If your dog used to gobble up his food eagerly but has lost appetite lately, this may be a cause for concern. Although a pup skipping a few meals isn’t something unusual, loss of appetite is sometimes a result of an underlying medical condition. To be sure, it’s best to seek advice from your veterinarian.
If your vet declared that there’s nothing seriously wrong with your pooch, it’s time to try these tricks from a Dubai pet food delivery service to bring back your dog’s appetite.
1. Find out the cause
There are plenty of possible reasons why your dog is eating less than usual. One of the common causes for loss of appetite include:
- Motion sickness – When traveling, your dog may feel nauseated after the trip. Usually, dogs also have trouble eating in a new surrounding after a move.
- Need for attention – Some canines become picky eaters when they need attention from their owner. If your dog doesn’t eat and goes to you for attention, ignore it. This will teach your dog that ignoring his food won’t reward him with your attention.
- Uncomfortable situation – Dogs thrive on consistency and dislike being fed in an uncomfortable environment. Try to keep your pet’s food bowl in the same place and away from distraction.
- Food type – The new type of food you’re giving your dog may not be something he likes. This can be easily solved by switching back to the food that satisfies his taste buds.
- Too much food – You may be giving your pet more food than is required for his age, breed, and weight. Just like how you don’t want to continue eating when full, your pooch may be doing the same.
2. Avoid giving treats or table scraps
If you have just given your dog a piece of steak or mashed potatoes, chances are, he won’t eat his dog food. Your dog will love you for giving him treats; but sooner or later, it’ll make him a picky eater and a constant beggar at the table.
Watch your kids and any family members who tend to give table scraps. Everyone in the family should follow the rule of not giving table scraps as this will only spoil your dog.
3. Change eating habits
Change your pup’s feeding situation to make mealtimes something he would look forward to. It may take some time for your dog to adapt but try to consider the following:
- Feed at the same time each day – Give food twice a day at a regular schedule or as instructed by your vet.
- Make mealtimes fun – Let your dog play with a toy that has food hidden inside.
- Make the food tastier – To make your pet’s food more palatable, add a few spoonfuls of canned dog food or pour a little broth.
- Separate your dog from other pets – During mealtime, feed your dog away from other pets to discourage competition. Place your dog inside a pet playpen so that he won’t get distracted by other pets and focus on eating his food.
4. Give regular exercise
With regular exercise, your dog’s appetite will get stimulated, thereby encouraging him to eat more. To boost your pet’s appetite through exercise, take your dog for a walk before each meal. Your dog will eventually associate walks with mealtime, giving him a positive perspective of both activities.
Ideally, your dog should have some exercise every day or at least several times a week. If you don’t have the luxury of time, you can always take your dog to a pet daycare center or hire a dog walker.
5. Keep food fresh
Nothing beats the taste of fresh food. Your dog may have lost his appetite because he has noticed that his food isn’t as tasty as before. Make sure to keep dog food products fresh by storing them inside a closed container.
Most importantly, check the expiration date every time you buy dog food.
If nothing works, go to the vet immediately
When all your best efforts still don’t work, bring your dog to the vet straight away. Your pooch may need a liquid diet or further medication to bring his appetite back to normal. There’s always a reason why your dog isn’t eating normally, so be watchful of his unusual behavior to get to the bottom of it immediately.
Farah Al-Khojai is the Managing Partner of Pet’s Delight. A passionate entrepreneur, Farah holds a Bsc in Government from the London School of Economics. She is always on the lookout for new opportunities to develop and grow the pet and equestrian retail and wholesale market in the UAE and beyond, and is proud to be at the helm of the first and the largest pet care provider in the market representing world-class brands including Orijen, Applaws, Hunter, Savic, Flamingo, Ruffwear and Rogz.