Is Your Dog Not Eating Dry Food
Does your dog turn up their nose at dry food, only to wolf down canned food the minute you set it down? This is a common complaint from pet parents, and it can mean a few different things.
It may be that your dog has dental or oral pain. Many pet parents believe that if their pet is eating, they must not have oral pain, but thats not the case. They have to eat, so many dog struggle silently with oral pain for months or years until a dental procedure is done to extract any rotten or infected teeth.
While some dogs will still eat dry food even with severe oral pain, many prefer canned food, as its easier to chew. If your dog is no longer wanting to eat dry food but will eat canned, they should be seen by their veterinarian for an oral examination.
It may also be that your dog prefers canned food to dry food, as it often smells stronger and may be seen as more of a treat. Try mixing canned food with the dry kibble to encourage your dog to eat, and gradually transitioning to a higher ratio of dry food, until your dog is back to eating dry kibble.
Some dogs simply refuse to eat kibble in favor of canned food. While this can have some negative consequences, such as worse dental disease or a higher food bill, it may not be a problem to have your dog on canned food long-term. Talk to your veterinarian to see if feeding your dog an all-canned diet may be the best option for them.
Cat Food Is More Delicious
Its true, sorry fido, cat food has a much higher protein and fat content than dog food. This means that there will naturally be a stronger savory meaty smell to the food, making it seem so much better than his own. This, for the most part, will be one of the main reasons. Dogs love tasty treats, especially ones with a strong meat smell. To your dog, this is exactly how they view cats food when you put it down. Not only is it different from theirs, but it also smells so much better, just like a treat.
How to stop your dog eating cat food:
The first and easiest way to stop this behavior is to keep your cats food physically separated from your dog at all times. Fortunately, cats are great gymnasts and you wont have an issue feeding Felix at a much higher level than your dog, or in a different room altogether. After doing this, see how your dog reacts, does he go back to his own food? If so, everything is likely fine. But, if he now refuses to eat, it likely means theres an underlying issue. Read on!
Blockage Or Other Illnesses
A dog not eating could be a sign of other underlying causes too. Sometimes, a dog may ingest a foreign object such as a sock that is blocking their digestive tract. A dog will often stop eating if this is the case.
Other causes of loss of appetite in dogs include illnesses such as kidney failure, cancer, liver disease, or even infections. If theyre sick, refusing to eat is one of the telltale signs of their discomfort. This is especially true of older dogs. If they continue to not eat for long periods of time, it could be very dangerous for your pet. Going to a veterinarian is recommended.
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Reasons Your Dog Wont Eat
Just like in people, there are a variety of reasons dogs might refuse to eat. These include:
- Cutting back on treats.
- Feeding your pet on a regular schedule, usually at least twice a day.
- Making mealtime a fun time for your pet, such as by playing with a toy that dispenses food or rewarding your dog with food for doing a trick.
- Taking your dog for a walk before mealtime.
- Changing your dogs feeding situation. If you normally feed your pet with other animals, try feeding them alone. Or try using different bowls or plates at different heights to see what your dog prefers.
- Trying a different kind of food, such as canned food if you normally feed your dog dry food.
- Add a bit of warm water to your dog’s kibble to make it more appealing.
Will Human Food Spoil Your Dogs Appetite
Its time that we let go of the idea of human food.Food is just food.
Its perfectly reasonable for your dog to prefer fresh food over bland, over-processed kibble.
And its really important that you add fresh, people foods to your dogs diet. Fresh fruits and veggies are packed with cancer-preventing antioxidants. Meat, eggs and fish are full of amino acids and nutrients that are destroyed when cooked and processed.
So, do not be afraid of giving your dog yummy, fresh human foods, for fear that she will become finicky.
If you never give your dog anything other than kibble, she may still find human food enticing, even more so because she is not allowed to have it.
Matilda and Cow mainly eat a raw, fresh diet, and they still enjoy eating kibble when I use it as training treats or when I dont have any fresh food thawed for them. They enjoy kibble even more now because it is a novelty.
Instead of trying to keep your dog from developing a palate for fresh food, just negotiate and add fresh, nutritious toppers to their meals.
It does not take a lot of extra time to boost your dogs meals. You can use an ice cube tray to freeze small portions of yogurt, eggs, fish, blended veggies, fruits, etc. Then, you can microwave a cube just until it is melted, then stir it into your dogs food. Or just serve them as mini ice pops.
Thats how easy it is to make sure your dog gets more flavor and variety in their food each day, and it only takes an extra minute of prep time.
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Could Your Dog Have Separation Anxiety
Many dogs with refuse to eat while their pet parent isnt home. Some dogs with separation anxiety even expect their loved one to be in the room while they eat, and will stop eating if their human leaves the room.
While this is not necessarily a health concern, it is a sign that your dog may have severe anxiety that needs to be addressed. Calming chews such as Composure or Solliquin may be helpful, and calming pheromone collars or diffusers such as Adaptil can be beneficial as well.
However, if you are concerned that your dog may have severe separation anxiety, consider consulting with a board-certified veterinary behaviorist for help.
How Old Is Your Dog
As dogs grow older, their bodies and routines change. They might become less active and expend less energy. If your dog is getting older and you notice that they have stopped eating their food, age is a likely cause.
At this stage you can try switching their food to a senior blend or different flavour this switch should be done gradually over seven days, but introducing a new food might perk up your dogs willingness to eat again!
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Issues With A Dogs Food
The dog may not be eating his food because the food itself is spoiled. Food preferences vary from breed to breed, with some dogs like Labrador Retrievers happy to eat old or stale food while others such as Yorkshire Terriers are choosy about what they eat.
If a dog has been on the same food for a long time and always eaten it well, take a look at the expiration date to make sure that it is fresh.
All dog food packaging should be sealed and the dated food should be thrown out. Open canned food can be sealed with a plastic wrap or a lid that is made to fit pet food cans, which shouldnt then be left in room temperature for more than three days.
You may wonder if your dog is simply tired of their food if they stop eating it. That might be the problem in some dogs, but a healthy, hungry dog should not suddenly stop eating a certain type of food for no apparent reason.
Sometimes it is difficult to figure out which food your dog prefers, but if they are refusing all of them then you may have overestimated the treats or human food that they are getting. You might also find that your dog has a medical condition and needs treatment for it.
Dogs are very intelligent, and often learn that if they dont eat their dry food right away, there might be a better or more desirable option. Rather than giving your dog table scraps as an incentive for eating their kibble, try making the canned food tastier by mixing it with kibble or gently warming up the canned food before serving
Did You Switch Dog Foods
Transitioning from one dog food to another too quickly can cause stomach upset, which may mean that your dog doesnt feel like eating. Its important to transition foods gradually over 7-10 days in order to avoid stomach upset. This also allows your dog to get used to the new food over time, rather than making a sudden switch.
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First Steps To Seeing Why Your Dog Is Off Their Dog Food
First some basics. It might be do to with your dogs environment.
Have you recently changed dog food? Do they eat treats too often during the day ie are you giving them too many treats? Did you just give them table scraps before the meal?
Have you moved their food bowl to somewhere where they feel nervous? Do they have their own food or do they share a food bowl? Does the food bowl have any spoiled food in it? Is it the same food every day?
Or, do you just have a picky dog? Remember that while a hungry dog will eat most things, a picky dog can be a pain for pet owners but if the dog food is off, an upset stomach can be more or a pain for dog owners! Are there dog foods that your dog loves that you have stopped giving her?
Remember that an eating dog is a healthy dog, so how do you encourage your dogs appetite with nutritious food? Many dogs will have occasion periods where they have low appetite or just decide to be a fussy eater.
Monitor Any Changes In Behavior
If your dog stops eating abruptly then its possible there is an underlying reason behind that.
Start by checking is there has been a deviation in their behavior.
- Has their sleeping pattern changed?
- Is their poop smelly?
- What is the color of their urine?
Asking yourself these questions can give you leads into the apparent change of behavior.
For example, if there is a change in your dogs stool either in terms of color, smell, or the number of bathroom trips, you should schedule a visit to the vet to examine your dog and see if the dog is suffering from a specific illness.
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Are There Any Signs Of Dental Problems
Dogs can get toothaches. The first thing vets generally check when dogs are not eating is the mouth. Check for any abnormalities such as red gums, dental decay, bad breath, or even objects stuck in the mouth. Some dogs tend to salivate when they have oral pain, and others may drop kibbles of dry food out of their mouth. Be very careful when checking a dog’s mouth, you can accidentally be bitten as your dog closes his jaw. Have a vet carefully inspect his mouth.
Is It More Serious
Full anorexia is when a dog wont eat anything, including normal dog food or doctored-up with cooked ground beef, chicken, baby food, or anything you offer. Sometimes, dogs will refuse everything but eat something as peculiar as a fast-food hamburger.
Anorexia in dogs can vary from minor issues to serious and life-threatening problems. Normally however this is much less serious.
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Is Your Dog Free Fed
Do you leave dog food out all the time? It is a fact that the most finicky dogs are those that have dog food available at all times. After all, would you find french fries interesting if they were always 24/7 available to you? Likely not. Rather, feed your dog only at certain times. Ideally, you want to feed your adult dog twice a day and puppy three times a day.
What To Do If Your Dog Is Not Eating Dry Food
While both 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 veterinarian& rsquo s 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 dog& rsquo s 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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My Dog Isnt Eating But Acting Normal
If your Lab is full of energy and charging around like a puppy there is probably no immediate need to rush your dog off to the hospital. Or even if he seems just a little bit reserved. You dog might just not be hungry. Or bored with his food. Maybe he moved around less and doesnt need his usual amount of food. Someone could have slipped him too many treats.
- Have you changed food brands? Some dogs are very suspicious of unknown tastes and smells. A new bag of kibble you just opened might be off check and smell the food.
- Has something in your dogs environment changed? When dogs have emotional upsets it often puts them off their food just like our children.
- Have you moved house? Even a simple thing like a new food bowl or changing the place where you feed him can have him turning up his nose at food.
Most dogs also stop eating for a day or two when their owners go off on holiday. Or even just when their favourite companion isnt home a person or another pet. Are there visitors who might be upsetting him? Or a new pet? But, if he normally has a healthy appetite, keep an eye on him, watch and wait. One of the things you need to watch for is that your dog drinks water.
Your Dog Has A Toothache
Dental problems can cause trouble eating, McClosky notes. Dogs with dental problems may drop kibble, chew on one side, or drool excessively. Older dogs are more affected, especially the smaller breeds, she adds, but any dog can develop a toothache . Another big sign that your dogs teeth are in need of care, says Teller: Your dog may be interested in food and sniffing it, but it hurts too much to actually take a bite and chew. Its one of the 50 things your vet wont tell you, but youll want to know.
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Buy Higher Quality Foods Rather Than Diet Foods
Sometimes your dog gets a little overweight or a lot overweight. Its a natural tendency to think that you should then buy them a diet dog food. If your dogs are anything like ours, they can smell and taste the difference. This often leads to them refusing to eat until theyre starving.
Over the long term, its best to try and find a food that is healthy for a sustainable diet. Just like us, dieting is often a miserable experience for a pet, and we do best finding a diet that is good for us. This will ensure your dog has the right nutrients while allowing them to indulge in a treat every now and again.
Prevention Of Not Eating Dry Food
Tongue cancer probably can not be prevented. However, most other causes of your dog& rsquo s 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, tooth root abscess, 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.
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Is Your Puppy Old Enough To Eat Dry Puppy Food
Most puppies arent fully weaned until theyre six to eight weeks old. For the first few weeks of your puppys life, he wont be interested in dry food, but once hes three to four weeks of age, hell start to nibble at solid foods. If your puppy is younger than that, he may be too young to eat regular dry food meals. In most cases, pet owners take ownership of the puppy when he is six to eight weeks old, after weaning.