How to Make Mealtime Less Stressful for Your Dog
Food, and the nutrition it provides, is the foundation for keeping your dog healthy. Many dogs eat happily and their pet parents don’t have to think twice about it. When there are mealtime issues, it can be stressful for both you and your furry friends. If your dog is healthy and active, yet you find mealtime to be a challenge, here are some ideas to help you and your dog work through these issues.
Your Dog Won’t Eat
There are several reasons why a dog may refrain from eating. Each one of these has different potential causes and solutions.
Food intolerances or sensitivities
Your dog may have an issue with some of the ingredients in his dog food. While allergies are less common for dogs, your dog may be sensitive to dog food ingredients like grains, or even how the food is made. Many dry dog foods are manufactured and extruded at high temperatures, which may damage key nutrients. In this case, have your dog try a solution designed for their dietary needs, such as our Sensitive Solutions Dog Food, which is made with a gentle fiber blend and slow-cooked with chicken and whitefish.
Like a food sensitivity, a dental issue may dissuade your dog from eating regularly. A cracked tooth or some other injury may cause your dog discomfort. If your dog suddenly stops eating, check his mouth for any possible dental changes. If that’s the case, take him to the vet so that he can go back to eating without fear of discomfort. Choosing a food, like Bil-Jac Dry Dog Food, that is easy-to-chew, or Bil-Jac Wet Dog Food, which is soft, can also help make mealtime more manageable.
Fear is a powerful feeling, and it may affect your dog’s eating habits. PetMD defines anxiety as the “anticipation of future dangers from unknown or imagined origins that result in normal body reactions.” These anxieties can be caused by past experiences, which can be difficult to pinpoint if your dog was a rescue.
In these cases, start by offering your furry friend a healthy dog food that smells and tastes great. You can also try giving them some healthy treats after they have cleaned their bowl to reward them after their feeding time. From there, try and identify ways that can make your dog more comfortable during the process. Hand feeding may make your dog feel more comfortable (as a short-term solution), while others may prefer to be alone. Over time, the right tactics should help your dog feel less anxious while they eat.
Some dogs are just picky, ignoring some or all of their food. In this case, it’s important to find a food that your dog will love, such as Bil-Jac Picky No More Dry Dog Food, made with real chicken liver. Once you find a food that your dog loves, avoid giving him any human food that may leave him wanting for that instead of his normal dinner.
Your Dog Eats Too Much
While some dogs may not eat enough, others have issues staying away from their food bowls. According to the Association of Pet Obesity Prevention’s 2016 clinical survey, roughly 54 percent of dogs in the U.S. are overweight or obese.
Once you’re able to determine if your dog is overweight, you can start to act. While regular exercise is a key part of any healthy dog’s routine, breaking the cycle of overeating starts with adjusting your furry friend’s eating habits.
It can be easy to accidentally overfeed your dog. Pouring food until a bowl is full or eyeballing a scoop of kibble may lead to you giving your dog more than what he needs. Be sure to always measure out your dog’s food. All dog foods, including Bil-Jac, include suggested feeding amounts based on the weight of your dog. Feeding portions may need to be adjusted up or down, based on your dog’s activity level. Monitor your dog’s weight and body condition to determine if you should make any adjustments to keep him at a healthy weight. Just head to our dog food product pages for more information.
Avoid extra treats and human food
As much as it may pain you to hear it, there is a chance that you’re playing a role in your dog’s overeating. Let’s face it; you want to make your dog happy. Giving your pooch some extra treats or sneaking him something from the kitchen table is one way to get his tail wagging, but it can also help pack on a few extra pounds.
First, it’s time to eliminate human food from your dog’s diet. Not only can human food be fattening, it can even be potentially poisonous. As for treats, they can be good in moderation, but try and save them when rewarding good behavior or during training. Or consider using small treats like Bil-Jac Little Jacs which are less than three calories per treat.
Adjust your dog’s diet
In the end, what your dog eats can be just as important as how much they eat. A good, nutritious dog food is a key part of any healthy dog’s diet, even if they need to eat a little less of it. Feeding your pooch a good Reduced Fat Dog Food can ensure that he receives the same key nutrients while you manage his weight.
Dinner time shouldn’t be a hassle for you or your dogs, it should be something that helps them live a long healthy life! If you have any questions about your dog’s feeding habits, contact us today to ask our customer service team and learn more about what you can do to make sure your dog is fed right.