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Tips For Dealing with a Finicky Dog

By: Petplace Staff

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Some dogs are just...naturally finicky. Here are some tips to help you deal with these dogs.

  • If you have been feeding your dog's current food for an extended period of time, he has always been finicky about eating it, and you feel that he is unhappy with the taste, then you could gradually change him to a new quality food. To do this, mix the old food in with small amounts of the new food, then slowly increase the new food and decrease the old. This will prevent gastrointestinal upset. Make the change over at least 2 to 3 days.

  • When changing foods, pick a new flavor or texture that may better suit his desires. You may want to try feeding a semi-moist food vs. dry, for example, or you may choose lamb and rice rather than beef and rice. Keep in mind if selecting a softer food, these foods can cause more tartar build-up on your dog's teeth, and they are generally more expensive. Adding small amounts of a moist food may be a better alternative to completely switching.

  • Another trick that can help finicky dogs to eat is heating up the food. Heating the food helps release the aromas that are appealing to your dog. You might try microwaving your finicky dog's moist food, or adding hot water to the dry food. Stir the mixture around with your finger or a spoon and try to make sure there are no "hot spots" created by the microwave warming.

  • Mixing something extra in the food can also be helpful. Break up a dog biscuit in the food, add a little meat-flavored baby food, sprinkle in a small amount of shredded cheese, etc. Mix the special additives throughout the food, to make it difficult for your pooch to pick out the goodies. Be careful with this option; too much "something extra" can lead to obesity. Also, don't spoil him so much that he becomes more finicky, as explained above.

  • If your dog is a go-getter that doesn't slow down long enough to eat, you might want to make him work for his food. Filling a treat-dispensing toy or a Kong toy with his meals could be more interesting to your active canine.

    For more information, please read Finicky Dogs: How to Encourage Your Picky Dog to Eat.

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