Ensuring your beautiful beast is eating properly and their diet is balanced & healthy is at the forefront of every owner’s mind. If your beloved companion, however, is a bit of a fussy eater it can sometimes be a challenge. It’s important to get to the bottom of this issue as soon as it arises to help prevent any negative impact on their health, but how do you encourage your cat or dog to be a less picky eater?
The first thing to do is to rule out any medical issues as to why they are not eating properly. Your vet can check for any underlying problems, and also check their teeth and gums, as with humans toothache can make eating certain foods painful.
It may be that your dog or cat has simply got bored with their food, your vet will give you advice on food choices, but it’s worth thinking about the following things:
- Have they suddenly started to not want food that they previously enjoyed?
- Have you tried adding more variety, testing different proteins, or adding steamed vegetables to their meals?
- Is it just their meals or are they off treats too?
- Dry food is often bought in bulk to help reduce cost, is it kept in an airtight container, how long have you had it?
- Have you tried adding warm water to their dry food?
- Have you tried introducing different kinds/textures of food, dry, wet or raw? If this helps the manufacturer will give guidelines on how to make a transition.
- Is there a time in the day when they do eat better?
- Are they overly excited before mealtimes, distracted and wanting to play rather than eat?
- Is there anything going on that could currently be making them anxious?
- Have you tried changing the area of the house they are fed, or the feed station? They may not like the bowl their food is being fed to them in.
- Are you watching over them to check they are eating? Have you tried leaving them to it?
- If you have several pets are they all fed at the same time?
Make It Fun
- Have you tried putting their food into a toy designed to make feeding into a game?
- If they have dried food, simply putting it in a wide-necked bottle will make them have to nose it around the room to get their food out.
- Slow feeding bowls add fun to their meals, they have 3d shapes to make eating more stimulating.
Each one of our beautiful beasts are different, some may respond to changing a simple thing, while others might need a few changes to be encouraged to eat. Remember, if you see there’s no improvement with your dog or cat’s eating habits, you should return to your vet for expert advice.