When you offer your dog too many food options, it becomes an endless process. For instance, he might eat a certain food one day, but refuse to eat it the next day. Also, after a while, he might get bored of eating even his most favorite foods.
Hence, we can see that pet parents play a major role in spoiling a dog’s eating habits.
SOME OF THE MOST COMMON MISTAKES OF PET PARENTS:
Keeping food available all the time
Before we talk about this, let us take a dog’s natural habitat into consideration. Stray dogs must grab food immediately once it is available, or stay hungry. If they don’t consume it right away, they lose it to other animals or even ants for that matter.
Now think of it this way – if the food that you left on your plate was lying on your dining table for another 2 hours, would you feel like eating it? As humans, we associate food that is lying around to be stale, cold, and generally non-tempting. The same is the case with dogs.
When your dog knows that his food is going to lie there for him to eat whenever he likes, he won’t have any sense of urgency to eat it. Also, when food is lying around, it implies that nobody wants it, so he won’t want it either!
Offering unhealthy food options to tempt the dog to eat
Sometimes, in an attempt to get their dog to eat, pet parents add sugar to their food or offer ice cream, etc. even though they know it isn’t good for the dog. They are afraid that the dog will stay hungry.
The only answer to this is to be mindful of the fact that the dog has a survival instinct. We as humans need not worry about it. He will ultimately eat because his survival depends upon it.
Treating the dog like a human/ baby – anthropomorphism
For most pet parents, the dog is a baby or child. So like a child, they offer too many food options, or in some cases spoil him with treats.
All these acts hamper the dog’s sense of scarcity and urgency when it comes to the availability of food, and this kills his food drive. It also leads to obesity and other lifestyle disorders in dogs. Also, dogs start throwing tantrums and develop food fads.
Just like we do for children, we must train dogs to eat food that we offer as it is healthy for them.
They will always be tempted by unhealthy foods.
NOW THAT WE KNOW THE MISTAKES THAT WE MAKE AS PET PARENTS, LET US CONSIDER SOME POINTS TO FIX THEM:
Train your dog to eat within a certain time frame
Even when they are puppies, they realize very quickly that if they avoid or delay eating for a while, they will be rewarded with the addition of a yummy treat to their food, in some cases sugar, paneer, cheese, etc. They know that if they eat right away, they miss out on this.
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