Lots of people switching their dogs to a prey model raw diet are faced with the battle of picky eaters. Their dogs show pretty much no interest in the food that is put in front of them. This can be for many reasons from just not knowing what to do with it to being just plain picky. The best way to combat this is to follow the steps I have written out. Once you have overcome this small hurdle (trust me, its hard…I’ve personally had to do it with switching my own over) you wont regret it one second. Just keep telling yourself that
1) YOU are in charge of what your dog eats, when it eats and how much it eats
2) YOU are NOT starving your dog, your dog is choosing not to eat
3) Applying “tough love” is the way to go with stubborn dogs!
Picky eaters 101:
Picky eaters are created. If you allow your dog to pick and choose what to eat, they win and you lose. You must choose a good food that works well for your dog (health wise) and stick to it (in this case raw meaty bones). You are the parent and the one in control of your dog’s health, not your dog because they do not know what is best. You must regain pack leadership and respect from your dog by being in control.
1. Pick a good, healthy food (in this case raw meaty bones).
2. Stick to it no matter how “picky” your dog seems. Only change foods if you notice a health issue.
3. Get on scheduled feeding times.
4. Don’t at any time coax your dog to eat the food, whether that be vocal reinforcement or adding anything to it to make it more inticing to eat. Just simply set the food down and go about your business.
5. Offer a meal of the food you choose and give your dog no more than 15 minutes to eat it. If they doesn’t touch it, pick it up to
feed at the next feeding time.
6. Offer the food again at the next scheduled feeding. Same as before give no more than 15 minutes. If not touched, pick it up and save for the next feeding time.
7. Give NO snacks or treats between feeding times (until you succeed at this picky eater issue).
8. Keep offering the same food each meal time until it is eaten. Keep up this until it’s not an issue and your dog will eat what you choose. This may take days, it took my girls 5 WHOLE days of not eating anything to get the hint. I am so proud of myself for doing it!
Things to remember:
1. No healthy dog will intentionally starve itself. Each time your doesn’t eat what you put down, they are choosing not to eat…you are not starving your dog. You are providing them what you think is the best nutrition there is and that is what you have to keep in mind.
2. Picky eaters are manipulative. Every time you cater to their wants, they win and are in control. Whether you give them added attention or additions, they are getting what they want. Nothing in life for them should be free and that definitely applies to your respect.
3. Patience is key in this situation. Some dogs are so set in their ways that it will take days for them to cave in and just eat. I have known some dogs (ahem) that will go five days until this happens…but it is worth the wait. If you get your dog to respect you in this situation it will respect you in more ways than you can imagine. Keep the “tough love” approach and you will be rewarded!