Ask A Vet - My Dog Is A Fussy Eater, What Should I Do?

My Dog Is A Fussy Eater, What Can I Do?

My dog is an extremely fussy eater and thin because of this. He's a happy healthy young boy - can you advise how to encourage him?  I've tried chicken and chicken stock in his biscuits but he fishes out the chicken and leaves the rest.  

I tried different dog foods and both dry biscuits and soaking them but to no avail.  What should I do?  Thanks, Kirsty

Ask A Vet Dog Sitting With Food Bowl

Hi Kirsty,  Some dogs can certainly be fussy and it is much more common in some breeds than others. In cases like this, it is always worth a quick trip to the vet for a couple of reasons.

Firstly I have had numerous cases of clients who are concerned their animals are underweight when they are actually in perfect condition. A lot of these clients are getting stopped in the street and even accused of starving their animals and unfortunately, I think this is a reflection of how many pets today are overweight and people's Ideas of what is normal have changed This is especially the case in entire animals who on a whole tend to be leaner and less food orientated than their neutered counterparts.

Secondly, I remember one little puppy who we were convinced was fussy and no amount of coaxing or diet change made any difference, in the end, we ran some tests on him and it turned out he had a really rare form of kidney disease and that was why he didn't want to eat anything!

If everything checks out OK then I wouldn't worry too much. Try not to chop ad change diets regularly as this can encourage fussy behavior. I would offer food and if not eaten remove it rather than leave it down. Warming food or adding things to it like you are can be helpful and if things aren't improving perhaps consider switching to a different type of food altogether such as canned, raw, or home-cooked.

I would advise you to talk this through with your vet first though so you are aware of all the pros and cons as well as ensuring the diet is balanced.

 Advice from Adrian Caunter, BVSc BSc PgC SAS MRCVS

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