Dealing with a picky eater

Just like humans, some dogs will be picky when it comes to eating, even if you’ve dished up really tasty and healthy meals.

Don’t be tempted to believe that your dog needs more variety. Your dog will very happily have the same food for the rest of its life, assuming it’s tasty and full of nutrition.

One of the reasons for this problem is that you’ve mistakenly ‘rewarded’ your dog with scraps from the table. It may well have stopped eating from the bowl in the hope that it’ll get something more exciting from the family dinner.

The first thing you should do, therefore, is to cut out all treats or hand-downs from the table. When your dog twigs that there’s nothing coming other than what’s in the bowl, it’ll soon come to its senses!

A useful trick is to put out food in the bowl and leave it there for thirty or forty minutes. If it hasn’t been touched at that stage, then take it away and don’t put out food until it’s time for your dog’s next meal, at which stage you should repeat the process.

Don’t worry about feeding your dog the same food all the time. Dogs are not like humans. They should be perfectly happy to eat the same food for a lifetime. Often, when we decide to change our dog’s diet, we are using human values, thinking it may be a treat for them to have some variety.

The problem about this is that if your dog is a tad picky to begin with, this process of changing feed will make them even pickier. Also, if you constantly change feed and your dog becomes unwell, it can be hard to decide which of the recent feeds is the culprit.

Don’t be worried that your dog will starve – if it’s genuinely hungry, it’ll eat. You might have to put up with some whining for a while, but you’ll eventually come out on top!


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Eugene joined the Technical Support Team in Connolly’s RED MILLS in June 1990 as a pet food nutritionist, and is a tremendous source of expert, impart ...

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