It’s a nightmare for a pet owner when their dog refuses to eat. Feeding your dog is an integral part of taking care of them. It is one of the main problems that most pet owners face, especially if your dog is picky. Convincing your dog to eat can be challenging.
Hence, in this article, we are going to discuss the different ways that you can try to make your dog eat more. Here are the following methods to work with when your pup ignores the dog food again.
Why Is My Canine Not Eating His Dog Food?
There are factors to consider to pin down the main reason why your dog is ignoring his bowl. Here are the following possible causes why your dog is not touching his diet:
Similar to when you have no appetite to eat anything with an upset stomach, dogs are the same, too. When they’re feeling something terrible, they only want to nap and rest. A dog that has caught a virus may not eat for a few days until it gets better. And in some rare cases, your dog might be suffering from dental problems.
Hence, make sure to check for inflammations in the gums or look for broken teeth.
After a bad breakup or after losing your job, you may find eating unappealing. The same is true for dogs. When you move them to a new place, they may find it stressful and refuses to eat. Their emotional issues can contribute to their loss of appetite. Re-homing your canine may trigger these sensitive issues and causes a hunger strike to your canine.
Sense of loss.
When you are not around, your best buddy is less likely to eat their food. Whether it’s wet food or dry food, a dog recognizes its pack and would better not eat until his owner arrives. The strong owner’s absence can affect dogs’ interest in food.
Sometimes, it’s the personal preference of your pup that’s affecting his appetite. For instance, some dogs only prefer to eat their bowl clean afternoon while others only want to eat during the evening. If you notice that your pup has a specific time of the day when they eat, do not fret over it. It’s normal for dogs to have their quirks just as it is acceptable with humans.
Picky dogs will only choose specific food and ignore the rest. If you don’t want your picky dog to starve, it is advisable to vary the food that you’re feeding. That means you don’t feed the same type of food or something unappealing for the entire week. Or if your dog is used to eating dry food, try adding some warm water to make it more appealing to them. Changes in their diet can also cause their food preferences to shift. But it does not happen on all dogs. Some breeds enjoy eating the same food in the long run without a problem.
Ways to Get Your Dog to Eat More
Here are the following ways that you can try to get your dog to eat more. If they continue to ignore their food, your dog may suffer from kidney diseases and other health issues. To prevent it from happening, follow the methods below:
Make sure the food is fresh
Any dog would not pay attention to old food when given to them. Make sure that you don’t give your dog food that is already three days old. Always offer them a new diet, and you will see them chowing down their bowl again.
To prevent the occurrence, make sure that the food bag is always shut to avoid it from turning rotten.
Offer a variety of food choices
Sometimes, your dog ignores his dog food because he is bored of the same food. To prevent this from happening again, offer a variety of new food choices. For instance, if you’re continually serving your puppy, old food, they are most likely to ignore it. Try to microwave it or add some beef broth for more appeal. A mix of canned dog food and wet dog food is also appealing to most canine. Take note of your dog’s reaction to the new food and see if he likes it.
Slow down on treats
If you keep on giving your dog table scraps during hours when he’s not hungry, there’s a big chance that he will ignore his meal later on. Hence, stop giving him treats when not necessary. As a rule of thumb, your dog should not have over 10% of their calories from treats alone.
Take your dog for a walk
Sometimes, your dog refuses to eat because of environmental issues. Moving to a new place can be stressful for them. Hence, take your dog for a walk and do a little exercise. Let him be comfortable in his new surroundings. Make sure that during this critical time for them, you give your canine enough attention. They need to know that you are there for them. Do not try to punish your dog by refusing to eat his food. Instead, be patient and wait for them to adjust to their new environment until they gain back their appetite again.
Monitor your dog’s water intake
If you can’t get your dog to eat any pet food, even table scraps, ensure that they’re drinking water. There shouldn’t be a day where your dog doesn’t drink anything. Even a puppy should drink even an ounce of water to prevent dehydration. Some dogs will only drink water but not eat anything. The possible reason for it is an upset stomach. Monitor them for at least two days. They should be able to get back their appetite. But if it continues, then it’s time to call a veterinarian.
Mix some table food
Some pet owners prefer to mix pet food with table food. If your dog suddenly refuses to eat after removing the table food from their diet, then it must be the reason for their sudden appetite loss. Eating table food has become a habit. Natural pet food may not appeal to them anymore.
Hence, slow down on cutting back the table food from his diet. Start by lowering the amount of table food in their bowls until you can altogether remove it without your dog noticing.
Stick to the feeding schedule
If you suddenly change the feeding schedule of your dog, chances are, they will ignore the food you offer. Since your dog is still adjusting to the new schedule, he might not be in the mood to it. Hence, stick to the feeding schedule and start establishing the new schedule by adjusting the time little by little.
That way, your dog won’t have to go through a shock of a new schedule and will retain his appetite.
Change the food for a sick dog
Sick dogs might not be in the mood to eat the same food again. For this reason, try to look for foods that are suitable for an infected dog.
For instance, white chicken with white rice works best. Or you can try feeding bone broth and other baby food to appeal to your dog. If your sick dog still ignores the dog food, at least make sure that he is drinking water to avoid dehydration.
Force-feed your dog
If you must, try to force-feed your dog. When your fur baby ignores his food once again, you may use a syringe without a needle to inject the food into his mouth. Be careful about injecting food and make sure that your dog can swallow it properly before inserting another batch.
When force-feeding your dog, opt for baby food. Do not give your dog good that does not smell right. You can try smearing the food into your dog’s mouth so they can lick it clean. Start slow and allow your dog to adjust until they gain back their appetite. Bone broths always work best to entice the dog into eating their food.
Sometimes, it’s just the weather change that’s causing your dog not to eat his meal. Patiently waiting it out and allowing your dog to adjust can help you to bring back the lost appetite in your dog. Allow yourself to wait for at least a day or two. If they are back to normal, then nothing is wrong with your canine. But if they still don’t eat, then something is bothering your dog. It is the time when you will need the assistance of a vet.
There are lots of reasons why your canine friend is not eating his food anymore. Whether it’s an illness, emotional issue, or environmental impact, tend to your dog immediately. By following the methods above, all rights reserved to dog experts who shared their wisdom into making your pup to eat more, you can solve this issue immediately. But if you had done everything and your dog is still unresponsive, taking him to a vet might be the best solution.