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Published on 13/04/2015 7:21 AM by Jeremy Maitland

Fussy eater?

Fussy eater?


Is there such a thing as a fussy eater? Sure, of course there is, we all have foods that we like or dislike.

If we didn't have a variety of food, only a small range of nutrient rich food which was good for us would we starve or eat the food that was available to us? The same applies to our pets. It is highly unlikely that a normal, healthy pet will pass up food that they have eaten previously. If your pet is refusing to eat the food you give them, it is most likely that they are testing your boundaries.

We commonly fall for this early on, we feed the dog or cat & they don't eat it straight away. We then 'up' our offer & go back to the kitchen with something else that we think they may prefer. This goes on until the pet eats chicken breast only for evey meal! Before we know it, we have a fussy eater on our hands.

Here's what to do. If your pet rejects their food (and you know that your pet is otherwise well - this could be a symptom of something else that may need a veterinary opinion), leave it there for 15-30 minutes. * If after this time it is still untouched, remove the food. For dry food you can place it in a reselable bag, for tinned food cover with cling film & place in the fridge. After a good length of time, say 12 hours, place the food out again for your pet. Repeat this process (you may need to use a fresh lot of food after 12 hours).

Our top tips for fussy eaters:

1. Try not to worry, it is rare that a pet will starve itself. Most dogs are fine without food for 2 days without any bother. Cats are fine for 1 day.**

2. Always leave plenty of fresh clean water for your pet.

3. Exercise your pet! It will give them an appetite.

4. Try heating food in the microwave for a few seconds. Cats respond well to smells of food!

5. If you notice any other symptoms seek veterinary treatment.

6. Always provide your pet with the most nutrient dense food you can. We are always happy to advise you on the dietary needs of your pet.

7. Read the recomended feeding requirements on the pet food. Make sure that you are not over feeding your pet.

*Don't offer a more enticing meal if your pet rejects the meal you have provided. If using dry food, leave it for 30 minutes & then take it away & place it in a re-sealable bag. You can re-offer your pet this same meal 12 hours later.

**Cats are natural grazers & may eat small amounts throughout the day so don't worry too much.

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