Updated: Sep 21, 2020
If you’ve come across playful caricatures of dogs who resemble their humans, the same can be said for how owner behaviour affects the way our pups consume their meals. As we are in full control over our pooch’s feeding schedule, what type of dog food we purchase, and how we behave, we have a greater influence over our dog’s eating habits than we might think.
Why Behaviour Affects a Fussy Eater
It isn’t uncommon for pet owners with fussy eaters to worry about a dog’s lack of appetite or distaste for a certain food. In most cases, owners will do one of two things:
Switch to a new brand of food
Entice a dog with a homecooked meal
Though a seemingly simple fix, doing either of the two can cause more problems.
How to Properly Swap Out Your Dog’s Meals
When a dog shows no interest in a new brand of food, most pet owners will choose to swap this out for yet another type of food. However, swift dietary changes can confuse a dog who may not recognise a new pack of kibble as their dinner.
When considering switching from kibble to a raw diet, it is recommended that this be done on an overnight basis. A mix of kibble and raw food can cause a dog some discomfort as the 2 types of food are processed differently in the gut. A complete raw diet generally leads to an increase in healthy bacteria in the gut to maximise digestion. Slippery elm, or tree bark can help aide digestion and kefir is an excellent option to improve a healthy gut.
How Homecooked Meals Promote Bad Behaviour
When dealing with a dog who refuses to eat its kibble, opting to feed them a homecooked meal only seems sensible. However, dogs are more intelligent than we give them credit for and will eventually recognise that refusing to eat their kibble will result in a homecooked meal instead. If this pattern of behaviour persists, it can be more difficult to correct down the line.
Beyond dinner time, spoiling your dog can encourage laziness during obedience training or develop other food-related aggressions such as guarding and nipping.
Additionally, homecooked meals won’t usually provide your pet with adequate nutrition it needs. The ingredients you use, amount you dispense, and how you prepare your dog’s meal makes a significant impact on how it will digest. If you aren’t researching the proper raw food diet for dogs, you could put them at risk of ingesting harmful pathogens such as salmonella or E.coli.
Dealing With a Fussy Dog
The first step towards dealing with a fussy eater is not to baby them. The attention you give your whining dog might only encourage them to keep up the behaviour to receive treats and quality time. Not to mention, providing your dog with different types of food regularly can confuse their appetite and put them at risk of an upset stomach.
When dealing with a picky eater, take a calm and measured approach. As it goes, a dog won’t resort to starving itself, no matter the circumstances. When dispensing their meals, give them a 30-minute timeframe to consume the bowl. If not, simply take the bowl away until their following meal schedule.
Similarly, don’t try to provide your pet with snacks throughout the day, as this can lead to overfeeding and other bad eating habits. When introducing new meals such as products by Roxy’s Raw Food, pay close attention to how your dog reacts and wean them as necessary.
Some dogs will be pickier than others and it’s important not to jump the gun on switching meals when encouraging them to eat. The key to a happy eater is patience—trust us, your dog will want to eat eventually!
If you’re keen on starting your dog on the best raw dog food on the market, shop with us at Roxy’s Raw Food! Our products help promote shinier coats, healthier teeth, and overall better energy levels.