Most humans have at least one type of food that they won’t eat – either because they were ‘force-fed broccoli’ as a child and have never recovered from the trauma, or because they simply don’t like the taste. In the same way, pets can be fussy about their food, and if you smell the contents of a ‘budget’ tin of dog food it’s not hard to see why they would turn their very sensitive noses up at it! As well as being nutritious and full of the right essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients, pet food should be appetising, encouraging your dog to eat regularly. But what can you do to encourage a truly ‘fussy eater’ to stick to a healthy diet?
What NOT to do…
The worst thing that an owner can do is indulge their pet’s fussy fads. Most dogs will eat whatever is put in front of them, but if they start getting too picky or choosy about their food, pandering to their demands reinforces negative behavioural patterns and can compound the problem. Not only could this get expensive if your dog develops a taste for organic chicken breasts, for example, but you could also be damaging their health by upsetting the balance of vitamins and nutrients your dog really needs. Fussy eating is in most cases, a psychological condition and this behaviour needs to be corrected. However, if your pet is off their food completely rather than just becoming merely fussy, consult a vet to ensure that there is not a more serious underlying health problem.
Changing behaviour patterns
As much as it goes against a pet owner’s nature, hunger is the best cure for a dog that’s become a fussy eater. Make sure that when you do put food down, it is appetising and encourages the dog to eat. Brands such as Eukanuba and Arden Grange use natural ingredients that are designed to be both nutritious and appetising. By introducing a ‘little and not too often’ routine for a couple of days, you should be able to cure your fussy eater of its habits very quickly.