Choosing the Best Dry Dog Food for Picky Eaters
While some dogs may happily eat their bowl of food and be content, other dogs can be very picky eaters. It’s not uncommon for dogs to be particular about their food, but that doesn’t make it any less unnerving when your best friend isn’t all that interested in finishing her meal.
A lack of appetite can happen with dogs of all ages and breeds for several different reasons, but there are ways that you can address the problem when your dog just isn't that interested in her food. Let’s break down how you can entice your dog to eat full meals and the right type of dog food for picky eaters.
How Do I Know if My Dog is a Picky Eater?
A picky dog is typically defined as a furry friend who does not consume all of her food at least once a day. If your dog has suddenly stopped eating, it is always good to be sure that there isn't another reason why your dog isn't eating all her food. There are a variety of other factors aside from fussiness that can create a lack of appetite. These include:
- A change in environment
- Separation anxiety
- Dental issues
- A sensitive stomach
If your dog is in good general health and has become less than enthusiastic about food, you may have a case of picky on your hands. In that case, you'll want to take some measures to help your best friend enjoy mealtime like she should.
Put Together an Action Plan for Your Picky Pup
So what can you do to make your furry friend less persnickety about her food? There are a few key factors that can help you entice your furry friend to consistently eat all her food. Here’s a four-part action plan to get your picky eater eating again.
Step One: Have a plan and be consistent
Dogs are creatures of habit, so make sure that you’re creating a comfortable routine for your dog. Changing that routine can throw off your dog and make her less likely to commit to a full meal.
Once you find a food your dogs like, be consistent with when, where, and how you feed them. Your dog should maintain a regular schedule so that she's less likely to feel the need to hoard food for the future. You should also identify and maintain a regular feeding spot - changing this space can be a bit jarring for a hungry pooch. Keeping all these details consistent will help eliminate some outside factors that may keep her from committing to a full meal.
Step Two: Keep dog food and people food separate
While it can be awfully tempting to say yes to an adorable face and puppy dog eyes, table scraps and people food are not an ideal part of a healthy, canine diet. In fact, people food can often lead to your dog not having enough space for her own kibble – or even a refusal to eat her dog food in favor of what you have on your plate. Even worse, giving your dog the wrong people food can lead to gastric distress.
Dropping a few morsels of people food on top of your dog's kibble can quickly add unnecessary calories to your dog’s bowl. It's best to stick to a tasty, nutritious dog food to help ensure complete nutrition and avoid picky eating habits.
Step Three: Be careful with treats
Dog treats are great for training your dog or rewarding them for being so adorable. However, it’s important to balance an appropriate amount of treats with your dog’s meals.
Treats are awful tasty, but handing out too many snacks may make your dog less interested in regular meals. This possibility means that you’ll want to monitor how many treats you dole out to your furry friend. The American Kennel Club recommends limiting treats to no more than 10 percent of your dog’s diet.
The easiet way to accomplish this goal is to scale back on the number of treats you give your dog. Unfortunately, that can be hard to accomplish if you’re in the middle of training and need those treats to reward good behaviors. In this case, you can try breaking treats into smaller pieces. You can also use a smaller reward like Bil-Jac Little-Jacs Training Treats to keep the portions manageable.
Step Four: Choose a dog food specifically made for picky dogs
Just switching brands may not resolve a dog’s picky eating problems. It's more important to focus more on what’s in the food than simply trying out something new.
First off, it's important to invest in a high-quality, great-tasting dog food that will be hard for any dog to turn down. You'll want to avoid kibble with sprayed-on fat and flavors that try and hide a less-than-interesting meal. A dry dog food like Bil-Jac Picky No More® is made with real ingredients to specifically appeal to dogs who have picky taste buds so that they eat everything they need to live happy, healthy lives.
When you do switch your dog's food, you'll also want to make it an easy transition. For more info on making this transition to a new formula, check out our blog post on how to switch your dog to adult food. Many dogs can easily make the transition to Bil-Jac without mixing, but if your dog is especially sensitive, it’s worth taking your time to make the change.
Picky No More: A Dog Food for the Pickiest Eaters
When you’re ready to try a dry dog food for the pickiest of pooches, Bil-Jac Picky No More Dry Dog Food should be at the top of your list. Picky No More recipes feature chicken liver, which is often used in dog treats because most dogs find it so irresistible. Even better, chicken liver helps provide high-quality protein, fat, and Vitamin A, making it a great choice to help your dog stay healthy.
Picky No More also contains Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids as well. These fatty acids help create that lush, shiny “show-ring coat” – just one reason why Bil-Jac is the preferred choice of many professional dog breeders and handlers.
Ready for the scientific stuff? Slow-cooking at controlled temperatures helps protect the essential nutrients that are in your dog’s food. Part of those essential nutrients are amino acids. Amino acids help support key body functions. Arginine helps support the immune system, while leucine and lysine rebuild muscles. Different types of dogs have special dietary needs as well, which is why Picky No More comes in two different varieties.
Each formula is made to accommodate your dog’s specific needs. For example, our Picky No More Medium & Large Breed provides naturally sourced, guaranteed levels of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate. These natural compounds occur naturally in our chicken ingredients, rather than through an added supplement. Bil-Jac strives to support nutrition on a holistic basis.
The Paw-fect Solution for Picky Dogs
Mealtime is meant to be a happy occasion, which is why it's important to get your picky pooch back to finishing her meals. If you’re ready to get your dog back on track, check out the full line of Bil-Jac Picky No More Dry Dog Food for small and medium/large dogs and “bring excitement to every meal®,” even for your picky eaters!
Want to learn more about what you can do to support your best friend’s health and happiness? Join our Best Friends Club to receive more helpful articles and special members-only discounts on Bil-Jac products.