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How To Manage a Fussy Eater

by Colleen P Moyne (Colmo) (follow)
I'm a freelance writer living in the beautiful river town of Mannum in SA, dreaming of the day I can retire from the 9-5 to write full time.
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Dog with Knife and Fork
Image courtesy of pixabay.com

I've heard so many people complain that their pet is a fussy eater and will only eat a certain food or a certain brand, and that they will turn their nose up at any other offering.

Let me assure you that you can change your pet’s mind. Just like children, our pets like to test the limits. If you gave your children the choice they would probably only eat ice-cream or sweets every day, right? They wouldn't naturally choose vegetables over jellybeans. So just as we must make healthy choices for them and educate them to accept those choices, we also need to do the same with our pets.

If we start out only providing certain foods to our pets they will grow up with those tastes, and chances are they will be reluctant to try anything new, but if we vary their diet from puppy-hood, they will learn to accept the changes.

That’s great, but what if you have an older pet that has already become set in their ways? Trust me, it can be done. All we need is a little time and patience.

Dog with Knife and Fork
Image courtesy of pixabay.com

My son had a cat that would only eat a certain brand of tinned food – and only the casserole or gravy varieties. I remember standing in the supermarket aisle shaking the cans to make sure I could hear the ‘liquid’ sound. If it didn't ‘plop’ she wouldn't eat it. Madness!

Then came a time when I was asked to ‘cat-sit’ for a couple of weeks while my son moved house.

On day one I gave the cat half of her favourite casserole and half of a more solid canned food mixed together. She ate it.

For the next few days I gave her more of the solid food and only a spoonful of casserole, and once again she ate it. Then I began to introduce dry kibble with just enough canned food to moisten it. She ate that too. By the time my son came home the cat was happily eating kibble with the occasional tablespoon of solid food and no casserole.

Dog with Knife and Fork
Image courtesy of wikimedia commons

So it shows that your pet can be re-trained to accept new and different foods. The worst that can possibly happen is that he will turn his nose up for a few days, but hunger will soon win out and he will give in to it. As long as you introduce the new foods gradually, you shouldn't have any problems.

Dog with Knife and Fork
Image courtesy of flickr.com

The biggest mistake we can make is to only feed our pets wet food. Not only is it bad for their teeth – they need to chew – but it can make their stools runny and smelly, and we certainly don’t want that!

#Pet Care
#Food & Treats
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I suspect many pet owners are 'proud' of their fussy pets in some silly way. I'm more proud to have pets that are an asset to our home, not an unnecessary burden, like fussy pets can be.
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