Tips To Increase A Puppys Appetite
If Feeding Dry Food:
If Feeding Canned Food:
A Hungry Dog Will Eat
Once you’ve established that your dog is not being overfed and that they are healthy, it is time to start the process of getting your dog to eat the food you choose for them.
To start with, you need to decide what diet you want to feed your dog.
There’s a lot of different factors that go into this decision, which I lay out in my comprehensive article raw vs kibble.
Once you’ve decided on the best diet for your dog and family situation, and then worked out how much you should be feeding your dog, you need to let your dog know that you mean business!
Put their meal down in the bowl and leave it down for 20 minutes.
If your dog doesn’t eat in that timeframe, take up that food bowl.
DO NOT give your dog any more food or snacks at this stage.
A few hours later, repeat this process with their uneaten portion.
At this point in time they’ll be that much hungrier and are more likely to finish their meal.
It might be that you have to repeat this process several times before they get the message that there is no other food forthcoming and start eating as a result.
Especially if they are used to plenty of snacking.
If, after 24 hours, your dog really hasn’t touched anything you may want to try and give your dog something else that you know they will enjoy.
If this is the case it is important to remember that you must never take up an unfinished food bowl and immediately replace it with something else more appealing.
How To Cure A Fussy Eater
The cure for a fussy eater is straightforward. But before you begin:
Trying to cure a fifteen-year-old Labrador of a lifetimes fussy eating is probably a bit mean.
Here are the steps:
- Set a timer for five minutes.
- When the timer goes off, take the bowl away.
- Do not feed him any treats whatsoever until his next mealtime.
- At the next time, offer the dog a small quantity of exactly the same food again. For exactly five minutes.
- Do not feed him anything else.
- Make sure he has clean drinking water available at all times.
- Rinse and repeat
Build up quantities as soon as he starts eating again. Thats it. All you have to do is ignore the pleading eyes, thwart any attempts to raid the fridge, and prevent the dog from eating the cats dinner or mugging your visitors. Some dogs will hold out for a couple of days. But you will win this battle.
Remember that no healthy dog will normally starve itself to death, but very occasionally youll meet a dog that will keep itself chronically underweight rather than eat what you are offering.
So what are the main points covered in this article?
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Avoid Kibble With Air And Water For Fillers
Some brands of dog food will make their kibble look larger by puffing them up with air during their heating process. This type of kibble can make your dog feel full quickly, but also make your dog hungry again in no time, as he burps out the air. Foods that are high in water can also create a placebo effect, making your dog feel more satisfied right after eating, then hungry again after he urinates.
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 When Your Dog Wont Eat
If your dog is lethargic, vomiting, or having diarrhea in addition to not eating, see your veterinarian right away. If you dont see any of these, here are some ways to try to entice your dog to eat:
Add water or no-sodium chicken broth to the dog food and let it soak for several minutes to soften it.
Heat canned food for a few seconds in the microwave . Canned food can become scorching hot quickly, so feel the food first to avoid any burned tongues.
Try mixing some plain, boneless, skinless boiled chicken and rice with their kibble to encourage them to eat.
Add a probiotic such as Purina Fortiflora or Advita on top of the food. Not only can this make the food more palatable, but it can also help any inflamed or irritated intestine heal by rebalancing a healthy gastrointestinal flora.
If you have tried these tricks and your dog continues to refuse his food, he should be seen by his veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical conditions.
Unless explicitly prescribed by your veterinarian, your dog should not be given any over-the-counter gastrointestinal medications like Imodium or Pepto Bismol, as these could cause serious side effects or even interact with medications that your veterinarian may want to give. It is best to consult with your veterinarian before attempting to treat symptoms at home.
Will A Dog Starve Itself If It Doesnt Like Its Food
No. That means if your dog really is not eating then it might be more serious anything from an upset stomach to a more serious disease. In that case get your dog examined by a vet asap so that they can provide veterinary advice.
Its important to remember that dogs will eat if they are hungry enough, so it is not always indicative of a larger issue. If your dog only eats treats and refuses to touch his food then you may need some help figuring out why he isnt interested in eating anymore! There could be something as simple as too much of a flavour that your dog does not like in the food that you are using.
Of course if your dog has any other symptoms or your dog feels generally unwell then talk to your vet as your dogs loss of appetite may be something more serious.
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Why Does My Dog Keep Eating Bugs
Have you ever found your dog munching on a bug and wondering why hes doing that action?
Is it due to his hunger, or perhaps hes just being a pest. Maybe its his curiosity on the moving creatures or there is more to that?
Lets find out more about the different reasons why your furry friend eats bugs!
Your dog is eating bugs because the moving insect is arousing his curiosity. He finds the taste and texture of the bug to be appealing. He is hungry and is on the lookout for food. He feels bored and starts practicing his hunting instinct to ease his boredom. He is doing this act to get your attention back to him.
Diagnosing Loss Of Appetite In Dogs
Your vet will ask you about your dogs recent medical history and whether you have noticed any other signs, such as weight loss or vomiting. It is important to try to work out if they have no interest in food or if your dog is hungry but not managing to eat for some reason in these cases, they will show interest in food and sometimes attempt to eat, but then give up or sometimes run backwards. Its likely your vet will give your dog a thorough examination and check their teeth to make sure thats not the source of their problems. They may also run some tests, such as X-rays, ultrasound, taking blood, urine and faecal samples, to check for illness and disease.
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Give Your Dog A Treat
If your dog hasnt been feeling well, you could try treating your dog with food they dont normally get. Human food like chicken or even baby food may be so irresistible that your dog will actually eat something. Try just a small amount of human food at first to see if they will eat. If not, try adding a bit more.
You should mix this in with their existing dry food to encourage them to eat their normal diet along with the treat. Just be sure not to overindulge your dog in these treats as it can negatively affect their health.
Dog Not Eating After Surgery Or Vaccination
Surgery like spaying and neutering commonly results in dogs not eating for a day or two. Often the anaesthetic causes nausea so your pooch may skip a meal or two, which is totally normal and nothing to worry about. A dog not eating after surgery is common and usually, the loss of appetite resolves within 24 hours. If not, call the vet.
Pain after a procedure can also cause your dog to lose interest in eating for a short time. If your dog is not eating at all after 24 hours, its best to check in with your vet.
Similarly, after your dog receives a vaccination, its common that it would lose its appetite. Let them rest and recover and if theyre not improving within 24 hours, contact your vet.
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I Worry That My Dog Isnt Getting Enough Calories Can I Supplement His Dog Food With Table Scraps
One important consideration in dealing with a canine picky eater is to resist the temptation to begin feeding human food willy-nilly from the table. These are dogs that are even more difficult to transition back to balanced dog foods. It is actually quite difficult to balance a dog’s long-term food ration when feeding them home-prepared food. Over time, taste preferences may emerge that lead to deficiencies of particular nutrients. Also, there are no commercially prepared supplements for dogs that are proven to provide the balance necessary for home-cooked meals.
“Resist the temptation to begin feeding human food willy-nilly from the table.”
While relying only on human food for your dogs nutrition is not a good idea, there are some human food options that can increase the appeal of a dog’s meal and encourage your dog to eat the food with the preferred nutrient profile. Be sure to check with your veterinarian to determine if any of these suggestions are suitable for your dog, and to verify how much you can add in a day without risking weight gain.
- No-salt-added chicken or vegetable broth.
- Fresh or frozen water-based vegetables .
- The occasional dry-scrambled egg.
- Air popped popcorn .
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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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.
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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Change The Food Location
Sometimes, simply changing the bowls position can solve your dogs eating problem. Be sure to choose a quiet room without a lot of traffic so that your dog can eat his meal peacefully. Some dogs may even prefer to eat their food inside the kennel in private.
In some cases, youll have to replace an old bowl altogether. However, dont get a plastic one which can absorb color, odor, and bacteria. Instead, go for either stainless steel or ceramic.
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.
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Easy Ways To Get A Sick Dog To Eat
Like sick people, sick dogs do not feel like eating. Perhaps your dog is recovering from a serious illness, or he has had surgery recently. Emotional factors like death of a human or fellow dog in the pack can also affect dogs appetite. For pet owners, this can be a vexing problem. A sick dog needs to eat in order to keep up his strength. If you are looking for ways to coax your dog back into eating, use the following tricks that are proven to help:
Tricks To Getting Your New Puppy To Eat
While puppies are very cute and energetic, they can be rather finicky eaters too. Trying to get a puppy to eat can be challenging, but a little bit of patience goes a long way. After only knowing a diet of warm milk from their mother, it can be hard to change habits, especially when they find themselves in a new environment without their litter mates.
So if you having trouble getting your new puppy to eat their food, here are a few tricks that should help you out.
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