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Is Your Pet A Picky Eater?

Posted by Scott Pollak on

Over the past 19 years, I have received calls from potential clients seeking to change their dog's diet ranging from complaints that he/she has somewhat lost interest in their food or they don’t eat it at all. In most cases, I feel the dogs have been conditioned to eat overly large quantities of inferior foods (despite the labels) and have reached a tipping point. As not to make more of this, I like to take a simple basic common sense approach and allow the animal to firstly return to a state of ease.

I’ll go over some basic information to be sure the dog is well, ask some questions referring to the animal's level of energy, focus, their coat's condition and as almost all dog issues end up with, verifying their stools are nicely formed. If are the answers are positive, I recommended a 24-36 hour fasting, which is always accompanied by an unlimited amount of low-sodium chicken broth available to the canine. After this rest period, either the dog can be fed a natural raw diet or their old food fed in a half-proportion for the day in more frequent feedings. So, a dog who would normally eat 2 cups of whatever diet a day would start off after the 36 hour fast with ½ cup in the evening following the fast. Then, the next day upping that to ½ cup per meal twice a day, hence one cup for the day, ½ of their normal diet. Follow this half feeding for another day or two and then return to the normal feeding schedule. This, in many ways, is exactly what mommy or grandma did for you when you weren’t yourself. Not exactly rocket science, and usually everything passes.

Many feel that it is strictly the food and it’s time for a change. As we are the providers for our beloved pets, logically we should be the ones deciding on the quality of product that we chose to feed them for various reasons. Many foods that they’re currently on have been recommended for various reasons; so, it’s not always that simple. Here in the U.S.A., we also have such a selection of foods the easiest thing to do is switch, but that is not always the best option, especially if all else is well with Fido. A very simple guideline to follow when choosing to switch would be to always up the quality, which would be evident by the feeding guidelines to be less than you are currently providing to your canine. I am not one who recommends mixing foods during a transition rather than to fast, then gradually working up only with the new food to the recommended quantities. Less is Best when addressing quantities, garbage in, garbage out, so once again, stool comes into the picture.

So, in managing a canine's intake and overall wellness, it is recommended at least from my point of view and experience with thousands upon thousands of dogs and cats that a healthy animal should visibly be on the thin side and always willing to eat, not out of starvation, but rather, as it is their natural tendency to eat when they can. As we are the caregivers and choose and prescribe their diets, it is imperative that we keep in mind that they are the animals in our lives and maintaining that animal instinct for food is ever so woven into their persona.

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