As humans, we have become accustomed to creating a weekly menu with all kinds of meals. We like to experience different flavours and textures and to savour our food. Meanwhile, our pet dog gets the same meal in the same bowl day after day. Are we depriving them of a better experience and subjecting them to boredom? Or, are they more than happy with the current arrangement?
While you might expect dogs to get bored eating the same food all the time, most are happy with the same routine. Dogs value a consistent diet where they are well fed and don’t appreciate different tastes like we do. So, while you can alter a diet a little with alternative proteins and snacks, you shouldn’t go over the top with a diverse menu.
Dogs do not get bored eating the same food every day. Studies have shown that because they have less taste buds ( 1700) compared to humans (9000) so don’t appreciate different tastes like we do.
We mustn’t project our personal experiences with food onto our pets and expect them to feel the same. We may love all the different sensory experiences that come with our meals and we love to experiment with flavour. But, just because you like chillis and your dog has less tastebuds don’t mean you should try feeding it to them. Here’s a list of 7 foods you should never feed your dog.
Dogs don’t have the same point of reference about food and what they may be missing out on. We will get bored if we have the same type of meat or fish all week long, with no interesting sauces or snacks to brighten things up. We know what we are missing. Most dogs don’t know unless you have a bad habit of feeding a range of scraps from the table.
Don’t overlook the fact that dogs eat food to survive and will happily eat the same thing each day. They wag their tails when they see their bowl because they know they get to eat and want to show gratitude to you for providing it. The finer details of the food involved in inconsequential to many pooches. Portion size and nutritional value is always going to be more important than taste.
Also, there is the fact that consistency in a diet and a routine can also provide comfort to pets that need food security. Routine is a comfort to a lot of dogs – and humans too – with a desire to have the same creature comforts and familiar experiences each day. A change in food or a feeding regime could be alarming.
Dogs that experience regular changes in their diets can end up with gastric distress. Some breeds are more susceptible to digestive issues and food sensitivities, especially Frenchies like Dolly. So it is important to get a better idea of your dog’s dietary profile from your vet. You may suddenly find that something disagrees with them and makes them ill.
Then there is the issue of dogs that like to scavenge. Some pet dogs who love to eat scraps may end up eating something dangerous, like acorns. The more dogs eat off the ground, or steal from the table at mealtimes, the more risks you take with their health. A more simplistic diet with nothing more than regular foods and treats is essential.
What can you do if you want to improve the diversity of your dog’s diet with more tastes?
You may feel sorry for your dog if they are eating the same thing day after day – even if they seem happy enough. This is understandable because we want to do nothing but the best for our canine companions and don’t want to deprive them of joy. So, there are some things you can do to diversify your dog’s diet a tiny bit.
Make small changes to their diet
First, consider making some small changes, such as substituting one ingredient. For example, your dog may eat a lot of a beef mixture but you feel like switching to lamb or chicken to see what they think. This could be fine if they have no protein allergies and the rest of the formula is the same. it also helps to stick with the same brand you trust.
Swap some food for healthy snacks and treats
Alternatively, you could use healthy snacks and treats to showcase other foods. A few treats here and there are fine, especially as a reward for good behaviour. Make sure that these treats aren’t too strange and don’t contain anything that could be dangerous for your dog ( like xylitol found in peanut butter). Also, watch the sugar and fat contents. You can do this responsibly, but make sure not to encourage eating scraps at the table.
Make mealtimes regular and last longer with puzzle feeders
Regular set mealtimes will help with your dog’s digestion as well as providing them comfort and security in knowing that food keeps coming. Although dogs live very much in the present, they are smart enough to learn your routine and what time is dinnertime. Don’t worry if you forget, they certainly won’t!
If you want to bring some more joy to your dog’s mealtimes then you can ditch the bowl and offer them a puzzle feeder ( like a Ruffle Snuffle mat) which will extend the time that they spend doing one of their favourite activities, eating.
So why has my dog stopped eating their food?
Some dogs are a little fussier and can get a bit bored from time to time. There is the potential for some to turn their nose up at their regular food in favour of something else. This could be because they tried something else they liked and that was taken away. Rotating different flavoured food (from the same brand) can help encourage them to eat again. Pouring a little homemade bone broth over kibble can also make their tastebuds tingle.
But, don’t overlook the possibility of a loss of appetite due to other factors including medical reasons. If they continue to refuse any alternative foods and show other signs of lethargy or sickness, go and see your vet.
Should dogs eat the same food every day?
Your dog doesn’t mind their repetitive diet as much as you do, so don’t be too hard on yourself for those economy-sized bags of food and kibble. Too much variety can cause stomach issues and bad habits, and their taste receptors aren’t in tune with it anyway. Be cautious when altering a diet and prioritise nutrition over flavour.