Is your pet a picky eater? Tips to help get your pet to eat normally again!

Just like children can be picky eaters, our furry companions can also sometimes be picky eaters! Dogs and cats may frequently turn their noses up at the food you serve them, no matter how much you try and coax them to eat.

If you are a pet parent with a fussy-eater, then we understand how concerned and worried you are that your pooch or kitty may go hungry or not be receiving proper nutrition to be in tip top health.

Fortunately, there are some useful tips to help you to get your pet eat normally again. Let’s take a look!

Why do pets become picky eaters?

If your pet refuses to eat his kibble but will happily eat table scraps or treats during the day, then you are partly to blame for his fussy eating behaviour. This learned behaviour usually starts when you overindulge your dog or cat from a young age.  
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When does picky eating become a problem?

If you have difficulty getting your pet to eat at least once daily, then it is safe to say that he is a picky eater. Some pets are not big eaters and it may be quite normal for them to pick at their food.

If your dog or cat’s weight is in a healthy range, their skin is in good condition and they are generally in good spirits, then you have no need to be concerned.

However, if your pet has been eating regularly and his appetite suddenly changes, it may be best to rule out any potential medical problems. Liver, kidney or pancreas problems can cause loss of appetite in pets.   
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How to encourage your pet to eat his food

1. Start healthy eating habits from an early age

When you first bring your new pet home, you would have to decide what his dietary requirements would be. This means that he should be fed food according to his weight, breed and other health needs. By feeding your dog or cat table scraps, you are creating bad eating habits for your pet and encouraging a picky eater.

While your pet can have the occasional treat, he should be fed a high quality, well balanced meals twice daily. Treats should be reserved as rewards for good behaviour and training.
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2. Feed a high quality, well balanced meals

Sometimes picky pet eaters don’t like the brand of food that you are feeding them. For instance, your cat may prefer wet food to kibble. Whatever, your dog or cat prefers, it’s important to feed them a high quality, well balanced diet which contains all the essential nutrients.

More and more people are choosing a natural diet which contains no additives and preservatives for their pets.

Try DoggoBone Raw Active Food for dogs which is a raw food diet consisting of finely ground meat, organ meat, fresh veggies, fruit and garden herbs. For pets that prefer cooked foods, try the Vondi’s range for both dogs and cats – it contains meat, veggies, grains and freshly picked herbs.

Both these foods are available from the Feelgood Health Shops at Unit 6, Westlake Lifestyle Centre, Westlake Business Park, Cape Town, South Africa - call 021 797 0193 for more information. 
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3. Avoid table scraps

If you are feeding your pet table scraps, you are not only overindulging him but encouraging him to prefer human food more and reinforcing negative behaviour such as begging.

There is nothing wrong with table food or left overs, especially if you are eating a healthy diet. You can always add healthy table scraps to your pet’s meal, just don’t feed at the table!

Be firm with your pets and don’t allow them near the table while you are eating.
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4. Make a clear distinction between pet and people food

It is very important for pet owners to separate their human food from their pets. If you are feeding your pooch or kitty from your plate, they may think it’s perfectly fine to eat your food as well as their own.

Your dog or cat should only eat pet food and only EVER out of their own bowl. Especially if you have a picky eater, you should not confuse your dog or cat.

Animal food is in a pet food bowl, while people food is on a plate. Pets will naturally prefer to eat what you are eating – and then refuse to eat out of their own bowl!
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5.   Adhere to a feeding schedule

Adult pets should be fed twice daily while puppies and kittens should be fed two to three times daily. As your puppy or kitten matures, start increasing their food portions according to their weight.

Remember, not to overfeed and use a measuring cup to make sure that they are receiving equal portions of food. If your pet doesn’t finish his food after 30 minutes, remove the food.

When he finishes his food, praise him. Do not beg your dog or cat to eat or try and feed treats when he won’t eat his normal food. You will be setting up bad eating habits.
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6. Supplement with natural remedies

Give your pet’s health an extra boost with natural remedies to keep them in tip top condition. Add a herbal immune-boosting tonic such as Immunity & Liver Support to strengthen and support their immune system and to help encourage a healthy appetite.

If your pet suffers from digestive problems, use Digestive Support for all-round digestive care.
HAVE A QUESTION related to your pet?
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Encouraging a picky eater to develop healthy eating habits will take lots of patience and perseverance but these useful tips should give you the head start you need!.     

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