Keeping a poodle in the house is a big responsibility. You have to feed them, cuddle them, bathe them, play with them, and other things needed to make sure they live a healthy life. These everyday needs go to all of the dogs, but we are going to focus on one breed, in particular, poodles. Poodles need to follow a strict diet, but are they picky eaters?
It sounds sporadic for a poodle to be a picky eater. But the truth is they are picky eaters, and this is one of the problems many poodle parents face. It is really alarming when your poodle does not like what you give or when they only take small bites of their food. For others who do not own dogs, it’s just a typical scenario for them. But for the dog parents, it is unnatural.
If your poodle is quite the picky one, try to think first of things that could cause this. Maybe because you look at them while they eat, always check up on them whenever they take a bite, or you keep switching food choices from time to time to see which one they like best. News flash! It’s not only you who are getting stressed out; they are too!
Before we go ahead and provide a resolution on how to get rid of the picky eater attitude that your poodle has, let us first identify the reasons why they are this way.
5 Reasons Why Poodles Are Picky Eaters.
Reason 1: Illness – One reason why they do not eat what you serve them is that they lack appetite. Now, it may not be a severe case; it is still best to let a vet check upon him.
Reason 2: Dental Problems – There are moments wherein poodles do not eat because they are feeling pain in their gums. This must be checked and cured immediately.
Reason 3: Vaccination – If you had your poodle vaccinated and somehow lost appetite, that is just normal. While it is true that the vaccine saves their lives, the side effect could be a temporary loss of appetite, which is just a minor side effect.
Reason 4: New Environment – Do you travel a lot with your poodle? Did you move to a new house? If your answer is yes, then the collective effect of this action could be a loss of appetite in your poodle’s position. Dogs, like poodles, often have this motion sickness in travel and discomfort when putting in unfamiliar places. It is adorable to bring pets to trips, but it sometimes takes a toll on them.
Reason 5: Feeding Situations – Poodles and all other dogs become picky eaters for some situations that are not too serious. Examples of this are, they are not comfortable, they don’t like eating with other dogs, the bowl is too high or too low or too deep for them, or they just don’t like the food you’re giving them.
Let us narrow it down on Reason 5 since it is something that we can solve on our own. Although there are five reasons, all other four need professional help, while five is something that requires our action.
7 Steps For Feeding Your Poodles
That is why we are here. We will provide you techniques for a stress-free feeding cycle for your picky eating poodle in just seven steps!
Step 1: Know the Proper Food Ratio
You see, there are three types of poodles, standard, miniature, and toy, and you cannot feed them with just any amount of food. Each of them has a prescribed amount of food that would keep their diets balanced.
Always know their proper food proportion to avoid overfeeding or underfeeding. Also, their food proportion varies on different brands, so it is better to check the food labels at all times.
Step 2: Exercise Consideration
Most of the dog’s food proportion is also affected by their exercise routine. If your poodle has a daily basis of exercise, then they need food rich in calories to keep up the activeness they have.
But if your poodle is not really into exercise, then you should feed them a lesser amount of calories. In this way, it would be easier for them to burn unnecessary fats in their bodies with just regular morning walks.
Step 3: Meals over Snacks
To make sure that your poodles eat the meals you serve them, give them two to three snacks a day in an ample amount.
Do not give them too many snacks a day because it will affect their appetite during mealtime, resulting in them to be picky eaters. It is best to provide them with small dry cookies, one to three cookies a day.
Giving them treats are essential since these are the reward for their good behavior, but don’t overdo it.
Step 4: Get the Right Bowl
This is how it works, people, if your poodle is small, don’t give them big deep bowls, and if your poodle is big, don’t feed them using regular sized bowls.
The size of the bowl always matters to them. Besides, getting the right size of the feeding bowl will not just give convenience to your poodles; it will also help you giving them the right amount of food.
Furthermore, if your poodle has already recognized the bowl as his plate for food, don’t switch it to a different bowl. Poodles and all other dogs prefer familiarity over beauty.
Step 5: Get Quality Dog Food
While others think that it is wiser to make the meals of their poodles, it is not highly recommended. The most usual mistake that poodle parents make is that they keep on switching from one brand to another, hoping that their poodles can pick a favorite.
Well, let me tell you, that is just wrong. Your poodles will not pick a flavor at all; they will think that once they ignore the food you give, you will keep finding something better to offer them.
Poodles believe that this must be fun, but owners think otherwise. Therefore, instead of switching from brand to brand, it is much better to give them small bites of one excellent quality brand and gradually feed them with it.
Step 6: Make It Pleasant
Dry dog food is indeed an excellent base for a meal since it will make the gums stronger and maintain healthy teeth. Poodles are prone to getting tooth decay (which is why they need regular toothbrush).
Dry food will also keep their stool firm, making it easy to clean after them. It is also a good strategy to add something to the dry base. You can use fish oil or chicken/beef broth; this will make the meal tempting for them because of the smell the fish or chicken/beef brings.
Another thing to boost up a meal is to warm it up. Quickly pop it into the microwave for a minute or two before serving.
Step 7: Show That You’re the Boss
This is likely the most challenging step for all poodle parents. We always love looking at our poodles after we give them food, checking for their approval. It is the moment that we give them choices, and if they end up not liking the food, we usually take bits of our own meal and feed it to them.
It may look lovely, but it is not really good practice. This will only build up a certain feeding attitude, meaning your poodles will think that it is okay not to eat the food in their bowls. You need to muster up enough courage to do this one and not easily cave in.
When you feed them, put the bowl of the meal down in front of them and walk away. Don’t wait for them to eat it. If they did not eat it after a few minutes, pick up the bowl and place it back after a couple of minutes.
This will show them that they do not have any other choice, and their survival instinct will spike up, making them eat the food. Show them that you are the boss, not them, and they don’t have a say in it.
Recommendations On Dog Food
If you keep on switching from brands hoping to find the perfect dog food, here are a few recommendations we can offer:
- ROYAL CANIN Breed Poodle Adult dry dog food
- Wells Earthborn Holistic Natural Dog Food
- Hill’s Science Active Longevity Chicken Meal
- Orijen 6 Fish Grain-Free Formula
- EUKANUBA Adult Dry Dog Food
Poodles and all other dogs should also not ingest these kinds of food (these are safe for humans but not for them):
- Grapes and Raisins
- Macadamia Nuts
Having a dog, especially a poodle, makes you feel that you have children (if you are single, by the way). They need a lot of attention, care, and love. It’s even a bonus for them to be a picky eater. That is why we should not spoil them. Show them that you are in control and no matter how much they beg, it will never work, because you are a strong, independent dog parent.
But if in any case that they became a picky eater all too sudden and no matter what you feed them, it won’t entice them, it is best to consult the vet. They may be experiencing severe health problems and not being a picky eater at all. Never forget to seek professional help if your poodles or any dog suddenly lost appetite, and have them regularly checked.
My name is John Carter and I absolutely love pets, especially dogs. I’ve got a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare and have several years’ experience working in animal shelters and rescues. My passion for animals started at a very young age as I grow up on a farm with several horses, cows, cats, chickens, and dogs on our property.