Dogs have a natural appetite for food. However, they can become fussy eaters, either because of an underlying health condition or due to poor eating habits. If you are used to giving your dog table scraps and lots of treats every day, then he might become picky if you serve him his regular meals.
Generally, German Shepherds are not fussy eaters, but they can become picky with their meals for different reasons. If you German shepherd is not eating as much as he usually does, you should try finding out the reason. Does he have diarrhea, and does he seem unwell? Or have you been serving him too many treats and human foods?
In this article, we break down common reasons why your German shepherd has become a fussy eater, and how to get your dog to start eating again.
Why Your German Shepherd Might Have Become a Fussy Eater
If your dog has become picky with your food, here are some possible causes of this change of behavior:
Poor Quality Food
You might be feeding your dog too much human food which can make him refuse to eat his regular dog meals. Not at any moment should you remove rejected food from his plate and replace it with anything yummy, this will encourage him not to eat his food in the future as he awaits tastier ones.
German Shepherds are wise and can detect whenever a certain type of food causes discomforts to them. In case you give him the same food another time, he will not eat it. Signs of food allergies are irritation sensations, ear infections, and tummy discomfort.
3.Depression and Anxiety
A depressed German Shepherd will tend to choose a particular type of food for the other, this mostly happens if he loses a spouse, kid, or sibling. He can excessively pant, whine and isolate himself for some time. You should visit a vet for such cases.
4.They don’t Like the Food
If continuously feed your dog the same type of food for long, he will get bored. You will find the food untouched.
Just like humans, the older a dog gets he becomes less active requiring less food. They will eat whenever they want but not on a given schedule. He should not stress you much as long as he maintains a healthy weight.
Related: How long does a German Shepherd live?
6.You are Giving Him Many Treats
Treats should be given to your dog whenever he does a commendable thing or a snack once or twice per day. Giving him many treats makes him not eat his food waiting for something yummy.
7.Underlying Health Condition
If your German Shepherd refuses to take his favorite snack or human food which he normally likes, this could be a sign of a concealed health issue. It’s advisable you visit a veterinarian.
How to Get Your German Shepherd to Eat Again
1.Feed Him High-Quality Food
Give your dog one high-quality dog food and avoid giving him too much human food. Do not give him foods not meant for him as he will hold eating waiting for them.
You should also not give him food without checking on its nutritional value. Many times you can be tempted to buy the cheapest food you find in the stores, but try and give your dog the best you can.
2.Don’t Give Him Too Many Treats
Your dog might have progressed from fussy eating and you want to give him a treat, it is not advisable to do so at this time as you will worsen the situation. they will be eating their food to be rewarded, give him a toy instead.
3.Supplement their food with raw food
Study shows that dogs like raw foods like mutton, fish and some vegetables. You can mix them with their food or give them plain.
4.Be Aware of food allergies
Kibbles rarely have allergic reactions to dogs, but some other dog foods might have. Always be keen to note any food that is allergic to your dog, and avoid giving it again.
5.Stick to a specific feeding schedule
Just as they easily learn commands, the same way their minds are set to certain eating time. If you disrupt their eating schedule, they might not eat the food as may be in their minds it’s not yet time or it is past time to eat. Always stick to a regular eating schedule.
6.Mix Other Food into Their Meal or Add Topping
Your dog might not handle hard food either because of teeth sensitivity, oral tumors, blunt teeth, or a sensitive stomach. You should moisten the food by adding topping like yogurt or salt-less chicken broth. By mixing wet and dry food, you make the food nutritious, soft and sweet.
For your dog to be physically and mentally fit, exercise him regularly. He requires at least an hour daily to exercise, these include running, walks, and play.
If your dog rejects food for two consecutive days or 24hrs for a puppy, visit a veterinarian. Although German Shepherds can be stubborn in nature, it’s good to take them to a vet as they might have a concealed health problem.
It is always advisable to consider all the possible causes of fussiness in your German Shepherd. Never force your dog to eat at any time.
Ideally, this article will help you to understand why your dog is a fussy eater and how to make him a good eater again.