When we think of animals being picky eaters, the feline is usually the first to come to mind. However, there are certain dogs that are also finicky about their meals and will turn their noses up at some types of food. Animals are much like people in this way. We all have different tastes and sometimes our dogs can be just as picky as our children! Having a selective appetite is not always a reason to worry but it can mean trouble under certain circumstances. Keep a look out for the following:
- Your dog is getting thin and not looking as healthy as he usually appears
- Your dog’s energy levels have taken a nose dive compared to what they typically are
- Your dog is acting differently or just appears to be under the weather
If your dog is usually a good eater no matter what you serve him, and all of a sudden he becomes picky or is not eating as much normal, make an appointment with your veterinarian. A dog with a decreased appetite may be suffering from a serious underlying medical problem that should be addressed as quickly as possible. However, if your dog is in good general health but just needs to eat a little more, try the following:
- Switch to a dog food that is more calorie-dense and has a higher concentration of nutrients.
- Do not repeatedly change his diet. By constantly offering your dog new flavors, you are enabling his finicky eating pattern.
- Even though it can be tough to do so, eliminate or at least cut way back on the treats. We don’t give our children too many snacks between meals because of the effect it has on their appetite for “real” food. The same principle is true for dogs.
Keep in mind that even if your dog is on the thin side, as long as he is eating and the vet has ruled out medical problems, it is okay for him to be the size that he is. Excess weight is much more dangerous than being thin so don’t push too hard to get your dog to eat more if he’s just naturally on the slender side.