Is your picky eater stressing you out?Dogs are generally always hungry, ready to eat anything that is even slightly edible. So a picky eater is not so common, but for a parent of a picky eater, life can get pretty stressful. Like a child refusing to eat vegetables, there are some dogs that do not eat even the most expensive, the most ‘preferred’ dog foods. Luckily there are some foods that even the pickiest eater cannot resist and through this article, we will show just which foods will get your furry friend eating like a charm. But before we begin, let’s understand some of the reasons a dog might become picky.
Is the finicky-ness temporary?If you normally happy-to-eat dog suddenly becomes choosy about what she eats, it might in many cases be a change of flavor or texture in the food. Have you introduced a new food to your dog, or changed the brand of processed food? Some dogs have a sensitive palette and even a slight change can make them suspicious or not eager to eat. Luckily this is a temporary setback and your dog will get over it, with a little help from you. Instead of switching to the new food directly, start introducing it in small quantities in the existing food. Over the next few days, gradually increase the quantity of the new food, until your dog’s meal no longer has the old food. In case you haven’t introduced a new food, try and understand if there have been any changes in the dog’s environment. A new person, some new furniture or paint in the house, a change in feeding times or anything that is different can lead to a dog getting fussy about eating. Don’t lose sleep over this as the dog will come around in a few days. However, if the problem persists, have a chat with your dog’s vet to try and understand the situation.
Talk to your dog’s vetA picky eater who wants only warm food, with her bowl placed in a certain location and fed by hand by a specific family member is not a concern, more like an inconvenience, at times. A dog that just does not want to eat might have an underlying reason that a trip to the vet might help. Some common medical conditions that can lead to loss of appetite include:
- Hormonal issues: This is usually seen in female dogs that have not been spayed, but some cases of males or even spayed females have been shown to exhibit hormonal-related anorexia. IN these cases, pickiness comes and goes. The vet might prescribe hormone medicines.
- Digestive issues: Dogs, like humans, can suffer from digestive issues from time to time. A dog understands its system and sometimes a day or two of not eating puts things back on track. A vet will be a better person to judge whether this is a case of mild indigestion or a more serious problem.
- Dental problems: Mouth disease can be one reason for a loss of appetite. Decaying teeth or a painful gum disease can stop us from eating, but we know what to do. A dog does not. You will need a trip to the vet to correct the condition. The best way to prevent tartar and plaque build-up, feed your dog a species-appropriate diet. We’ll talk more on that a little later in the article.
- Tumors: The chances of a tumor are small, but not completely unlikely. If caught on time, tumors can be easily and quickly treated. But to catch it on time, consult your vet when you see your pooch not eating for an uncomfortably extended period of time.
What type of foods do dogs really like?Unfortunately, dogs can’t tell us and neither can we judge for ourselves. The best way to know if your dog likes a certain type of food or not is to try feeding it. Here’s a check of things that you can include when looking for a new meal for your dog.
Meat is goodYes, dogs are considered omnivores, but offer them meat and watch their excitement levels soar. And it’s only natural, when till before dogs were domesticated, they would hunt and find their meal. The occasional fruit, vegetables, tubers, and other roots were also eaten, but more as supplements. The bulk of their calories have always come from meat. Nothing, not even cheese, ice creams or pizza will get a dog’s attention as a hunk of meat – could be poultry, fish or red meat. Keeping this in mind, picky dogs will find meat-heavy foods tastier and will be more willing to eat those than low or no meat foods.
Fat is even betterFat makes everything taste better. Whether it’s butter, cheese or deep frying, we all love our fats. Did you know that dogs do too? You can add a dollop of organic, virgin coconut oil to your dog’s food to increase appetite, although animal fats will definitely get the digestive juices flowing faster.
Tasty fruits and veggiesFruits and vegetables have a dual advantage. They come packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals that are great for your dog. And many dogs actually enjoy the taste of sweet fruits. Some are even known to relish bitter and strong flavors like spinach, broccoli and Brussel sprouts. The crunch and juice of these food items can vet a dog’s appetite and make food more appealing.