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3 Simple Steps to Stop Your Dog Becoming a Fussy Eater And… How to Cure it if They Already are Fussy!

Dog Food

3 Simple Steps to Stop Your Dog Becoming a Fussy Eater And… How to Cure it if They Already are Fussy!

If you own a fussy dog, or you are unsure about how to feed your dog, then you’ll be pleased to read this.

I have been feeding dogs for over 30 years now and have used this technique for the last 20 years. In all that time, I have never had problems with fussy eaters. And fully 100% of the dogs whose owners have come to me for advice and tried this technique have gone from fussy to good eaters.

First, no dog is born fussy. Dogs are opportunistic hunters by nature. This means they scavenge food when given the opportunity. That’s how wild dogs became domesticated – it was easy to scavenge around humans and, over time, they became less and less wary of humans until eventually they became domesticated. Yet, this inherent scavenging behaviour continues, and is still strong in all healthy dogs today.

So, if dogs are not born fussy, then they must be learning (from us) to be fussy. How? Let’s look at this from a dog’s perspective.

Dog:   ‘Here comes John with my food again. I can’t possibly eat anymore, what with all the food he’s been feeding me. But if I don’t, he insists.’ [The dog reluctantly begins to eat.] ‘This is really too much for me. I can’t finish it.’

John: ‘Poor Dog, you’re not eating. You must not like your food anymore. I’ll go to the supermarket and get you something else.’

A few hours pass.

Dog:   ‘Oh, no, here he comes again. Doesn’t he know I can’t possibly be hungry? I just ate a few hours ago. Oh, wait, you’ve bought me chicken necks. I remember those from when I was a pup. They were delicious. OK, even though I’m full I’ll eat them before any other pups get them.’ [He eats, half-heartedly.]

John: ‘You don’t look like you’re enjoying that. I’d better try something else.’

The following day, at feeding time.

Dog:   ‘Here comes John with more food. I’m still full from all those chicken necks I made myself eat yesterday. And now he’s giving me the same amount of food again. I’m not gonna be able to finish this, but I’ll eat as much as I can. [Eats slowly, lifting his head repeatedly.] I can’t – I can’t even get through half of it today.’

John: ‘Dog, I wish you would finish your food. I’ll have to buy you some new food tomorrow.’

A few hours pass.

Dog:   ‘I think I‘ll go do my puppy dog eyes at John. He really likes it when I do that.’

John: [Jumping to his feet] ‘Awww, poor Dog, you must still be hungry. Let’s see what we have in the fridge. Look, a nice big juicy steak! Here, Dog, have this.’

Dog:   [Looks up, uncertainly] ‘I’m so full, but I hardly ever get steak. Who knows when I might get another chance? [Eats steak slowly.] That steak was so juicy, but now I’m about to explode. I’ll go lie down and try to digest all this food.’

The following day, at feeding time.

John: ‘Here, Dog, I bought you some new dog food. The lady at the shop said it’s the most popular brand of food and all dogs like it.’

Dog:   [looking up at John with puppy dog eyes, pleading] ‘I’m sorry, John, I know you want me to eat this but I’m so full I don’t want to eat anything. Let me rest and I’ll eat it tomorrow.’

John: ‘Wow, Dog, you are turning into a really fussy eater. I don’t know what to do with you. I’ll just leave this food here in case you want to eat later.’

Does this story sound familiar?

Now, I sped up the process, but it should give you an idea of how we, as owners, turn our dogs into seemingly fussy eaters.

The next step is Dog realising that when he turns his nose up at the food offered, John brings him something else, something even more tantalising. Congratulations, John, you have now created a really fussy dog.

Yep, that’s me – I’m John. So, now what do I do?

Let me show you how to reverse this process. First off, medical conditions can stop a dog from feeling the need to eat, so if your dog really is refusing to eat, a health check at the vet’s should be considered. Once you get the clean bill of health, it’s important to understand that while a dog will overeat, it will NEVER choose to starve itself. If they’re not eating, most likely they’re just not hungry.

Here is how I feed my dogs, and how you should do it too.

During feed time, place your dog’s food on the ground and walk away. Don’t watch your dog to see if it is eating. Some dogs feel uncomfortable if watched while eating. Come back in 10 minutes. If any food remains, take it away. Don’t offer ANY food until the next scheduled feed time. Repeat this process at EVERY feed time. Don’t worry if your dog doesn’t eat. When they’re hungry, they will eat.

This simple method works for two reasons:

Reason 1 –  Dogs love consistency. If you haven’t read my article ‘The No. 1 Rule Of Dog Training! read it now. If you feed any other way, you risk not being consistent enough.

Reason 2 –  Dogs, as I explained, are opportunistic hunters. By only allowing them to eat at feed time, they quickly learn that feed time is their only opportunity to eat.

So follow these three simple steps:

  1. Place food on the ground and say, ‘Good dog.’
  2. Turn your back and walk away. Don’t watch to see if your dog eats.
  3. Return in 10 minutes and remove any unfinished food.

It’s really that easy. And, I promise, your dog will love you all the more for it.

For more tips on what to feed, when to feed, and how much to feed, read our article “Avoid Health Problems by Following These Dog Care Tips!”.

Happy feeding!

dog health

Dog Poo!!!

Dog Health

Dog Poo!!!

A Quick Guide.

I have picked up tens of thousands of dog stools in my life [with pooper scooper ;-)], so I think it kinda makes me a bit of an expert on dog poo.

I have noticed that often people really freak out about their dogs stool changing consistency. Most often there is a simple explanation. The main thing with dog poo is that if your dog eats something new or different, the poo will most likely be different as well.

A quick change of food could cause runny stools, this does not necessarily mean that the food is bad or the food disagrees with your dog. It’s just one of those things that when a dog changes foods quickly the stools may go funny for a while. A good example is the meaty bones we recommend. If you have never fed your dog meaty bones and you give your dog a large lamb leg full of meat, it’s a very healthy meal for your dog, however don’t expect a nice stool the next day.

I know hunters who feed their dog’s fresh Kangaroo meat on occasions. The stools the next day are black and runny. It’s still a healthy meal however bad the stools look.

If you feed meaty bones with a lot more bone than meat, then expect to see a hard white stool. Sometimes it’s very dry and crumbles to dust. The stool doesn’t look the best, but still meaty bones are very healthy for your dog.

If you have just started doing the 48 hour fast with your dog, you may have noticed some funky looking stools with puss and gunk in them. That is perfectly normal and that ugly poo is just junk leaving your dog’s body due to the detox the 48 hour fast gives your dog. I highly recommend everyone does it with their dog unless there is a medical condition of course.

Grass poos are interesting because often the grass comes out totally undigested. Once again this is normal and no need for you to worry.

Is a change in poo consistency a bad thing?

If you are 100% certain that your dog has not eaten anything unusual and that there is no reason for the stool to be different then yes that could be a cause for concern. Please be aware that your dog could have found something and have eaten it when you were not looking. The main thing here is to monitor your dog. If the stools continue to get worse then there could be an issue worth getting a Vet to check.

If you do notice a bad stool you need to also monitor your dog’s wellbeing. Does your dog still look energetic and healthy? If your dog has produced some unexplainable funky stools and also looks flat or sick, then definitely go to the vet and put a piece of the poo in a glad bag or something so the vet can check it for baddies.

There are many changes stools can undergo. Consistency (how hard or soft they are) and colour are the main things to look out for. Changing from a normal brown to grey or a dark blood colour are reasons for concern and a trip to the vet, if there has been no change in diet.

Other things to look out for in your dog’s stool are little white things which would indicate worms.

It is a good idea to check your dog’s stool everyday if you can. That way you will become accustomed to what is normal and what isn’t. When you do check it every day you should also take into consideration what your dog has been eating and also of times when your dog could have eaten something you are not aware of. If you see a strange stool, and your dog is looking healthy then wait till the next day to see if it has changed back. You can monitor for a few days if your dog looks and acts normal. If the stool has changed and your dog looks lethargic then maybe it’s best to head off to the vet with the stool sample.