Welcome to Ask Amber, our weekly Q&A installment with Amber, one of our most popular Rover sitters in Seattle. Every week, Amber will answer one of your questions about anything relating to dog sitting, dog care, the life of a Rover sitter, etc. Today, Amber addresses how to get a nervous dog to eat.
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Q: My Rover dog wont eat—what should I do?
A: It’s fairly common for a nervous dog not to eat his first meal at my house. Since I’ve experienced quite a few dogs who aren’t comfortable enough to eat, here are some tricks I use to make sure they keep their bellies full:
When my Rover dog is eating treats, but doesn’t want to eat their food, I improvise and make a little scramble, so to speak. I take their regular amount of food, then chop up and mix in a few of the treats they’ve been eating, and give them the mix. You can also add a little bit of water to their food to soften it up and make it extra delicious.
2. Peanut butter
If you know your Rover dog doesn’t have any allergies and you’ve gotten the OK to give them peanut butter, try mixing a little bit into their food with warm water to get it to liquify. This should be a nice bonus to their regular meal.
3. Olive oil
Although it may not have the same enticing smell as peanut butter, something about olive oil makes dogs go nuts! Drizzle a little bit on top of their food and mix it in. I have yet to have a dog turn this combo down.
4. Get down to their level
Sit on the floor with them. It can be strange for dogs to eat in a new space and I’ve found that sitting on the floor with the dog and even sometimes feeding them from a spoon is just what it takes. As Mary Poppins would say, ‘A spoonful of sugar…’ (or olive oil in this case), and you should be all set!