Encourage Your Dog to Eat
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5 Ways To Get Your Picky Dog To Eat

Struggling to get your picky pup to eat? Try these 5 tips to encourage your dog to eat and maintain a healthy appetite.

As a dog owner, you want all the best things for your pet. You want your dog to eat the healthiest meals, play outdoors, and have some cuddle time with you. Among the essential factors to keep your dog healthy and happy is feeding them the right food. However, some dogs are picky eaters, and it can be a real challenge to feed them healthily.

Unlike humans, it’s hard to tell, let alone explain, to a dog the importance of eating certain meals to achieve optimal health. And so, you’re faced with the constant struggle of filling their bowl with food only to find it untouched. But the problem isn’t always about the wasted food in their food bowl. What’s more alarming are the adverse effects of your dog choosing not to eat their food.    

Thus, it’s your responsibility to encourage your dog to eat his meal and prevent him from refusing healthy food again in the future. As a guide, here are five ways you can do to get your picky dog to eat well.   

1. Switch To Tastier Dog Food

Sometimes the main reason some dogs refuse to eat their food is that they don’t find the food you’re serving tasty or appealing anymore. After all, dogs also have their taste and preference for food and flavors. There’s not a lot of ways for dogs to communicate their dislike. They can only bark or leave the food unscathed.  

So, to motivate your dog to eat their meals, try swapping their food for tastier dog food. When changing their food, make sure to go for a different flavor so your dog can distinguish the taste and smell. For example, if your dog doesn’t want to munch on the chicken-flavored dog food, consider swapping it for a beef-flavored one. An additional tip, avoid switching your dog’s food way too often or too abruptly, as these constant food changes will make them even more of a picky eater.  

2. Remove Their Meal When Left Uneaten 

As counterintuitive as it may sound, the truth is, dogs can go a few days without eating anything, so don’t be too worried about this method. Try removing the meal you serve to your dog if it refuses to eat it after 15 minutes. If your dog barks or follows you, ignore it. You can give the meal again later on during lunch or dinner. If your dog still refuses to touch it, take the food away.  

The following day, serve your dog a fresh version of the meal you offered yesterday. If he still refuses to consume it, you can give the same bowl again at lunch or dinner. Your dog should feel a bit hungry by now and slowly realize that you’re not serving anything else for him. As a result, his last choice would be to eat his food.   

The point is, a healthy and happy dog will never choose to starve itself, even if the only option is his disliked food. However, if your dog refuses to eat for a few days, take them to a veterinarian right away. There could be a more severe health issue causing them to lose appetite.   

3. Take Your Dog Out For More Exercise 

One effective way to boost your dog’s appetite and reduce their chances of being picky about their food is to keep them physically active. The more your dog engages in various exercises and physical activities, the quicker they’ll feel hungry and begin to crave food. Some exercises they can do to boost their appetite include jogging, hiking, and playing fetch. There are many ways to exercise your dog, but the main point is to tire them out.   

Once they feel like they’ve spent most of their energy, they’ll know it’s time to refuel and eat. Just remember to avoid serving food right away after the exercise. Wait at least 15-20 minutes to let their stomach rest and calm down.  

4. Add A Food Topper 

When a person doesn’t like the taste of his meal, he may add seasoning on top of his food or use a sauce to add more flavor and eat their meal pleasantly. You can do the same thing for your dog. Instead of seasonings, you can add a meal topper to your dog’s meal to enhance its flavor. To ensure your dog finishes the entire meal, mix and stir the meal topper thoroughly into your dog’s food.  

5. Make Their Feeding Time More Fun 

Some dogs tend to just play with their food instead of eating it, which can be frustrating due to the mess afterward. Instead of scolding your dog, you can use this opportunity to make feeding time a more fun experience for them. 

For instance, you can use a feeding toy. Fill it with food or treats and give it to your dog. It will keep your dog busy figuring out how to take the food out of the toy. You could even put the dog food they refuse to eat. The fun and excitement they’ll feel from digging, biting, and playing with their feeding toy can trick them into eating the same dog food without hesitation.  

It can be stressful to feed your dog when he’s a picky eater. Thankfully with these tips, you can increase the likeliness of your dog to eat their meals. However, if they still refuse to eat after a couple of days, consult the vet immediately for professional advice.

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