Short answer: YES. Cockapoos are notoriously fussy eaters. As dog owners, we want what’s best for our pets. These active and friendly dogs need to eat well to keep up their energy. Therefore, we’re going to discuss why cockapoos are fussy eaters and what you can do to manage their discerning palate.
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When your new Cockapoo puppy comes home, you mustn’t disrupt their current diet. The breeder should send you back with some food and recommendations for what kind of food to buy. Puppies don’t like abrupt changes to their diet. So, either buy the same food the breeder recommends or use what you have to wean your puppy onto their new food formula slowly. Changing foods too fast can lead to stomach upset and dehydration – both of which are dangerous for a puppy to experience for any length of time.
To safely change over your dog’s food, mix their current food with the new food. Do this over a period of a week, slowly decreasing the amount of old food in the mix. As you do this, note any changes in bowel movements, eating habits and behavior. Your dog should feel fine during this transition, but any negative changes signal the new dog food formula isn’t ideal for your dog. Go back to the original food and try another recipe, or talk to the breeder or vet about the right food to try.
Kibble vs. Other Diets
Picking the right dry dog food can be tough. As we said before, discuss with the breeder or your veterinarian. If you’re at the pet supply store looking for meals, be sure to look for the following:
- Formulas that contain meat, fish or poultry as the prime ingredient
- Not too much grain
- High-quality ingredients
- Reputable brands
Most high-quality foods won’t be found at a typical grocer. You need to go to a health food store or a pet supply store with a variety of foods to choose from.
Other diets are popular these days, but before beginning one, you must discuss it with your veterinarian. For example, some dogs eat raw food. This diet consists of about 80 percent of raw meat and bones. The other 20 percent comes from fresh fruit and vegetables. Vegetables include carrots and berries. Some companies sell raw food for your dog, so you don’t have to create a diet for them from scratch. Again, you will find these at specialty stores and pet supply stores.
Raw food diets are great for some dogs but not others. Also, you need to keep safety in mind. Because you’re dealing with raw meat, you’ll want a place for your dog to eat that you can disinfect. You also want to clean any utensils and surfaces where you handle raw food.
Some dog owners like to put their dogs on grain-free diets. Some high-quality foods are grain-free, but you should discuss it with your vet. Lately, there have been some issues with dogs and grain-free diets.
The Treat Dilemma
Dogs need a balanced diet. Unfortunately, treats don’t offer that. If your dog isn’t eating their regular food but eating table scraps and treats, you’ve got a problem. It’s all about moderation, but there may be some reasons your dog is eating treats but not food.
They Don’t Like Their Food
Just like a fussy toddler, Cockapoos can have food preferences. It doesn’t necessarily mean your dog is unhealthy; they might prefer certain foods. This might be frustrating for you since you are buying good quality, likely expensive food. Consider trying different foods or adding some things to their bowls like poached chicken or cooked lamb. That might entice them to eat their food. Again, only do so a little at a time, so you don’t disrupt their gut.
They are Sick
Sick dogs may lose their appetite. Signs of a sick dog include vomiting, diarrhea and fatigue. If you suspect your dog is sick, follow them outside when it’s their time to eliminate. You might notice their bowel movements are watery or of a different consistency or color. Note that and try to keep your dog hydrated. And vomiting is a clear sign something is wrong. It’s possible they got into something they shouldn’t have or ate too fast.
Believe it or not, dog food can go bad. Check the expiration date and look for mold. Any strange smells are also an indicator that the food has gone rancid. To prolong your food, store in an airtight container, in a cool and dry place. Proper storage will discourage spoiling.
They are Stressed
Stressed dogs, especially those older dogs with routines, may change their eating habits. Stressed dogs might be too focused on what’s going on around them rather than the food in their bowl. Dogs experiencing significant changes, such as the addition of a new pet or baby, might have a change in their eating habits. However, they tend to resume regular habits within a few weeks. In these cases, you must stick to your dog’s schedule to avoid any unnecessary disruptions to their day. During times of change, structure helps relieve your dog of some of that stress.
If all of these possibilities don’t seem likely, we suggest stopping the use of treats and table food for a time. This will encourage them to eat their food.
When to Go to the Vet
When your dog begins to lose weight or act differently, it’s time to get some help. Call your vet to make an appointment. They will do a necessary workup such as blood tests and a physical. If those tests don’t come up with anything yet the symptoms persist, they may suggest a more invasive test involving examination of the gastrointestinal tract. Your vet may have some ideas on how to provide the right kind of diet for your dog’s issues. If it’s decided your Cockapoo’s fussy eating is behavioral, they may refer you to a dog behavioral specialist.