A big part of owning a dog is giving them a healthy, nutritious diet that gives them everything they need to thrive. Not only will a healthy diet help keep them strong and active, but it will also help prevent health problems throughout their life. Unfortunately, some dogs can be picky eaters and may not readily eat their food.
This can happen no matter the dog breed, from tiny Pomeranians to high-energy Australian Cattle Dogs. Regardless of the nutritional needs of your dog, their refusal to eat can be a major problem. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to get your dog to eat their meals.
So if you’re a frustrated pet owner with a finicky eater or looking to become a registered dog breeder and caring for several dogs with various food preferences, read on to learn more about getting your dogs to eat right.
Getting Your Dog to Eat Their Food
Choose the Right Food
The first step in getting your dog to eat their food is making sure you’re serving the right type of food. Not all dogs are created equal, so it’s important to take into account their individual needs when picking out the right dog food. Talk with your veterinarian about what type of diet would be best for your dog and make sure it meets all of their nutritional needs. While commercially available options are convenient and generally affordable, some dogs may require more specialised diets such as raw food or home-cooked meals.
Use High-Quality Food
Once you’ve chosen the right kind of food, it’s important to make sure it’s high-quality as well. Look for foods made with natural ingredients and free from fillers or artificial additives that could upset your dog’s stomach or cause skin irritation. With the help of your veterinarian, determine whether organic or grain-free options are a good fit for your pet as these diets are often more easily digestible and better for overall health.
Change Up the Menu
Dogs can get bored with eating the same thing day after day, just like humans do! To keep things interesting and encourage them to eat, try changing up the menu every now and then by adding in different types of wet or dry food, homemade treats or even raw meat occasionally if you feel comfortable doing so (always consult with your vet first). This will help keep things exciting for them at mealtime and help prevent picky eating habits from forming down the road.
Spice Things Up With Toppings
If you find that your dog isn’t too excited about their meals, try spicing things up with nutritious toppings. A tablespoon of cooked vegetables such as carrots or sweet potatoes can add extra vitamins and minerals while also providing an interesting texture change for them to enjoy. Shredded tuna or salmon mixed in can also provide a tasty boost of protein without being overly filling, just remember to use low sodium options. While these toppings can easily entice your dog, resist the urge to overdo it – too much can make your dog more prone to eat the topping and not the rest of their meal.
Make Mealtime Fun
Mealtimes don’t have to be boring. You can make mealtime fun by giving your dog some interactive toys during dinner time that they have to work hard at to get treats out of; this will help keep them occupied while they’re eating instead of being distracted by other things going on around them. There are also different types of feeding techniques such as hand-feeding or scatter feeding. Experiment with different approaches that will engage your dog if they aren’t interested in their food.
Keep Mealtime Consistent
It’s important for dogs (just like humans) to have a routine when it comes to eating so that they know when meals are coming. If your dog knows when to expect their meals, they are less likely to become distracted by looking for snacks elsewhere. Try keeping meals at regular intervals throughout the day – two to three meals per day spaced evenly apart would be ideal – as this will help form good habits early on in life and as well as encourage healthier eating patterns overall.
Avoid Giving Too Many Treats
Treats are an excellent way to reward good behaviour, but giving too many can lead even the most voracious eater away from their regular meals. This is especially true if those treats contain more calories than what is found in their normal meals! Try limiting treats between meals so that they don’t become overly reliant on snacking throughout the day; instead, use those treats strategically after training sessions or other activities where rewards are needed most rather than using them randomly throughout each day.
Monitor Your Dog’s Weight
Finally, make sure that you’re monitoring your pup’s weight regularly so that you can adjust their portion sizes accordingly. You can do this either by regularly weighing them yourself at home using a normal bathroom scale or having periodic check ups done by veterinarians. Try to keep them in the ideal weight range according to breed standards (your vet should be able to provide guidance on this).
With these tips in mind, you should soon have a happy pup eagerly waiting at mealtime every day. Maintain your routine with patience and consistency you can help your dog establish healthy eating habits in no time at all. Good luck!