Dogs are notorious for eating anything and everything that comes their way. At least, in most cases that is the truth. Some dogs, on the other hand, are picky eaters and they turn up their noses to almost everything offered to them. If your dog is a picky eater you might be worried about his health – if he doesn’t eat the food you offer him he might be missing out on important nutrients. What you may not realize is that, in many cases, your dog’s picky behavior might actually be your fault. In this article you will learn the basics about dealing with a finicky dog and receive some recommendations for commercial dog food diets to try out.
Tips for Dealing with Picky Eaters
If your dog is a picky eater you might think that it is simply because he is looking for more variety in his diet. After all, he eats the same thing every day, doesn’t he? In many cases, however, dog owners are to blame for their dog’s finicky behavior because they offer their dogs too many treats or table scraps. If your dog gets used to having his begging behavior rewarded he will be more likely to turn up his nose at regular dog food, hoping that you will give him something tastier instead. If you find yourself opening multiple cans of dog food to try and coax your dog into eating something, it is not your dog that has been trained – it is you. Luckily, there are a number of things you can try to discourage your dog’s finicky behavior and to get him back on a commercial dog food diet.
The most important thing you can do for your picky eater is to stop feeding him treats and table scraps. When you offer your dog his morning and evening meal, leave the bowl out for 30 minutes and then take it away – this will teach your dog that there are no other options. It won’t do him any good to turn up his nose and wait – that will just result in an empty stomach. After a few days of this treatment your dog might get desperate and start to amp up his begging behavior. Do not give in! Maintain consistency in your behavior, feeding your dog at the same time each day and removing the bowl thirty minutes after you put it down, whether your dog has eaten anything or not.
If you do not feed your dog many treats and table scraps, the problem might be that the commercial dog food diet you are offering him is completely unappealing. Low-quality dog foods are often loaded with artificial ingredients including artificial fillers designed to make the product more appealing to your pet. Sometimes, however, these tricks don’t work. The key to making sure your dog’s food is irresistible to him is to select a formula made with high-quality ingredients. If you decide to switch your dog’s food, make sure you do so gradually to avoid upsetting his stomach. Start by replacing about ¼ of your dogs portion with the new dog food for a few days then bump it up to ½ of the portion. Continue replacing larger and larger amounts of the old food with the new food until you’ve completely made the transition from old to new.
In some cases, your dog’s finicky behavior may not be related to his food at all. If your dog usually displays a healthy appetite but suddenly starts to turn up his nose at food, it might be an indication of a medical problem. Loss of appetite is a common symptom of many medical problems affecting dogs and it is not something you should ignore. If your dog suddenly stops eating you should take him to the vet for a checkup to make sure he is not sick. Your veterinarian will be able to diagnose any existing problems and will provide you with tips to encourage your dog to eat. Something as simple as soaking your dog’s food in chicken broth can make it more appealing to him.
Recommended Dog Foods for Picky Eaters
If your dog is a picky eater and you’ve determined that too many treats or table scraps is not the problem, you may want to think about switching your dog to a different commercial diet. A high-quality dog food will be made with better ingredients and less fillers which should make it more appealing to your dog. Some of the best foods for picky eaters are frozen or freeze-dried raw foods as well as canned foods and moist foods. Below you will find several recommendations for commercial dog foods to try on your picky eater.
Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Frozen Diet
If you are looking for a high-quality fresh food for your dog, consider Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Frozen food. Because this formula is frozen it will always be fresh for your dog and it comes in a variety of recipes including chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, duck, venison, rabbit, and tuna. Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Frozen food also comes in several different forms including bites, medallions, patties and chubs which can be sliced to serve. These frozen food diets are made with top-quality ingredients like fresh meat, organs, and bone as well as fruits and vegetables. Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Frozen food is complete and balanced for all life stages, plus it is free from gluten and grains. Additionally, these formulas contain natural enzymes to help support your dog’s healthy digestion. Simply put, Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Frozen food is one of the most biologically appropriate dog food diets out there.
Nutrisca Raw Freeze-Dried Diet
Produced by Dogswell, the Nutrisca Raw Freeze-Dried diet is a great alternative to frozen dog food because it doesn’t need to be kept in the freezer and it has a very long shelf-life. Dogswell offers several Nutrisca freeze-dried formulas including Lamb and Chickpea, Salmon and Chickpea, and Chicken and Chickpea as well as three canned varieties – Turkey, Salmon, and Chicken. All of Nutrisca’s formulas are grain- and potato-free, made with high-quality protein sources as well as digestible carbohydrates and chelated minerals for optimal nutrient absorption. These freeze-dried foods are also supplemented with omega-3 fatty acids and DHA to help support your dog’s healthy skin and coat. Because these foods are freeze-dried, they do not require any artificial preservatives – that means that they have more natural flavor which is highly appealing to even the pickiest of dogs.
Blue Buffalo Blue’s Stew Canned Food
In many cases, offering your picky eater a canned food is the best way to inspire him to eat. Canned foods are moist, flavorful and they have a more appealing smell and texture for some dogs than dry kibbles. Blue Buffalo Blue’s Stew Canned Food is a great option when it comes to canned food diets because it is made with top-quality ingredients in a variety of different formulas. Choose from Hearty Beef Stew, Country Chicken Stew, and Hunter’s Stew or Irish Lamb Stew and Tasty Turkey Stew. All of Blue Buffalo’s canned stew recipes are made with tender chunks of fresh meat plus diced vegetables like carrots, peas, and potatoes. Plus, it is all smothered in a thick, savory gravy that your dog is sure to love. All of Blue Buffalo’s products are protein-rich, made without chicken/poultry by-product meals, corn, wheat, and soy as well as artificial preservatives, flavors and colors. The long and short of it is that Blue Buffalo Blue’s Stew Canned Food contains only high-quality ingredients in a simple formula that your dog is sure to love.
Freshpet Nature’s Fresh Dog Food Pouch
Freshpet Nature’s Fresh Dog Food is designed with a holistic approach to nutrition, made with carefully selected and locally-sourced ingredients. This pouch food comes in one formula for dogs – Grain Free Chicken with Carrots and Spinach. This formula is made with humanely-raised chicken and leafy greens, plus it comes in a resealable pouch which is convenient and easy to use. Freshpet Nature’s Fresh Dog Food contains only twelve ingredients plus an assortment of vitamins and minerals to ensure that your dog’s nutritional needs are met. Because it is free from artificial flavors, colors and preservatives it is a healthy source of nutrition for your dog that will also be highly appealing thanks to its natural flavor and odor. If you have a picky pet, consider giving Freshpet Nature’s Fresh Dog Food a try.
The key to ensuring that your dog has a healthy diet is to avoid giving him too many treats or table scraps and to make his regular dog food as appealing as possible. If you have a finicky eater, utilize some of the tips provided above and consider switching to one of the recommended dog foods.