It certainly is annoying when you know you’re offering your dog tasty and nutritious food and yet he simply sniffs at it and walks away.

The first time he did that, you probably thought that he was already feeling full and would readily eat his food later. But you found his bowl untouched even when it was time for his next meal!

If your dog has been behaving this way for quite some time, it’s obvious you have a finicky eater. Not only is this going to frustrate you more and more, this habit isn’t good for your pooch’s health either. It goes without saying that you need to get started on training your dog to eat.

Dog Food
It isn’t going to be tough if you use these tips.

Make Sure There’s Nothing Wrong with Your Dog

Notice your dog when he does eat food. Does he look uncomfortable or in pain when he’s eating? If yes, he could be having a problem in his mouth or throat. Additionally, if your pooch was eating well and all of a sudden has stopped eating food, it could be that he’s ill.

The best way to find out if your dog is sick is definitely by taking him to the veterinarian. The vet will be able to tell you exactly what’s bothering your pet. Do mention any noticeable changes in your pet’s behavior, diet, or bowel movement.

Get Rid of Your Own Bad Habits

Yes, ‘your’ bad habits! Dogs often become finicky eaters because their owners do the wrong things. If your dog isn’t facing any health issues, you need to make sure that you aren’t doing anything to encourage your dog’s bad eating habits.

The most common mistake pet owners make is feeding scraps from the table to their pets. Doing so makes your pooch more interested in the food you eat and less interested in dog food. Feeding your dog table scraps can also cause him to become obese.

If you have just adopted a puppy and want to avoid turning him into a finicky eater, do remember to not feed him scraps. Another thing to avoid is feeding him from your hand. Also, avoid offering all types of dog food that you have stored away to your pooch during meal time. You might think that you’re encouraging him to eat but this will only turn your pooch into a picky eater.

Do the Right Things

If you have been leaving food out for your dog the whole day, you need to stop. Designate meal times for your pooch and pour out food for him only during those times. If your dog comes up to the dish, sniffs at it and walks away, let the food remain there for a few minutes and then take it away. Don’t leave food outside for long as it will lose its taste and nutrients.

When it’s time for the next meal, simply follow the same procedure. If your dog doesn’t eat, don’t resort to bringing out treats for him. You don’t have to feel guilty about your dog not eating; you’re only training him, not starving him. Your dog won’t die of hunger; he will eat when he feels really hungry.

You may want to coax your pet into eating by petting him and talking to him. Never try to force-feed him; you don’t want to make meal times unpleasant for your pooch. If petting doesn’t work, leave him alone for a few minutes after setting the bowl in front of him. Don’t stand around and keep looking at him to see if he’s eating or not. This can make your dog anxious or reinforce his attention-seeking behavior.

If your dog does eat but doesn’t finish everything in the bowl, pour out a lesser quantity during the next meal. If your pooch finishes everything the next time you feed him, great! If he seems eager to eat more, don’t pour out more food that very instant. Wait until the next meal time.

Remember to never serve cold food to your pooch. Food should always be at room temperature. Dry food can be moistened up by adding a little warm water. You can also warm up the food a little before serving it to enhance the taste.

It is possible that your dog isn’t eating because you’ve changed his food. If you’re trying out a new diet, you’ll need to go about this gradually. Mix a little of the new food with the old variety for a few days. If all is well, keep increasing the proportion of the new food.

You can consider getting free samples of dog food to see if your dog likes the food. If he doesn’t, at least you won’t have to worry about excess dog food!


There are no tricks to getting your fussy eater to gobble up his food readily but by making use of the tips mentioned here, you are sure to see a difference in your pooch’s behavior. Just be sure to have patience when you’re training your dog and remember to not give in when your dog gives you those pleading looks.

If you stay with family or friends, be sure to share these tips with them too. You’ll need to ensure that everyone in the house is strict with your pooch until he gets rid of his bad eating habits.

Start as soon as possible and stop your pooch’s problem from getting worse!

Filed under: All About Dogs

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