Is Your Dog a Fussy Eater? Here's What to Do!

Ensuring your dog is eating properly is at the top of every owner’s list of priorities. However, this isn’t always as easily done as said, especially if your dog is a fussy eater. It’s important to resolve this problem as soon as it arises to help prevent any negative impact on your dog’s health but how exactly can you encourage your dog to be a less fussy eater? Natures Menu has some helpful tips.

First steps

Before you take any action, it’s of vital importance that you rule out any medical reasons that could explain your dog’s inappetence. This is especially important if your dog has previously been eating well as just like humans, dogs may be less interested in their food if they’re unwell. Taking your dog to the vet is the only way to do this. Your vet will check for any signs of illness could affect your dog’s appetite and will advise on the best course of action.

Your vet will also be able to check your dog’s teeth and gums for any dental problems that could be painful and therefore causing the inappetence. We would always advise a professional dental check as sometimes, this isn’t always easy for owners to visualize themselves.

Solving the problem

Once you’ve ruled out any medical reasons for your dog’s apparent fussiness, there are a number of different approaches you can take to encourage your dog to get back on track with their eating.

Switch up their food

The simplest explanation could be that your dog just doesn’t like the food you’re giving them. Solving your dog’s fussy eating habits could be a straight forward matter of changing their diet. Natures Menu has a range of different diet options which means there’s something to suit every dog and owner. The Natures Menu range of complementary foods gives owners the freedom to mix and match individual meat portions with fruit and vegetables to create your dog’s perfect combination - there are even meaty treats and chews in this range to keep your dog happy in between meals and can also help with dental hygiene. Natures Menu complete and balanced ranges make feeding easy, whether you chose to feed a raw, wet or dry food diet. These foods come in convenient portion-sized cooked cans and pouches, as well as raw nuggets that can simply be counted out to provide the correct amount for your dog. No need to weigh or measure, simply pour, thaw and serve! If you opt for Natures Menu Original or Country Hunter raw options, you can use the handy feeding calculator to ensure you’re always giving your dog the correct portion size.

Country Hunter Nuggets

Change their food station

Rather than the food being the problem, it may be that your dog doesn’t like their food bowl or doesn’t feel comfortable in the area in which they eat. Whereas some dogs may not like how a plastic or metal bowl affects the taste of their food, others may not enjoy eating directly from the floor. Try changing the material of your dog’s bowl and raising the level on which they eat, either with a bowl-stand or by placing it on a step. You could also try moving your dog’s food bowl into a different room or a different part of the same room. It maybe that your dog would like some more privacy or, if your dog is already in a separate room, they may feel like they’re missing out on other things at mealtimes, such as the family eating their food which can be far more appealing, especially if they receive the odd morsel from a plate. Ensure you are not rewarding your dog for not eating by treating them from your own food.

Make eating fun

It could be that your dog is simply bored of the same eating routine and needs something to make it more interesting. Whether you feed your dog a raw, kibble or wet food diet, there are a range of different options to make things fun from slow feeders that make your dog work a little more for their food, to food rewarding toys and puzzle toys with which your dog must play to access their food. Turning mealtimes into a game rather than a mundane chore is an easy way to encourage your dog to eat more without them even realising.

Add variety into the diet

Just as you’d tire of eating the same foods every day, adding some variety to your dog’s diet can make the world of difference. You can add this variety in a number of different ways from mixing up the protein (meat) source to adding steamed vegetables and ensuring a range of textures. The sheer range in the Natures Menu dog food options gives owners this flexibility. Not only can you choose between meat and fish, but there are also options like duck and venison to mix things up even further. Buying multipacks of different flavours, available in raw meals, tins and pouches, makes it easy to provide variety.

Walk away

You might be anxious to see how much your dog is eating but standing over them when you put their food down might discourage them. Put down their food and walk away, returning in 20 minutes. If your dog hasn’t eaten, take the food away and just replace it at the next meal time. Whilst walking away can lessen the pressure your dog feels, removing the food after a certain period of time teaches them that they don’t have forever to eat, which may encourage them to tuck in.

Add warm water

Adding just a little warm (not hot) water to your dog’s food can encourage eating for a number of different reasons. If you’re feeding a raw diet or one comprised of wet dog food, your dog may not be keen on how cold the food is. Of course, this water will warm the temperature of the food which can make it a little more palatable by releasing the natural aromas and juices. However, you should never heat your dog’s food in the microwave as this process not only risks destroying essential nutrients, it can also produce hidden hot spots in food which could burn your dog’s mouth.

The most important thing to remember is that every dog is different and as such, have different needs. Some dogs might respond to changing just one of these factors, while others might require a few changes to be persuaded to eat. Remember, if you implement some of these changes and there’s no improvement with your dog’s eating habits, you should seek expert veterinary advice.

Do you have a question about a specific food option? Contact Natures Menu with any questions.