Tips on Picky Dogs

by Naomi Millburn
    Change your pooch's picking eating ways.

    Change your pooch's picking eating ways.

    Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

    If your dog is perpetually ignoring all of the nutritious and well-balanced meals you offer him, the mounting frustration can be very difficult to handle. Dogs may develop finicky eating habits for a variety of different reasons, from health ailments to simple preferences for tastier "people" foods. Uh oh!

    If your dog seems to have about as much interest in dry kibble as he does in foreign policy matters, then consider feeding him wet food from a can. Some canines prefer the flavoring of moistened food over dry food, plain and simple. Just make sure the canned food is healthy and includes all of the minerals and vitamins your pet needs. If you want to encourage your doggie to eat dry food, consider blending some of it in with the wet stuff.

    A lot of dogs start to turn on doggie food because of a simple thing -- being spoiled on yummy "human food" straight from your dinner plate. Not only is human food not suitable for the very specific dietary needs of a canine, it can discourage your fluff ball from properly eating his own doggie meals. If a dog thinks that what's on the table is a lot yummier than what's on the floor in his bowl, he may just wait around until he gets what he wants. If you exclusively offer your pet doggie food, this stressful situation probably won't occur.

    Finicky dogs may also benefit from sauces and toppings manufactured specifically for picky pets. If you coat your dog's "boring" dry meals with a gravy formulated just for dogs, it may just encourage him to open his mouth and chow down. Doggie gravy toppings come in a variety of doggie-friendly taste options, including steak, bacon and pork. For a little added bonus, make sure the coating is equipped with health perks your doggie needs, including antioxidants and crucial minerals and vitamins.

    Minimizing the amount of treats you give your dog may also encourage him to eat his meals. After all, chicken treats are probably significantly more exciting to eat than standard dry meals. Never allow your pet to fill up on treats. Keep treats minimal and occasional.

    A little exercise right before a meal may also get your pet hungry and ready for eating. Right before you plan on feeding your picky pup, take him for a stroll outdoors. Not only will this help promote his appetite, it will enhance his physical fitness -- and yours. Not bad at all!

    Never for a second assume that your cutie is just "picky" if he won't eat his meals. In some cases, appetite loss may be a sign of a serious health problem -- one that you don't want to ignore. To eliminate the worrisome concept of medical problems, take your dog to the veterinarian for a full examination. Appetite problems may be associated with everything from canine influenza virus to cancer, so take the situation seriously. The sooner you get on the path to handling a dog's health problem, the sooner he can stop being picky and start eating like a champ again.

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    About the Author

    Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.

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