There are two eating styles that are commonly recognized in pets, the “nibbler” and the “gobbler”. Both styles are primarily determined from the personality of the pet. While it is possible to change your pets eating style it may be a difficult task.
Typically, the younger pets will eat quickly and with gusto due to the high energy demands for growth. As they mature to adulthood the eating style may change to a slower pace. If your pet should get a particularly good tasting treat it is likely that it will be consumed quickly. While any change in the diet may spark an interest for many there are some that this will not be enough. For those pets that are spoiled or conditioned to eat only one type of food getting them to eat regularly or anything new can be a real chore.
The commercial pet food companies know that canned food has more flavor than the dry food and the fewer by-products a food contains the more flavor there is in the food. The feline species has the reputation of being more finicky than the canine species and therefore there are usually flavor enhancers that are added to the ration. Heating canned food as well as adding various spices, such as garlic for the dog and clam juice for the cat, will also improve the flavor and thus consumption of the pet food.
There are certain non-nutritional items that have a rather magnetic appeal to most dogs such as: horse manure, cat feces, tobacco and bird droppings. Certain foods such as chocolate and drinks such as alcohol may be attractive can be very dangerous for pets to eat. The dog is a scavenger by nature and thus there is no predicting what type of “junk” they will sometimes consume if given the opportunity. The cat is a carnivore and a hunter by nature. As a result of domestication, however, some of the instinctive drives have been modified. Due to the wholesomeness and delicious taste of the commercial foods that are readily available today the feeding instinct has been further corrupted.
In summary, my advice to dog owners is to feed them the same good quality commercial food daily with occasional treats. My advice for cat owners is to feed them a variety of commercial foods and only a few treats. For pets with special needs the Hills Prescription Food is the best pet food available. Ask your veterinarian for his/her advice.