Everyone loves a good, hearty meal, but some humans are pickier than others when it comes to food. Like us, our pets need the right amount of nutrients to feel happy and healthy- but when your dog doesn’t want to eat, it can be worrying. Learning about your dog’s eating habits can be a great way to understand when you should be concerned or what to look out for in their health.
Some pups are quite the voracious eaters, being happy to munch on just about anything, even if it’s not edible. Others are a bit more cautious and will only eat according to their taste or familiarity. Whether your pup suddenly stops eating or has always denied their food, a common concern from pet parents is the health issues that can result from nutritional imbalance.
If you’re feeling hurt because your pup doesn’t want to eat the new treats you brought them, you’re not alone. Luckily, helping a picky eater is relatively simple, as long as you can find the root cause of the problem.
While some dogs are just naturally picky, others have a behavioral or health issue to combat. Despite the root cause, there is always some way to help if your dog is a picky eater, whether it be introducing them to new foods or scheduling mealtimes. Before we figure out how to help your dog, getting to the root cause is an essential first step.
Commonly, small breeds are known to be pickier than larger-sized breeds. Breeds like Malteses, Yorkshire Terriers, Bichons Frises, and Daschunds are especially more selective than others.
Large dog breeds, like German Shepherds and Siberian Huskies, are also known to be picky. The reason that these dogs are picky varies by breed, so it’s essential to research your dog’s breed and individual dietary needs.
Another reason a dog would be a picky eater is if they became used to being fed from the table. Getting too comfortable feeding Fido from your plate can cause your furry friend to get snooty when the time comes for them to eat from their bowl. They can grow to enjoy the tastes of your food more than their own.
Dogs can also become picky about their food due to anxiety. If they’ve had a bad experience with a particular food or area, your dog may begin to avoid eating in that specific situation.
For this reason, conditioning your dog from a young age is an essential step to raising them. By positively reinforcing every experience your dog has with food, there is a much less likely chance your puppy will grow into a picky eater.
Sometimes your dog’s change in appetite is as simple as them growing a little older. With age and a decrease in activity, your dog needs to eat less food for energy. With less food, it’s extra essential to make sure your aging dog is still receiving the proper nutrients.
Unfortunately, there is also the possibility that your pup may be feeling unwell, which can play a factor in the change of eating habits. Some common issues that may cause a lack of appetite include:
Any of these medical issues could contribute to your furry friend’s lack of appetite. To prevent this, be sure to routinely take a good look at their teeth and body to make sure there’s nothing wrong.
Even though your dog may be picky about their food, it’s essential to keep an eye on their diet, as picky eaters are prone to nutritional deficiencies. Signs like weight loss or a dry coat can also indicate that a medical issue impacts your dog’s love of food. If the loss of appetite continues for longer than 12-24 hours, you should see your vet and make sure nothing is wrong.
If your furry companion is becoming a picky eater, don’t panic! There are plenty of ways to spark back up their love for food.
Keeping a consistent routine is key to making sure your dog has a regular diet, continues to eat their food, and gets their intake of essential nutrients. After all, dogs thrive with a consistent routine.
Toppers are a great way to encourage eating, adding more flavor to the same old meal your pup may be getting sick of. Some healthy, easy options include chicken broth, boiled veggies, and salmon oil. Adding warm water to their food is another option, as it can bring out extra good smells to get your dog drooling.
Mixing up the main protein in their foods is one way to keep things fresh and excite your dogs’ taste buds. You can also consider switching your pup’s food altogether, especially if it’s kibble.
Making a switch to raw food is an excellent option if your dog seems to have lost their appetite. Cali Raw uses the BARF model, or Biologically Appropriate Raw Food, and picky eaters love it! There are formulas for both adult dogs and puppies and various proteins to choose from- including chicken, beef, turkey, and lamb.
Melissa V.: “I love Cali Raw dog food for my doggo, and he loves his food too! It has everything my dog needs: raw meats, organs, veggies, calcium, and more. Cali Raw makes it so easy to feed my dog since all you have to do is know what portion your dog needs and defrost the food.”
Diana B.: “My nine-month-old Cockapoo loves their premade puppy formula. He looks forward to every meal.”
Christine T.: “Lucky likes it too. We were feeding a different raw product, and it was fine, but he was more excited with this brand.”
Ryan C: “Our Dog has never been so happy and healthy. He licks the bowl clean after every meal. It’s funny because he was always taking it or leaving it with the kibble, now he is excited to eat with his tail wagging. My dog loves the lamb, but we get a variety, so it doesn’t get old eating the same thing over and over.”