Just like people, dogs can have a variety of unique eating habits. One of your four-legged family members may eat just about anything you put in front of them, while your other pup may be quite persnickety when choosing what to eat. What’s essential is to make sure your best friend’s food preferences aren’t getting in the way of them receiving the nutrients they need to maintain a long and active life.
If you feel like your fur baby isn’t eating enough, or is eating too much of the wrong things, it’s important to address the issue as soon as possible. A balanced diet is a crucial contributor to a happy, healthy pup. So, how do you get your picky dog to eat? Here are a few ways you can help your finicky eater start to lick their bowl clean.
6 Tips if Your Dog is a Picky Eater
Rule out medical problems
A picky eater is typically defined as a dog who won’t consume all their food at least once a day. If your dog hasn’t always been a picky pooch or has suddenly changed their eating habits, it’s important to rule out any underlying medical problems that could cause their sudden lack of interest at mealtime.
A sudden loss of appetite could be a sign of a more serious medical issue. If your dog typically loves dinnertime and only recently started exhibiting odd behavior around food, speak to your vet. They can help rule out any serious medical issue that may be contributing to your dog’s change in eating habits.
Choose a high-quality dog food
Just like people, our dogs have preferences on the food they like to eat. No dog wants to eat boring, stale food every day. Take some time to find a brand they like to help ensure they will always finish their meal.
A good rule of thumb when looking for a dog food brand your fur baby will love is to check the ingredients. When we go out to eat, we can tell the difference between low-quality and high-quality food. Your dog can also tell the difference, so make sure you find a brand that uses nutritious ingredients like slow cooked fresh chicken, wholesome grains, vitamins and minerals.
Premium dog food options, like Bil-Jac Picky No More®, will prioritize fresh ingredients and high-quality preparation to always deliver on both nutrition and taste. Made specifically for dogs who are tough food critics, Picky No More adds chicken liver to deliver an enticing aroma and taste that even picky dogs enjoy.
Be consistent at mealtime
Dogs respond well to daily routines, so performing the same activities around mealtime may help them feel more comfortable and get them in the right mindset to eat.
Your dog depends on you to take care of them. Inconsistency at mealtime can cause them a lot of undue stress. It’s important that you and your family are on the same page regarding your dog’s nutrition to help alleviate any avoidable anxiety. Ask yourself, “Will you feed dry dog food only, or mix with wet? When and how often will the dog be fed? What works best for your dog’s breed, size, and lifestyle?”
When you develop a mealtime plan that everyone is aware of and can stick to, you help set expectations and allow your dog to better understand when it’s time to eat. This consistency around food will help mealtime become a positive experience for the whole family.
Give your dog some alone time when he eats
Next, try giving your dog some quiet time when it is time for them to eat. When you hover nearby, you can unknowingly distract your dog during mealtime. Try walking away after you present your pooch with their dog bowl so they can focus their attention on eating instead of playing.
Don’t give your dog scraps
Even though it can feel tempting to give your pup table scraps, try to resist the urge to throw that extra piece of bread under your chair. Table food can contribute to digestive issues, but it can also cause your pup to stop eating their actual dog food altogether. Why? Dogs can’t differentiate between what is their food and what is your food. If they are consistently filling up on human food, your best friend will naturally start to associate that food as their own and neglect the food that was made for them.
Dogs have different nutritional needs than people, so filling their bellies with human food isn’t doing them any favors. Set boundaries at the dinner table so everyone in your family, including the ones with four legs, are getting exactly what they need.
Go easy on the treats
Similar to table scraps, there unfortunately is such thing as too many treats and chews. Snacks should make up less than 10 percent of your furry friend’s diet. As tasty as Bil-Jac Dog Treats are, it’s important that pet parents pay attention to the number of treats your dog is fed on a regular basis. Some dog chews can have as many as 200 calories in one stick, so your dog might not be as interested in their complete and balanced diet dinner once they have devoured that snack.
Not sure how to reward your pup without a treat? You can show affection by giving your dog a belly scratch, cuddling, or a quick game of fetch. They will feel just as special for a job well done and you can be sure they won’t be too full for dinner.
Bil-Jac Picky No More: Dog Food for Picky Eaters
At Bil-Jac, we know it’s important to make dog food that tastes as good as it is good for them, too. The more your dog loves their food, the more likely they are to get the nutrients they need to live a happy, healthy life. That’s why we’ve specifically formulated Bil-Jac Picky No More so that even the pickiest pooch will be pleased.
Raring to learn more about how you can support your particular pooch? Join the Best Friends Club to receive our exclusive newsletter with informational articles and members-only discounts on Bil-Jac products.
Is Your Dog a Picky Eater? 6 Tips for Finicky Canines is written by for www.bil-jac.com