What About Picky Eating?

What About Picky Eating?

This Topic Is Likely Not for You, BUT…

… I still highly encourage you to read it just in case! The information in this topic gives you the tools to help you coast through this scenario as smoothly as possible.

Many dogs actually become fussy with kibble, and reject it so strongly that they’ll barely eat (or even refuse to eat at all). Almost always, if you put raw food in front of a dog who’s been rejecting kibble, you’ll watch in amazement as they devour their new meal. The majority of dogs take to raw food very quickly. It’s instinctual, natural, and extremely appealing to them.

Before you continue reading this topic:

The only reason for you to implement the steps we provide below is if you begin the first week of the transition and your pup rejects what you’re introducing. The chances of this happening are slim, so begin the transition as instructed in the main program, and only come back here if you absolutely need it.

Why Do Some Dogs Show Signs of Picky Eating With Raw Food?

  1. Have you ever noticed that even though you know better, you sometimes really crave junk food? Kibble, just like human junk food, is laced with addictive flavorings. Kibble companies spend a tremendous amount of money researching and testing food scent enhancers to lure in your dog. Without this process, most dogs wouldn’t touch kibble at all. Natural, raw food doesn’t have these enticing artificial additives.
  2. The dog’s gut bacteria is in a poor state of health and needs repair. You’ve probably also noticed that the more often you indulge in junk food cravings, the more you crave it. When you eat healthier food, you crave that instead!
  3. This isn’t a pleasant subject, but it needs to be addressed: the dog is likely spoiled and used to getting their way. All healthy relationships need boundaries, and they’re the only solution to this situation. Omit all snacks until the transition is complete to let the picky behavior fully passes.
  4. Possible underlying health concerns. Read more here.

There’s a reason that the header of this section mentions “Signs Of Picky Eating” instead of “Signs of a Picky Eater.” Why? Because your pup isn’t inherently a picky eater! We need to work on the root cause of the behavior and bring the dog back to balance to crave its natural diet.

What We’re Going to Accomplish:

  1. Quit the source of the addiction (kibble and all processed treats).
  2. Repair and heal the gut bacteria.
  3. Place boundaries in various aspects of your dog’s life. For example, your pup will learn:
    – The kitchen behind the counter is off-limits.
    – No jumping on visitors.
    And you’ll learn:
    – No giving treats just because your dog saw you unpacking it.
    – No replacing food with something else if your dog rejects it.

Lots more is coming in the training course we’re working on, but these pointers are a great start. I’m sure you have boundaries with loved ones, and it’s time for you to build those into your life with your dog, too!

How Do We Coach Dogs to Stop the Picky Behavior?

  1. Completely quit all snacks, even healthy ones. Why? Snacking reduces hunger and appetite, and lets your pup depend on tasty treats instead of real food.
  2. Give plenty of daily exercise to meet physical activity needs and to build hunger and appetite. Note: if your dog is severely overweight or out of shape, consult with a holistic veterinarian before abruptly beginning an intensive exercise program.
  3. Offer the fermented goat milk and/or bone broth (recipes provided), which dogs absolutely love! Seriously, I haven’t heard of a single dog who doesn’t love at least one. Both of these options, but especially the fermented goat milk, help heal the gut bacteria. This will increase cravings for healthy food.
  4. Use the love for this fermented goat milk and/or bone broth as a baseline and cover for other foods.
  5. Never replace a high-quality raw food that a dog is picky about with another food to try to convince them to eat. Instead, work with that specific food only until the dog gets hungry enough to change the cycle and habit.

The transition described here for dogs who are being picky is a cold-turkey transition to raw food. That’s because the usual gradual transition would continue providing the addictive food source. This rapid transition follows all the steps and requirements outlined in the 15-week transition plan, but eliminates kibble immediately and condenses the beginning. Start this plan on your first off-work day, if possible. This will need your focus!

VERY IMPORTANT:

Every day, provide plenty of fresh filtered water. Check the water bowl often (several times a day) and refill as needed.

Day 1

  • No more snacks of any kind!
  • Provide at least an hour of exercise. This will begin building hunger and appetite.
  • Meal #1: Fasting
  • Meal #2: ½ dose of fermented goat milk (or substitute bone broth in all of these instructions, if your dog prefers it)

Day 2

  • Continue to withhold snacks of any kind.
  • Provide at least an hour of exercise. This will continue building hunger and appetite.
  • Meal #1: 1 full dose of fermented goat milk
  • Meal #2: ½ dose of fermented goat milk with a very small amount (between ½ teaspoon to 1 tablespoon, depending on the size of your dog) of the meat grind mashed and mixed into the goat milk

Day 3

  • Continue to withhold snacks of any kind.
  • Provide at least an hour of exercise. This will continue building hunger and appetite.
  • Meal #1: same as dinner last night; ½ dose of fermented goat milk with a very small amount of the meat grind mashed and mixed in.
  • Meal #2: ½ dose of fermented goat milk with double the amount of meat grind from breakfast (now 1 teaspoon to 2 tablespoons ) mashed and mixed into the goat milk.

Day 4

  • Continue to withhold snacks of any kind.
  • Provide at least an hour of exercise. This will continue building hunger and appetite.
  • Meal #1: ½ dose of fermented goat milk with double the amount of meat grind from yesterday’s dinner (now 2 teaspoons to 4 tablespoons ) mashed and mixed into the goat milk.
  • Meal #2: ½ dose of fermented goat milk with the same amount of meat as breakfast. This time, place the meat grind into the milk in chunks instead of mixing it in.

Day 5

  • Continue to withhold snacks of any kind.
  • Provide at least an hour of exercise. This will continue building hunger and appetite.
  • Meal #1: ½ dose of fermented goat milk with the same amount of meat as yesterday’s dinner. Again, place the meat grind into the milk in chunks instead of mixing it in.
  • Meal #2: ½ dose of fermented goat milk with the full meal amount of meat grind placed into the milk in chunks.

Day 6

  • Continue to withhold snacks of any kind.
  • Provide at least an hour of exercise. This will continue building hunger and appetite.
  • Meal #1: reduce the fermented goat milk to ¼ dose. Place the full meal amount of meat grind into the milk in chunks.
  • Meal #2: place the meat grind (full meal amount) in chunks in the bowl, without any fermented goat milk.

After Day 5, go back to the transition meal plan and start with week 3. The only modification you’ll make going forward is that your pup is already eating fully raw, so you’ll serve full-sized meals during weeks 3 and 4. There’s so much more to the transition, so continue the process and follow through the entire 15 weeks.

CAUTION:

Never get upset at your dog for rejecting food, or force them to eat it. These behaviors are counterproductive.

Instead, calmly take the food away, cover it, and place it in the fridge until the next mealtime. (You can usually use the same food for up to 24 hours if needed, but discard it if it spoils.) Don’t try to feed your pup again before the next mealtime. Exude confidence and calm throughout the process.

UNDERSTAND:

Your dog will eventually get hungry enough to eat the healthy food you’re providing. This is the result we want, just like we’d want this for a child we love.

In the very rare case that you need more drastic measures, read this article by Dr. Peter Dobias why it’s safe to fast your dog to finally change this habit. Dr. Dobias also writes about deeper health issues which may be impacting your dog’s appetite, so read the article thoroughly.

What About Picky Eating?

The Changes You Can Expect To See

1. Changed bowel movement

Firmer, smaller, lighter-colored, and almost odorless stool. You may also see dry, crumbly, almost white stool as the body adjusts to the bone content.

2. Reduced water intake

Raw food has naturally high water content, so your pup will need to compensate less. Unless this is extreme or your pup completely stops drinking, it’s nothing to worry about!

3. Calmer overall mood

Healthier food equals a happier and more relaxed temperament. No starch means no sugar crashes!

4. Fresher breath & dental plaque reduction

Natural raw foods have enzymes to protect teeth and gums. Raw meaty bones clean teeth. On the other hand, kibble is full of starches, which turn to sugar. This is bad for dental health and contributes to plaque build-up.

5. Picky eating

Withhold all treats until this phase fully passes. Take food away if your pup is uninterested. Refrigerate it, covered, until the next meal time, then try again. If this persists, completely skip the next one or two meal times, making sure fresh water is available. Your pup’s hunger and appetite will build up. Additional assistance is available in the resources of this chapter.

6. Detox through eye discharge

Wipe and clean any discharge with a clean, moist cloth multiple times a day. If the issue persists longer than a week, consult your holistic veterinarian.

7. Detox through skin

You may see different symptoms with skin detox, possibly including more itching and dandruff. To reduce the symptoms, switch to cold/neutral proteins. Maintain a good grooming routine to help remove dead/loose fur.

8. Detox through ear discharge

Wipe and clean your pup’s ears with a clean moist (not wet!) cloth multiple times a day. If the issue persists longer than a week, consult your holistic veterinarian.

9. Detox through excessive shedding

Your pup is getting ready to grow a new, much healthier coat. Be patient and keep up a good grooming routine to help remove dead/loose fur. This will help avoid hot spots and skin issues, especially in humid and/or hot temperatures.

10. Upset tummy

You may have gone too fast or introduced an ingredient that your pup may not end up doing well on. Give it a day or two and reassess. A slow process of introduction will usually prevent this completely!

11. Vomiting right after eating

Did your pup get too excited about all the delicious food? That’s often the reason. Change up the way you feed by adding small amounts to the bowl at the time to coach your pup to be more patient.  Note: if you just introduced a new ingredient or a new source of a specific food, this may be a reason. For example, our Tidus has extreme negative reactions to chicken, and therefore chicken is not part of of his diet. When you follow the gentle transition meal plan in this course, you’ll easily identify what makes your pup thrive most as an individual. However, if vomoting persists unrelated to the two causes above, consult your holistic veterinarian.

12. Excessive energy & impatience

This is often a sign that your pup is feeling so much better and healthier! I promise, this is not your pup just being “impatient and annoying.” This just means, “Mom, Dad, I feel so good! Let’s go do something with all this newfound energy!” Enjoy additional exercise, walks, hikes, swims, and play time!

Video

Video

Please watch the entire video before continuing to the next chapter.

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