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Behavior Mod.

Dealing With A Picky Eater

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My dogs are a bit spoiled when it comes to what I feed them. Many of us spoil our dogs with table food but this is not always healthy for our pooches, so dealing with a picky eater is something we all need to know. There are a few breeds that are well known for being finicky eaters. These include the Siberian Husky, Basenji, and of course the spirited Yorkies. Sometime our dogs just get tired of eating the same food day after day and who can blame them. Can you eat the same food every day? Of course not, so a simple change in their food might cure the desire to turn up their nose when dinner is served.

Dealing With A Picky Eater

Changing brands of food all the time is not really a good idea so keep it to every few months only if needed. Many times just spicing up their normal food with gravy or bits of cooked meat will whet their appetites. Several good tips on this are listed below. See if your dog does not fall into one of these groups.

1)    Try feeding your dog small portions and serve these more often.

2)    Allow time for plenty of exercise for your dog. A dog that lays around the house all day is naturally not going to be as hungry as the dog receiving plenty of exercise. If needed, you can always hire a local person to walk your dog when you are unable to.

3)    Depending on if your dog is male or female, it is always a good idea to have them spayed or neutered unless you are using them for breeding purposes. Spayed and neutered dogs normally are not finicky eaters, plus they have fewer behavioral issues and are healthier.

4)    Cut out the treats! Or at least reduce the amount.

5)    Keep dinner time a positive thing your dog looks forward to. I speak to my dogs while I prepare their dinner asking them if they are hungry. We turn this into an exciting event or game for them, so they are looking forward to eating.

6)    Try feeding your dog at a different time such as late afternoon or an hour or two after you get home from work. This works great for some, but other dogs may need a fixed schedule.

7)    Never feed your dogs when there is company, kids running around playing, or other strange dogs in the room or area.

8)    Don’t give in and feed them table food no matter how big a moocher they are — you could accidentally poison your dog by doing so.

9)    If your dog has always been somewhat finicky at meal time, you may not have a problem at all. If it starts suddenly, it could indicate a problem. Keep in mind the following guideline from Pets.WebMD.com:

A picky dog that maintains a healthy weight, is alert and perky, and has a shiny coat, is much less worrisome than one who has dropped a few pounds and has a less lustrous coat. … “If you have a dog who is a regular eater that suddenly stops, that can be a sign something is wrong. Picky eating is one symptom.”

…Many illnesses could be why your dog refuses to eat. Even problems associated with old age, such as joint pain while walking to and from the bowl, could be the cause.

The only way to get to the root of the problem is to visit the vet.

“If your dog has always been a voracious eater, and is becoming more selective, go to the vet after about 48 hours,”….

Try the above tips for dealing with a picky eater and see if old Rover does not enjoy dinner time more.

Is your dog a finicky eater? Share below any tricks that have worked well for you.

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