You serve your dog their food twice a day but each time they give it a sniff, maybe take a bite or two, and walk away. Does this sound familiar? Then you’re likely dealing with a picky eater. Dealing with a dog who is selective about what they eat can be stressful, but fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to turn this behavior around.
Dogs that either pick at their food or simply refuse to eat it would benefit from a switch to Freshpet. Pups get excited when they’re served our food because we only use real, fresh ingredients that we slowly steam cook to maintain nutrition and taste. When it comes to preservatives, the fridge is all we use. We never use any pre-processed meat powders, “chicken meals,” or by-products – just real meat as the #1 ingredient, and real veggies you can see. Picky pets can taste (and smell) the difference, which is why we’re proud to say we’re “Picky Eater Approved”. But don’t just take our word for it, read Rudy’s story.
When a dog is hungry it will eat, so it’s important to show them that no other options exist once their food has been served. Training your dog to understand this can take some time and perseverance, but if you follow through even the pickiest dog should start to eat. The process itself is very simply: set your dog’s food out for 30 minutes – if they don’t eat it, take it away. Follow this same process each time you feed them. Over time, they will understand that the food that is served to them is what they need to eat. Of course, if they go more than 24 hours without eating, consult your vet to ensure that there isn’t an underlying medical issue.
If your dog enjoys playing, using interactive food puzzles is an easy way to turn feeding time into a game. These toys provide a fun mental and physical challenge that makes your pet work for their food. This way, they aren’t being served their full portion right away, instead, they need to work to get their food and are rewarded each time they solve the puzzle. This encourages them to keep going and makes the entire process of eating a fun activity they look forward to.
Some pets simply don’t enjoy eating the same thing every day. For these selective eaters, it can require some creativity to mix up their food in a way that keeps them interested, without upsetting their stomach. An easy way to do this is with Freshpet Homestyle Creations. These custom dog food recipes allow you to mix-and-match 100% natural, nutritious dishes that will keep your dog excited for every new dish. Each recipe has pure chicken or beef patties as a base and you can choose from three healthy mixers, containing a mix of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables. Like all Freshpet recipes, each meal is nutritionally balanced so your pup is getting everything they need to live a healthy, happy, tail-wagging life.
While it may seem logical to feed your pup when you first wake up and then again in the evening, not all dogs enjoy eating on this schedule. If they’re not eating at the times you serve them their meals, try shifting them to different times in the day. Instead of first thing in the morning, wait a few hours until after they’ve had some time to wake up and go for a walk. You could also try feeding them later in the evening instead of around your dinner time. It may take a few tries to find a schedule that they’re happy with, so don’t fret if you don’t see an improvement right away.
No matter which method you try, it’s important to be patient when trying to turn around your picky eater – you may need to try a few things before you find what works. If you’re not seeing any progress or your dog stops eating for more than 24 hours, be sure to contact your veterinarian as there may be underlying health issues that need to be addressed.