You’re covered head to toe in flour and slaved over the stove for hours all to prepare your fur baby a hot meal. And how do they repay you? By turning up their snout in the moment and giving you sad puppy dog eyes for the rest of the night.
Ok so maybe you don’t actually meal prep for your pooch, but feeding time may still feel like a chore.
If your pup has a bad habit of refusing even high quality dog food, use these tricks to help fill their bellies.
1. Drop and run
As born scavengers, dogs are prone to sneaking around and gathering provisions. If you make mealtime slightly mysterious it could be enough to incite their natural curiosity. Put food down then walk away. Sticking around and staring down at their kibble could send the message that this food is yours and not to be trifled with. Even if Fido isn’t fully engaged at first plop, after a few tummy rumbles they may very well choose to investigate.
2. Pick up what you’re putting down
Different pet parents have different tactics when it comes to picking up food. Some give dog’s just thirty seconds to ingest. Others wait about ten to make sure the interest is piqued. Whichever timeframe you choose, taking up food at scheduled intervals sends the message that your pup needs to come and get it while it’s ‘hot’. Otherwise, they’ll have to wait until next time.
3. Same time, same place
Creating routine feedings can be key to getting your furry friend’s appetite back on track. Dog’s are creatures of habit and this is especially true when it comes to food. Having a set time or times for meals can also help regulate digestion, making it all the more likely they’ll nosh when the dinner bowl rings.
4. Ban human food ‘treats’
Throwing dogs the proverbial bone isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Unless it also happens to be from your plate. Even if done sparingly, snacking on human food can throw them off and cause confusion. Once they get a taste for real meat or processed fare, they could lose all interest in canine cuisine.
5. Top them off
Sometimes all that’s required to spark an appetite is a little extra meat-flavored incentive. Whether you break up an all natural dog treat and sprinkle it over top of their kibble or moisten it with nutrient-rich bone broth, just make sure the topper won’t add tons of extra empty calories.
Leave the begging for your pooch and entice them to eat with these appetite-stimulating tips. They could just help your picky pup eat like a horse.