There are many reasons why dogs are often compared to children. We love them, clothe them, feed them, and we simply can't imagine our lives without them. With all the happy moments we share with both our kids and pups; human and pet parents alike can both agree on one thing— one of the most difficult challenges can be dealing with a fussy eater!
Although many factors can come into play when dealing with a picky pooch, here are a few reasons and solutions on how to deal with a finicky eater!
Too Much Variety
We often shower our pups with a variety of treats, which can cause more harm than good. If they see their treats as more delicious than their current food, they can start losing interest in their food and simply wait for the treats. When pet parents notice that their pup is not eating their regular food, they panic and give them the treats they are willing to eat. Pets catch on and will often wait for you to cave in. If you notice that your pet is still eating their treats but forgoing meal time, it's time to cut back on treats and let them enjoy their food.
Imagine eating the same food day in and day out for the rest of your life. Although pizza for every meal may sound enticing— we too would grow tired of the same food. In a similar way, some dogs can grow tired of their routine and may need some change (but not too much variety as noted above). This is where rotational feeding can come in handy! Occasionally switching up the protein of your pet's food is a great way to give them new options to explore. A great way of not overdoing this is to switch the protein of their food after every bag you purchase.
Just like humans, a dog's preferences can change with age. What once was a go-to food can consistently become meal time leftovers. Although there is nothing that can be done to stop pets from aging, we can entice them by adding toppers to their food. You can use a wet food to mix in or add on top of your pup's existing food. Adding a high quality pet food as a topper can increase nutrients and palatability.
Not Implementing a Transitional Period
A common mistake pet parents make is not transitioning their pets to new foods they are trying out. When a dog is tied to a routine, trying a food with a new taste or texture can be off putting. Slowly introducing the new food to their old food makes a world of difference.
With this newfound knowledge, we leave you with one final tip! Pet parents that are dealing with a picky eater need to keep a strong front and set ground rules for their pups. If they are not finishing their meals, properly store their food and reintroduce it to them the next meal. The sooner you can cut out bad eating habits, the enjoyable meal time will be for you and your pet.