Clever & Healthy Ways to Make Your Dog Like His Food

by Jodi Thornton O'Connell Google
    Eliminate mealtime standoffs with tempting aromas and tastes your dog craves.

    Eliminate mealtime standoffs with tempting aromas and tastes your dog craves.

    Image Source/Stockbyte/Getty Images

    Eating the same old thing day after day gets boring, whether you're a human or a dog. Sudden shifts in diet cause many dogs gastric distress, so switching out foods on a daily basis to make things more interesting isn't recommended. Keep your dog on the food he's accustomed to and add in a few tantalizing ingredients to whet his appetite.

    The Way to A Dog's Stomach

    You've probably noticed your dog experiences his world primarily through his sense of smell. Instead of the same old dry dog food smell, entice his nose by adding a few small pieces of finely chopped, cooked liver or fish to his food. Stir the bits around thoroughly so their scent rubs off on the rest of the food. Use no more than a teaspoon of meat per cup of dog food to prevent digestive upset and don't use greasy meats, as they are more likely to cause diarrhea in dogs that have sensitive stomachs.

    Nectar of the Dogs

    Sometimes just a little moisture is all that's needed to get your dog craving his food. While plain water works well on food that makes its own gravy, most dogs prefer a few tablespoons of low-sodium broth. Make your own nutritious broth at home by cooking beef soup bones over a low heat for several hours. You can also make an instant broth by adding a spoonful of canned dog food and a few tablespoons of hot water to his food. Before serving, make sure it's not hot enough to burn his mouth.

    Its All About Texture

    Stir in a dog-friendly human food such as cottage cheese or plain, unsweetened yogurt to give his food a unique taste and texture. Cook up a batch of plain oatmeal for your dog and mix a spoonful or two in with his food. When you're scrambling up some eggs for breakfast, throw in an extra one to spoon into Shadow's food bowl. Make hard cooked eggs up to a week in advance and crumble thoroughly into your dog's food.

    Vegetize It

    Many dogs love veggies, especially if they're simmered in chicken or beef broth. Green beans and carrots are two canine favorites. Chop broccoli extra fine and stir it through his food or add a heaping spoonful or two of pumpkin or your favorite cooked squash. Other dog-safe veggies include spinach and celery. Don't overlook fruits -- cantaloupe, apples, pears and oranges are all dog-friendly alternatives. Try feeding your dog a piece or two of the veggie or fruit you want to feed him to make sure he likes it before serving it up.

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    About the Author

    Jodi Thornton O'Connell has been an outdoorswoman for more than 45 years. She shares her love of adventure in columns for "Out-and-About Magazine," "Adam’s Rib," "Senior Christian Lifestyles," "Creede Magazine" and various websites.

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