Are Shelties Picky Eaters? (And What to Do About It)


Are Shelties Picky Eaters? (And What to Do About It) A young girl hugging a sheltie shetland sheepdog dog in autumn fall season

Having a dog who is a picky eater is sometimes difficult. You may worry about whether you are giving them enough food or if there is some other health condition that is wrong with them. But when it comes to some types of dogs, including the Sheltie, they may just be picky eaters and you can adjust to that.

Are Shelties Picky Eaters?

Shelties are known for being picky eaters. There are some shelties that tend to eat whatever they are given, but some are pickier eaters than the others. Getting them on a regular meal schedule, avoiding snacks and table scraps between meals, and keeping your Sheltie active so they are hungry during meal time can help with this problem.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the reasons why Shelties are such picky eaters and a few of the simple steps you can take to avoid the picky eating and to keep your Sheltie happy and full all day long.

Are Shelties Picky Eaters?

Some Shelties are picky eaters. They may refuse to eat certain types of foods or they will only go with one type of dog food and refuse to eat anything else. However, there are times when shelties are not as picky and may seem to eat anything you place in front of them. This will all depend on the temperament of your sheltie and what they personally like.

Your Sheltie can be a picky eater for a variety of reasons. They may not be hungry. If they are given a ton of different snacks through the day or you feed them some table scraps when you eat, they are less likely to eat their regular food through the day. Some Shelties may not be hungry because they are stuck inside all day long and are not getting the exercise that they need.

Some Shelties may be picky about the types of foods that they will eat. They may not like a certain type of kibble because of the taste or they may like soft food rather than hard. Experimenting a bit with the different types of kibble and food that are available can help with this.

How Do You Fix the Picky Eating?

There are a few different things that pet owners can do to help fix picky eating in their Sheltie or any other dog. Some of these include:

Changing the Environment

Though feeding your Sheltie may sound like a simple process to do, how you feed your food and even the time that you do feedings will sometimes affect how much food they are willing to eat. One of the best things that you can do to avoid picky eating behavior in your dog is to create and stick with a consistent feeding routine. To set this schedule:

  • Set and stick with a mealtime schedule. Being a few minutes off each day is not a big deal, but if supper is at 6, then you need to serve it as close to 6 as possible.
  • Only leave the food out for a little bit of time. If your dog knows they can come back and eat all through the night, then they may not eat when they should. Never leave the food out for more than 15 to 20 minutes.
  • If your dog does not seem interested in eating anything, then take the bowls away rather than leaving them out.
  • Do not give your Sheltie more treats or food of any kind until the next time you have scheduled.

It may take a bit of time for your Sheltie to get used to the new eating schedule and not getting to have a lot of treats throughout the day. But if you stick with these rules, they will learn when eating time is and may become less picky about their food.

Avoid the Snacks

It is important to limit how many snacks your Sheltie is allowed to have during the day. They may be a picky eater because they are getting a ton of food from you in the form of treats or table scraps during the day. It is hard to feel hungry for your regular food if you are full from all of the snacks during the day. A few treats for training are not a bad thing. But if your Sheltie is really becoming a picky eater, then it may be time to cut out the snacks completely.

Try to limit the number of snacks that you give to your Sheltie between meals. These will only fill them up. If you plan to train them using treats, break one big treat up into a lot of small pieces and minimize how many they have. There are also treats that are leaner and will not fill the Sheltie up as much as others. These are a good option to choose if you have a dog who does not seem to want to eat their supper.

Give Them Lots of Exercise

Your Sheltie needs a lot of exercise during the day to help them stay active and happy. If they are stuck inside all day while you are at work, then it may be a good idea to take them out for a long walk and run to wear out some of the energy and provide them with the movement they need. This not only makes them a little bit happier, it can prevent behavioral issues and will help them improve their appetite.

It is important to give your Sheltie lots of activity through the day. If they are not eating enough, they may not be moving around enough during the day to build up that appetite. If you can, play with them a few times during the day and go on several long walks to help them get that movement in. When they get those muscles up and moving, they will be more ready to eat something delicious at supper time.

Try Different Types of Foods

Some dogs are pickier about the types of foods that they will consume. You may have some of the best dog food around, but if there is something that bothers the dog about the food, they will not eat it. In this case, you may need to be patient with your Sheltie and try out a few different types of foods to see what is going to work the best for them.

You should give your dog a few days for each type of food so they have a chance to taste it and make a decision. Even if they turn their nose down at it the first day, give it to them a few times to see whether they warm up to it. If you try a few types of hard food without any luck, then move over to trying some soft food and see if they like the texture for that kind of food instead.

Could Picky Eating Be a Sign of Health Concerns?

In some cases, your Sheltie is just a picky eater. They do not like certain foods for the taste, the texture, and other factors. However, there are times when this picky eating may be a concern and could show a health problem in your dog. If your dog has always disliked a certain type of food and never eaten it, then this is a sign of picky eating.  If, on the other hand, there is a significant change in their appetite that lasts more than one day without returning to normal, then you should consult your vet.

Missing one meal or not feeling well is not a big concern with your dog. And if you have a young sheltie under six months of age, then this is not as concerning. If the eating changes last for longer than that or you notice your Sheltie is not eating some of the foods that they usually enjoy, then discuss this with your vet.

Taking Care of Your Sheltie When They are a Picky Eater

When your Sheltie is a picky eater, there may be a few different reasons for this. They may not like the type of food that you are serving them, they may be full from having too many snacks and table scraps during the day, or they may not be getting enough activity during the day to help them build up an appetite. When these are the main issue, then. You can just make a few simple changes and you will find they are more open to eating the food that you give them at each meal.

Sometimes, your dog may just be a picky eater. They may not need as much food as you think they do or they are not interested in a certain type of food that they prefer over the others. Be patient with your dog and learn what types of foods they like to ensure you can provide them with the good nutrition that they need to stay healthy.

Noelle Carter

Noelle loves animals of all kinds! She grew up with the most beautiful German Shepherd/Husky mix. Ever since then, she has been obsessed with dogs and has owned a lot of different breeds. Noelle joined Embora Pets as a writer in January 2019 to help spread her love and knowledge of animals and the joy they can bring to the life of a pet owner!

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