Make Your Dog Work For It
I dont know about you, but I find that the rewards I work the hardest for are the most satisfying
Your dog feels the same. He will be considerably more likely to eat his food if he has to work for it.
A short session of Shake, Roll Over, or any other trick will have your dog expecting a reward for his hard work.
Its at this point you offer your fussy dog his meal. Many picky eaters get so caught up in being rewarded that they forget they would normally reject this meal.
The key here is to make your dog think his reward is a big deal. Shower your pup with praise and pats while offering him the meal.
If you can get your dog excited enough, he will believe this meal is the best thing that has ever happened to him He will eat his food without a second thought.
Tips For Making Your Dogs Food At Home:
- If youre not ready to make the leap to cooking all of your dogs food, try just adding some real, whole foods to their kibble. You can start with simply stirring in a scrambled egg, mixing in some chopped apples or carrots, or adding a small amount of the homemade dog food in with their normal kibble.
- You should be able to serve this homemade dog food to your dog either hot or cold. Ive found that dogs love this dog food so much, that they are not picky about how its served.
- Its not usually a good idea to abruptly change your dogs food. Start transitioning them to homemade food by mixing some of this in with their regular food or kibble for a few days until they are used to the new food. Your dogs belly will thank you. And again, remember to always discuss with your vet before feeding your pet something new.
- To give your dog a variety of different nutrients, use different meats, fruits, and vegetables to make your dogs food. However, if your dog has a sensitive stomach, it might be best to stick to one combination that you know works.
Risks Are Greater For Small Children
Children are more susceptible to foodborne illness than adults because their immune systems arent fully developed. Thus, its not recommended that you feed your children dog food .
Another often overlooked risk of dog food is that it may be a choking hazard for small children.
This is especially true for dry kibble, which can be difficult for small children to chew and swallow safely.
If you have a young child at home, make sure you keep the bag of kibble out of reach and keep a close watch on them when its time for your dog to eat.
If your child accidentally consumes dog food, contact your pediatrician or local poison control authority for more information about which steps to take to ensure your childs safety.
Dog food has the potential to cause illness from bacterial contamination of the food, which could make you sick. Children are at higher risk of developing foodborne illness and shouldnt consume dog food.
Issues With Kibble Size Or Shape
Small dogs and puppies will require small-sized kibble and will struggle with large biscuits. Plus, if the kibble is too large for your dog, then it could be a choking hazard, especially in brachycephalic breeds like Pugs.
As well as size, there can be variation in the shape of the kibble so your dog may have a preference for one of these over another.
Turn Your Picky Pup Into A Healthy Eater
When your dog avoids their kibble, it can be cause for concern and confusing for dog parents. If your dog refuses to eat for more than a day, schedule an appointment to see your vet. Then entice your dog to dig in with tricks like food toppers, adding water, or a new dog bowl. Switching to a healthier diet and eliminating allergy related dry foods helps, too.
Whether your dog is a picky eater or needs a healthier diet, switching to premium dog food can help. Petzyo offers small-batch, freshly made, wholesome dog food that can restore your dogs appetite. With regular dog food deliveries, you can switch your dogs food flavour to prevent dry food burnout.
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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?
Why Wont My Dog Eat Dry Dog Food
Is your dog not eating dry food? There are a lot of different reasons why a dog may turn up his nose at his food. Refusing to eat dry dog food could just mean that your dog is a picky eater, but it also could be a sign of a more serious health problem. If your dog wont eat dry food, here are some steps you can take to help get him eating again.
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Cut Back On The Number Of Treats You Offer Your Dog
Just like how candy can spoil a childs appetite, overfeeding your dog treats and table scraps can impact their hunger levels.
WATCH OUT! If you feed your dog treats too often, they can even begin to resent the taste of their kibble and become far too accustomed to the more appealing flavors they get when they eat their treats.
Not only can excessively offering treats and table scraps ruin your dogs appetite and willingness to eat their regular food, but it can also lead to unhealthy weight gain, as most dog treats are incredibly high in calories and low in nutrients.
S To Find Out Why Your Dog Isnt Eating
Did you know that anorexia is a common disorder in animals? However, the definition varies from anorexia in humans. Anorexia in animals simply means a loss of appetite, as opposed to not being hungry. Typically, appetite loss arises from illness, diet, or injury.
If your dog has always been a good eater and suddenly refuses to eat, its important to consider the following steps to discover why they may not be eating, and, if needed, to bring your pet to the vet for a physical examination to prevent malnourishment and dehydration.
Goofy Dogs Can Outsmart Flat
This point is only really true of slanted dog bowls, those where the rear is higher than the front like the picture above.
Bowls with this design only work if your dog approaches it from the front. Most dogs do this instinctively. After all, eating from the back of the bowl isnt comfortable because the edge of the bowl digs into the pups neck. When this happened, our dogs figured out something was wrong and repositioned themselves to the front of the bowl.
All except one.
Whatever direction our Pug started eating from, she remained there until she finished her meal. When she ate from the back, she huffed and wheezed the entire way through her meal. Even worse, kibble flew all over the place as she pushed it over the low front lip of the bowl.
If your pup is more excited about eating than comfort, then I have a solution for you. Press the back of the bowl hard against the wall. This way, our Pug could only approach from the front. Problem solved!
Dog Wont Eat Dog Food Picky Eater Or Serious Problem
Jesse Hopping, CCDT
Few things are as concerning for a dog owner as when their dog wont eat dog food.
While your initial thoughts could be that your dog no longer enjoys their food and has become a bit of a picky eater, sometimes a refusal to eat could point towards a much more serious health issue.
To help put your mind at ease, we highlight some potential causes of your dogs reduced appetite. From there, well explain when you should be concerned and what actions you should take.
How do you know if your dog is just picky or if you have a more serious problem?
There are many reasons why your dog might not want to eat, including health reasons, environmental reasons, and behavioral reasons.
Below, we cover these and a few other reasons and give you some tips on how you can encourage your dog to eat.
In This Article:
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Summary Of What To Do If Your Dog Wont Eat
There are a myriad of reasons why your dog might stop eating, many of which are relatively common and shouldnt be anything to worry about if your dog resumes eating after a few days. If your dog stops eating for more than a couple of days or experiences any other concerning signs, you should contact your vet right away. We hope these tips are useful. As a Small Door member, you can get in touch with us via the app 24/7 if you have any questions or concerns about your dog. We are here to help!
Some Tips To Solve A Dogs Lack Of Appetite
If your dog stops eating because there is something wrong with their health, then you should consult with a veterinarian immediately. Some symptoms may be fever, diarrhea, vomiting, constant shaking, dry or too moist mouths and eyes, and pale gums. Dont hesitate to take them to an emergency consultation.
If your dog doesnt eat dog food due to the food itself, here are some simple solutions:
- New food. If your dog rejects their new food, try to change their food gradually. Gradually mix the old food with the new food in order to eventually change their food. That way, your dog will get used to his new food gradually.
- Different flavors and smells. Dogs have very sharp senses, especially their sense of smell. Thats why they have favorite flavors. Try to figure out what smells and flavors your dog prefers in order to buy them, the right food.
- Lower or higher levels of fat in the food. Make sure you get food that contains nutritional values similar to that of his old food. This recommendation is only for owners who are changing their dogs food for reasons unrelated to their health. It doesnt apply to changes that take place due to a vets recommendation.
- Sensitivity to an ingredient. If your dog doesnt eat their new food even when you have tried to transition it gradually, consider changing their food. Its possible that your dog is allergic or sensitive to an ingredient in the new food.
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Did You Just Adopt Your Dog Recently
A newly adopted dog can take days or weeks to settle into their new home. Anxiety is a common cause of temporary inappetence, so its not unusual for a new addition to the household to refuse food for the first day or two.
It is important to ensure that they are given a quiet place to eat, away from other pets or children that may interrupt them. As long as they are otherwise energetic and not having vomiting or diarrhea, its okay to give them a day or two to get used to their new home before worrying about them not eating.
However, if they are lethargic, vomiting, or having diarrhea, or go more than 48 hours without eating anything, they should be examined by a veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical conditions.
Easy Meal Toppers And Mix
Stella and Chewys is known for high-quality ingredients and sourcing.
If homemade isnt your thing, there are many pre-made options for kibble toppers and mixers. Most of these are not cheap given the quality of their ingredients. The good news? A little goes a long way, which helps justify the price point.
- DogNog is a well-reviewed goats milk-based topper. Simply add water and mix in.
- Honest Kitchen makes an easy powdered bone broth that offers the same nutritional benefits as homemade broths.
- Green Juju is a whole food supplement for dogs. The formula contains anti-inflammatory ingredients like turmeric and ginger, along with bison bone broth and coconut oil for digestive and joint health.
Read Also: Orijen Puppy Food Feeding Guide
When Should I Worry About My Dog Not Eating
It can be a really worrying time when your dog is off their food. Unfortunately anorexia or loss of appetite can be caused by a whole host of reasons. In order to determine the treatment to give to your dog, it is important to identify what the underlying cause of the reluctance to eat is.
Loss of appetite in a dog can be a sign of illness so its important to seek veterinary help if you notice changes in your dogs normal eating habits particularly if your pooch is normally a good eater. Its best to get to the bottom of the problem as early as possible, as if left untreated for several days it can lead to dehydration and malnourishment.
Some Veggies Can Be Good For Dogs Too
Nelson says string beans, sweet peas, and spinach are all great for dogs, while her own dog loves it when she washes carrots, thoroughly dries them, slices them just a little thicker than a quarter, she says, and freezes them. My dog thinks theyre little popsicles, theyre so nice and crunchy, she says. She adds that pumpkin is also a great choice.
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Make Sure You Are Feeding The Right Amount
This one might seem a little obvious, but you would be amazed at just how many owners overfeed their dogs.
I can understand. I mean, when your dog stares at you with those bulgy puppy eyes, it can be hard to resist giving them an extra treat or two. It wont hurt, right?
It might be that your dog isnt fussy but just full.
Overfeeding is a particular problem if you have a small pup like a Chihuahua, Papillon or Brussels Griffon
These tiny dogs need much less food than you think. The smallest sizes might only need half a cup of kibble across a whole day.
As you can imagine, these tiny stomachs get full quick. When your belly is full to bursting, the last thing you want is more food, right?
Well, your dog feels the same. And if you present him with more food, your dog isnt going to eat it.
While you may think your dog is fussy, your dog may need more time to digest his last meal.
Speak to your vet about the amount of food your dog needs. If you are overfeeding, cut back it could cure your dogs picky eating.
Dog Not Eating And Drinking
Your dog not eating and drinking water is a serious issue. There can be a medical problem and you should take your pooch to a vet. Check for signs of dehydration, as well as vomiting and diarrhea. If all three are present, consider it an emergency.
If the lack of appetite is accompanied by other digestive issues like vomiting and diarrhea it may be a sign of an infection or disorder that requires a vets attention. A dog not eating but drinking water and vomiting may have a more serious infection.
Most digestive issues will clear up in a few days but if they dont seem to be improving, make sure to get to the vet as soon as possible.
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Feed At Consistent Times
Divide the food into two or three meals and serve them at consistent times each day.
Dont leave food out for your dog to graze on take it back within 10 minutes if it hasnt been eaten to help cement the idea of mealtimes.
Use your dogs kibble as treats, and only offer meals for short periods of time. This leaves your dog no choice but to eat their food and hopefully get used to it.
Why It Is Critical For Your Puppy To Eat Properly
For a growing puppy, a good, well-balanced diet is extremely important. Puppies have unique nutritional requirements and therefore need diets specially formulated for their optimal health and growth. When they are not fed appropriately, there is a risk that the puppys long-term health could be compromised. You are laying the foundation of a healthy adult when you properly feed your puppy.
Read Also: How To Flavor Homemade Dog Food
I Love Veterinarys Top Tips To Get Your Picky Dog To Eat Again
We know that no one likes picky dogs, but that doesnt mean we shouldnt give them the care and love they deserve. The secret to getting a picky dog to eat again lies in engagement, stimulation, and fun. So lets look at a few tips from us:
- The first and foremost tip is to see a vet when your dog is not eating. No matter how picky a dog is, a healthy dog will never go a day without food.
- Try swapping your dogs food from one food flavor to a different one. Sometimes, a dog would refuse to eat their food because they dont like the taste, size, appearance, or smell.
Note that, when swapping your dogs food, do not swap from one food brand to another with the same flavor. Usually, this doesnt work.
After two to three attempts, your dog would know it will starve for a day if they dont eat something.