Does your dog leave meals untouched or barely sniffed at? If this behavior is something new, you’ll want to talk with your vet to rule out a health issue causing the change in eating patterns. But if the behavior is common for your dog, you may have a picky eater on your hands.
Picky eating is a problem because dogs need to eat the right amount of a quality, complete diet to get the nutrients they need for good health and energy. If your dog turns up his nose at dinner, try these tips to make sure he gets the nutrition he needs:
1. Make it tempting
Picture a raw chicken breast on your plate or a processed chicken patty. Now imagine the smell of fresh roasting meat and that chicken just out of the oven. For most people, the roasted chicken is most appealing. Your dog thinks so too. Remember dogs have a strong sense of smell, and food that smells appealing is more enticing.
2. Avoid table scraps
Does your dog beg for table scraps but turn up her nose at what’s in her bowl? Probably because the taste and smell of what’s on your plate is much more appealing than what’s in the dog food.
Now if the food in her bowl is made with the same quality freshly baked meats and other fresh whole foods like what she would get from your plate, she’d probably be just as excited to eat her own food, and then be getting all the nutrients in the perfect balance for her.
Fresh, whole foods, perfectly balanced with natural vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that your dog needs are much healthier than scraping food off your plate to make her eat what’s in her bowl. We get that you want to give your dog tasty food, but that food doesn’t have to come off your plate. Choose quality, real dog food to go in your dog’s bowl for optimum nutrition and taste.
3. Limit treats
Like table scraps, too many treats can put a damper on your pet’s appetite—or leave him holding out for something “better.” Use treats only for training and alternate with attention or play rewards. And since treats are often given with attention and praise, try giving that same attention when your dog finishes his dinner. And if your dog loves his food, you can use small pieces of food as treats, that way he’s not getting empty calories or ‘junk food’ just more good food as healthy treats!
4. Keep it fresh
If your food claims to have real meat but can sit on the shelf without spoiling, you know it is highly preserved. Food with preservatives taste different, and dogs know it. Maybe your dog isn’t turning up her nose at the food, but at the preservatives in it. That’s where a fresh food diet can help. Foods that are properly prepared and then frozen don’t need preservatives. That means your dog tastes the delicious flavor of beef or chicken or lamb along with veggies and potatoes or rice. If your picky eater has snubbed dry or canned foods, go fresh—your dog will notice a difference.
If you’re worried about a picky eater, start by ruling out a health issue. Then change your behavior to make sure your dog isn’t holding out for something “better.” Finally fill up your dog’s bowl with fresh, tempting meals, like all the blends we offer at My Perfect Pet. Picky eaters love us!
Get that picky pet licking his lips—and filling up on good nutrition.