Do Dogs and Cats Get Tired of Eating the Same Thing Every Day?

Most humans can’t stand to eat the same thing more than a few days in a row, so the thought of eating the same exact thing for our entire lives is a little depressing. The idea of the thing we are forced to eat every day being dry dog kibble or cold canned pet food is even less appealing. Yes, the idea of being a cat or a dog and having to eat the same food all the time isn’t very exciting.

What if the only way you could “choose” what food you’d prefer to eat was to refuse to eat what was provided to you in the hopes that your caretaker would eventually bring you a more palatable option? Those of us who thought we would enjoy living the life of a dog or a cat might rethink that plan after considering their diet.

Photo: Pixabay/SwidaAlba

So do animals feel that way too? Do you ever wonder if your dog or cat gets bored eating the same thing day after day? Is there a way to tell whether you’re doing right by your furry friend’s tastebuds? Let’s find out.

Do Pets Easily Get Bored of Their Food?

The simple answer is no, pets don’t require the kind of variety that humans do in their diets, for a few reasons. But, of course, there is some variation between the tastes and preferences of different types of animals and individual pets. Some may be more prone to get bored than others.

Photo: Unsplash/Felice Wölke

We can’t predict whether your dog or cat will get bored of their food, but here are a couple of general reasons why most pets don’t need to have different types of food all the time.

First, they’re carnivores by nature. While dogs and cats can and do eat a variety of other foods, their bodies need large amounts of animal-based proteins and not as much of any of the other food groups. They naturally, therefore, don’t get bored easily of a high-quality high-protein diet, even if that diet is the same every day.

Photo: Pixabay/mattycoulton

Pets also have different taste buds than we do and cannot enjoy all of the same tastes that we do. Dogs have only about 1,700 taste buds, compared to 9,000 for humans. Cats have fewer than 500 taste buds, and they cannot taste sweet things at all. So they’re likely happier with their diets than we would be if we tried them.

Interestingly, cats and dogs also have a specific kind of taste bud for water, so you’re actually giving them a bit of variety for their taste buds just by giving them water. Crazy, right?

Photo: Pixabay/Surprising_SnapShots

Are Table Scraps Okay?

Believing that pets need variety in their diets could be one reason why people tend to feed their dogs and cats table scraps that aren’t always good for them. Certain foods, like lean meat and certain veggies, are good for your pets, but don’t fall into the trap of thinking your cat or dog needs potato chips or cookies. Always make sure you do your research on whether a certain food is good for your pet before you feed it to them. And maybe also consider whether they’ll even be able to taste it!

Rotating your pet’s diet can be great for them, but it’s important to feed them healthy foods. Try to worry less about them “missing out” on things like ice cream and focus more on offering options that are both exciting and nutritious for your pet.

Photo: Unsplash/Christian Bowen

What To Do If Your Pet Won’t Eat

If your cat or dog is refusing to eat their normal food, first check to make sure it isn’t expired. Then have your pet checked out for any dental or health issues that may make eating difficult for them.

If you think your dog or cat is bored, it could be about life in general more than just food. Try food puzzles, more exercise, and mentally stimulating activities to see if they change your pet’s mood and appetite.

Photo: Unsplash/Jornada Produtora

Lastly, try making changes to their diet, either by changing their regular food or making real-food additions to supplement it. Symptoms of food boredom include eating more slowly or less altogether, begging for human food more, or not seeming excited about mealtime.

Changing Your Pet’s Diet

Before making changes to your pet’s diet, consult with your veterinarian to avoid giving your dog or cat any gastrointestinal issues. But it may be the case that a change in your pet’s diet is needed in order to provide them with a greater spectrum of nutrition and to keep them coming back for more.

Photo: Unsplash/Laura Chouette

Some people make changes by adding real meat or pet-safe fruits and vegetables to their regular diet. Other people prefer to switch brands or flavors of food. Choosing a company that uses human-grade organic food can help ensure your pet gets all the nutrients they need without all the fillers.

Ultimately, how your pet reacts to the change you make should determine whether it was the right one or whether you need to keep searching for a better solution. The goal should be to find a way to get your pet excited about mealtimes again.

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