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WAGSTA Wellness

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Tips to deal with food refusal

Some dogs take time to adjust to dietary changes and will automatically refuse new foods. If this sounds familiar, the following tips will help your dog adjust to their new diet.

1. Gradually introduce new food over a minimum period of 4 days whilst gradually reducing the old food.

2. Try warming dog food to body temperature to make it more aromatic.

3. Try wetting down or soaking dry food/ kibble with some warm water.

4. Flavor the food with a small amount of stock, tuna brine, gravy or natural yogurt. 1-2 tablespoons maximum. (Remember to count the additional calories)

5. Do not offer food alternatives: Food refusal behavior will continue if your dog realizes tastier options are available!

Owner concerns when introducing new foods:

Owner upset over food change

For owners who regularly feed their dogs “human foods”, the process of introducing a commercial dog food can be an emotional challenge. However, rest assured that by following our diet food guidelines and recipes, you will provide your dog the best nutrition for their weight loss needs.

A protein rich, calorie reduced food with the correct nutritional balance, is essential for healthy weight loss. Stay focused on your dog’s weight goal. Feeding a quality diet dog food will make this goal so much more attainable.

Small portion sizes – due to concentrated nature of dry food

It is important to recognize that dry dog food provides nutrition in a concentrated form. If you are unfamiliar with feeding dry food, you may find the WAGSTA Wellness portion sizes to be quite small. (Dry food expands in size in your dog’s tummy).

Please do not be tempted to increase serving size beyond your dog’s portion allocation. The concentrated nature of dry food means even small increases will significantly impact calorie intake. A few extra biscuits/ kibbles here and there will cause your dog’s weight loss to stall.

Irregular appetite when starting new food

Unlike cats, dogs are designed to eat irregular and sometimes infrequent meals. Should your dog refuse to eat a meal, do not panic. Simply remove the dish and present a fresh bowl of the same food at the next meal time.

In the wild, it is not uncommon for dogs to go without food several days at a time. Rest assured that a missed meal here and there will not do any harm. Once your dog realizes food alternatives are not forthcoming, they will soon accept their new food.

 NB. If your dog is lethargic and refuses all food for more than 24 hours this could indicate a health issue. If your dog does not show any interest in eating beyond the 24-hour mark, veterinary attention is recommended.

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