I get a plate out of the cupboard mix kibble with a little bit of chicken breast meat and put it in front of my dog who promptly sniffs at the plate of food and walks away. Feeding my picky eater dog can be a challenge.
We’ve all been here at one point or another.
So how do you get a picky eater dog to eat?
Should you feed your dog table scraps?
The answer is no.
Doing this will make it far harder to get your dog to eat dog food. It is actually quite difficult to balance a dog’s long-term food ratio to prevent obesity, joint disease, and worse when feeding them home-prepared food.
Over time, taste preferences can emerge that lead to deficiencies of particular and necessary nutrients for your dog to maintain good health.
Also, there are no commercially prepared supplements for dogs that are proven to provide the balance necessary for home-cooked meals.
While relying only on human food for your dog’s nutrition is not a good idea, there are some human food options that can increase the appeal of a dog’s meal and encourage your dog to eat the food with the preferred nutrient profile.
Be sure to check with your veterinarian to determine if any of these suggestions are suitable for your dog, and to verify how much you can add in a day without risking weight gain.
- An organic chicken bone broth.
- Fresh or frozen water-based vegetables (green beans, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, lettuce, etc.).
- The occasional dry-scrambled egg.
A question to ask yourself is your dog one that simply eats when they feel like it?
Some dogs may simply not eat on the schedule we have chosen for them.
Not every dog is food-driven, especially smaller breeds.
For some dogs, food just isn’t all that important. They don’t see food as the ultimate reward.
They may want your attention or praise, and food is secondary. Pay attention to what motivates your dog. If it’s not treats or mealtime, don’t force your dog to eat.
Being nervous can zap your dog’s appetite, dogs don’t eat as much if they’re anxious. Anxiety can happen from loneliness, boredom, storms, fireworks, or separation anxiety. If you think anxiety may be why your dog isn’t eating, it can help to spend more time with them or add in additional playtime.
What to do if your switching dog foods:
- If you’re switching from wet to dry food, try mixing in a small amount of organic chicken bone broth with the dry food.
- If your dog suddenly becomes picky or finicky a medical issue could be the problem. Watch your dog for vomiting, diarrhea, sluggishness, or loss of weight. Take him or her to the veterinarian if you believe a medical problem exists.
You could make the argument that having a picky eater for a dog – one who is not a voracious eater but who grazes, is a blessing in disguise. Talk to dog owners of canine gluttons, they can barely imagine what it must be like to have a picky eater!