International Dog Day 2022: How to boost your pet’s energy and get them to eat healthy


Just like kids, some dogs are fussy eaters, too. But, if you are a pet parent you would know that diet plays a huge part when it comes to ensuring the health of your four-legged friend. What you put on their plate can determine their weight, mood, activity levels, energy, etc.

Dr Dilip Sonune, director of veterinary services at Wiggles, says that if your dog does not get the right nutrients, they may end up feeling “lethargic and grumpy”.


On the occasion of International Dog Day 2022, he shares the following ways with which you can make them eat healthy meals, and also help them stay energetic.

* First, get your dog checked by a vet, he says, adding that picky eating is not always by choice. “In many cases, pets lose their appetite when they are sick. Rather than assuming that your pet is picky right away, it is recommended to visit the vet.”

* The doctor adds that it is important to follow a set time for food. “This means no snacks in between. If they don’t eat their meal within a specified time (30 minutes), take their food away and feed them only at their next scheduled meal time. Your dog will realise if they miss a meal, they won’t get any food,” he suggests.

If your pet is not eating their kibble, try adding a bit of water (warm) as this will make it appetising. (Photo: Getty/Thinkstock)

* Try different recipes for meals, Dr Sonune suggests. “If your dog is running away from vegetables, add toppings like de-husked peanut butter (xylitol-free only). Mix in veggies with meat or fruits that are safe for dogs and blend it into a smoothie. If your pet is not eating their kibble, try adding a bit of water (warm) as this will make it appetising.”

* Texture and smell; dogs have a sense of smell 40 times more powerful than humans. So, food that smells good ranks higher on their list. Even if you are feeding them something they don’t like, mixing it in chicken broth or chicken fat will help in the palatability, says the expert, adding that next comes texture. “If your dog is avoiding particular kibbles, then it could be because of the size, texture, or how easy it is to chew.”

* Try the age-old technique of mixing rice and minced vegetables, along with their favorite treats during their meal. While a treat is no substitute for a meal, it can be a great appetizer and distraction to help those nutrients reach your pet.

* The doctor also explains that taking them out for a walk or playtime before a meal can “work up their appetite”. “Good exercise ought to get rid of any pickiness; they will eat anything put in front of them.”

* Feed them food for dogs. While one may want to indulge them with some leftovers from the table, these foods do not meet their nutritional requirements. “Many foods we eat tend to have onions and garlic or are fried in nature, which is dangerous for pets,” the vet cautions.

* Find suitable activities for them; dogs differ in breed, age, and size. “Labradors love to chew, so having chew toys would be great; Border Collies are a highly smart breed, so puzzles and obstacle courses would be right up their alley. Try activities like swimming or following commands, and find what catches their fancy,” he concludes.


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