Don’t look at me with that sad puppy dog eyes! Eat your dinner. There are starving dogs in Africa that would love to have what you have. Do you know how much your food costs?
Sound familiar? It’s the conversation that I have with my dogs almost every day. It’s my fault. I know. I go too easy on them. I try to be strong, but darn it all if they aren’t the cutest little fur balls. After trying all sorts of different things, I think I’ve finally found an answer to get my finicky dogs to eat.
There are all sorts of methods. Some work for one dog but not the others. It’s a little bit of trial and error. Talk to anyone who has a dog, and they’ll be more than happy to share what works. I once had a man in a doggie daycare tell me that playing bluegrass music got his Doberman to dine. My mom swears that feeding her Lab like a baby works. Think, “Open up wide for the choo-choo.” She’s my mom. I love her, but no. Just no. So what’s the best way to get your dog to eat? The answer…I don’t know. But here’s a list of ideas that I’ve found work for most dogs. Your experience may vary.
1. Put it down. Pick it up. Give your pup 30 minutes to eat. When time is up, take the food away. I know it sounds harsh, but your dog will learn to eat when the food gets put down. And don’t worry…they won’t starve. If you’re like me (I’m a softy), this seems way too extreme. It feels like abuse. But for a lot of people this method really works. Just like kids, dogs need to be trained, so when time is up…so is the food.
2. Your dinner time is not their dinner time. Never feed your canine companion from the table or while you’re preparing your meal. This confuses dogs. What’s worse, this is also a great way to help them decide they don’t like kibble. “Real meat is king! Give me chicken or give me death!” Okay, maybe a little dramatic, but dogs can develop a taste for people food, and getting them back to canine cuisine can be quite the challenge.
3. Timing is everything. Feed your dog at the same time each day. Whether you feed your dog three times or one time a day, consistency is king. Be sure to feed them at the same time every day. This is can also helpful with digestion and other health issues.
4. Top it off! No, I don’t mean overfeed the poor mutt. Add something special to entice your dog to eat. But be careful. Most dog foods have a fairly balanced selection of ingredients designed to keep your dog healthy, so you don’t want to add extra, empty calories. I found a great dog treat that my dogs love. I know – you’re thinking mixing dog treats with food is a horrible idea. However, these are single ingredient, freeze-dried treats. I use Project Paws Treats. No fillers. No preservatives. All natural. Just chicken breast or beef liver. That’s pure protein. The freeze drying locks in the nutrients, and the great taste gets my dogs to bury their noses in the bowls, which makes me happy.
Share Your Secret Weapon to Get Your Dog to Eat
These are just a few ideas. I’m sure there are many more. If you’ve found a trick that works, share down below in the comments. After all, we’re really just one big canine community. Most important, just remember that like us, all dogs are different. You just have to find the right method to get your dog to woof it down.