What can you do when your pup decides that the meal they’ve gobbled enthusiastically almost every day of their life is no longer satisfactory? Before you switch to a different menu, here are a few tips that will help your doggie stick to their diet.
Almost every dog owner has fallen victim to their dog’s extreme adorableness and given them a taste of human food. One bite couldn’t hurt, right? Well… that bite of chicken probably won’t do any harm right away, but what if you were given a taste of roast chicken after a year of Purina Pro Plan? You’d hold out for more chicken, too!
The quality of your dog’s diet will determine their long-term health, so getting them to reliably eat the best and most nutritious food is essential for avoiding conditions like pancreatitis, obesity, intestinal malaise, and DCM. Zignature, Blue Buffalo, and Organix are good pet food brands to try. To keep your pooch’s diet consistent, here are a few tips that will help you steer your dog back to their tried-and-true menu.
- Stop giving them table scraps! I know, I know. Your dog looks at you with those big, soulful eyes and you find yourself giving them bites of food that probably shouldn’t pass a dog’s lips. While table scraps might not be a significant part of their diet, they’re significant enough for them to turn their nose up at regular food. Stop feeding them from the table. Give your dog their meal after you eat. This reinforces your top dog status. (And it may assuage your minor feelings of guilt when your bestie looks at you with that ridiculously adorable face!)
- Don’t switch meals if your dog won’t eat. Giving your dog a choice only reinforces their control over their diet. If they don’t want to eat their food, take it away, and only feed them again at the next scheduled meal.
- Only give treats when they really deserve them. Don’t give your pup treats just because you love them and want to make them happy – give them an edible treat as a reward for reaching a training milestone. Also – if you’re looking to reward your dog for being wonderful, play with them, or take them for a walk. Dogs love those activities every bit as much as Newman’s Own Snack Bites! And speaking of going for walks…
- Give your dog plenty of exercise. “Hunger is the best sauce.” When you’ve worked out for hours, you’re probably not that picky about your next meal. Plenty of play and walks will give your dog an appetite, and it probably won’t occur to them to be bored with their dog food.
If your dog is impervious to the above solutions, you might want to have them checked by the vet for possible medical reasons they’re not eating.
I’m a passionate dog lover, blogger, and mommy to two beautiful shelter pooches.