Pets learn to become fussy eaters from the first day you adopt them. Offer a nutritionally balanced and complete pet food from day one and encourage them to eat by petting and providing vocal reassurance.
Avoid giving a variety of food choices in one meal because your pet will start developing food preferences. Dogs are like kids. If kids could they would eat candy, ice cream and junk food for every meal, but you know that is not good for them and, therefore, you provide them with nutritious complete meals.
Remember that you are the leader and that your dog cannot get his/her way. You need to educate your dog and make him/her understand that there is no option regarding what food he/she will eat. This can be very challenging because you may think that you are abusing your dog and that he/she is starving. But the truth is that your dog does not want to eat because he/she wants you to provide other, more succulent meals. However, you know what is best for him/her and if you are providing a nutritious meal you should stick to it.
Tips To Handle A Fussy Eater
Hill’s pet website describes very well how you should handle a fussy eating dog. Although it may be hard, you should follow these steps to train a fussy eater.
- Set out your dog’s food for 30 minutes. If he/she is not eating after that time, take the food away.
- When it is time for your dog’s next meal, set out the food again and take it away in 30 minutes, whether he/she ate or not.
- In a day or two your dog may start looking for extra treats. Maintain your strategy. If your dog is hungry, he/she will eat.
About the author
Dr. Stephanie Flansburg-Cruz practices mixed animal veterinary medicine and she has a special interest in shelter medicine and animal welfare. Stephanie enjoys volunteering at local animal shelters, reading, writing and traveling.
Hill’s Pet Care Center. How to Handle Dogs That are Picky Eaters. Retrieved on March 11, 2016 from: http://www.hillspet.com/en/us/dog-care/nutrition-feeding/my-dog-is-a-picky-eater