This teaches dogs that their meals will only be offered at a certain time.
Free feeding might work for other dogs or pets, but it’s not effective for picky eaters. Give your dog around 20-30 minutes to eat their meal, and then take away any uneaten food. This will help teach your dog that when food is offered, it’s time to eat. Also, try to minimize treats, as this prevents your pup from filling up on them so that they’re more likely to eat their real meal.
Tip 3: Switch it Up
Ever eat the same meal so many times that you get sick of it? That can happen to dogs too! It’s possible that your pooch has gotten bored of their food and just isn’t find their meals that interesting or enticing anymore.
A good way to combat this is to introduce a rotational diet with multiple different meal options. At Just Raw, we offer a number of combo packs with a variety of protein options that are perfect for a rotational meal plan. Having something different will make mealtime more exciting for your dog.
Tip 4: Add some Toppings
If your dog’s stomach can’t handle the change that comes with a rotational diet or they have food allergies, consider just adding some fun and tasty toppings. There are tons of dog-friendly ingredients that you can add to their meal that will make it more appealing to them and boost their health.
Some toppings that our Just Raw clients often use include quail eggs, carrots, Just Raw dehydrated treats, blueberries, parsley, and more. Feel free to check out our lists of dog-friendly fruit, vegetables, and herbs for some ideas!
Tip 5: Think About the Environment
Picky eating isn’t always about the food. Sometimes it can be about the environment where meals are served. Stress and anxiety can be causes for picky eating in dogs, while other dogs are super sensitive to activity around them when they eat.
Try feeding your dog in a quiet, calm space where distractions are limited. You can even try feeding them in their crate so that they feel extra safe. Doing this will help your dog feel comfortable so that they can focus on their food.
Need more tips on raw feeding or have questions about our Just Raw products? Feel free to contact us today!