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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Does Your Dog Need a TV Tray?

Dear Jan,
My dog has the annoying habit of snatching a few pieces of kibble from her dish, and then walking into the living room, dropping them on the carpet, and eating them there, as if she doesn't want to miss a moment of "Jeopardy." How can I teach her to eat at her dish, besides turning off the TV during mealtime?

Dear Pam,
Some dogs are too "busy" to relax and eat in one spot, so they pack a little lunch and eat on the go. This would be the equivalent to "sink eating" for people! It's an easy habit to fix, and will improve your dog's health and digestion.

Place your dog's food dish on the floor and encourage her to eat the food. If she takes a bite and walks away, bring her back to it and encourage her again. If she takes another bite and still walks away, remove the food dish in her absence. Do not give her food from any source until her next scheduled mealtime. If she gets a little hungry, too bad! She will learn to stand there and eat from her dish when it's there in front of her, because (in her mind), if she leaves it, the dish will disppear.

Dogs may miss a few meals before they get the hang of it. Often they're holding out for something better from the humans. If they don't get it, they'll eventually get hungry enough to eat the food from their dish, when they see it, and before it has a chance to disappear.

This is a great tactic for solving "picky-eater" syndrome. For 100% success, try feeding Flint River Ranch food, which is so good it tastes like candy to your dog...she won't turn it down, no matter how finnicky she is!

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