Mealtimes for our dogs should be fun, positive experiences. They get the great-tasting meal that they enjoy and we know that they have all the nutrients that they need to stay fit and healthy. But, sometimes this routine can go wrong. Some dogs can go from eating their usual dog food each day to deciding that they don’t want it anymore. This can be concerning, especially if the behavior continues. So, what can you do to help picky eaters?
You need to make sure that you deal with this issue as soon as possible. Talk to your vet to look at any risks of underlying conditions. If there is nothing to worry about, you can then start to consider a new diet plan or some behavioral tricks to get your dog to want to eat again. Once you figure out the causes and best solutions, you are better equipped to deal with the problem if it happens again.
Why is your dachshund a picky eater?
First of all, we need to determine the cause and complexity of the problem with your pet. Some dogs are picky eaters that will turn their noses up at something that they don’t want. This could be because they know that there is a “better” option available and that they could probably get it from some weaker-willed members of the household. They feel that they have a choice between the normal food they are given and the tasty scraps from the table.
Usually, these picky eaters will soon admit defeat if they don’t get their way and hunger will take over. This is where you need to be strong about the rules of the household and feeding habits. You can give your pet a premium meal that is a more luxury item, but it needs to be in their bowl, away from the table. Snacking on scraps isn’t acceptable if you want them to learn this feeding routine.
Then there are those dogs that give up eating and don’t seem to want to touch anything. They may be less likely to go back to their bowl of food and a bit more stubborn. First of all, you need to make sure that there isn’t some underlying medical condition here stopping them from wanting to eat. Make sure that they aren’t dealing with an illness, discomfort while eating, or digestive problems. Related post: Why Does My Dachshund Eat Grass?
How can I get my dachshund to eat?
Here are some tips that could help you when dealing with a picky eating dog.
1) Change the schedule.
Adjust the feeding schedule so that there are regular, smaller meals throughout the day. This stops them from being overwhelmed with food and may make it more comfortable for them to eat. They can gradually get the right amount of nutrients over the day.
2) Change the location.
Also, try and make the experience more fun. What is the situation like for your dog right now? One approach here is to make feeding time more of a family affair. Eating from a bowl in the dining room as you eat shouldn’t make a difference to the dynamic in your pack because they aren’t at the table being hand-fed human food. But, this approach can make them feel part of the dinnertime experience. This could be helpful for social dogs that love attention. Dogs that are struggling to eat may also benefit from having a family member present offering praise as they eat.
Just be aware of any behavioral traits about getting too close to their food or touch them as they eat. With this in mind, the issue could be the complete opposite. Many dogs can get quite possessive over their food and like to be alone as they eat. So, if your current set-up is too noisy and crowded, try moving the food to a more quiet, comfortable area. Some dogs that are struggling to eat in comfort might also benefit from having the bowl brought into their crate or den area. This should reinforce the idea that it is theirs and they can enjoy it in their own time. Make sure it is comfortable and positive at all times.
3) Increase their appetite.
Another option here is to find ways to increase your dog’s appetite. Give them their meal after a walk or after playtime outside. They may find that their overriding desire to satisfy their hunger spurs them back into eating.
4) Try some fun food toys.
Next, consider some food dispensing toys if your dog is bored and you are worried about their nutritional intake. Many pups will love figuring out how to get the tasty rewards.
Is there a natural appetite stimulant for dogs?
CBD oil has gained a lot of popularity among veterinarians and dog owners to treat many conditions because of the health benefits this oil provides. One of the positive effects of CBD oil is to reduce nausea and increase appetite in dogs. For this reason, CBD oil can help get picky dogs to eat. Consult with your vet about giving CBD oil to your dog. Click here to read more about the benefits of CBD oil for Dogs
Changing your dog’s food to encourage them to eat.
Use the right food and stay consistent when getting a picky eater to start eating again. Tasty dog food for picky eaters doesn’t have to mean people’s food. Don’t give in to the temptation to use treats and people’s food as a quick fix. This is only going to be a quick fix because they may enjoy the treat but still not want to eat normal meals regularly. There are two options here. You can either try and find a way to make their normal food more appealing or you can make a switch to something new.
Your dog isn’t dumb, they know that they have been on the same meal plan for a long time, and this could be why they are bored. If you use clever tricks to show them how tasty the food is then this might get them to eat again. If you have ever tricked a toddler into eating food by pretending to eat it yourself, you can use a similar approach.
If they are simply bored with their food then a switch to a new brand or style could be enough to break this cycle. You could see what other flavors of kibble are on offer that they might like, you could have the same main ingredient but switch to wet food instead. Or, you could go for something completely different. There are some great alternative options in wild meats that smell pretty good to dogs. Just make sure that this new food doesn’t lead to any changes in their health and condition.
If they aren’t keen on something, keep trying until you hit the jackpot. Remember that if your dog tends picky eating then you may have to go through this again at a later date. Related post: Is raw food good for dachshunds?
Getting dogs back on track for a healthy diet.
Whatever option you try, you must find a solution and get them back onto a healthy, nutritious diet. A lack of food can lead to malnourishment, weight loss, and other health issues. If they don’t get enough protein then they may eventually lose mass and won’t have the energy for an active lifestyle. A lack of vitamins and minerals could lead to problems with their bones, organ health, coat condition, and more. Related post: Dachshund diet and exercise
Handling picky eating puppies
One way to help avoid some of the issues seen here is to promote good feeding habits from the start. Dogs that get picky about scraps and treats over normal food had that opportunity to do so because of their owner’s habits. If dogs are never given scraps and don’t have much interaction with human food, they are less likely to crave it and start getting picky. Create that ideal feeding station and routine from an early age. Offer encouragement and praise when they eat everything up but also give them space. Also, be careful with the number of treats given. Treats are good for training and positive reinforcement but don’t like pups to become too reliant on them.
It is possible to get picky eating dogs to enjoy their food.
Don’t expect to find a solution overnight where dogs are suddenly eager to eat their normal food again. You might have to try a few different options in behavioral changes and tasty dog food for picky eaters before you get the right result. Don’t take the easy route with treats and people’s food because this will do more harm than good. Instead, take the time to understand the underlying issues and work with your dog for a solution with long-term benefits.
Dog breeds that are picky eaters
The chances of your dog being a picky eater will also depend on its breed and size. Some dogs will eat whatever is in front of them – which can also be an issue for those with no impulse control. Labradors are a great example as they are highly food motivated. If a Lab becomes fussy it is more likely to be down to a medical issue than boredom. They aren’t that likely to start feigning interesting in a pile of meaty dog food just to get a bit of cheese.
Other breeds, often smaller companion dogs, aren’t that interested in food as a reward. They will be a bit more choosy about what they want and what they like and could turn their nose up to something if they aren’t in the mood for it. Related post: Common Dachshund Health Issues To Be Aware Of
Some dog breeds are known for being picky eaters:
- Yorkshire Terrier
- German Shepherd
- Labrador Retriever
- English Cocker Spaniel
- Bichon Frise
- Boston Terrier
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
- French Bulldog
- West Highland White Terrier