Your Dog Swallowed Something
Eating something they shouldnt have could be another reason your dog wont eat. Dogs are voracious eaters, so they often scarf things down they shouldntlike toys, tennis balls, and even tampons. This is especially true if your dog is young and playful . One clue: If your pooch vomits or poops out pieces of, say, plastic, says McClosky. If he passes everything out, hell probably be OK. But if youve got a dog not eating and throwing up, he may have an obstruction in his intestines. Then the vet will have to do an ultrasound to see what got stuckand probably operate to get it out.
How Can I Make My Dog Eat Their Food
Before your dog goes back to scoffing down their dinners again, you need to try and work out whats causing the problem in the first place and hopefully resolve it. So, if this is a new problem, go to the vets and see if theres any medical or dental issues, consider how many treats your dog gets on the daily, take a look at your dogs dinners and even have a look at your environment, has anything changed?
A dog that wont eat is super stressful for pet parents, so lets take a look at some tips and tricks on how to get your dog to eat their meals.
My Sick Or Recovering Dog Wont Eat Much
Dogs that have a chronic illness such as heart problems or cancer generally lose their appetite. So do dogs who are recovering from a serious illness or have pain from recent surgery or conditions like hip dysplasia. This is only partly because they are less active and need less food. Various metabolic changes also take place when the body is under stress.
In these circumstances it will be necessary stimulate your dogs appetite and feed them differently so that they get the nutrients they need. You want to help them to maintain the best possible condition and/or heal and recover.
Your vet will probably advise you on what to feed your sick, injured or recovering dog. He is likely to suggest that you tempt your dog with foods that he enjoys. Meals should be nourishing, easy to eat and to digest. You should offer smaller meals more frequently. Dogs find moist, warm food with a strong flavour more appetising. Canned dog foods, meat, fish, and eggs fit the bill.
The above also applies to elderly dogs who wont eat much.
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Why Not Eating Dry Food Occurs In Dogs
Problems with dry food consumption may originate in three parts of your dogs body. Your dogs refusal to eat dry food can stem from a general systemic failure, in which the need for hydration drives your dog to seek moist food. Your dog may have difficulty digesting dry food. There can also be various problems within your dogs mouth that make it painful for him to process hard food.
A dogs lack of hydration affects his entire body. A dehydrated dog may have a dry nose, mouth, and gums, with sticky mucous membranes he may be tired, dull, and weak, he may pant more than normal and have a fast rapid-fire breathing pattern, and will be generally operating at a low capacity. Dehydration simply means that your dogs body is losing more water than it takes in, through panting, vomiting, or simply drinking less, possibly because of a deeper condition. This is more likely to occur in young, old, and nursing dogs, as well as small breeds.
If your dog is nauseous, he has an upset stomach. This can occur as a reaction to illnesses, such as Parvovirus and gastroenteritis, or environmental causes, such as motion sickness, blockage of the intestines, or toxic exposure. Nausea is an equal-opportunity condition dogs of any age, breed, or sex can experience nausea.
Tooth Resorption Lesions In Cats
Now, cats have a different problem in addition to this that dogs don’t get, and that comes under a number of different names, feline oral resorption lesions, feline odontoclastic lesions.
Basically, what these are is where the enamel, the outside surface of the tooth effectively becomes moth eaten and dissolves, and that exposes the really sensitive underlying dentine and nerves and things that are within the tooth.
That makes them really, really sensitive. Really painful.
It can, though, be pretty difficult to see these lesions in a cat who’s awake. Number one, because their mouth hurts, so even just opening their mouth, handling their lips could be enough to get them scratching you, trying to bite you, so you need to be really careful. You also really need to know what to look for because often these lesions, certainly in the early cases, can be really subtle where they look like a little bit of kind of pink gum that is extending just a little way up the surface of the tooth.
The most common teeth that these affect are the premolars, so those teeth are behind the canines. And as this disease progresses, so this resorption lesions, they get bigger. A tooth will effectively disintegrate, and at some point it will snap off and then sometimes the gum will grow over, and that may actually seal in infection and cause problems with that remaining root. It may be that actually the whole tooth eventually just becomes resorbed and effectively disappears.
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Treating Environmental And Behavioral Loss Of Appetite In Dogs
When it comes to behavioral and environmental reasons your dog wont eat, the process can be a little more stressful and time-consuming. Sometimes, you may need to consult a pet behavior expert or a trainer.
Here are some general tips for getting your dog to eat regularly:
- Get your pet enough exercise and attention
- Invest some time and/or money in training
- Dont punish your dog for not eating, be patient and supportive
- Only give treats as a reward
- Avoid giving table scraps
Theyd Rather Eat Yours
Sometimes wed much rather eat a load of food that isnt that great for us rather than a balanced, healthy dinner. And your dog might feel the same way! Your dinner might smell amazing to your pooch , so they might be testing the waters and holding off from eating their own dinner in the hopes that youll toss them some table scraps.
Dogs know how to play with our emotions with their puppy dog eyes, so its easy to give them something from your plate out of sympathy and worry if you know theyve not eaten. But thats exactly what theyre after!
Our hounds are very clever, and theyll soon come to realise that if they dont eat their meals straight away that theyll be in with a chance of yours. And although they might be on a hunger strike from their main meal, your pooch will probably still want to gobble up any tasty treats that come their way.
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Get Food Amounts Right And Exercise Regularly
If your pet is otherwise healthy, seems in high spirits, and has energy, try adjusting the amount of food that your dog eats in a day. Fully grown dogs, and older dogs need fewer calories than puppies at their peak of growing. Your dog might simply not need the food at the moment.
If your dog isnt being exposed to regular exercise, getting them active for at least an hour a day via walks or trips to the dog park can stimulate their appetites.
If youve recently moved into a smaller location that also doesnt provide the yard space that a dog used to have, he or she might also need less food because of their increase in naps and laying around waiting for their next walk.
Prevention Of Not Eating Dry Food
Tongue cancer probably can not be prevented. However, most other causes of your dogs avoidance of dry food can be prevented. To avoid dehydration becoming an issue, make sure that clean water is available to your dog at all times. Keep any toxins and breakable items that your dog might chew away from him to avoid nausea and other kinds of oral injuries. To avoid the infectious diseases that may cause nausea, be very careful in allowing your dog to socialize with other dogs, and keep his vaccinations current. Brush teeth regularly to minimise the risk of periodontal disease.
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How Is Dry Food Better For Your Dog
Dry food also has its advantages when it comes to feeding a dog, here are some of them:
- Dry food is an easy, fast and clean way to feed a dog
- Many dry food brands now use human grade ingredients, which will guarantee a complete supply of nutrients and energy for your dog
- Kibbles have a crunchy texture, which will keep your dogs mouth clean and his breath acceptable to that of a raw or fresh wet food
- Finally, the price of dry dog food is lower than other choices even when it is premium kibble, which is a great argument when you have several dogs to feed.
In spite of all this, some dogs refuse to eat dry food or eat it but will gradually refuse it to fall back on the table scraps which is also a bad thing
So lets see how to get a dog to like his dry food again and finish his bowl.
Try Enhancing His Meal
Some dogs just dont like the taste or texture of dry food. If your dog is not eating his dry food, you may want to mix a small amount of wet food with his dry food to make it more palatable. If you do decide to add wet food to his regular meal, remember to scale back the amount of dry food to avoid over-feeding him. Other options include adding meal enhancements, which coat the dry kibble with a flavorful puree, or try creating your own personalized dry dog food blend.
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Whatever You Do Dont Ignore The Problem
Most of the reasons that your dog might turn up their nose at their food bowl are benign. However, you should always take canine anorexia seriously and rule out any dangerous causes before writing it off as an anomaly.
Once you locate the problem, you can take steps to solve it so your dog can get back on their feed and save you from wasting any more expensive kibble.
Featured Image Credit: Pixabay
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.
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Dogs Crave Variety Too
You might notice that your dog happily eats her food when you open a new bag, but after a few weeks, she seems to get bored of it.
Few people seem to know that dog food starts to go bad once you open it. Dry kibble is coated with oils that go rancid, especially once the food is exposed to air. This becomes even more of a problem if you take the food out of the bag and store it in a container, and even worse if you never wash that container.
So, if your dog only wants to eat from a new bag of food, it could be that she craves new flavors, but it could also be because the food is going bad, even if you cannot see or smell a difference.
Always store your dogs food in the original bag, and use a bag clip keep it fresh. If you buy more than 2-weeks supply at once, store some of it in the freezer.
Alternatively, a container with a spout like this one from Buddeezz stores a bag of food in its original packaging. Its airtight, so it can help the food stay fresher longer and keeps bugs out.
Dont Ignore The Problem
So it’s really important. Basically, the bottom line is is that, yes, Chris, I think you need to take your cat, Wyatt, to the vet to have their mouth looked at and then to recognize that that is a painful problem going on, assuming that they see some form of dental disease.
And then the likelihood is there that the tooth will need to be extracted so they’ll need to be removed, which does need to happen under an anesthetic and in some situations can be a little bit tricky and the cost can be high, but we don’t want to leave your cat or your pet in pain.
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Our Method To Get Your Puppy Eating Kibble
Were going to give you a solid plan of action to get your puppy eating kibble. One that will be sure to work! If you have access to a printer, print this blog post out so you can use it as a reference.
But first, make sure your puppy is ready to eat kibble. If youre not sure theyre ready, you can check by reading this post first: When Can Puppies Eat Kibble? Answered!
Stop giving your puppy all traces of human food. Let everyone know in the house that this is paramount to their kibble-eating success.
Reduce the number of treats your puppy is getting in a day.
Get your puppy some PetAg Esbilac Puppy Milk Replacer Powder. Its a palatable recipe that contains prebiotics and probiotics, plus vitamins and minerals. Its easily digestible and puppies love it!
When you feed your puppy using the Puppy Milk Replacer, use 1-part powder to 2 parts warm milk, then stir into your puppys kibble. Start by using 4-teaspoons of powder and 8-teaspoons of warm water and mix into their kibble.
If they enjoy eating it, then gradually reduce the amount of milk powder in their kibble over a week period, until youre no longer putting in the milk power.
Another option is to go straight for some warm water to mix in with their kibble. For everything to know about soaking your puppys kibble, we have a post, Soaking Puppy Kibble: How, Why, and When to Stop
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Warm / Mash The Meal To Increase Flavor
Many picky dogs can be persuaded to eat their meals just by warming them up. This procedure is frequently used on senior dogs who refuse to eat.
Heating food Enhances the flavor and releases a pungent odor. It makes your dog’s food taste better, which stimulates his hunger.
It’s as easy as stirring dry kibble through a small amount of hot water, bone broth or goat’s milk and letting it sit until it gets mushy.
If you’re planning to microwave something, avoid using a stainless steel bowl since it will spark. Instead, use a plastic or ceramic bowl and then transfer it to your dog’s dish.
You should never feed your dog food that is too hot. Allow your dog’s food to cool before serving if it has been overheated.
Did you successfully get your dog to eat his kibble with one of these tips? We hope you did.
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Who Could Blame A Dog For Not Wanting To Eat Rotten Food
What You Can Do
It is imperative that you get your dog back to eating his regular food before health problems arise. The more you let him get away with eating only treats, the more he wont want to go back to his regularly scheduled kibble.
Luckily, there exist quite a few solutions to your problem that you can and should try!
My Dog Is Old And No Longer Wants To Eat What Should I Do
An old dog that wont eat is a worrying thing. Remember that as your dog ages, his dietary needs will change. Make sure that you review your pooches chow to match its phase of life and changing digestion. Your dog might eat less now in its later years than it did when it was younger and more energetic.
Oftentimes, the reason for older dogs not eating is due to dental issues. Get a good dental check-up on your senior dog to make sure theyre not suffering or in any pain that its causing them to avoid eating. Add more moisture to dry food too, so its softer and needs less aggressive chewing.
Of course, be on the lookout for any symptoms that may indicate a more serious problem, and dont delay in getting it checked out by a vet.
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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.
What To Do When Your Old Dog Stopped Eating
First of all, you should look to take your senior dog to the veterinarian immediately if they are displaying any of the following symptoms:
- They seem to be acting differently and you feel they are just not right.
- They are not eating anything appetite has vanished, or are eating noticeably less than usual.
- They seem depressed, confused, or have no energy for anything.
- They are vomiting and/or dry heaving.
- They are suffering from consistent diarrhea.
- They are panting, drooling, whining, or pacing more than usual.
- They seem very stressed and/or anxious.
- They are very constipated.
- Their belly is swollen.
- They are losing weight either suddenly or consistently.
If your dog is not displaying any of the above symptoms but stopped eating as much as usual, it could just be a natural side effect of old age. If they are acting normal, seem perfectly healthy but are just eating a little less, this is likely the case. Frequent monitoring of their weight is advised to ensure it remains consistent.
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