Are you a Mini Schnauzer owner and desperately staring at the bowl that is still full? It’s true their fussy eating behavior can give you headaches. So are Miniature Schnauzers really picky eaters?
The short answer for this is that some Miniature Schnauzers really can be picky eaters.
Miniature Schnauzers are not picky eaters per se. But due to some underlying medical conditions, behavior traits, and changing of the diet, they can be picky about eating. Diarrhea and vomiting are significant symptoms of these underlying medical issues. If these symptoms appear, meet a veterinarian ASAP.
So what should you do if this is relatable to their behavior? How to fix their picky eating behavior? I’ll give you a 4 step process that will definitely make them eat again.
Are Miniature Schnauzers Picky Eaters & The Reasons For That?
I know it is challenging for you to see your doggo ignoring your food because I was there. As we all spend busy lives, it is complicated to allocate spare time to things such as hand feeding.
So let’s see what do Miniature schnauzers being picky about their foods and get them off from that behavior. This is something you can try without weighing your busy daily schedule.
The miniature schnauzer is a pocket edition of Schnauzers.
They usually weigh 4.5-6.8kg (female) and 5.0 to 8.2kg (male). They have a double coat, and usually, the coat colors are black, pepper and salt, black and silver, and pure white.
Several reasons drive them too picky eating behaviors.
- Dental problems
- Being intimidated
- Dry foods
- The bowl
- Too many treats!
- Looking up for tastier foods
- Hand feeding
1. Dental problems
Check your schnauzer’s teeth and gum for any signs of diseases, or have your vet check. When it is hard to eat/bite/swallow, they tend to stop eating some foods. You can feed soft/wet foods until they recover from the problem.
2. Being intimidated
Schnauzers can be really intimidated by an alien location, other dogs, and visitors. If their usual dining place is changed, they are not comfortable with eating in the new environment.
My cousin has 8 months old retriever and 2 years old rottweiler, so every time they are given food, the small retriever looks at the big fella and refuses to take their meal.
3. Dry foods
Sometimes dry foods are a big turn-off for your Miniature schnauzer. They get tired really fast bit after a while.
4. The bowl
Make sure your schnauzer is happy with the bowl they are given. Some bowls can be too tight or too small for them that they are not comfortable with eating. Sometimes they are disturbed by the metal sound that happens when the bowl collides with the floor.
5. Too many treats!
Yes, I know they deserve some extra treats, tasty snacks, and chewing bits but don’t overfeed them.
Also, set up a specific time to do that. This is a significant reason for them to refuse their food cus they expecting those treats even they are given the food in the bowl.
It is better if you limit treats you provide to your pet for an average level since his puppyhood because it is hard to rescue them from those treats as they have grown up with the taste.
6. Looking up for tastier foods
If your schnauzer could talk, he would say, “Nathan, I want something taste differ,” but they cant. Therefore all they do is refusing the meal.
So you can change the meal that can feel the difference of the tase in an obvious way to your dog. Don’t try swapping food that tastes almost the same. Try something that tastes exactly the opposite.
For example, if your dog refuses to eat chicken flavor, you can try fish, beef, or venison flavors instead. It doesn’t need to be an expensive diet.
Even a cheaper diet can be more tasteful. But don’t exchange their food more often. It can make your dog more likely to refuse his food.
Recommended reading: Are miniature schnauzers get jealous? [Vet advice]
7. Hand feeding
Most pet wonders are doing this when their dog stops eating. Picky eating could be temporary in Miniature schnauzers, but this hand feeding habit can permanently stop eating from the bowl.
Remember the previous articles I talk about dog training? (if not, read this: Are miniature schnauzers protective?) So your schnauzer can get a wrong idea about this hand feeding as a training method.
So how do you know precisely whether this is a behavior or a health issue? Let’s think about it like this.
If your puppy has always been picky about their diet, but their health is not bad overall, we can say that it is just a character trait, but if your buddy is suddenly aloof about foods, you should concern this as a health problem and get initial actions.
Risk Associated With Your Miniature Schnauzer’s Picky Eating.
In veterinary practice, they ask about eating behavior when history taking. This is a significant thing that they can use to determine if your dog has some disease. So if your mini Shcanuzer’s got a serious picky eating pattern, you should take them to a vet.
And every time you give candy to your doggo it is adding up to the cart that driving them to obesity.
Yeah, that’s right!. Sometimes it’s your behavior that disturbs their good health. When Miniature Schnauzers are picky and eat only table scraps and treats, they miss the major nutritions that add to a healthy diet.
Unlike us, dogs have special nutrition needs. So a balanced diet is a must for them. So this eating behavior can lead to most common health issues such as malnutrition, gastrointestinal upset, and weight loss.
And when they depend more on treats that contain the high-fat volume, it can cause pancreatitis that resulting abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, dehydration, weakness, lethargy, and fever.
Another thing that pet owners do when their pets are being picky is they constantly change their diet. This can resulting gastrointestinal upset.
Suggested Reading: Why do some dogs eat one kibble at a time?
How To Get Your Picky Miniature Schnauzer To Eat?
So how can you fix this picky eating behavior of your dog? That’s what now I’m gonna talk about. But it will give you a hard time bearing the whining of your schnauzer’s that burst out from his hunger. So let’s go forward.
Here is exactly what you need to do.
- Checking if they have underlying medical issues.
- “No Option” training
- Daily exercising.
- Roll on the floor!
- Make them believe they deserve it.
- Warm it up
1. Checking if they have underlying medical issues.
If your schnauzer is refusing to eat, there can be some serious underlying medical issues. It can be occurred from,
Food intolerance/Food allergies.
Food intolerance/Food allergies mean adverse reactions to food. It is usually defined as an abnormal response to a food or food additive.
Therefore this can discomfort your dog for hours and lead to digestive problems like gas, diarrhea, and vomiting. So this can keep your schnauzer away from the bowl.
Oral injury or disease
Picky eating or fussy eating can lead to the malfunction of your mini schnauzer’s digestive tract.
So you can check their mouth, tongue, and gums to make sure they are not damaged or showing any kind of symptoms. If you suspect some wound or anything abnormal in that area, take them to the vet for medical diagnosis.
2. “No Option” training
So if you have enough evidence that they have got above mention problems, it’s better to take them to the vet other than going forward in this process. But most of the time, it’s their behavior trait. So how do you stop this behavior?
Let me start with the story of my cousin’s rottweiler “Alex.”
Alex is 8 months old, and he started this picky eating behavior. My aunt was super upset about this and tried different feeding methods and different kinds of brands, but any of those didn’t work out. Then she called her friend, also a veterinarian.
After telling about this situation, she suggested a method. And after trying out that method for few days, Alex started to eat without causing any trouble. So how did she get his buddy back on track? It’s nothing more than this simple method.
- Set out your dog’s food for 20-30 minutes. If he didn’t pay any interest on the bowl, take it away.
- When it’s time for the next meal, again set out food for 20-30 minutes and wait for him to eat.
- The first couple of days, he’s gonna roll around the house searching for treats and table scraps. You have to make sure that he doesn’t get any of those.
- Continue this method for two or three days, and He will adapt to the new normal.
During this process, you have to make sure not to give anything but those main meals. And of course, this is some hard practice for both you and your schnauzer, but you have to keep repeat this process until they learn there is no other way.
3. Daily exercising.
This is a great trick to make your schnauzer eat right at the time. It speeds up their energy consummation and speeds up their hunger time. So as long as your dog is hungry and healthy, he’s not gonna worry about how their tummy got filled.
An excellent way to exercise your dog is going for a walk every day.
So if you already take your dog for a walk, you can try upping the distance. It is a thing that most pet owners say most of their dogs start eating after they take them for a walk before 45 minutes for their dinner.
You can also make them play with a ball or anything in the garden. The main purpose is to tire your dog out. As they are out of energy and the meal you offer is the only thing, he is more likely to eat it.
4. Roll on the floor!
Dogs are playful by nature. You can use this habit to make them forget Miniature Schnauzers are picky! Yes, yes, sometimes you have to cheat them for their goodwill.
So here is how you do it. Sit on the ground and throw dried dog food on the ground, a little at a time. As they eat it, throw another one further away.
So as they begin to like the taste, you can switch to the bowl and offer them the food in the bowl.
5. Make them believe they deserve it.
Act like they have done enough to reward their food. Like a short session of shake, roll over, or any trick will help. Your dog will think of their meal as a reward for their hard work.
So after a hard job, they might have forgotten that they were rejecting the food. The purpose hereof making them feel rewarded and also make them excited. Have you ever seen an excited dog refusing his food?
6. Warm it up
This is a common trick pulled by most dog owners. It cost nothing to warm up a little bit the bowl. This has two advantages. It Improves the flavor and releases a strong aroma.
You can easily warm it up using a microwave or steamer pot. Mind that when you use the microwave, you better use the plastic bowl as stainless steel bowl can spark.
For a dry appetite, use a little hot water during the process.
Suggested Reading: Why does your dog stare at the floor?
Things To Be Aware Of
Sometimes changing their regular food can turn them off from eating. If you gonna introduce a new brand, you have to do it gradually without them noticing. Just gradually increase the new food while decreasing the old food progressively. Follow the below process.
Our goal is to change the food within 10 days so,
- Day 1-3 – 75% current food. 25% of new food.
- Day 4-6- 50% current food. 50% new food
- Day 7-9- 25% current food. 75% new food
- Day 10 – 100% new food.
Same with switching to dry foods. You can add a little bit of warm water to the dry food before serving it to your pet.
Picky eating can be a result of an underlying medical condition or behavior traits that dogs maintaining. If your schnauzer’s picky eating behavior is a result of an underlying medical condition, you can see the symptoms clearly, as I mentioned before. The behavior trait can be fixed by easy training methods.