Are you worried about a dog who suddenly stops eating? This is quite common and you can find useful advice here to help your dog eat again.
Before we get into the tricks, however let’s talk about the importance of making sure that your dog isn’t being picky or suffering from another health issue.
Be sure to eat carefully if you have a serious health issue
It’s a good idea to consult your veterinarian if your pet, or any dog, has picky eating habits. Your veterinarian will be able ask the right questions to help determine if there is something more serious.
Common health issues that can cause dogs to not eat
You can start by checking to see if your dog is exhibiting any discomfort, pawing at the mouth or if they have suffered from trauma.
These are some considerations to help you understand why your dog won’t eat.
Food intolerances and Digestive Problems
Dogs can develop food allergies or sensitivities to foods they once loved. You might have accidentally given your dog a recipe that they are unable to digest. To help you understand what your dog is allergic to, your Veterinarian may recommend that you try a food elimination diet.
Other gastrointestinal disorders and digestive disorders, such as colitis, can also cause dogs suddenly to stop eating. You can have colitis from IBD, IBS to parasites.
Poor dental hygiene or mouth-related pain
To alleviate pain, your dog may stop eating if it is suffering from tooth, gum or other type of soreness.
Accidents such as dogs chewing on sharp objects (or bones) can cause this problem. This could also be a sign of poor dental hygiene or disease, which will require further treatment.
Changes in the Environment or increased Stress
Stress might cause your dog to stop eating. Although we often forget to consider how our environment or changes can affect our pets’ behavior, one of the most important things that a stressor could have on a dog’s eating habits is its eating habits.
This is something you may have experienced if you recently moved houses or apartments. Your dog might feel uneasy about all the changes you’ve made, whether it be new walking routes or a new work schedule. Your dog may need to be given time to adjust and establish a routine.
12 tricks to make your dog eat
1. Mix Foods
Mixing the two foods together for a few days can help your pet eat new food but refuse to eat it. You can trick your pet into trying the new food by making him eat the old. This is how you should transition dogs to a new diet every time you change.
2. Chicken Broth
Everything tastes better when you add chicken broth. To give your dog some extra flavor, you can add some low-sodium chicken broth to the food. This will hopefully encourage your dog to eat more and help them get used to the new flavor.
3. Reduce the scraps
It could be your pet’s inability to eat their food. Your pet may be used to eating scraps from the table so he might prefer food that has a bit more flavor than what you get at the pet shop. To curb their overindulgence in food, you should stop feeding them from the table.
4. Reduce the amount of treats
You might find your dog refusing to eat his new food. He may think he will just get more treats all day. You can try giving your dog treats to make him eat less.
5. Continue to serve the meal until your dog eats it
Sometimes your pet is too stubborn for his own good. No matter what you do, he’ll refuse food. The gentle starvation method is the best way to stop him refusing to eat. Start by putting your dog’s food down and letting it sit for 30 minutes. If your dog refuses to eat, you can take the food back up. Put it down again for 30 minutes until he eats at his next scheduled mealtime. Take it down again if he refuses to eat. Your dog will eventually become hungry and eat what you give him. If your dog is not eating, you need to take him to the vet.
6. Choose higher quality foods over diet food
Sometimes, your dog can become a bit overweight. You may think your dog should be fed diet dog food. Your dogs will be able to smell and taste the difference if they are like ours. They will often refuse to eat until they are starving.
It’s better to find healthy food for your pet over the long-term. A pet’s experience with dieting can be just as miserable as ours. We do best to find a diet that works for us. This will ensure that your dog gets the right nutrition and allow them to have a treat from time to time.
7. Add dog food toppings
Sometimes, your dog just needs a little encouragement to eat. Sometimes, Toppers can be added to dog’s meals to give it some extra flavor and make it seem more special.
You have many options for motivating your dog to eat a topper. To make sure the topper is healthy and tasty, you could add fruits, vegetables, yogurt, or even yogurt.
There are also healthy toppers available that can give your dog special recipes, such as:
Dry Dog Food Topper:
8. Purchase Different Foods
Sometimes it is as simple as that. You might find your dog doesn’t like the food you have bought. Picky dogs can find certain recipes boring or uninteresting. Or maybe they’ve been eating the same food for too long.
Try smaller portions of different foods. Dogs will often eat foods with gamier meats or higher fat and sugar content.
9. Try wet food
Is it difficult to get your dog to touch dry food. Introduce them to wet food. As a way of moistening their dry food, this can be sufficient.
For the pickiest dogs, it is worth looking into wet, fully balanced dog food options. It doesn’t have to be unhealthy canned food.
The honest kitchen offers dog-friendly pates and stews which can be used as complete meals or healthy mix.
10. Safe Place to Feed Your Pets
Dogs may have trouble concentrating if you feed them in busy places, like the kitchen, while your family prepares their meals. Dogs are especially susceptible to being distracted. Your dog will be happier if you feed him in a safe and quiet place. A crate can be useful for your dog. You can place his food in the back of the crate, and he will eat from it.
11. Warm the Food (Makes it more appealing)
Dogs’ sense of smell are more important than their sense of taste. Warm food will make your dog’s sense of smell more pleasant. Warm some water, warm the ingredients, or put it in the microwave for just a few seconds. It should not be hot.
12. Eat right and exercise regularly
You can adjust the amount of food your pet eats each day if your pet seems energetic, healthy, and otherwise well. Dogs that are fully grown and older than puppies need less calories than pups at their peak growth. It could be that your dog doesn’t need food right now.
Dogs that aren’t getting enough exercise can be stimulated by walking or going to the dog park for at least one hour per day.
You might find that your dog needs less food if you have recently moved to a smaller area that doesn’t offer the same yard space.
Ben Kerns is an outdoor adventurer, freelance writer and photographer based in San Diego. He can be found wandering the globe looking for big rock climbing spots when he isn’t working. He is also obsessed with finding the cheapest way to fund his outdoor pursuits.