Mealtimes can be stressful for families with young kids – but surprisingly those with dogs too.
A recent survey found that half of parents say they ‘always’ or ‘often’ struggle to get their dog to eat meals.
And seven in 10 say their pet is just as much of a picky eater – if not pickier – than their child.
Many dogs tend to only like particular ingredients and often get tired of eating the same foods over and over, making them hard to feed.
But fear not, there are lots of ways you can get your fussy-eating dog to enjoy mealtimes – and one of the most popular involves garnishes.
A third of pet owners recommended ‘toppers’ to get their dogs eating – this means adding small food items to the top of your dog’s bowl, such as blueberries, cheese, yoghurt and eggs.
Terri Rockovich, co-founder and CEO of Jinx, explained: “Toppers are an incredible way to add variety into a dog’s diet at mealtime, without having to constantly transition to a completely new food, which can wreak havoc on a dog’s digestive system.
“They give an added boost of protein and nutrients to a meal, enhancing smell and taste appeal for picky pups, even for older dogs that may have diminished senses.”
Another popular way to get your dog enjoying mealtimes is by reducing the amount of human food and table scraps you sneak into their mouth.
Other tips include transitioning to new food slowly – by mixing old and new – and adjusting portion sizes.
While it may sound simple and seemingly obvious, switching to tastier food seemed to work for 30% of dog owners.
“What goes into your dog’s food directly impacts taste appeal,” Terri said.
“Look for an option that pairs high-quality lean proteins with real fruits and vegetables, that is free from fillers like corn, wheat and soy, as well as artificial colors, flavors and preservatives.
“Nutrition-packed, real food inherently tastes better, which means all dogs, even the pickiest ones, are more likely to get excited to finish their bowls.”