Is your dog a picky eater? So many of us deal with dogs that are either super picky about what they eat or get easily bored with food after having it for a while. There’s also the dog parent that has to worry about special ingredients because of medical conditions. These situations can be super frustrating for dog owners. We believe that feeding our dogs the healthiest pet food possible is important and when we find what we deem the healthiest and best, our dogs won’t always agree.
If you’re letting your dog ‘choose’ his or her dog food, that might be a problem. Much like having a human child, as parents of children, we don’t let them only eat chocolate cake and jelly beans. We plan their dietary intake, and against all their protests, we know what’s best for them is to have a healthy and balanced diet. Same thing with our dogs. We know what is healthy for them, and if they know we’ll fold and get them a different dog food every time they decide they don’t like one, they’ll play us fur-parents like a slide guitar!
Dogs over time evolved as opportunistic scavengers into animals that eat whatever is offered to them, therefore proving dogs are not finicky eaters by nature. It’s most likely a learned habit. The most common cause of a picky pet? Too many treats. When we offer our pets too many varieties of treats and in too large a quantity, our pets come to expect something new and tasty all the time… which isn’t what you get with a healthy, balanced diet of natural dog food.
So what’s a pet parent to do if they already have an older dog that’s a picky eater? We have a couple tips to try.
First, eliminate the variety you’re offering your pet. Secondly, don’t react immediately if your dog is rejecting what you’re giving him or her. If at the first sign of disinterest you’re offering your pet a new food, he or she will learn to reject those foods they do not want and accept the ones they do. Finally, you may need to eliminate or cut back on the treats. If your picky eater isn’t getting any better but welcomes the treats you offer, whether specified dog treats or table scrap treats, Just Say No. Wait until your dog has established some healthy habits and then you can start reintroducing a single variety of treat.
These tricks aren’t a guarantee but they are some tips we’ve picked up along the way! If you’re experiencing a picky eater, come on in to Kelton’s Pet Food and one of our professionals can help you pick out a great recipe of healthy dog food for your dog’s needs!