I have been a practicing veterinarian for 10 years and my pets continue to teach me something new every day. You will often hear us tell our clients that your pets will eat what their body needs. So there are no picky eaters – you just haven’t found what your dog is wanting to eat yet. This is not always true for cats. Some cats refuse to eat canned food no matter what you try but in general, if you listen to your pet, they will tell you what they want to eat.
When I first adopted Tater Tot out of a rescue, she would eat anything I put in front of her. At that time, she wasn’t used to having access to food regularly so once she realized she would always be fed, she started becoming ‘picky’ with her food. She would go 1-2 days without eating a meal. At the time, I fed my dog strictly canned or crockpot diet and when Tate would turn away from a crockpot stew, it made me understand that I am missing something. So what did Tate always love and get excited to eat? It was Crump’s freeze dried beef liver treats and Flynn’s dried chicken breast strips. I also noticed that when she would eat the crockpot, she would spit out the vegetables. So I used my own advice and started her on a prepared raw diet of turkey or beef. And guess what? She stopped skipping meals and was excited to eat again. She wants meat! I have been able to hide vegetables in her crockpot by cutting them up small and making more of a gruel so her homemade meals are more balanced.
Of course, there are those dogs out there that will eat anything. Labradors, Pugs, and Beagles will never turn down a piece of food no matter what it is. So just stick with high quality foods in those pups. But if your dog is ‘picky’ – maybe you just haven’t figured out exactly what your dog is trying to tell you! Listen to your pup and hopefully those picky days are gone. And it is important to note, your dog needs a balanced diet with all the appropriate nutrients to stay healthy, so we can help you make sure he is getting what he needs in his food.