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?
Transitioning To A Kibble Puppy Food
So lets say youre in the same boat as the owner whose puppy only eats meat. Heres a plan of attack:
If the dry just isnt being eaten, try soaking it in warm puppy milk or just warm water before mixing it thoroughly with the mince. You can keep doing this as long as you like, but as with the mince, you can gradually reduce the amount of water each day.
What To Do If Your Dog Is Not Eating Dry Food
While all causes are potentially dangerous, mild cases of dehydration and nausea can be treated at home with simple measures. A dehydrated dog needs to get fluids in his system it is really that simple. The extent of his treatment depends on the extent to which your dog is dehydrated. If the dehydration is mild, just make sure your dog has access to clean water he can then treat himself by drinking enough water. A more dehydrated dog, who has serious underlying medical causes, may need fluids administered through subcutaneous or intravenous infection, such as through an IV or with a bag of lactated ringer solution. Both are typically done at your veterinarians office, though with proper training, lactated ringer solution can be administered at home.
A dog may become nauseous by ingesting any number of inappropriate substances, such as unclean water, poisonous plants, various environmental toxins, and bad food. Your dog may cure a brief case of nausea by himself, through vomiting up the offending substance. However, if the nausea continues for more than a few hours, your dog should be examined by a veterinarian. Various tests will be administered to determine the exact cause of your dogs nausea. Depending on the cause, your dog may be treated by administration of IV fluids or medications, and may even have his stomach pumped.
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Benefits Of Dry Dog Food Compared To Wet Dog Food
Dry dog food, or kibble, often offers certain benefits that wet food doesnt provide, such as:
Dental health benefits: Dry food encourages dogs to chew their food, which aids in preventing tartar buildup and secondary periodontal disease.
Convenience: Compared to wet food, dry diets are much easier to pre-portion, and they wont spoil if left out all day. This can be beneficial for dogs that are grazers.
Financially feasible: Depending on the brand of food, dry diets may be less expensive to purchase and store long-term.
Food enrichment: Kibble is easier to integrate into food puzzles and slow feeders that may improve a dogs quality of life through cognitive stimulation.
Stop Giving Your Dog Scraps
Does your dog prefer to shun his food in favor of table scraps? Unfortunately, this is a problem that you need to take responsibility for and fix.
When a dog gets to taste from our table, hes exposed to tastes that are far more versatile than his everyday dry kibbles. Once he realizes this, he will turn his nose up at his own meals and wait for something more exciting. To avoid this, you need to stop giving your pup table leftovers as this will only reinforce his behavior.
Besides it being a bad habit, feeding your dog foods with unbalanced nutrition can cause him to gain unhealthy weight and he might miss essential nutrients. Also, remember that some common people foods can be very poisonous to dogs.
In the beginning, your dog may exhibit obvious signs of displeasure when you refuse to give in to his begging and feed him from the table, and he may stubbornly refuse to eat his food, hoping that youll give in.
In that case, dont worry and dont give up. As long as your dog is a healthy adult, he should be fine to skip a meal or two. Once he realizes that your food is off-limits, he will have no choice other but to eat his own food again.
Likewise, be sure not to give him too many treats since this can ruin his desire for regular dog food as well.
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Do Not Spoil Him Any More
Many pet owners complain that their dog wont eat dog food only human food. This is due to over pampering. Avoid feeding human food or treats to dogs as these can be unhealthy and could sometimes be toxic to pets. So make sure you are a bit strict with him if you want him to live a strong, healthy life.
Bad Puppy Diet Advice
As youve no doubt worked out by now, its all about the food. Oshis breeder sent her home on a diet deficient in calcium. Up to that time, it was common enough, but from then on, breeders collectively lifted their game and the problem almost went away.
Until now. Heres a typical puppy diet from last week, and I quote:
- Morning: Meat- either raw minced beef or chicken mixed with dry food, Eukanuba Large Puppy or Royal Canin Large Breed Puppy
- Lunchtime: Meat with egg yolk and grated cheese, about a tablespoon full, and dry food.
- Dinner: Meat and dry again and a 4X4 dog biscuit to chew. Raw chicken necks can be added as a treat a couple of times weekly, 2 or 3 at a time. Once the puppy reaches 12 weeks of age, raw carrot or vegetable, table scraps cooked.
Golly. Where to begin. Ill start by making a list of the problems I see:
And thats not all. The big one is still to come
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Ate Something They Shouldn’t Have
Puppies love to get into things and often end up with objects in their intestines/stomachs that they cannot pass this is called a foreign body. âSymptoms of a foreign body include loss of appetite or not being able to keep anything down , and lethargy,â says Davis.
If you suspect that your dog ate a foreign body or toxic object, your first instinct should be to bring them to a vet. The faster you get your dog medical attention, the better odds they have of making a full, complete recovery.
âA foreign body can be fatal and may require surgery or treatment to pass the object, so it is imperative you go to the vet clinic once you notice a pair of socks is missing, and your dog looks quite guilty and miserable!â says Davis.
Check out some common foods that are toxic to dogs so you can avoid them.
What To Do When Your Puppy Isnt Eating
Remember, puppies dont have the same fat reserves as adult dogs. Therefore missing a meal or two can be problematic and be a cause for concern. Always err on the side of caution and call your veterinarian for advice in these situations.
Below are some things you can do to try and tempt your puppys appetite at home.
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Did Anything Change In Your Household
Some dogs may be sensitive enough that a change in their environment may cause inappetence. Examples include a new addition to the family , construction, having people over, or even a change in the location of the food and water bowls.
While noise phobias arent specific to your household necessarily, things like thunderstorms and fireworks can also cause enough anxiety to discourage your dog from eating.
Is Your Dog Pregnant Or In Heat
Early in pregnancy, your dog may have a reduced or absent appetite. If your dog is in the middle or late part of her gestation, she may eat less because her stomach has less room to expand due to the presence of puppies, but she should make up for this by eating a smaller amount more frequently.
Regardless of what point of gestation your dog is in, if she has not eaten in over 24 hours, your veterinarian should be called right away to ensure that everything is okay.
Dogs in heat may also have a decreased appetite, which is considered normal. However, if she goes longer than 48 hours without eating anything, she should be checked by her veterinarian. If she is lethargic, vomiting, having diarrhea, or drinking and urinating more than usual, she should be seen by her veterinarian right away, as this could indicate an infection in the uterus known as pyometra.
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What Not To Feed A Dog
If your dog is sick, you shouldnt feed them anything too rich. Sometimes, dogs can get sick from eating too many rich foods if you tend to treat your dog and feed it human food very often, you should cut back on the number of treats you give them.
Your dog may also be feeling under the weather due to something theyve previously consumed. If your dog is already sick, check that they havent had access to any of the following:
|Dont Feed Your Dog:||Because|
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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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.
Read The Instructions On Any Medication
Some medications can reduce a dogs appetite. If your dog is on antibiotics or on any other medication, this may be the culprit. Make sure you carefully read all instructions and then wait at least fifteen minutes before offering your dog food. By waiting, youll ensure that the medicine has hit your dogs stomach and coated it fully before any food arrives.
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What Can I Add To My Dog Food To Make Him Eat It
These foods are called food toppers, you will remove a little bit of your dogs food and then pour a little bit of topper on it to entice the dog to start eating and hope that he will follow up with his usual food at the bottom of the bowl, his dry food.
Here is the list of food toppers that you can use as appetizers for your dog:
- Just ¼ cup of hot water for some dogs.
- Low-sodium Bone broth
- Goats milk or plain yogurt
- His favorite vegetables steamed or boiled and diced.
- Yams and green veggies like chopped raw kale or parsley
- Peanut butter , just a little in some warm water before adding it
- Peas and green beans and some cooked rice
Let Your Dog Eat Grass
If your dog wont eat its normal food but keeps trying to eat grass, you should let them. Eating grass can make your dog vomit, which may actually be a good thing. If whatever is making your dog feel ill will be eased by vomiting, your dogs instincts may be leading it to eat grass. Just make sure to keep your dog well-hydrated. However, if your dog vomits more than twice, or eats grass every time theyre outside, thats a sign that you should take your dog to the vet.
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Change Dry Food Brands
If you have a hard time getting your dog to eat dry food, another brand may be a better fit. Try a sample pack from the pet store to see if your dog likes a different brand better than the one youve been buying. Alternatively, you could try to mix in some wet food, which may stimulate your dogs appetite more than the dry food.
Is It Okay For Picky Dogs To Free
If your dog doesnt seem hungry at mealtimes, you can set the food down and allow her to pick at it throughout the day but there are downsides to this. I had to stop because I have two dogs, so it would be impossible to keep them from stealing one anothers food.
Free-feeding exposes the food to ants, bacteria, dust, and whatever else might be in your kitchen.
It also makes it harder to keep your dog on a regular potty schedule.
You will also have a harder time monitoring your dogs food intake and appetite for changes that can indicate an illness.
So, while its okay to free-feed if that works best for you, I really do not recommend it. Its better to make your dogs food more tempting so that she eats it within fifteen minutes.
Some dogs self-regulate their food intake. They may only need one meal per day, or they may prefer smaller portions throughout the day.
In the past, dog experts made it seem like your dog needed to be a robot eat what their owner wants, when their owner wants them to eat it.
But there is nothing wrong with creating a meal plan that suits your dogs individual needs. It does not mean that your dog is spoiled, or that you are lowering yourself in some way.
Dogs do not go off their kibble just to be a diva or to act out they just know whats good for them!
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What Wet Dog Food Do Veterinarians Recommend
Psychological Causes For Anorexia In Dogs
Psychological causes of refusing to eat include things in a dogâs environment that caused them to not want to eat. There is no underlying medical issue or disease. Common examples of psychological anorexia include anything that changes a dogâs schedule or causes stress, including:
- New pets in the home
- New baby in the home
- Guests from out of town
- Moving to a new home
- A loud thunderstorm
- Remodeling or home construction
- Switching dog foods
- A change in schedules, such as a family member starting a job or becoming unemployed and staying home more frequently
- A family member leaving the homestead, such as a child going off to college
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Encouraging Your Dog To Eat Dry Dog Food
If his teeth and health are fine but your dog wont eat dry food, you can take some steps to encourage him to eat the healthy dry dog food youve purchased in an appropriate size for him. The first step is to ensure your dog is actually hungry. Cut out the treats, except for those you give him when you are training him. Training treats should be small and low calorie, as our Train Me treats are. Reduce the amount of food you are feeding. The best schedule is to divide the food into two meals, morning and evening.
You can entice him to eat his dry dog food by adding something he loves to it. Try some table scraps such as boneless cooked meat without any sauce or seasoning. Dogs also love eggs and cheese, so you can mix that into his dry food as well. Some dogs really love to have a little bit of wet food mixed in with their kibble.
If you have multiple dogs, that can be part of the issue. Dogs have a strict sense of pack order, and a younger, timid dog might be reluctant to eat near an older, more assertive dog. Your dog could even be reluctant to eat near you, particularly if he is a rescue who might have experienced abuse. Try giving your dog his own space to eat undisturbed, preferably in a room alone.
Exercise is a great appetite stimulant. Dogs can get down in the dumps and lose their appetite. A daily walk burns up some calories and stimulates his mind too. Dont we all feel a little hungrier after a bit of fresh air? Dogs do too.