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Why is my dog becoming a picky eater?

Why is my dog becoming a picky eater?

Do you find that your dog is suddenly not interested in food? Are they easily tired? When your dog shows these symptoms, you should pay attention, these could be the precursors of picky eating.

Consider the following points if your dog is becoming picky.

  • Are there any health issues?

  • Did you suddenly change food?

  • Does your dog get enough exercise?

  • Was there a Sudden change environment

  • Are they too spoiled?

  • Does the food smell good?

  • Too many distractions at meal time?

1. Are there any health issues?

Dogs cannot express when they feel unwell like we do. However, they tell us in other ways, a poor appetite can often be a good indicator.

If dogs are not interested in food suddenly, it may be caused by tummy aches, digestive issues, dental issues, or something more serious. If you suspect any of these please see a vet.

After your vet evaluation, if your dog is in good health, you can put out some familiar or fresh food. If your dog does not want to eat after 15mins, then take it away. (try this twice a day). Do not try and feed the dog the same food make sure it’s fresh. Don’t worry too much they will eat when they are really hungry. As a major report states, a healthy dog can go without food for 2-3 days as long as they have enough water. Remember dogs are descendants of wolves who did not get food every day.

2. Did you suddenly change food?

Dogs will get used to the taste and smell of a brand of food, after eating it for a long time. Suddenly changing food can make dogs confused about whether it is for them or not. Remember, if you want to change their diet you can do this over a few days and they will get used to it. This avoids the problem of picky eating.

The buffer period of changing food can be very important for a picky eater. When you want to change food, mix in a small amount of new food. Gradually reduce the proportion of old food and the change to a new food will be achieved. See the guide below:

3. Does your dog get enough exercise?

Dogs like humans need exercise. If they don’t get enough exercise they don’t develop an appetite. So when you feed them, they may not want to eat.

Take them for a walk or a trip to the dog park, before feeding. This will improve their mood and appetite, and the bond between you and them.

4. Was there a sudden change environment

Dogs are very sensitive to environment. If dogs are in a familiar environment, they will feel more comfortable and relaxed. If dogs are in a strange environment, they can become very nervous and stressed. Some dogs will pee and poo a lot, if they are too stressed some of them will throw up as well. Dogs can have a reduced appetite or become picky eaters when they move to a new place or in a boarding kennel.

Dogs are social animals and need friends, often that is you. They will feel stressed and unhappy when they are separated from a friend. This can also cause reduced appetite.

5. Are they too spoiled?

Some owners treat their dogs like children, so they spoil them with lots of treats. So many treats smell so tempting but use sparingly. Don’t overfeed them treats if you want them to eat normal food.

Also, be aware of “ The better food habit”. Some owners give their dogs food and when will not eat immediately, they think their dogs don’t like the food, so they give them better food.

After a while, dogs think this is a food game. If they do not eat immediately, they will get better food later. Often these dogs will become very picky eaters.

6. Does the food smell good?

In order to be more competitive and more popular with dogs, recently many dog food manufacturers have added aroma compounds to their food. These attract the dog to eat, but too many of these compounds are bad for your dog's health. If your dogs are used to food with a lot of aroma compounds they will have no desire to eat food with no compounds at all.

Therefore, when choosing dog food, choose healthy over food laced with aroma compounds.

Many owners feed their dogs' fresh food, this food tastes delicious and smells good naturally. It’s a great way to feed and avoids reduced appetite and picky eaters.

7. Too many distractions at meal time?

Dogs are very sensitive to noise. If a dog is in a noisy environment, it can become very nervous and anxious. This can reduce appetite. Avoid noise and other distractions at mealtime, and make a comfortable, quiet environment for dogs to eat. Also please don’t feed from the table!!! You will distract your dog from their own food and they will believe that the tastiest food only comes from you and not their bowl.

If you have any questions or other comments you'd like to add, feel free to discuss with us in the comments section below.

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