Anyone who owns a dog knows how they are highly motivated by their favorite snack. We have seen dogs so interested in their meals that they just wait for their mealtimes eagerly. But if you have a dog who does not like its high-quality dog food, then it can become a reason to worry. But this pickiness is actually a common problem that pet parents face, which causes them a lot of stress.
Being a pet parent of a Shih-Tzu, which comes under Asian dog breeds, I have been in a similar rut quite a few times when I decided to put my foot down no matter how much my dog begs me to change its food.
I have seen many parents just give up and feed the dog their human food, as they are worried that the dog will remain hungry if not fed. Well, you are only making matters worse. You must work towards your dog liking its dog food, and here are some reasons why.
Why Dogs Need Specific Dog Food?
This may seem silly to many people as they may think, why do dogs need to eat something else? Why cannot they eat healthy human food instead? I have seen a few families feeding similar meals to their pets at times, just assuming it is ok. Well, you really should do enough research on what food suits best for your dog breed before feeding one. And there are many reasons for that, as mentioned below.
This is one main issue that many dogs suffer from because their owners decided to feed their usual human food. The dog companies give the perfect food measurement that needs to be given to the dog at different stages of their lives. But, you will have no idea of how much you need to feed regular food to the dog. Also, the diet is not balanced well. Dog food usually contains proteins primary source of energy, whereas human food contains carbohydrates as the primary source. Carbs are bad for your canine friend and excess as it leads to obesity of the pet.
Your dog has a particular nutritional need that you will not understand if you are not a veterinarian. Your dog’s diet should contain essential vitamins and minerals added to the dog food. These will not be there in human food, as their nutrition requirement is different from ours. Nutrition deficiency is horrible for your pet as it will lead to malnutrition. Focus on giving them a breed-appropriate diet that is well balanced for that particular dog breed to ensure they get the proper nutrition.
Food that is not meant for dogs is not easy for your dog to digest. This means your dog’s poop may stink or have loose consistency. In extreme conditions, it can lead to vomiting and diarrhea. Many human foods are toxic to dogs; hence, make sure the food you are feeding your dog is safe for them.
What Food is Good for your Dog:
There is no one correct answer as different dogs have different nutrition needs. Also, it is your individual choice of feed. If you prefer to feed your dog dry dog food, then you can go for reputed dog companies to get breed-specific dog kibbles that address the breed-specific health issue. Their kibble formula is based upon addressing the health concerns of that particular breed which sounds promising. Dry dog food is most widely fed to pet dogs and is considerably cheaper too; hence it is a reliable source of energy and nutrition for your dogs.
You can also go for wet food if your pet resents dry dog food. This is also a balanced meal but usually relatively costlier than the dry version. Several people choose to feed their dogs a raw diet. Well, this can be done, but you need to balance the meal properly and add supplements to it to give your dog a balanced diet.
Easy Ways to Make Your Dog Enjoy Meals:
- Combination Feeding:
If you feed the dog the same meal, you can add more flavor to it by using additives like canned food. If you feed dry kibble to the dog, add extra protein to it, such as liver or chicken, to enhance the taste of the meal. Heat the protein before you add it to the kibble to improve its aroma, which will surely entice your dog to eat lots of food. Keep rotating the additives, though, to make mealtime more enjoyable.
- Rotational Feeding:
Even humans get bored eating the same food for just two consecutive meals. Imagine you feeding your dog the same food for months. Your dog sees you enjoying various meals, whereas they only get the same food every meal. This makes them bored and disinterested in their food. This is why rotational feeding should be done when your dog is not interested in its meals. Rotation meals swapping what you feed your dog regularly with something different. For example, if you use one dog food, you can switch flavors of the same dog food so that your dog gets to eat a meal that tastes different.
If you raw feed your dog, then swap the source of protein between duck, chicken, turkey, and beef. This will definitely keep your dog interested in its meals.
The Bottom Line:
Several dogs are stubborn and may go on a long food strike just to force you to give in and feed them human food. Remember not to be weak in those moments. Your dog is just testing you and waiting for you to budge. If you stay firm, your dog will learn the point after skipping a few meals and start eating its regular meals again. Remember not to scold the dog when it does not eat its food. Just pick the bowl away after minutes of putting your dog’s food out. This will ensure your dog knows who the pack leader is and gets back to enjoying its meals.