Dog Training Tips: How To Train Your Fussy Eater

Is your dog picky? This guide may just be the very guide to stop them from being choosy about their food!

How To Train Your Fussy Dog To Start Eating

Picky eaters can be frustrating for their owners. A dog may refuse to eat his kibble or canned food for many reasons. He could be bored with his food, have a stomach upset, not find the food palatable or simply be picky! Once your dog has been cleared by the vet to have no medical reasons for avoiding his daily meals, you can start experimenting and training your dog to love to eat!

1. Consider the flavour of the food

It may simply not be something he enjoys, which could make eating breakfast or dinner a chore for your pup.  Pick up a few different flavours or formulas of the foods available in your chosen brand to try them out. Fish or beef are usually loved by dogs!

2. Add Canned Food or Home Cooked Dog Food

If kibble is just not what your dog likes, try out some canned foods or home cooked dog food.  You can do a search online to find some highly nutritious meals you can prepare for your favourite four legged buddy, and this just may entice him to eat every meal! Likewise, you can try a raw diet to help improve his overall health as well as teach him to love mealtimes. If changing flavours or types of food does not help, or maybe you prefer stick to kibble, there are still ways to help your dog eat at meal times!

Picky eater? Try feeding meal-enticing canned foods to your pups here!

3. Avoid Free Feeding

Make sure you are not free feeding your dog. Free feeding is the act of leaving a bowl of food out at all times, allowing your pooch to eat whenever he pleases. This can lead to boredom of food as well as obesity if he eats too much.  Have at least two set meals times, once in the morning and once in the evening.  It can help to ensure your pup is actually hungry enough to eat the food he’s given.

4. Make Mealtimes Fun

Make mealtimes a fun and engaging activity. Instead of simply setting the food down and walking away, ask your pup to sit and wait until you allow him to eat.  It may sound silly, but doing some kind of work like this can help your dog to see his meal as a worthy reward. Turn meal time into a game! You can place food into dog puzzle toys that engage your dog’s brain and encourages him to eat.  A puzzle toy has compartments that your dog must learn to open to get to his food.  Not only will he eat, but he was also work his brain!

If your dog loves to chase toys, balls, or even smaller animals you may help get your dog interested in eating his kibble through a chase game.  Using his food, toss a piece a little ways to get him to chase after it and eat it. When he does toss another. Make it fun and exciting and your dog will associate his dinner with positive emotions!

It may take trial and error to find what your dog really needs in terms of his food compatibility, but if you don’t give up you will succeed! He may simply need a different flavor, alternating dog food brands, or a game to get him interested. In the end, you will also feel a closer bond with your pup once you reach your goal. Good luck and let us know if the tips work!

Updated: September 21, 2017.

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