Dogs changing their appetites can be worrying to owners. It could signal a number of things, such as illness, so it’s important to learn why your dog’s diet has changed.
A change in your dog’s appetite can be worrying, so if you’re ever unsure it’s always best to contact your vet to get professional advice on how to properly deal with the situation.
Today we’re going to be looking further into why your dog is only eating human food, and what you can do about it.
Possible Causes For Changes In Appetite
The most common cause of a dog changing its diet is a viral infection or a bacterial infection. These are common illnesses that can cause diarrhea and vomiting, as well as reduce their appetite.
Parvovirus, or Parvo is a common yet dangerous illness that can cause these signs. Be sure to keep your dog’s vaccinations up to date to avoid this.
Another alternative is worms. Worms can sometimes reduce your dog’s appetite, but they can also increase their appetite as well. This all depends on your dog, the number of worms and how they react to the illness. Worms are easily treated and diagnosed with a fecal sample from your vet.
The most common type of worms are roundworms or tapeworms. You will see tapeworm eggs in your pets faeces if they are infected. They look like little wriggly grains of rice. Roundworms resemble bean sprouts and maybe found in faeces or vomited up.
Dogs suffering from illnesses will often go off of their usual kibble. However, they might still want to eat blander foods such as rice or cereal. They will probably still eat more tempting foods such as meat, fish, or eggs.
It’s important to always check with your vet before you start giving your dog human food regularly. Kibble has been designed specifically for dogs and therefore has all the necessary nutrients in it to aid your dog’s lifestyle.
Some nutrient deficiencies can take a long time to show up, so it maybe many months or years before your dog shows signs.
They Might Be Bored
Imagine you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, while others around you ate different, more exciting meals around you. That’s pretty much what dogs have to go through!
While your dog might love a certain kibble when you first open the bag, they might go off the food by the second or third week in a row of having it. And have you seen the size of dog food bags? They’ll last forever!
A lesser-known fact about dog food is that it starts to go bad as soon as you open the bag. Kibble is coated with oil that begins to go rancid after the kibble is exposed to air.
So, if your dog has gone off their kibble after it has been open a few weeks, they could be bored with the flavor. But they could also be fighting the fact that their food has gone bad and are trying to tell us.
It’s important to always keep your dog’s food in its original bag, and use a clip to keep it sealed and fresh between uses. If you buy bigger bags that will last you longer than two weeks, you can freeze some to keep them fresh.
If you think your dog is bored I would avoid switching food too often, it can cause issues with your dogs digestive tract. Instead I would keep them on the same food and use kibble toppers such as a small amount of grated cheese, vegetables or shredded fresh meat to add diversity.
Is Human Food Bad For Dogs?
At the end of the day, food is food. If you were given the choice between processed kibble bites and fresh, variety-filled foods, which would you choose?
It’s important to note that human foods are not vital for a dog’s diet, but they can have benefits! Fruit and vegetables are packed with antioxidants that can prevent certain cancers. Meat, fish, and eggs offer plenty of amino acids that enhance your dog’s health, which can be destroyed when processed into kibble.
So, it’s not all bad that your dog is eating human food. As long as you have ruled out illness, then this can actually be completely normal!
Some dogs like the taste of human food more than their kibble because it’s new, and exciting, and they’re not allowed to have it. They might start thinking of it as a treat, making it all the more enticing.
I would never recommend feeding your dog from your plate as this will create undesirable begging behaviors. Even if you are feeding your dog human food make sure it is clearly separated from your own, such as in their normal feeding bowl
Some dogs prefer to eat a diet of raw foods and only eat kibble when training. They enjoy kibble as it is considered a treat rather than the only food they’re ever allowed to eat.
It’s important to follow your dogs lead. If your dog is eating their food enthusiastically and happily don’t start changing it or adding in toppers because you think they might be bored. Some dogs are less taste motivated and perfectly happy to eat the exact same thing each meal as long as they feel full and satisfied after.
The last thing you want to do is create a fussy dog.
How To Find A Happy Medium
So, giving dogs human food is not bad at all as long as the meals are healthy and nutritious. However, this can be expensive. If you still want to keep your dog on a kibble-based diet, you should find a happy medium.
Use human foods as toppers to the kibble so it enhances the flavor and makes mealtimes more exciting. Simply put a little of what you cooked that day – meat, eggs, vegetables, yogurts, fruit, or more – on top of the kibble or mix it in.
Just make sure that you’re not using anything toxic to dogs, such as garlic or onions, chocolate, raisins, or grapes. Stick to fresh minimally processed food like lean meats and vegetables.
If you’d prefer to meal prep for your dog, use an ice cube tray to freeze smaller portions of food toppers. Now all you need to do is microwave one cube before feeding time, pour it on the kibble, and you’re done!
This should help your dog understand that their food is separate from yours and stop only eating human food. However, it still gives them more tastes, textures, and benefits from human food to keep them happy eating their kibble. Winners all around!
The Best Human Foods For Dogs
Now that you can rest easy knowing that your dog can actually benefit from some human food, let’s take a look at some that you can use on their kibble as a delicious topper.
While human food should not be seen as the worst thing ever for your dog to eat, there are still some things that are harmful to dogs to eat, such as grapes. So, you need to research what you can give your dog before blindly giving them anything in the cupboards.
Almost every dog loves peanut butter, so this is amazing food to swirl into kibble. It is also a great source of protein, vitamin B, niacin, healthy fats to aid the heart, and vitamin E.
Just be sure that you’re not using any sugar-free peanut butter that includes artificial sweeteners, as this can be toxic for dogs. Particularly look out for xylitol.
Chicken is one of the most popular foods used in kibble, so it’s no surprise that you can put some cooked chicken on top of their food for your dog to enjoy. It is also full of protein, ensuring that your dog is getting enough of this macronutrient.
You can even add some mild spice to the chicken if that’s what you’re making for your family. Cut off a few strips and put them over the kibble. Bear in mind never to give your dog cooked bones as these are brittle and can damage their internal organs if they pierce the intestine.
It’s worth noting that some dogs are allergic to chicken, so if you think that this applies to your dog then don’t give them chicken.
Who’s dog doesn’t love cheese? We’re yet to meet a pet that doesn’t enjoy a nice chunk of cheese as a treat. Use low fat cheese and grate it over the kibble for a powerful flavor addition.
Cottage cheese is also a good alternative, and this will mix with the kibble better. Just make sure to wash the bowl each time your dog has finished eating to avoid the entire house smelling of cottage cheese!
Carrots are low in calories and good for gum health in dogs. They’re also a great source of fiber and beta carotene, as well as vitamin A.
You can serve carrots to your dog either raw or cooked, although the former could pose a choking risk. Chop the raw carrots into bite-size pieces or grate them over the kibble. You can serve cooked carrots to your dog however you want to.
Another great use for carrots is in place of high calorie dental sticks. If your dog will sit and chew an entire carrot whole this will have great benefits for their oral health, without increasing the risk of obesity.
Yogurt is full of protein and calcium, which is ideal for helping your dog’s bones stay in great condition. Many yogurts also contain active bacteria that can benefit your dog’s digestive system.
Make sure that you’re only using yogurts without artificial sweeteners or added sugar. Greek yogurt is often the most recommended for dogs, and it also has less lactose in it which is a plus.
Some dogs can be lactose intolerant, so make sure that you watch your dog closely.
Pumpkin is an excellent source of fiber, vitamin A, and beta carotene. It’s also great for the GI tract to keep everything moving smoothly.
You can use either fresh or canned pumpkin over the top of your dog’s kibble – just make sure that canned pumpkin doesn’t contain artificial sweeteners or added sugar.
Another amazing source of protein, eggs can be scrambled within minutes and placed on top of a bowl of kibble. Eggs also contain selenium and riboflavin, which are both easily digestible and offer plenty of health benefits.
There is a slight risk of salmonella with eggs, but this should be minuscule as long as you cook the eggs thoroughly. You can also cook eggs in other ways, such as boiling, frying (with very little oil), or poaching.
Green beans are another excellent vegetable that you can give to your dog to enhance the flavor of their kibble, as well as give them a boost of protein. You can give them green beans both raw and cooked, but make sure that there is no seasoning on them.
Green beans double as an awesome snack for dogs since they are low-calorie and filling.
Apple is a great source of numerous nutrients, such as vitamin A and C, as well as fiber. Slices of apple have also been known to clean dogs’ teeth which can both freshen their breath and prompt healthy gums.
Never give your dog a whole apple as the seeds and core can be a choking hazard. However, sliced apple is a yummy and refreshing topping for any kibble.
Thank you for reading my article! Dogs that only eat human food are not as strange as you might think. Would you like to eat bland kibble for the rest of your life? I know I wouldn’t!
If you see any changes in your dog’s diet, it’s always important to get them checked with a vet to ensure that they are not suffering from illness. Treatment should then bring back your dog’s normal appetite.
If your dog is not ill, however, it is possible that they are just bored with their kibble. Use some of your food to sprinkle over the top of the kibble to keep it interesting, or give them nutritious human food as a treat once in a while.
Think apple slices, cooked chicken, eggs, green beans, and more. They’ll love you for it!
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