Is your dog fussy and you’re just asking yourself how do you get a fussy dog to eat? Well stick around and in this article I give you my top tips to get your fussy dog eating the food you want them to.
Are they actually hungry?
It’s very easy to overestimate the amount of food that we think that our dogs should eat, especially if we’re giving them a biscuit kibble. This is because many are actually really energy dense. We just put down how much we think they should be getting and often we are probably be putting a little bit too much. To make matters worse I also feel that the packaging actually does slightly overestimate the amount that we should be feeding.
They are not fussy, they are just full.
The next thing to ask with any fussy eater is “are they actually healthy”.
If you’re dog has always eaten really well and all of a sudden they’ve gone off their food, they’re a little bit picky, they’re not eating with their normal voracious appetite then that might suggest that they’re not healthy.
Are they vomiting? Have they got diarrhea? Are they starting to drink a little bit more than normal? Do you see them urinating an awful lot more frequently? Again, these are all signs that there might be something wrong. Are they actually losing weight and are they losing weight quite quickly? Again this would be a real flag that something’s wrong.
We can then move to the mouth as oral health can obviously play a role in your dog being fussy if there is pain or discomfort when eating. Have they got lots of yellow plaque and tartar over their teeth? Is the line of their teeth and gums really red and inflamed with marked gingivitis. The gums might even be bleeding in some cases! Has your dog got a broken tooth? Is their breath really smelly?
If you’ve noticed any of these things or have any other concerns then you should definitely be getting your dog checked out by your veterinarian.
Once we’ve established that our dog is not being overfed, that they’re healthy and that they really are just fussy then we need to go about getting them onto the diet that we want.
To start with, you need to decide what diet you want to feed your dog. There’s a lot of different things that go into this which is far too much to go into today. But once you’ve decided that and worked out how much you should be feeding then pop that down in the bowl and leave it down for 20 minutes. If your dog doesn’t eat it, doesn’t touch it then just take up that food bowl. A few hours later, pop your dogs bowl down again. They’ll be that much hungrier and they’ll likely start eating. You might though have to leave it down for another 20 minutes, take it up, put it away and again repeat the process.
What you really must never do though is take up an uneaten food bowl and immediately replace it with something else. What this does is actually teach your dog that by turning their nose up and refusing their normal food they’re going to get something really tasty.
An alternative technique to get your fussy dog to eat, and one that can work well, is to actually find something that your dog likes. Any food that your dog enjoys eating although preferably of a similar type to what you ideally want to feed (e.g. wet or kibble). What you can then do is slowly transition them on to the diet that you actually want them to eat over 3-4 weeks.
Watch the whole video to get 7 more tips to get a fussy dog to eat. I’m sure that at least one of them will get your fussy dog eating whatever you want them to!
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The information provided on the Our Pets Health YouTube channel is not a substitute for the examination, assessment and advice given in person by a suitably qualified veterinary surgeon. The information is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only and does not constitute specific vet advice for any individual cat, dog or other animal of any species.