Your Dog Is Holding Out
Does this sound like you? Your dog wont eat her favorite kibble, so you switch brands. When she stops gobbling that up, you dress it up with something yummier, like cheese or chicken. Pretty soon youre sitting next to your pooch coaxing her to take a bite, wondering, why is my dog not eating?It feeds into this attention-seeking behavior where the dog says, If I dont eat, my owner will give me something better,’ Bain explains.
Another variation: Youve gotten your dog used to people foodhand-fed from the table, says Teller. The solution? After you get the okay from your vet , put down her dish of plain dog food, and take it up after 15 minutes even if she doesnt eat it, suggests Bain. Try again in the evening, doing the same thing until your dog gets the memo. If table scraps are ruining your dogs appetite, feed her at a different time and keep her away from the table as you dine, Teller advises. Now find out these other things your dog wishes you knew.
- Lori M. Teller, DVM, clinical associate professor at the Texas A& M Universitys College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
- Megan E. McClosky, DVM, lecturer in internal medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine
- Melissa Bain, DVM, professor of clinical animal behavior at the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine
How To Stop Anorexia
Youll need a diagnosis from your veterinarian to figure out why your puppy has stopped eating. If your vet rules out illness, its often OK to tempt your puppy with bland, vet-approved healthy people food and employ other techniques to encourage it to eat.
Illustration: The Spruce / Joshua Seong
Idowu, Olutunbi, and Kathryn Heading. Hypoglycemia in dogs: Causes, management, and diagnosis. The Canadian veterinary journal = La revue veterinaire canadienne vol. 59,6 : 642-649
Tips And Tricks For Getting A Picky Dog To Eat Their Food
Do you have a dog at home who has suddenly stopped eating their food? Luckily, youve come to the right place as this is a fairly common occurrence, and we have some useful advice to get your pet eating again.
Before we dive into the tricks, however, lets discuss the importance of making sure your dog is actually being picky and isnt suffering from a more serious health-related issue.
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Keep Serving The Meal Until Your Dog Eats It
Sometimes you happen upon a pet that is just too stubborn for his own good. Hell refuse to eat no matter what you do. In that case, the only way to curb this problem is the gentle starvation method. Begin by placing your dogs food down for 30 minutes. If he refuses to eat in that time, take it back up. Wait until his next normally scheduled mealtime and put it down for 30 minutes again. If he doesnt eat, take it back up. Eventually hunger will win over and your dog will eat his food. If not, theres probably a deeper problem than just a picky pup, and you should head to the vet.
There Are Basically Two Ways:
The problem is your dog just doesnt know what to do with it. Hes eaten commercial, processed pet food his whole life and his new raw meal looks and smells quite different.Did you know kibble is sprayed with fat and other substances to make it more appealing for your dog? Raw food has little odor compared to kibble. Initially, your dog may not realize this is food.How do you deal with this?
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Any Signs Of A Tummy Ache
Dogs get tummy aches just as humans. It is quite normal for a dog with a stomach ache to refuse food for a day. In this case, respect his need for time. If your dog has been vomiting or has diarrhea, a 24-hour fast may benefit him. His upset stomach is just asking for some rest. Do not force feed. However, if you own a young puppy you do not want to fast him for more than 12 hours. Once the 12/24 hours are over, give your dog some boiled boneless and skinless chicken and rice for a few days to sooth his stomach. Gradually add the rice to his usual diet until it replaces the bland diet entirely.
Why Does My Dog Prefer The Floor To His Bowl
28 September 2021
If your dog eats his food away from his bowl, there could be several reasons why. Behaviourist Claire Arrowsmith explains…
Q. Why will my dog eat his food off the floor but not from a bowl?
A. Behaviourist Claire Arrowsmith says: If your dog previously ate from his bowl, then it sounds as though he has made a negative association that has put him off doing so now.
You need to rule out pain and discomfort, so check his teeth are in good condition and that he isn’t having difficulty bending or leaning into the bowl.
Sensitive dogs can be worried by the noise their ID tag makes as it taps against their bowl. Removing your dog’s collar during feeding times, or choosing a different tag, can help – but it won’t necessarily change the associations he has made in the short-term, so that will need addressing separately. Try moving your dog’s bowl to a quiet area for him to eat, away from other pets or children.
If you are using a shiny metal dog bowl, try a plastic or ceramic version. A larger than necessary dog bowl can help, as can a dog bowl with lower sides. Some dogs who display fear of a bowl respond well to a flat plate or even a tray.
In the short-term you could continue placing your dog’s regular kibble on the floor or in activity toys.
When he is hungry, begin by placing high-value treats into his bowl and leaving them for him to find and be tempted by.
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Are You Giving Too Many Treats
You are training your dog and giving treats as he learns. However, it never crosses your mind that your dog may be ingesting so many treats that he is refusing food because he is already full. Just think how you feel after eating loads of junk food, got the picture? Why not use your dog’s kibble instead for training? Kibble is great to use when you are training in low distraction environments such as at home or in the yard.
What To Do When Your Dog Wont Eat Their Food But Will Eat Treats
It is common for dogs to not eat their food, but eat treats or table scraps. This is referred to as partial anorexia and it typically occurs because your dog doesnât feel well.
Partial anorexia means a dog will eat, but only if something special, such as treats or table scraps like chicken or beef, are added to the food. Sometimes, dogs will refuse everything but will eat something as peculiar as a fast-food hamburger.
Full anorexia is when a dog wonât eat anything, including normal dog food, special treats, food doctored up with cooked ground beef, chicken, baby food, or anything you offer. Both problems can be serious, but full anorexia is an even bigger issue. Learn more about Home Care of Anorexia in Dogs.
Reasons for anorexia in dogs can vary from minor issues, such as a stomach upset to serious and even life-threatening problems. For more information â please see this article: My Dog is Not Eating, What Do I Do?
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Other Solutions For Picky Dogs
A slow feeder dish can entice picky eaters.
- Adding kibble to puzzle toys is a great way to make mealtime more exciting. This might be an actual puzzle feeder dish or a toy like a KONG. Feeding meals in a puzzle toy was a go-to when our dog Walter was a puppy. He still eats one meal a day from some sort of interactive toy.
- Sticking to a schedule helps your dog understand theres a finite time to eat and that food is not available all day.
- Drinking more water can help kibble-avoidant dogs. I like to keep extra bowls of water out. Investing in a pet fountain may encourage hydration, as well.
What If You Started On The Wrong Foot
Its never too late to start over, but if you want to transition your pup off the filet mignon and sweets, and on to strictly canine fare, its best to take it one step at a time.
Its going to be tough and require 100% compliance from the entire family, Murray says. She suggests lessening people food and increasing dog food bit by bit every day until your pup is off human food entirely.
While you are mixing foods, its best to use canned dog food as opposed to dry food. That way, your pet cant separate out and just eat the people food.
If your dog refuses to eat, they are likely holding out for people food, but its important to hold firm. Just because he skips a few meals, dont give in and give him what he wants, Hoppe says. Leave the bowl out for 15 minutes, and if hes not finished, take it away. Theyll eventually choose dog food over no food at all.
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Is Your Dog Diabetic
If your dog is diabetic and will not eat, this could be an indication that something is seriously wrong. Ask your veterinarian what they recommend doing if your dog wont eat at the time of your dogs diagnosis.
As a general rule, dogs should not be given as insulin if they arent eating, as this can cause dangerously low hypoglycemia. If your veterinarian advised you to give a half dose of insulin if your dog skips one meal, do so, but alert your veterinarian immediately if your dog skips another meal.
If your diabetic dog skips a meal, is lethargic, nonresponsive, or vomiting or having diarrhea, they should be seen by a veterinarian immediately, as this could be an indication of hypoglycemia or diabetic ketoacidosis, both of which are life-threatening if not treated right away.
Dog Wont Eat Dry Food
For many owners, it can seem like their dogs are bottomless pits always hungry and always ready for more but some dogs just don’t have much of an appetite, particularly when it comes to dry food. If your dog won’t eat kibble, it could be because they’re a picky eater or just aren’t hungry, but it could also be a sign of an underlying health issue. If your dog refuses to eat dry food or seems to have less appetite than you would expect, here are some things you can do.
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Foods My Senior Dog Would Eat
Like I said, we had to try a lot of different foods with Red to see what food she would accept.
Although, at this point I was really just trying to get her to eat anything, I tried to stick with healthy people food.
Below is my list of Red friendly food. If you havent tried these yet, you may want to.
- Small amounts of boiled chicken breast
- Boiled broccoli
- Low fat cottage cheese
Helpful tip: Pour the water from the chicken into ice cube trays, freeze and defrost individually to pour over your dogs food.
The Importance Of Water
You may be so focused on food intake you forget about water entirely. But, water intake is arguably more important than food intake. If your dog refuses to eat, in the meantime, youll want to encourage water consumption to help keep them hydrated.
Dogs are naturally able to go longer without food but their tolerance for not drinking water is much less. At most a dog can go three days without water intake but can survive for five to seven days or more without food. Realistically, you dont want to test your dogs limits but do not force your dog to drink as this can cause aspiration pneumonia.
Its important to get your dog medical attention as soon as possible if they are not eating or drinking for 48 hours or more.
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How Can I Get My Dog To Eat Again
Now that we have gone over some of the most common scenarios where dogs refuse food, it is time to find out what can be done to entice your dog back to normal eating. As mentioned previously, never force a dog that is acting sickly. If it is just a slight upset stomach, let it run its course. However, if your dog is refusing food for more than 24 hours or is acting lethargic, a vet visit is mandatory. A dog that has always been an avid eater sends out a bright red flag when he suddenly refuses his food and does not act right.
These tips are to entice dogs that are not acting sick. Some may work and some may not. If you are dealing with an obstinate case, play it safe and check with your veterinarian for an underlying cause.
How To Get Your Dog To Start Eating
To get your dog to start eating, you can try the following:
- Begin by feeding them a fresh batch of their favorite dog food. If it is canned food, try heating it up, which can release the foodâs aroma. If it is dry food, try adding a small amount of water or chicken broth to make it more appealing.
- If that doesnât work, you can try feeding them treats. If your dog enjoys treats, crumble them into their dog food to inspire ingestion.
- Try feeding a bland diet, such as boiled hamburger or chicken, mixed with rice as a 50/50 mix. You can buy this food commercially or make it at home. See the bland diet recipe here.
- Try to mix it up by feeding different varieties of canned food to see what is appealing to your dog.
Here are some great tips for home care for dogs suffering from inappetence. This article has suggestions that may help you get your dog to start eating. For puppies, read the following article: Hereâs How to Help a Puppy Who Will Not Eat.
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What To Do About Picky Eaters
Most dogs will eat anything and everything without a moments hesitation. On the other hand, there are a few dogs who just dont show that much enthusiasm for food when its put in front of them. It can be concerning when your dog doesnt show interest in his food, turns his nose up, and walks away. Here are a few reasons why this might happen and what to do to help your dog get the nutrition he needs to maintain health.
Medical Reasons An Old Dog May Stop Eating
I lump medical reasons into one possible cause #12 that your old dog wont eat but, in reality, there may be meany medical reasons for your dogs lack of appetite.
- Dulling of senses as a natural part of the aging process
- Mobility issues that make it difficult to reach the bowl
- Reaction to a medication or vaccination
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Dont Be Discouraged This Happens To Many New Raw Feeders
Once youve put the raw meal in front of your dog, walk away. Let him figure it out. Give him about 15 minutes or so. If he hasnt eaten it yet, simply pick it up and put it away.Provide it again at the next meal. If your dog still refuses, continue this process until he or she caves in and decides to eat it.Dont worry, your dog will not die. No dog will intentionally starve itself. When they get hungry enough, theyll eat. I think the longest Ive heard of a dog refusing to eat is around ten days. Granted, this is the extreme and is probably unlikely for most dogs. Im also not suggesting you withhold food from your dog for 10 days
Your Dog Refuses To Eat
If your dog habitually stays away from his dog bowl, this is a major sign that theres something wrong with the food youre giving him. Like humans, dogs will simply avoid eating unpleasant food once they understand that theyve had a bad experience with it. If you notice that your pet reluctantly approaches his dog bowl at mealtime or steers clear of it altogether, be sure to replace his dry dog food with a higher quality product. Your dog will ultimately be much healthier and happier when he has the chance to dig into food that he truly enjoys.
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What Are The Healthiest Foods For My Dog
Dog foods are designed to get your dog the nutrients it needs, but there are some human foods that can be very healthy for dogs as well. Here are a few of these healthy options::
- Cooked eggs are a good source of calcium, antioxidants, protein, and several vitamins.
- Omega-3s are also good for dog joint health.
- Mushrooms are filled with vitamins and nutrients that are good for your dog as well.
You should consult with your veterinarian before introducing any new foods into their diet.
My Dog Isnt Eating But Acting Normal
If your Lab is full of energy and charging around like a puppy there is probably no immediate need to rush your dog off to the hospital. Or even if he seems just a little bit reserved. You dog might just not be hungry. Or bored with his food. Maybe he moved around less and doesnt need his usual amount of food. Someone could have slipped him too many treats.
- Have you changed food brands? Some dogs are very suspicious of unknown tastes and smells. A new bag of kibble you just opened might be off check and smell the food.
- Has something in your dogs environment changed? When dogs have emotional upsets it often puts them off their food just like our children.
- Have you moved house? Even a simple thing like a new food bowl or changing the place where you feed him can have him turning up his nose at food.
Most dogs also stop eating for a day or two when their owners go off on holiday. Or even just when their favourite companion isnt home a person or another pet. Are there visitors who might be upsetting him? Or a new pet? But, if he normally has a healthy appetite, keep an eye on him, watch and wait. One of the things you need to watch for is that your dog drinks water.
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