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The Finicky Eater

Finicky DogWhen you hear of a pet being finicky, you normally think of cats.  But dogs can be just as fussy.  Dogs can be classified into two groups when it comes to eating.  The first group “lives to eat” and will usually devour anything you provide.  The second group “eats to live” and is much more discerning in choosing what to eat.  This group also takes longer to finish meals or sometimes will not finish at all.  If your pup has always been choosy as to what he consumes, there’s little need for concern.  He may have been born with a more distinguishable palate and not feel the need to devour every tidbit introduced to him.  As long as he’s maintaining a healthy weight, has a shiny coat and clear eyes, and is alert and perky, there is no need to worry.   On the other hand, if your dog normally consumes his meals without complaining and then suddenly stops is a cause for concern. 

If the sudden loss of appetite is accompanied by vomiting and/or diarrhea, these are definite signs of illness and the finicky eating will result in weight loss.  A visit to the veterinarian will help rule out any underlying condition, such as gastrointestinal disease.  An older, arthritic pet may also suddenly become a fussy eater as it may be more difficult for him to walk to the dish or bend down.  If your pup gets a clean bill of health from the vet and you’re still concerned about his selective eating, there’s a few changes you can make to be sure he’s getting the nutrition he needs.  First and foremost, if you’re feeding a commercial diet check the expiration date.  Products on store shelves expire and can become less appealing to your pooch as the product ages.  Another way to add interest to pup’s dinner is to heat it up, add water or enhance the meal with shredded cheese, veggies or chicken broth.  And there’s no rule stating that you have to feed your dog in a bowl placed in front of him.  Puzzle toys can add appeal to the dog who wants to work for his dinner.  Having a finicky pup is a lot like having a fussy child who doesn’t want to eat what you made for dinner.  Introducing foods prepared or served differently can spark more curiosity in the dog.  He may even come without being called the next time dinner is served.

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