Is Your Dog a Picky Eater? Training Guide to Help Them Eat
For the parents of picky eaters, NomNomNow has heard your plea. We've taken a clinical and behavioral approach to get your best friend the right training to end mealtime nightmares. Our Veterinary Nutritionist, Justin Shmalberg DVM, has designed a training program to teach fussy eaters to eat the food you give them.
As pet parents, we fawn over our pets and provide them with all the sustenance and love they need for survival and happiness. However, there is a fine line between nurturing and spoiling. Just as parents do with kids, pet parents must take responsibility to properly train their dogs.
There is no such thing as an inherently picky eater. In this article, NomNomNow's Picky Eater Coaching Guide walks you through a day over day transition plan with additional tips and tricks on how to get your finicky pup eating and happy!
Transition Formula: Creating a routine for you and you dog(s)
You should be feeding your dog two times per day; once in the morning and once in the evening. Execute the below formula in the exact order outlined day by day for as many days as it takes to get through this entire process without a whine or whimper.
(optional - only if Morning and Evening do not work in the first two days)
If you live close to work and are able to come home for a break OR if you are able to have a dog walker, do the following to help increase metabolism and therefore increase appetite:
While this formula may seem aggressive, we can assure you that this is the best technique in getting your dog to transition quickly and effectively, while building your authority and rapport in your relationship. Normal healthy dogs will test your will, and remember that dogs are built to sustain themselves through starvation. Their wild cousins will go up to a week without eating and domesticated dogs today retain that ability. As a result, it may take 4-5 days until they are hungry enough to eat without a fuss.
Of course, remember to talk to your vet and get clearance that they're healthy for this bootcamp and don't have any underlying medical condition causing them to have reduced appetite or to be averse to food.
Here are some additional 'Need To Knows' that can help with finicky eaters.
Providing the pets with whom we share our home with, a solid training foundation is one of the most important things we can do. This training can establish the relationship that will define both our own interactions with our pets and their interactions with other humans and fellow pets.
A daily routine helps to give your dog a baseline for what to expect in their daily life, as well as to establish you in their eyes as their fair and gentle pack leader. Over time, following a consistent daily routine allows your dog to trust you and respect you.
Many people hear the word “alpha” and immediately think of harsh or dominating tactics to get a dog to behave or submit. This is definitely not the goal you want to keep in mind when working with your dog and becoming the alpha in their life.
It is perfectly natural for some dogs to skip meals on occasion. This behavior is rooted in nature and in the way dogs have evolved from their wolfy predecessors. It is simply something that happens from time to time, and it can sometimes even be a good thing.
When it comes right down to it, it isn't the act of giving treats that encourages us to do it, but the reactions from our pets that make it all worthwhile. We as humans enjoy the ability to give and provide for our pets, and we are rewarded by the positive relationship we gain in return. In this, the veterinary community cautions that while treat giving is an excellent path to forming a bond, a higher frequency and amount can lead to obesity.
Exercising a dog means more than just a daily walk, especially for working breeds, but also for dogs who prefer to be couch potatoes. When it comes to exercising dogs, the breed and size will have an impact on their willingness to engage in rigorous activity.
It may be tempting to call the vet the second your pooch refuses dinner, but it’s perfectly natural and ordinary for some dogs to skip a meal or two on occasion. They may have simply filled up on too many treats that day, or they might be feeling a bit bored with their kibble.
Many pet parents end up being manipulated into buying several different types of food for their dogs in an attempt to satisfy their pup’s apparent craving for new and interesting food. However, most of the time, this unwanted behavior can be cleared up by simply having a strict feeding schedule and enforcing regular mealtimes.
Although some research shows that dogs may have a rudimentary concept of morality, they generally do not go out of their way to do “bad” things on purpose. Since dogs have relatively limited ways to communicate with their human family, engaging in bad things is typically a sign that they need something from their pet parent.
Many families share their hearts and homes with multiple dogs. While this makes playtime and cuddling even more fun, mealtime can bring its own unique issues. Resource guarding is exactly what it sounds like: a dog feels compelled to protect his food, and displays of aggression usually accompany this impulse.