Your job as a pet owner is to make sure that your furry friend is well looked after. A big part of that is ensuring that they eat well-balanced, quality meals. The problem is when your dog doesn’t agree with your food choices, which makes them a lot like kids that fall into the picky eater category. Many dogs will end up loving the animal equivalent of junk food. You may even have heard that certain breeds are pickier about food than others, but the fact is that it’s the owner who is usually responsible for creating that pickiness.
You know more about what’s good and bad for your dog than they do. If you notice that they are eating less or skipping meals altogether, it may be a health issue as opposed to an aversion to a particular food or brand. It’s always a good idea to take them to the vet for a quick check-up when their eating patterns change. If health is not the cause of the behavior, there are other things to consider. You need to remember that a healthy dog won’t just set out to starve themselves. It may be they have become bored of the same food every day. Owners often try to get around this by adding extra treats to meals in order to get them back to the bowl. A little healthy treat every now and again is fine, but if you are doing it just to entice your dog to eat, you are on the path to creating a picky eater.
After your dog receives a clean bill of health from a vet, get into the habit of putting their food down to see how they react. If they turn up their nose and walk away, pick up the bowl and give them nothing else to eat. Once the next meal time rolls around, put the bowl down again. If they ignore it again, do the exact same thing as the first time. Keep repeating this process, as your dog will eventually eat when they become hungry enough. Dogs are smart animals, and they will test your patience, betting you will cave in and give them yummy food they want to eat. If you give in, you are once again at fault for enabling your dog and allowing them to be a picky eater.
If you have a dog that is a little heavier than they should be, they may be skipping meals simply because they are not hungry. Know how much your dog should weigh and adjust accordingly.
Another solution to consider is that your dog just simply might not like the food you have chosen. Try switching brands or flavors and do your best to feed a healthy, high quality, and well-balanced diet.
The thing about breeds and their eating habits has more to do with how much they need to eat as opposed to being picky. Some breeds love to gorge, while others simply eat enough to get by.
If you feel that the change in your dog’s eating pattern is cause for concern, you should always talk to your vet.