Whether we are talking about our children or our dogs, food is often a hot topic of conversation! Cavapoos are notorious for being fussy eaters, turning up their cute little noses as soon as the bowl is placed beside them. And what is often scoffed down one day can be scoffed at the next!
Most dog owners feed their Cavapoo the same food each day, from exactly the same bowl at precisely the same time. It’s no wonder that our dogs get bored. But rather than changing the variety of food, why not consider how you feed your Cavapoo instead?
Here we explain more…
Why are Cavapoos picky eaters?
There are many reasons why Cavapoos tend to be finickity when it comes to food, but it generally falls into two categories, either boredom or behavior.
Have you ever tried a fad diet where you simply drink soup or eat salad leaves for breakfast, lunch and dinner? If so, then you will know that after a while your body starts to crave something different. A new texture, a fresh taste and even a variety of colors.
And the same can be said for our dogs. When we feed them the same bag of kibble, day in and day out, then their enthusiasm to eat wanes. Instead of throwing out the old to try something new, why not mix it up a little and add in some extra toppings to their current food.
This could be as simple as adding sweet berries or crunchy vegetables or if you have the time why not cook them something entirely different, just for a change.
Your Cavapoo does not expect a la carte, but the odd helping of scrambled egg or roast chicken will heighten their senses and reignite their love of food again.
Make your dog earn its dinner
We all like to get something for free, but too many snacks in between meals or scraps from the table only teaches our dogs some bad eating habits.
Instead, make your dog earn its dinner through some training sessions – this will make them feel valued and prevent them avoiding dinner in the hope of getting free food. Cavapoos are intelligent dogs so will quickly learn how to do tricks for treats or forage for food on a scavenger hunt filled with snacks.
If you can place value on their food, then this will make mealtimes much more fun. Take a look at our guide on How to train a Cavapoo for more information on motivational techniques.
Dog feeding preferences
“To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art”
François de la Rochefoucauld
As humans, we get to decide what meals to make, when to eat it and where we want to consume it. For our Cavapoos however, they tend to get given the same bowl of dog food, placed on their mat each and every day. It is no wonder that from time to time they start to display some feeding preferences.
For example, your Cavapoo may decide to: –
- Skip a few meals. Missing a mealtime is nothing to be alarmed about (especially if the weather is warm). Most dogs prefer to snack and can go at least 5 days (sometimes more) without a proper feed. As long as your dog is drinking plenty of water then there is generally nothing to be alarmed about. If you are worried about the health of your dog, then you should seek veterinary advice.
- Only eat from your hand. This is a common occurrence and is generally related to the environment in which the bowl is placed. Some dogs find it more reassuring to take food from their owners than to feed from a bowl that is near to a loud kitchen appliance, placed by other pet bowls or put in a new and unfamiliar setting. Feeding them by hand is fine to reassure your dog, but you do not want to make a habit out of it.
- Pick out the best bits. Wild dogs would select their own food by foraging (or hunting). When your dog empties its bowl looking for the good stuff yet dismisses the rest, it is simply their way of showing a preference. Given a choice we would normally always choose chocolate biscuits over salad, so why shouldn’t our dogs do the same?
- Feed off the floor. Probably the most baffling dog behavior is when you place their food in a bowl only for it to be removed and chewed on your carpet instead. Most dogs do this as a way of protecting their meal from others, whilst others may do it out of frustration due to the sound of their collar tags banging on their bowl.
Why dogs love to chew
We all know (generally through personal experience!!) that most dogs love to chew. Chewing is part of the course of owning a puppy as it is a natural instinct and is often used to release the pressure of puppy teething. But did you know that chewing also helps to aid digestion, facilitates nutrients and fluids to be absorbed and can improve the overall health of your dog’s teeth and gums?
Some studies also claim that chewing can reduce stress levels, and as our Cavapoos have similar brain structures to those that produce emotions in humans, then we can conclude that chewing also has a calming effect on our dogs.
Therefore it is really important that we allow our dogs to chew their meals, rather than gobble them down and that we actively encourage it by providing them with meaty bones and food that they have to tear apart.
Your dog’s taste buds
Although dogs rely on their sense of taste to identify whether a food source is sweet, sour or salty, they are a lot less discerning than humans. This is because we have over 9,000 taste buds on our tongue, whereas our canine cuties only have 1,700, so their sense of flavour is far less powerful.
Whereas a Cavapoos ability to taste is only a fraction of ours, their sense of smell is so much stronger. And, as smell and taste are closely related, your dog will actually be able to taste food through their nose, thanks to a special organ along its palate.
This is exactly why a lot of dogs prefer to eat wet or raw meat to dry kibble, as the smell is much more intense. And next time you cook bacon, watch how your Cavapoo sits and salivates.
We have lots of information on what to feed your Cavapoo, so take a look at all our blogs for some inspiration.
Quite often, as Cavapoo owners, we are quick to state that our breed of dog are renowned for being picky eaters. But instead of changing their current food, why not change it up a little instead.
Place their bowl somewhere quiet, allow them to eat away from other pets, add some extra toppings to their meals and keep snacks and treats for training time only. Because quite often it is not what they eat, but how they are eating it that is the primary problem.
And remember, if you have serious concerns about your dog’s eating habits, then please seek veterinary advice.
Recommended: 5 best dog bowls for a Cavapoo.