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.
Best Herding Ball For Small Dogs
We stumbled across the Jolly Soccer Ball while reviewing the best soccer balls for dogs. Turns out, its actually the perfect herding ball for small dogs, roughly up to the size of a Corgi.
The number one benefit the Jolly Pets Soccer Ball has over a traditional herding ball, such as our top pick, is its comparatively soft rubber surface. It doesnt matter how much your tiny pup tries to bite or carry the ball it wont harm his teeth.
The Jolly Soccer Ball is available in two sizes:
At 8 inches, the Jolly Soccer Ball will be too large for most small dogs to wrap their jaws around. To play with it, your tiny pup needs to push, roll and chase the ball around just like a herding ball.
Being made of rubber, the Jolly Soccer Ball has an additional advantage you can kick it and have your small pup chase after it. The plastic herding ball I recommended earlier is too hard to kick.
This is also one of the few herding balls we tested that is appropriate for indoor play. The rubber ball wont make loud thuds as your dog herds it around your home.
Best of all, this heavy-duty herding ball can take a beating. Even if your small dog prefers to herd using his teeth and sharp paws, you can be confident that the Jolly Soccer Ball will hold strong.
Check out this Jolly Soccer Ball at the end of our testing:
For small dogs, there really isnt a better herding ball available than the Jolly Soccer Ball. Highly recommended.
She Doesnt Like Her Food
Dogs can be a lot like toddlers, especially when it comes to food. You may think your pups kibble is tasty, but she may disagree and start a hunger strike aside from treats and other goodies.
This is a likely explanation if youve recently changed her food or stopped adding flavor boosters, like wet dog food or bone broths. Fortunately, this is one of the easier causes of food refusal to fix. You may just need to try a more enticing food for picky eaters thats meat-focused or start using a delicious meal topper.
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Consider If You Have A Picky Eater
One of the most common reasons that a dog won’t eat kibble is because they just want something better. If you regularly give your dog other tastier foods, such as wet food or lots of dog treats, he may be refusing to eat dry food hoping that you’ll offer up something else. Dogs who are getting human food may also be less than satisfied with their dry food diet. If you think this may be the case, only offer your dog kibble for a few days and see if his appetite eventually picks up.
It’s also important to not reward your dog, even indirectly, for picky eating behaviour, such as giving them extra attention or attempting to hand feed them kibble. Dogs are smart, and it doesn’t take them long to learn that not eating results in more petting. If you have a dog who has learned to be a picky eater, it may take some time to extinguish that behaviour.
Some dogs are also pickier than others about taste and texture and just don’t care for what dry kibble has to offer. In this case, you may be able to entice your dog to eat more if you add a little wet food on top. Remember to decrease the amount of dry food if you go with this option to ensure you’re not overfeeding. It may also help to try a few different foods making sure to transition your dog slowly to see if there is one formula he prefers over the others.
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 dog’s 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.
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Use A Snuffle Mat To Turn Meal Time Into A Fun Activity
Sometimes you need a creative solution to convince your pup to eat his food. Feeding toys like snuffle mats may provide your dog with the mental stimulation to trick them into eating their food.
If your dog is high-energy or playful, a snuffle mat may be the answer to your mealtime woes. Snuffle mats are mats with strips of material used to conceal pieces of your dogs kibble.
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.
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What To Do If You Suspect That Your Dog Isnt Eating
If you believe that your dog isnt eating its dry dog food or theyre eating less than usual, you should take the issue seriously.
It could be a mild issue, like the food being stale or having an unpleasant taste, or it could point to a serious health issue.
To help determine the causes, you need to assess the situation.
The following steps will help you determine the cause for your dogs refusal to eat:
Your Dog Has A More Serious Illness
Infectious diseases, like parvovirus, or conditions such as pancreatitis can be other reasons for your dog not eating, says Teller. Your pup may even have a life-threatening illness like gastric dilatation and volvulus, which causes the stomach to twist up so nothing passesor even cancer. When your dog is really sick, shell probably also be lethargic, throw up a lot, have diarrhea or even bloody stools, or cough and sneeze. The time to worry is when your dog isnt behaving normally, especially if she refuses treats or people food or if her appetite waxes and wanes, McClosky notes. Then youll want to alert the vet statespecially if you see any of these 10 signs your dog is sick.
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Why Do Puppies Refuse To Eat
Anorexia, often known as a lack of appetite, can be sudden, with your dog refusing to eat all of a sudden, or progressive, with your pup eating less and less over time. The anorexia that your dog is suffering from might be caused by a variety of circumstances. The fat stores of young pups are lower than those of adult dogs, and they cannot survive without food for more than around 12 hours before they require medical attention. When pups of the toy breed skip a meal, they are more susceptible to dangerous reductions in blood sugar , which can be fatal.
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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Did Your Dog Just Have Surgery
It is not unusual for your dog to skip a meal or two after a surgery. The medications used for sedation and anesthesia commonly cause nausea and a decreased appetite, and medications that they may go home on, such as pain medications and/or antibiotics can also suppress the appetite.
You may try tempting your dog to eat with a spoonful of canned food or boneless, skinless, boiled chicken on top of their kibble. Better yet, ask your veterinarian for a few cans of a prescription gastrointestinal diet to feed for the first few days after surgery. These foods are highly palatable, are easily digestible, and can help counteract some of the gastrointestinal upset that can happen after surgery and anesthesia.
If your dog had oral or facial surgery, your veterinarian may recommend feeding only canned food for two or more weeks. This also means that your dog should not receive hard treats or chew on hard toys until they are declared healed at their recheck appointment. If your dog is refusing to eat the prescribed canned food, reach out to your veterinarian in case there are any post-operative complications.
Tricks That Will Make Your Dog Eat
In the event that your pet is reluctant to eat something new but still prefers his old meal, try mixing the two foods together for a couple of days. Through the use of ancient and new ingredients, it will fool him into eating the new. Its also the recommended method for introducing dogs to a new diet whenever you make a modification to their current one.
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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:
My Dog Is Suddenly Not Eating Its Dry Food
If your dog is suddenly very picky about its food, and youve ruled out any medical issues, perhaps consider spicing up their meals with some meal toppers to make them a bit more interesting and attractive?
If your dog wont eat dry food anymore, add moisture to dry food with delicious and super nutritious bone broth or yogurt with active cultures to help with digestion. Other options include goats milk, unsweetened canned pumpkin, and other tasty fruits and veggies.
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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.
What To Do When Your Dog Wont Eat Dog Food But Will Eat Human Food
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Any time your dogs appetite changes, there is a chance that it is due to an illness. So, its worth investigating the cause when your dog turns her nose up at her dog food.
A lack of appetite can come from a bacterial or viral infection. Parvovirus is a common, potentially deadly illness that results in reduced appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea, which may be bloody. Even vaccinated dogs can get parvo. Worms can also kill your dogs appetite. A fecal sample test from your vet is the best way to check your dog for an underlying illness that could be affecting her appetite.
When your dog is sick, she may refuse dog food, but may accept certain human foods like bland cereals or rice, or especially tempting foods like meat, eggs or fish. So, even if your dog is eating human food, she may have a reduced appetite because she is feeling sick. Always check with your vet if your dogs appetite changes.
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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.
The Dangers Of Herding Balls
Like all toys, herding balls can be dangerous when not used correctly, especially if your dog is a biter.
When you first buy your dog a solid plastic herding ball, the surface is smooth and round.
But if your dog aggressively pushes the ball with his teeth, bites into it, or scratches it with his paws, the surface will become rough and irregular. Eventually, your plastic herding ball will look similar to this
See those scratches and raised pieces of plastic?
When the ball rolls at a high speed, the coarse surface becomes as abrasive as an orbital sander. Ill bet you can imagine what happens to your pups teeth when they come into contact
Yep, they get worn down. This is particularly noticeable on the lower canines .
But dont panic just yet. There is a good chance that your pup wont experience the same teeth damage none of our testers did.
After interviewing many owners who attributed their dogs damaged teeth to a plastic herding ball, we noticed a trend. Dogs that experienced teeth issues herded the ball with their teeth.
They would run alongside the ball with an open mouth, attempting to bite, push or grip the ball with their teeth.
If your dog herds the ball with his body, feet or nuzzles the ball, then I have some good news for you:
Your dog wont experience the same teeth wear.
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Bonus Tip: Monitor Water Intake When Your Dog Wont Eat
When your dog wont eat, its important to monitor the water intake. Dogs shouldnt even go a day without drinking water. Your pooch should drink at least an ounce of water per pound of weight every day to prevent dehydration. If you notice your dog isnt drinking, its wise to get to a vet sooner rather than later as dehydration can set in.
Give Your Dog Fewer Treats
Your dog may be turning his nose up at his regular food if hes getting too many treats. In general, your dogs treats should only make up 10% of their daily caloric intake.
Small dogs can reach their daily maximum a lot faster than larger dogs since the same-sized treats are used for most dog breeds.
If your dog isnt eating their food, reevaluate their treats to determine how many treats they should be getting in a day.
Take time to make sure that each member of your household knows how many treats should be provided each day. One family discovered that their son had been giving their dog over a dozen treats each day!
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