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Picky Eaters: How to Get Your Dog or Cat to Eat

How to Get Your Dog to Eat

When overweight cats and overweight dogs are so plentiful, it’s hard to believe that some pets are picky eaters. Especially with dogs being known for eating basically everything under the sun, are there really any animals that refuse to eat their meals? Believe it or not, these pets do exist! In fact, it’s a common problem for pet owners and we’re here to help. Here’s how to get your dog or cat to eat.

How to Get Your Dog to Eat

Before you tackle how to get your dog to eat, you must first pinpoint why exactly they’re refusing their food. And this might require the help of a veterinarian. If your vet does thorough diagnostic testing and determines that your pet is simply a picky eater, then you can try these tips:

  • Stop feeding your dog as many treats and scraps of people food. Eating too much of these foods will cause your pet to reject their dog food.
  • Have your dog exercise before mealtime by going on a nice long walk.
  • Try using bowls or feeders that are different heights. The current feeders or bowls that you use might be uncomfortable for your dog.
  • Place a few pieces of food next to your dog’s food bowl.
  • Feed your pet on the same schedule each day. Make sure they are fed at the same time every day, once in the morning and once at night. You can also try feeding them a third meal at lunchtime.
  • If your dog normally eats with other animals in your home, try feeding them alone.
  • Switch up the type of food you feed your dog. For instance, try wet food if you normally feed your pooch kibble. Mix in a little bit of the new food into their old food instead of transitioning them to the new food all at once. Transitioning to a new food too quickly can cause diarrhea.
  • Try puzzles and slow feeders. These toys turn mealtime into a fun game for your pup.
  • Have your dog perform a command and then feed them as a reward.
  • Pour some low-sodium, plain chicken broth on your dog’s food.
  • Make sure your dog’s kibble isn’t stale!

How to Get Your Cat to Eat

If you’re wondering how to get your cat to eat, we recommend trying all the previously mentioned tricks for how to get your dog to eat. However, here are some additional tips for getting picky feline eaters to chow down:

  • Give your adult cat kitten food. Food for kittens has a stronger flavor and smell that are super tempting for hungry bellies. Plus, kitten food is loaded with extra calories which is great if your feline is struggling to maintain a healthy weight.
  • Ask your vet about adding probiotics or other yummy supplements to your cat’s food.
  • Sprinkle catnip over your kitty’s chow.
  • Mix in some plain turkey or chicken in your cat’s food. Just make sure that cold cuts don’t exceed more than 10% of your pet’s diet.
  • Heat up some canned cat food.