Is your dog not eating? Fussy eating? Wondering how to get your dog to eat?
If you are reading this blog, some of these things may sound rather too familiar:
- Feeding your dog by hand
- Changing dog foods regularly
- Ending up feeding your dog human food just to get them to eat
- Standing over them encouraging them to eat
Now is the time to STOP and go back to basics and get your dog back into a good routine.
Firstly, it is really important to make sure your dog is not ill or has dental problems which is preventing them from eating – please visit your vet if you are in any doubt, this advice is not for poorly dogs – just those that have become fussy.
As much as you may not want to hear it, you are ‘feeding’ your dog’s unwanted behaviour by giving them attention and things won’t get any better until you follow this simple routine
Here we go….
- Decide what food you are feeding your dog and stick to it. Do not keep changing the food, this can make your dog a fussy eater and is a way of gaining attention. Feed a good quality food full of nutrition
- NEVER leave your dog’s food down for long periods of time, this gets your dog into ‘grazing’. You need to train your dog that they eat when their food is put down for them and that is the only time they have the opportunity to eat.
- Reduce the size of their meals to get them into the habit of clearing their bowl. When they start clearing it, gradually build up to the ideal amount of food to keep them in correct condition
- About 30 mins before their food time, give your dog the recommended dose of Malted Kelp Tablets, this nutritious mix includes Anise which helps aid the appetite.
- Call your dog when it is food time, put the food bowl down for them and give them an instruction which can be anything really to tell them it is time to eat ‘Dinner time!’. Busy yourself near them but do not stand over or continue chatting to them this is distracting.
- Give your dog 5-10 mins to get on and eat their food, if they are eating but are a slow eater give them a little longer as long as they are still eating, the minute they stop and go away you must then take the bowl away.
They need to learn that is their window of opportunity to eat, if they don’t they miss out.
- Do not feed them or give them tit-bits until their next meal (except perhaps a bedtime biscuit if that is part of their routine!)
- At the next meal time, follow the same routine, food down, give the instruction, give them the set time and if the food is not all eater take it away and do not re-offer the food. Offer fresh food at every meal time
You will soon find your dog understands the routine and takes the opportunity to eat in their ‘feeding window’. Don’t feel cruel, your dog has the opportunity to eat they are choosing not to. Your dog is healthy, they will feed when they are hungry – it is almost a battle of minds!