Feeding your pet is a tricky thing. I doubt that many caring pet parents feed their pets too little on purpose -¬†but feed them too much, and they risk becoming overweight. You want the best for your pet, so naturally, you want to feed them the best food that you can. Sometimes, though, giving in to demands for the ‚Äúgood stuff‚ÄĚ can turn your pet into a picky eater. Or, your pet's newly developed "pickiness" could be code for an underlying condition.

Picky eaters are difficult cases for veterinarians and pet parents. And, though it seems contrary to common sense, picky eaters can actually be overweight as well, as they tend to hold out for the tastiest food, which often happens to be unhealthy.

When picky eating becomes a problem

Puppies and kittens: Very young animals have little to no reserve in the tank. Skipping even one meal can be trouble.

Small breed dogs: Small dogs also have little reserve, and anorexia should be closely monitored.

Geriatric pets: Older dogs and cats may have several reasons for not eating, including pain. I consider pain in our pets to be an emergency that should be addressed as soon as possible.

Cats: Felines (especially overweight cats) are prone to a condition called hepatic lipidosis, when they suddenly stop eating. This is a serious illness which can be life-threatening.

Anytime your pet stops eating, you should consult your veterinarian immediately.

Knowing what and how much to feed your picky eater is a challenge. This is where your veterinarian can help. He or she can work with you to develop a diet and plan that will work best for both of you. Remember, just like us, different pets have different metabolisms, so some will put weight on easily, while others don’t gain an ounce.

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Jan 3, 2012
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