Although it’s not only small dogs that can be fussy eaters, it is more common in the toy breeds and there may be a few reasons.
Fresh food diets can work really well if we keep a few things in mind:
- Rule out any medical issues with a vet visit, bloodwork etc.
- Small dogs often get a lot of attention by receiving many treats. Little tummies fill up quickly and smart dogs will hold out for more treats rather than eating their own food. Use part of their food intake as treats by putting some in puzzle games.
- Cooked diets vs raw work best in these cases. Sometimes the texture of raw can be off putting and when cooked the meat has more aroma and flavour to entice.
- Because these little guys don’t eat great quantities, we need nutrient dense foods (and supplements) to ensure their requirements are met over the week.
- We try to include a lot of variety in the diet so that different foods can be fed over the week. While this is more prep work, the food weights are quite small so it doesn’t take much time.
- Think positive! When our dog has a history of turning up their nose at food, we can start to project a bit of negativity at meal times. Try to stay positive when you put down the bowl, don’t stare in worried anticipation (dogs are marvels at body language) but instead envision them gobbling up and loving their meals 🙂
- Although a fresh food diet is more work than commercial, the numerous health benefits combined with potential overall cost savings on wasted commercial foods, make this a great option for proactive parents!