We all know them. Picky eaters. They have a tough time out at restaurants, usually only ordering the chicken tenders and fries. But when it comes time to cook for them, it can become somewhat of a tricky situation.
But what about your dog? Most dogs you meet will eat mostly anything you put in front of them. But what about the picky ones? Because believe it or not, they are out there.
So what do you do if your dog is a pick eater? What do you feed them and can you somehow convince them to eat their kibble?
What You Can Do
Something that we found success with when Scout decided that he no longer wanted dry food was simply mixing water into his food.
Not only does this sometimes help get your dog to eat the food that you're giving him, but it's also a helpful tip to keep them hydrated. That's a separate issue that we had with Scout at one point. For the longest time, especially during the winter months, he would just refuse to drink his water. I'm no scientist, but it's pretty well known that dogs and humans both need to keep hydrated to live.
We started mixing warm water into his food with every meal to keep him hydrated and for the most part, it also helps him eat his entire meal.
Mix In Fresh Food and Toppers
You can take fruits and veggies that you know they enjoy and mix them right on in. An extremely nutritional topper that we mix in frequently with Scout's food is canned squash.
Squash is extremely beneficial for dogs and honestly, it's a really good idea to start incorporating it into your pup's diet.
It's excellent for skin hydration, better digestion, promotes a shiny, healthy coat and aids in the battle for stronger muscles, kidneys and nerves.
Other Ways You Can Work With Your Picky Eater
First, you want to make sure that you're feeding them on a regular schedule. This way they understand what time they will be receiving food. With that timeframe, you also want to remove the food after 15 to 20 minutes of it being out for them. Leaving food out longer than this will promote bad eating habits and in addition, is unsanitary, according to Dr. Jerry Klein, Chief Veterinary Officer of the American Kennel Club.
Should I Worry About My Dog If They Aren't Eating?
It really depends. Like anything else, if you start to have any amount of concern, give your vet a call and ask what you should do. If your dog sees an appetite change lasting more than 12 to 24 hours without it returning to what it previously was, call your vet right away. But according to the American Kennel Club, there are some exceptions to this rule of thumb and if you have these dogs with the following criteria, you should not wait 12 hours before contacting your vet.
These include puppies less than 6-months old, dogs experiencing a change of appetite along with gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea, dogs who have diabetes or senior dogs.
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Like anything, make sure to call your Vet and get their opinions on anything health and safety related for your dog. We may be dog parents who love their pups, but we are not experts. Please check with your vet before proceeding.