Do you find that your dog turns their nose up at their own dry dog food but is more than happy to snaffle up your leftovers? Ever find yourself hand-feeding your mutt tasty treats just to ensure they are fed in the morning and evening.

If so, it could be that you have a fussy eater on your hands. In general picky eating is a habit that dogs pick up rather than one they are born with, so if you want to tackle this problem, you're going to have to look at your own behaviour with your pup.

If you regularly feed your pet leftover food treats, they can quickly learn that by holding out and refusing their own food, they will be fed tastier morsels instead.

Therefore, it is important to resist sneaking your dog treats or feeding them on human food, as this will only encourage their choosy bad habits.

Speaking to WebMD, Margaret Hoppe of the Abingdon Square Veterinary Clinic in New York's Greenwich Village recommends being firm with your pooch when it comes to mealtimes.

"Just because he skips a few meals, don't give in and give him what he wants," she advises. "Leave the bowl out for 15 minutes, and if he's not finished, take it away."

When your dog learns that they won't receive any other food by refusing the dog bowl, they will soon start eating when they're hungry.

Fussing eating is, however, sometimes the result of a pooch simply not liking a certain type of food, so it is important to ensure you are feeding your pup a premium dog food brand, and try switching brands if necessary.

Finally, if you have a dog who is normally a happy, healthy eater but then goes off their food without warning, it is worth paying a visit to your vet to check that there is no illness causing the behaviour.

"If you have a dog who is a regular eater that suddenly stops, that can be a sign something is wrong," Ms Hoppe warns. "Picky eating is one symptom."

Written by: Hannah