Your new puppy is now a part of your family. We will go to great lengths to ensure our pups are happy and healthy. Food can be a challenge for some dog owners. If your dog is a picky eater or has poor eating habits, there are some considerations to keep in mind when feeding your dog.
A Dog's Natural Eating Habits
Most dogs will eat just about anything because they are considered to be scavengers. But domesticated animals develop diverse eating habits. When you open a package of kibble, you hope that you've made the right selection so that your dog gets sufficient nutrients. However, what happens when your dog doesn't like the smell of the food and ignores it? If your pup is a picky eater and doesn't eat, it may just mean that he/she does not like the food. When purchasing dog food, it is best to buy small bags so that you can test which dog food your little pup will enjoy.
If you can afford it, a raw food or food that is human grade may also be an option. If you have exhausted all brand types and your puppy still won't eat then read the following to help you help your puppy enjoy their next meal.
Rule Out Medical Conditions
It is important to keep a watchful eye on your dog when you notice that they are not eating properly. A veterinarian will help you rule out any health concerns that are preventing your dog from eating well. First, you want to find out if your dog is just a picky eater that needs some fine-tuning with its meals, or if your dog has a medical condition that needs to be addressed. Poor nutrition can cause a variety of health issues, which means that you must pay attention to your dog's diet to ensure a happy and healthy life. Start by assessing the situation. What do you suspect is the main reason why your dog is not eating? Observe carefully and notice the slight nuances that may indicate why your dog is not eating. Is there a problem chewing the hard kibble? Does your dog eat some things more than others? Sometimes getting your dog to eat can be as simple as adding moisture to dry kibble. Your dog heavily reacts to scents, which means the more aroma the food has, the more it will be appetizing.
Be Aware of Poor Eating Habits
Your dog is not the only one you should be watching. In fact, you could be causing your dog's poor eating habits! Are you a person that gives your dog table scraps? This could be fueling many health issues and poor eating behavior. Dogs should not be fed human food during meal times. Start by having a consistent meal schedule along with firmly established habits. Deter your dog from begging at the table or stealing food. You should eat your food first and allow your dog to eat after you finish. Choose a place where you will consistently serve dog food. It should be a dedicated area free from noise and other distractions.
Choose Quality Ingredients
It is easy to get overwhelmed with the abundance of choices when shopping for dog food. Just like humans, dogs are meant to eat a whole food diet that resembles what they find in nature as much as possible. Although reputable brands claim to be healthy, you must stay alert when reading labels and become familiarized with ingredients that are not healthy for your dog. Keep in mind that your pup's ancestors are wolves, therefore, try to find high-grade food focused on quality whole ingredients. Although it may be pricier, it will save you money in comparison to having a sick pet. Dogs have a heightened sense of smell, especially when they are puppies. If you are wondering how to get your dog to eat his food, try to find a natural healthy formula that has a pleasing aroma. When switching to a new variety, gradually replace the current food with the new formula. A slow and smooth transition is recommended to avoid discomfort for your dog. Try this high quality puppy formula to see if your dog approves.
Pay Attention to Behavioral Issues
Your dog's behavior can tell you a lot about what is happening with its nutrition. Consider other dogs present in the home and find out if your dog's poor eating habits are related. Perhaps your dog doesn't eat hoping to be fed a better choice? If you cave into your puppy's demands for table scraps and allow it not to eat its food, you may be preventing it from achieving optimal health. Additionally, if you leave the dog food out all day, your pup will not realize that the food has to be eaten when it is served. Instead, serve the food allowing your pup 15 minutes to start eating. Take away the food after 15 minutes so that your pup adapts to an eating schedule.
How to Get My Dog to EatTry these recommendations for getting your puppy to eat its food:
- Walk Before Meals: To help increase your dog's appetite, make a habit of taking a walk before meal time.
- Create a Challenging Game: When you entice your dog with an activity related to food, it will start to see mealtime as something fun and important. Dogs like challenges followed by being praised and rewarded.
- Reward With a Delicious Treat: To entice your dog to eat its food, a simply delicious treat on top of the food may be enough to open its appetite. Add the treat after your dog performs a task and praise it with a big "yes" to let it know they are being rewarded.
- Choose to Add a Mix In Or Meal Booster: Or chicken or beef or their favorite treat
Best Dog Food for Picky Eaters
When you have exhausted all options, your dog's poor eating habits may be due to just being a picky eater. In this case, try switching food brands with a different variety of ingredients. There are select choices when trying to find the best brand of dog food for puppies. You may purchase an assortment of brands and flavors to see which ones your dog likes best. Sometimes all they need is a little variety in their diet. Stella & Chewy's makes an excellent selection of quality formulas designed for the most picky eaters! With a little patience and investigating, you can achieve optimal nutrition for your furry family member. Cheers to good health!