Getting a fussy dog to eat can be both painful and time consuming for pawrents. Our fluffy bundles of love can simply walk away from food and cause us to search high and low to find something to suite their palette.
This is one reason why we create super tasty dog treats, to ensure our pampered pooched receive the best quality natural products we can give them.
But when our dogs turn their nose away from food, it can become alarming.
However, the problem is usually down to us and our desire to provide our dogs with variety. So before we tackle this, let's cover the basics of why your dog maybe off their food.
Are they unwell?
This is the obvious question, but the most common reason for not eating. Most dogs are great eaters and as omnivores they'll devour both meat and plant based products. So when they won't eat, it is important to firstly consider their overall health as a number one priority.
Has anything changed in their environment recently? The weather, their exercise and movement, is it an overly hot, or cold day. External environments can cause our dogs to reject their food as easy as us humans go off our food.
Obviously, if they're ill, you'll notice this before they're off their food. The first sign you'll normally notice is their poop, so have you noticed a change in this recently?
They could be lethargic and their behaviour has changed, are they licking their lips, drinking more or less, sleeping more. The really obvious signs such as diarrhoea and excessive thirst and urination are red flags to speak to your vet.
If your dogs has these symptoms, then consult your vet first before trying to fix their diet.
How good is their food?
Let's face it, if we ate McDonalds* every day, we'd soon be sick of a burger (*other burgers are available).
Check the nutritional components of the food you've recently been giving them, avoid grains at all cost. You may be tempted to change their food, but don't make this a habit as variety often exacerbates the problem.
Check the simple things first and our first tip is to check the sell by and use by date of any food you have. This is especially important for dry kibble diets which can 'go off'.
Raw foods are great for their freshness, but they can also be bad for your dogs teeth.
Our recommendation is ensure the ingredients are of human grade as this will ensure their food has the necessary nutrients and nothing 'nasty'.
Treats in moderation
As a treat business we are passionate about the wellbeing of our dogs. One thing we are very clear with is how many treats our dogs should be allowed.
It's obvious really when you think about our diet as humans, if we eat too many sweets and treats, we won't want our dinner. This is the same with our dogs.
The 'golden rule' is to ensure that no more than 10% of your dogs daily calories are from their treats (this is another reason why we show the calorific and nutritional values on all our products).
Treats should be just that, a treat to reward their behaviour.
Make dinner time fun
Ditching the bowl is a great game to keep your dogs mind active and make meal time fun.
If you use kibble, try a snuffle mat or scatter their food around. One we like is to toss kibble into the garden, but we do have a hunting dog, so she loves to sniff and hunt out here food.
If you feed your dog wet food, then try a lick mat.
For both, then add something they really like into their regular food, which for us when using kibble is a few bits of real meat.
The power of a routine
Some pawrents feed their dogs twice a day, others daily, Whatever your choice, ensure that you stick to that routine. Our family dog loves her dinner time and is in such a routine, she knows when it is 17:00.
We also recommend taking the food away, if not eaten in an hour as leaving your dog to graze merely reinforces bad behaviour.
And most of all, don't share your own food (unless of course it's a special treat for good behaviour).