Is your cat a fussy eater or your dog not eating?

Living with a fussy eater can be a nightmare, but what if that fussy eater is your pet?

Dog eating a treat on an RSPCA dog bed © RSPCA Photolibrary

You’re not alone. Others struggle too with dogs and cats who appear picky when it comes to food.

The idea of changing dog food or changing cat food has been filling some pet owners with dread for far too long.

Never fear! We’ve come up with some advice to help changing to a different food and some tips on making mealtimes more fun.

Perhaps not a picky eater?

Just like us, our pets have preferences about the food they enjoy and when, how and where of they eat. For example, did you know that cats like to eat away from their water bowl and in a quiet area of the house?

If you’re concerned about your pet’s eating habits e.g. if they seem off their food, speak to your vet so they can rule out any health problems that could be the cause.

Start to make mealtimes fun for pets

Dogs and cats are very intelligent and can get bored easily if they don’t have enough to do.

Boredom can lead to an unhappy pet and behaviour problems, so it’s important to provide regular mental and physical stimulation. Try using food games to keep your pet stimulated and help your pet adjust to a new food.

  • You could hide small amounts of food in different locations to encourage them to use their natural senses as if they were hunting.
  • Feeding toys challenge your pet. They’re great for adding variety to your pet’s feeding routine and can entertain even the fussiest of eaters.
  • Make your own dog feeding toy from a kitchen roll tube and hide a treat or piece of kibble inside with the ends turned over. For cats try tucking a cat treat inside scrunched up paper.

How to change dog food or change cat food

If your pet is on a good quality, healthy food and is having no problems, it’s best to keep your pet’s feeding routine the same.

However, if you’d like to change to something different (e.g. is hypoallergenic. contains the right vitamins, prebiotics and healthy fatty acids), then follow our tips for changing your pet’s food:

  • Cat exploring RSPCA cat food © RSPCA Photolibrary Make dietary changes over at least four or five days. If you choose a sudden swap, you may risk an upset stomach or a negative reaction from your dog or cat.
  • Start with a mix of approximately 25 per cent new to 75 per cent old food, increasing new food by 25 per cent per day.
  • Remember to keep an eye on how much your dog or cat is eating and their toileting habits.
  • If you have any concerns, for example if they have diarrhea, stop the new food and speak to your vet.
  • If you’re switching from wet food to dry kibble your dog or cat might be more thirsty than before, but whichever type of food they have, all pets always need constant access to fresh, clean, drinking water.

If you’d like your dog or cat to switch to a new healthy food that contains UK sourced ingredients, please take a look at our range of pet food, available to buy from our online shop now.


One Response to “Is your cat a fussy eater or your dog not eating?”

  • Daftbat

    I have 2 dogs, shitzu cross and Lhasa apso who are both picky eaters. One is young and the other elderly. Neither will eat dry food anymore, the elderly one because her teeth are poor (vet checks them regularly) and is underweight and the younger dog just eats around the dry food. I have tried changing the dry food but they just don’t like any, so it’s wet food only. They also only eat once a day and I have to coax them into it sometimes. It’s worrying at times.

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