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While every dog is different in appearance, in weight, in personality, and quirks we think of all dogs as having one thing in common is their love for food. However, a good, consistently hearty appetite is not universal. Overtime, picky eater dogs have become major concerns for dog owners which comes as no surprise to experts on pet nutritionists.

Not every dog is food-driven, especially the smaller breeds. For some, it just isn’t all that important. They don’t see food as the ultimate reward. They may want your attention or praise, and food is secondary. Pay attention to what motivates your dog. Also there are many medical issues that can lead to a loss of appetite or stop your dog eating altogether.

Pet owners can actually help to create a fussy eater by taking advantage of the huge variety among dog foods – different kibble flavors and sizes, different textures and flavors among canned foods, pouches of semi-moist food, and freshly packaged meals in the refrigerator section of the grocery or pet store.
It doesn’t matter what the cause, getting a fussy dog to eat his meal is can feel like an impossible task.

why is my dog a picky eater

Having ups and downs with respect to appetite is pretty normal for a lot of dogs. The problem is when it becomes a habit or a pattern.

A pattern could be indicative of something more worrying, such as an underlying medical problem – and we’ll get to that, along with the signs that should flag such situations in your mind.

But when it is a habit, is more often than not our own fault as owners:

Feeding scraps off the table, or your plate, during mealtimes

One of the most common reasons why a dog becomes a picky eater is simply not because of his behavior, but because of how you raise them. For example, giving him table scrap and too many treats could lead to picky eating. Your dog is already full when it comes to his scheduled meal.

Changing brands or types of dog food

Another common cause of picky eating in dogs is new food. Even though you may think the new food you bought for her may smell delicious, she may not like it. Sometimes it is better not to change food unless your veterinarian suggests it because of an allergy.

Health related issues

Your dog might just be showing signs of illness. It is usually associated with other symptoms. Your pup must be observed and if it persists should be taken to the vet to be examined and receive the proper care.

Many types of cancer can cause anorexia (loss of appetite) in dogs. Other symptoms to watch for are weight loss and extreme lethargy.

Also Some hormonal disorders can cause an imbalance or overabundance of certain chemicals, called metabolic disease. This imbalance in the blood may cause lack of appetite or picky eating. Other symptoms you may notice include increased or decreased sleeping, frequent urination, and weight loss or gain.

Dogs can do become picky eaters as a result of a Dental disease. If your dog is suffering with pain in his mouth caused by periodontal affections, gingivitis, oral tumours or a broken tooth they might represent one of the causes for losing its appetite.

Treatment at early stages of any disease is the best conduct to prevent serious consequences and improves the success of treatments

Side Effects of Medication and vaccinations

Some medications can make your dog feel nauseous or have an upset stomach. If you have started your dog on any kind of new medication or supplement recently you should call your veterinarian for advice. Also, never give your dog medication or supplements without talking to the veterinarian first.
As one of the adverse effects of vaccines, your dog might lose his/her appetite but it should be only minor and temporarily sign.

Inconsistent feeding schedule

Dogs are creatures of habit. That truth goes for training, feeding, and so many aspects of their life.
Sticking to a consistent daily feeding schedule can help your pup learn to be less picky and to eat when it’s mealtime

Behavioral and environmental reasons

Changes in the environment include a recent move or traveling, absence of a family member or another pet, weather changes, recent stress, or a change in the feeding schedule.
If your furry friend goes crazy when left alone, you should learn about ways to treat separation anxiety. Another reason can be that the dog feels the need to guard the house until you get back. So, there’s no time to eat.

Remedies for Picky Eaters

Consult your vet

Seek out an expert opinion on this issue by seeing a vet. A dog that is unwell, for any reason, may refuse to eat. If your canine buddy is normally a consistently good eater, be sure to rule out possible medical issues that may be the cause of sudden picky eating.

Change your dog’s food formula

Start by combining new food with the old food and gradually increasing the amount of new food as you reduce the amount of old food. This will be helpful in getting your dog accustomed to the new food and avoid a hunger strike.
If you’re switching from wet to dry food, try mixing in a small amount of warm water with the dry food

Consistent Feeding Schedule

Setting strict feeding times shows your dog when it’s time to eat and that their time to eat is a finite window. If your dog is a picky eater, free feeding is not an effective option. We would strongly recommend for setting strict mealtimes and not free-feeding pets. Dogs will learn that the meal is going to be offered at a specific time of the day

Feeding Location

There’s a chance your dog is reluctant to eat their food because it’s in an uncomfortable position for them — perhaps too close to a draft, too near a territorial fellow pet, too low to the ground, or for any number of reasons.
Try a different bowl, height, or room for your dog’s mealtime. A simple change in feeding location may work wonders.
Apart from feeding your dog at the same times every day, you should also consider taking away uneaten food after a certain amount of time—20 to 30 minutes or so is appropriate. That way, your dog understands that when food is offered, it’s time to eat it. Otherwise, the food goes away


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