If your pet is a picky eater, feeding time can be a challenge. You may wonder if the food you are feeding them doesn’t taste good or if maybe they are sick, but often times there are other things happening. Dogs and cats are usually content with eating the same food for their entire lives, so why won’t yours?
Give them time
Your dog or cat may just be a slow eater. It is easy to confuse slow eating with pickiness, but sometimes pets just prefer to graze rather than eat it all at once. Cats are especially notorious for taking longer to eat because many would rather nibble throughout the day. While dogs usually eat everything pretty quick, it isn’t uncommon for them to leave some food for later. If you feel like they are not eating enough over the course of the day, talk with your vet.
Too many treats
If your dog or cat isn’t eating much, they may be getting too many treats throughout the day. Feeding your pet table scraps can have a negative impact on his health and limit his appetite for nutritious pet food. If you do want to treat your pet, follow the recommended treating directions from your vet. If you stop feeding table scraps and limit treating, you may see an increase in appetite from your pet.
Limit their options
If your pet is refusing to eat, it might make sense to give him more options to choose from. However, this can actually make it harder to get him to eat. One method of training him to eat his food is to not give him an option.
- Set out your dog or cat’s food for 30 minutes. If he doesn’t eat it, take it away.
- When it is time for his next meal, set out the food for another 30 minutes. If he doesn’t eat it, take it away again.
- Continue to repeat this until he eats his food at his regularly scheduled meal times. He will eat when he is hungry. Trust us, he doesn’t want to starve.
Talk to your vet
If your pet continues to be a picky eater and you have tried everything you can think of, talk to your vet. There may be more going on that needs your vet’s attention.