Recent statistics have revealed that one in three dog owners have a ‘fussy eater’, with their pets regularly refusing their meals.

This can be incredibly worrying for us, as we start to wonder if there’s something wrong with them, or if what we’re offering them for food simply isn’t good enough.

While fussy eating is a cause for concern, there are ways you can try to fix it at home. Below is an overview of these methods, and you can read more here.

  • Understand if they may have a tummy upset. If your dog is showing other signs of feeling under the weather, they may need a vet visit to help them feel better. Once they feel better, they should start eating again.
  • Check if they could be in pain or discomfort. Just like us, dogs can lose their appetite if they’re uncomfortable. Chat with your vet if you think this might be at play.
  • Try feeding them in a new way. A lot of dogs get fed up with eating from the same bowl, day in, day out. Play around with giving them their feeds in fun, new ways, like scattering kibble around the garden or putting their raw or wet food into a feeding toy, such as a Kong or Licki-mat.
  • Try out a new food to see if they’re bored. Even if your favourite food is something amazing (like pizza), if you were to eat it every day for weeks, months, or years, it would be understandable for you to get sick of it. Try rotating flavours with your dog to see if that piques their interest. Make sure you plan ahead for this, rather than offering them different foods only once they’ve refused a meal, as this will make the issue worse.

Northwich Guardian: Dog behaviourist Alyssa RalphDog behaviourist Alyssa Ralph (Image: Alyssa Ralph)

  • Change what you do while and immediately after your dog is eating. Many people will leave the house for work while their dog is eating breakfast. Pairing meal times with a potentially negative event means your dog will start to dread getting their food, making them less likely to eat.
  • Help them to feel safe around food. Physical and emotional safety is pivotal for a dog to have an appetite – if they don’t feel safe, they’re going to be more focussed on short-term survival than eating and drinking. Think about when and where you feed them to help with this.

Try these tips and tricks to get your dog eating again, and you’ll be able to rest easy knowing they’re getting the nutrition they need.