How Do I Encourage My Dog to Eat Dry Food After Eating Scraps from the Table?
Dogs are creatures of habit and can resist change when trying to switch their diets. It's important to completely stop feeding from the table. This is best accomplished by removing the pet from the kitchen during mealtimes. Be persistent when offering dry food. The pet may refuse to eat for several meals before deciding to give the food a try. Heating food in the microwave increases the aroma of the food and will often entice a pet to eat. Another alternative is to try mixing some wet food with the dry food, or topping it with a sauce or gravy specifically formulated for pets. Be assured that the pet eats to meet an energy need and will eventually begin to eat unless there is an underlying medical issue.
What Should I Do If My Dog Is Constipated or Has Loose Stools?
Keep in mind that the pet's stool should be small and firm. Most cases of constipation are temporary and due to dietary interruptions. Loose stools also are often temporary and can be due to dietary interruptions, as well as many other things, including an abrupt change in diet, overeating, parasites, medication, eating table scraps, viral or bacterial infections, and stress. If constipation or diarrhea persists, however, it is important to consult a veterinarian.
When My Dog Urinates on the Lawn, It Kills the Grass. Should I Switch Diets?
No. Dead grass is caused by a heavy concentration of urine—usually when a dog urinates in the same spot over and over. Try to train the dog to go to a designated, inconspicuous area of the yard. If this is impossible, try to hose the area as quickly as possible to dilute the urine. Sometimes the discoloration is due to acidic ground pH, which can usually be remedied with a lime treatment.
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Switching your dog to a new food takes some planning. Because dogs are creatures of habit, they tend to prefer their current food to a new food. Like us, they become accustomed to a food and might not be thrilled about a new routine. These useful dog-feeding tips will help you keep your dog satisfied.
4 Tips to Successfully Transition Your Dog to a New Food
1. Introduce the new food gradually.
When easing your dog into a change in diet, think “slow and steady.” Start by mixing 25% new food with 75% current food. Slowly change the proportions over the next three days or so by gradually increasing the new food and lessening the amount of the current food. Here’s a sample feeding schedule:
- Day 1: 25% new food, 75% current food
- Day 2: 50% new food, 50% current food
- Day 3: 75% new food, 25% current food
At the end of this weaning process, you should be feeding 100% of the new food. Your dog may want to eat only the old food, or not eat at all. Don’t worry — a healthy dog can miss meals for a day or two with no ill effects.
2. Watch your body language.
Bringing a new food into your home, pouring it into your dog’s bowl and declaring that he should eat it might cause your dog to go on a hunger strike. This is not the time to show who’s boss. It’s better to introduce the new food by using a pleasant tone of voice and gently encouraging him to try the new food.
3. Don't give in to demands.
Persistence is key! For the first two days of the food transition, don’t give your dog treats or table scraps. Dogs train us as much as we train them. Giving in to their demands only reinforces refusal behavior and makes it more difficult to make a nutritious dietary change.
4. Be patient when switching from wet food to dry food.
Switching diets may be more challenging when changing from a moist food to a dry food. If your dog continues to resist eating dry food, mix in a little warm water. You might even want to put the moistened food in the microwave for a few seconds. If you mix the food with water, be sure to throw away the uneaten portion after 20 minutes to prevent spoilage. The same rule applies for canned and pouch food. After the dog has become accustomed to the moistened food, you can wean him onto completely dry food. To do this, follow the same mixing instructions outlined above.
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