Like the title of iconic dog-trainer, Barbara Woodhouse's best-seller, "No Bad Dogs," I think there should be a book called, "No Picky-Eating Dogs or Cats."
I agree, it's not as catchy a title and Lord knows, I'm no Barbara Woodhouse, but I will never accept nor allow a dog (or a cat) to "become" a picky eater.
Assuming that your pet is being fed good food, (and I don't include any form of kibble or canned wet food in this category, no matter what the label says), your opportunistic-eating carnivore should gobble it all: fish, fowl or red meat and almost everything in between. Do you think that a wild canine or feline ponders atop a rock in the field about what he feels like eating?
"I'm in the mood for venison today, not rabbit. Go on your way, little furry one, you don't strike my fancy today."
No, they don't think like that. When it comes to real food, they don't even think. If it moves and has a pulse, the carnivore automatically goes into hunt mode.
In fact, even if the critter has an allergy to that food, he will usually eat it and suffer the consequences. For the record, I'm not suggesting that you feed your pet something that he's obviously allergic to, I'm just pointing out that the instinctual urge to consume meat overrides all else. Ultimately, chowing down on food is tantamount to surviving.
Our flesh-eating pets are not inherently fussy eaters, unless, as pack leader, we allow it. And with me, it's absolutely verboten. Not gonna happen.
But as pet-owners, we all make mistakes and I'm guilty as charged for many. Fortunately our pets, (and dogs are easier in this respect), have the ability to change their habits almost instantaneously - when we approach it the right way. If you've ever watched Cesar Millan in action, you know exactly what I mean.
So here are a few tips to wean your picky-eater off his selective diet:
1) Add a little broth or hot water to the meal. The savory aroma will open up the appetite. Scent is everything.
2) Plant some tasty tidbits in the food like bits of apple, pear, mango, a smudge of organic peanut butter, even cheese.
3) Sprinkle a healthy oil over the food, Like fish, seal, coconut or olive oils.
4) Change the texture. Chop, mince, slice or even heat up the food. This makes the food tastier, more palatable, like chopped egg or liver.
And most important, stick with it, even if it takes some time. Don't cave into your fur-ball's whims. After all, have you ever heard of a cat or dog starving to death when good food is being offered?