lovestoread: What can I do to help my picky spaniel gain weight?
I own a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, who at seven months old is the pickiest eater! He only eats wet dog food, or people food when he is sneaky enough to get his hands on it. I tried forcibly switching him to dry food, but he refused to eat. He only weighs 6.4 lbs, which is what really concerns me. Is there any way I can help my dog gain weight and find a food he loves? Thanks for your help!
Answers and Views:
Answer by Mat Bravo
Finicky dog? How to get your dog to eat:
So it’s like this. Your dog hasn’t eaten anything since his last meal. You would think he’s starving, right? Instead, he seems to be picky! Barely touching his food, your dog is way too finicky and you’re not exactly sure how to get him to eat. How to get your dog to eat is a conundrum at times, but is definitely feasible. Here’s how:
In some cases, dogs may reject the food we serve them because they’ve learned that they can get a lot of attention and hand feeding from their lovable, concerned owners. In essence, they’re a finicky dog. Or, maybe they think if they hold out long enough, delicious human food will be offered. So, in order to end their finicky dog eating ways, the first step is to identify ways you’re reinforcing their finicky, picky behavior without even realizing it. While focusing on your dog’s behavior, also focus on your own as your serve the food. What happens once you put the food in the dog bowl – do you walk away? Do you typically pet your dog?
If you’re petting your dog or hand-feeding him, try stopping. Try changing the diet as well, the finicky eater may be rejecting the food you’re giving him. For instance, try a raw food diet by giving your dog what he’s designed to eat: raw, fresh foods. Keep in mind that dogs are omnivores and require a diet heavily based on meat and bone.
Try placing this raw food on the floor for about fifteen minutes. If it’s not consumed, remove it and offer a fresh bowl of food twelve hours later. As long as you’re providing food two times on a daily basis, your finicky dog will not starve. That’s the key: making sure your finicky dog does not starve while training him to eat. Eventually your finicky dog will eat since you’re providing him with food and he will indeed be starving, but you also don’t want him thinking that just because he is extremely picky that you will succumb to his whims. As a responsible dog owner, you need to provide your dog with nutrients and a sustainable diet.
Another tactic for your finicky dog is to feed him during your family meal so that he’s socially equipped to eat with your family. Conversely, another tactic is to ignore him during the meal and resist the urge to pay attention to him so your fussy eater will eventually not associate food with reinforcement, but rather nourishment.
Keep in mind, if you’ve tried these various strategies with your finicky dog and failed in how to get your dog to eat, you should consult with your veterinarian. There may be an underlying medical reason why your dog is not eating such as lack of appetite - call your vet.
A VIDEO FOR PREPARING RAW FOOD.
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