It’s mealtime, but instead of going to town on his kibbles, your dog merely sniffs or (at most) licks his food before he walks away unsatisfied. What gives?
If your usually ravenous dog suddenly becomes very finicky about his meals, he may have an underlying health issue. So it’s definitely worth it to take a trip to the vet. Allergies, stomach problems, and sore teeth and gums are all culprits that can inhibit your dog’s ability to enjoy his food.
If your dog is healthy, then the problem might be you.
A very common cause of picky eating is if your dog has become accustomed to eating human food. Feeding our dogs scraps and leftovers every night is a surefire way to change their tastes. Pretty soon, he won’t want his boring old dog food when he knows he’s going to eat some of your human meals every night.
Luckily this bad habit can be reversed following these tips:
Stop feeding him human food. This is the obvious first step.
Don’t feed him too many treats. Treats, like human food, are just filled with calories that will increase the likelihood of obesity in your dog. Obesity is already a growing epidemic in pets, so don’t contribute to the problem and keep treats to a minimum.
Set strict times for meals. Establishing a routine will condition your dog to expect food at the same times each day. His body will become accustomed to this and he will learn to expect food at these times and be ready to eat.
Put the food up when he walks away from his bowl. If your dog doesn’t finish his lunch, don’t let it sit there until dinner. Free feeding can encourage a picky eater. Train your dog to want to eat all his food when it is first presented to him, because he knows whatever he doesn’t eat, he loses.
For variety, add healthy snacks. It might be hard at first for your dog to give up human food cold turkey and go back to dog food. Add some chopped carrot or peas to help your dog become interested in his old food again.
Again, any underlying health issues should be ruled out first and foremost. If it is just a matter of developing a taste for only human food, follow these tips and he’ll be eating his kibbles again in no time.