You do your best to keep your dog on a regular feeding schedule, but sometimes your dog just doesn’t want to eat. It can be a little odd or concerning when this happens, and your first instinct might be to check with a vet (not a bad idea!). On the other hand, maybe your dog is just being a picky eater. How can we tell whether your dog is being a brat or if it’s something more serious?
Dogs, generally speaking, aren’t picky eaters. But sometimes your dog can get a little less agreeable with his typical bowl of dog food if he’s been fed too many table scraps or treats. You don’t wanna condition your dog to hold out for a tastier meal than his regular diet, so go easy on the snausages.
Ever find yourself trying different cans of food at the same meal? Trying to find just the right fit for your dog’s palette? Watch out. Your dog might have picked up the behavior of “picky eating.” If you’ve tried too hard to please your pup, your dog has quite possibly picked up a tendency to hold out for the tastiest bowl instead of accepting what you have for them.
Hill’s Pet Nutrition recommends the following strategies for weaning your dog out of this finicky eating habit:
1. Set out your dog’s food for 30 minutes. If it isn’t eaten, take it away.
2. When it’s time for your dog’s next meal, set out the food again and take it away in 30 minutes, whether it is eaten or not.
3. In a day or two your dog may start checking around for extra treats. Maintain your strategy. Don’t give in! Your dog isn’t starving. If hungry, your dog will eat.
Dogs respond to consistency. If you’ve indulged their love of treats or let them choose which food to eat, then there’s no consistent pattern for your dog to follow. By taking command of the pack and reasserting consistency, you’ll eventually change your dog’s eating habits for the better.
If you notice your dog becoming a hesitant eater but you haven’t been indulging them with treats—and especially if the finicky eating seems to come rather abruptly, without your dog showing the behavior previously—then you might have a more serious issue with your dog’s food or health and should consult your vet. If your dog starts suffering symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, sluggishness, or sudden weight loss, make sure you take them to the veterinarian IMMEDIATELY.