IS YOUR DOG A FUSSY EATER?
by Luvin digital on Dec 24, 2022
We recently went live with LUVIN (www.luvin.in), my endeavour to use knowledge & experience gathered towards helping pet parents love back. And everyday single day I interact with atleast 1-2 pet parents who think that their dog is a fussy/picky eater. And they ask me if I can suggest them something that would be readily accepted. Are you one of them too? Here are some thoughts...
While I can imagine how stressful it can be at times but believe me unless they are not maintaining a steady weight and the ribs or spine haven’t started showing, occasional fussiness is okay. They can survive days without eating properly.
But do ask yourself: Is it occasional, recurring/prolonged or chronic?
An occasional fussy eating behaviour could just be due to an upset or full tummy, anxiety, discomfort, new surroundings, new food, off-odour from food or surroundings, etc. Just take back within 30 minutes what you served and wait till the next meal time.
If it is recurring/prolonged, look for accompanying symptoms, such as dental issues, digestion problems, intestinal parasites, nausea, ticks, signs of stress, infection, fever, cold, etc. And if that also accompanies lethargy, weight loss, changes in bowel movements or water intake, etc., then probably it is time to reach out to your veterinarian.
A chronic issue unless due to any underlying illness, most often stems from HOOMAN behavior. Yes, we often ourselves end up spoiling our kids with tasty treats, table scraps, if you don’t eat this, I shall get you something even better.
Dogs are pack animals and your family unit is now his/her pack. They would naturally want to eat what the rest of the pack does. The more you bring them closer to ‘people food’, or spoil their eating habits with mid-meal treats and table-scraps, they shall keep getting increasingly distant from canine suitable diet. Eventually this can lead to deficiencies and ultimately increased healthcare costs and effect quality of life.
Don’t entertain myths that the dog got bored out of eating the same food or they are refusing food because it is not good for them.
Complete & Balanced nutrition is the bedrock of a healthy & wholesome life, your best friend deserves from you. So, when you witness fussy eating behavior, ask yourself, is it occasional, acute or chronic. Look for genuine symptoms of distress or illness. If those are absent, then all you need is your and their behaviour correction. Try these:
1. Stop giving table scraps and cut down on treats between meals
2. Make it clear, no options exist
3. Pick-up any untouched/leftover food within 30 minutes. You might face resistance a few days but don’t worry your dog won’t starve, it shall eat when hungry
4. Follow a pattern, same time, same place, same bowl, etc
5. Keep them fit and clean
And voila! Trust me it is easier than you think it is once you recognize and are determined to address the issue.