If your dog is no longer interested in the dry food you provide, there are many reasons behind that. It’s not about the repetition of the meal or the quantity of the ration, although many owners seem to think so. We’ll get to what else it could be in this article.
Your dog can definitely eat the same meal every day and not get sick of it. Luckily, you have many ways to stop your dog from being a picky eater.
As long as it doesn’t taste bad and contains all the needed nutrients, your dog can eat it and stick to it.
Before we get into how to get your dog to eat dog food again, you need to keep in mind some of the possible health problems that your dog might face if their appetite is affected.
Maintaining Your Dog’s Good Health
Health issues might be one of the main reasons behind the disorder in your dog’s eating routine. In order to make changes, you should know first whether your dog is unwell or not.
You’ll need to check if some of the following conditions are what’s affecting your eating habits.
Your dog will have trouble eating his food if there’s something wrong with his mouth or teeth.
Sores, gingivitis, and broken teeth are some of the problems that your vet can help you identify and take care of.
It’s possible that your dog can have an upset stomach sometimes. It can be because they eat anything they find on the floor or in the trash when not supervised.
This might stop your dog from eating and cause vomiting and even diarrhea. You’ll need to contact your vet if such symptoms last for more than a couple of days.
Vaccines’ Side Effects
This isn’t really an anti-vax argument, vaccines are still quite necessary to prevent your dog from catching many dangerous diseases. However, they might come with losing appetite as a side effect.
If that’s the case, all you can really do is wait for it to pass. It shouldn’t take long for the effect of this side effect to wear off.
As your dog grows old, his sense of smell will likely grow weaker. Joint pain is also something your dog can develop that will make movement for him very difficult.
The first thing to do is always to check with your vet. Some treatments can be offered to help with his pain and even boost his appetite.
Arthritis can make your dog’s life difficult. Fortunately, there are home remedies that you can use to help your dog with the pain.
This was just a general idea of the health issues that might affect your dog’s appetite. In case you notice some other symptoms, you should always check with your vet right away.
It also always helps to keep your dog hydrated.
9 Ways to Get Your Dog to Eat Dog Food Again
With the health issues clarified, here’s a list of things to do to make your dog eat again.
1. Find Better Dog Food
Some ingredients can make your dog’s food tastier and more appealing. If it’s more to his tastes, his eating habits definitely won’t be an issue.
Adequate Fat Amounts
A meal of average fat amounts is preferred in your dog’s meal as it makes food tastier and more appealing. Although not to create other issues, unsaturated fat is highly recommended.
One key element to be in your dog food is Omega 3. It helps your dog’s brain function better, improve his skin’s health and its looks.
It’s really preferred to avoid dog food with artificial flavors. Since dogs are carnivorous creatures by nature, they certainly find real meat tastier and inviting.
Meat, fish, and poultry are all great ingredients for your dog’s meal. It’s usually recommended to avoid low meat ratio in the meal or anything with low quality.
In case you didn’t know, dogs do find some fruits very delicious. Your dog might even find the meal you prepare much more appealing if it includes some fruit.
Not only are they tasty, but the vitamins in them will even help improve your dog’s health in general. Make sure to check which fruits are suitable first and won’t cause any allergies.
In a nutshell, your dog’s food should have real meat of almost any kind as a main ingredient. It should also be free of any preservatives, artificial flavors, colors, or fillers.
Fats in dog food shouldn’t be heavy or saturated. Some certain fruits can also be beneficial in the process.
2. Mix it up a little
Change can be very helpful. Some things can be changed about your dog’s food to make it more appealing.
Adding different topping on your dog’s dry food can make it more inviting. The increase in various flavors and textures can be made by something as simple as peanut butter on top of the dried food.
You can go the extra mile by using dried food seasoning. Not only is it healthy and simple to use, but it also provides a variety of flavors that will be attractive to your dog.
Fruits and vegetables.
There’s a variety of fruits and vegetables that will make your dog’s meal more enjoyable. Apples, berries, carrots and green beans are only some of the options that will enrich your dog’s meal.
Fruits and veggies are really helpful when feeding your dog. The point is that they’re both delicious and nutritious so they have a ‘two birds one stone’ kind of advantage.
One again, Omega 3 can be your ally here with its helpful fatty acids. Adding a little of it to the dry food will saturate the food and even add some fish flavor.
You can also make some bone chowder to enrich the dry food. If not, a little warm water will do.
Heating the meal can also be very beneficial because it increases the meat smell in the food.
3. Try Various Flavors
Your dog won’t necessarily like all the flavors that you add to his food. Changing the flavor can be what’s needed to improve his appetite.
To make the change as smooth as possible, try gradually changing the flavor by mixing the old and new flavors and changing the ratio of both.
4. Don’t Give Him any Scraps
When you regularly give your dog scraps, it results in him being a picky eater. Once your dog gets used to resourceful foods and varied tastes, he’s likely to start disliking his own food.
Constantly giving your dog scraps will also result in unhealthy diets and insufficient nutrients. Not all that’s healthy for you is healthy for your dog.
Along that note, some foods that you enjoy can be poisonous to dogs. This unhealthy routine might also result in your dog beginning to develop obesity.
Once you stop giving your dog scraps, the process will be a little difficult but quite necessary. Your dog will certainly show signs of disapproval and might even try to beg or trick you innocently to give him scraps.
You might find your dog refusing to eat his own food in objection. Your dog can go the whole day on a meal or two only and that’s quite okay.
In any case, you shouldn’t give in. Once your dog sees that there’s no other option, he’ll realize he has to eat his own food.
5. Move the Bowl
Yes, just changing the location can work in some cases. Try to find a calm room where there isn’t much movement. Feeling he can enjoy his meal in peace, your dog might be moved to eat better.
6. Don’t Tolerate His Picky Habits
Dogs enjoy attention as much as any human. Their refusal to eat might just be another way to grab your attention.
In this situation, you’ll need to ignore his attempts when it’s time to eat. If you only praise him after he’s eaten, it’ll go a long way towards better eating habits.
7. Create a Schedule
If you place the food and your dog doesn’t eat it right away, try to take the bowl away until it’s the next time to eat. That will get him to realize the certain feeding times and utilize them.
You also won’t go wrong with smaller portions several times instead of just two or three big meals.
8. Regular Walks
It’s normal to find your dog hungry after they exert some effort. You’ll find that the more active your dog is, the more hungry he’ll become. If you walk your dog long enough, you may not have to do anything to make him eat.
You can make a habit out of pre-meal walks. That will have your dog connect the walks with the meals he gets right after.
9. Food-Dispensing Toys
One of the great ways to get your dog to eat dog food again is by using a dispensing toy. Not only will it make him eat his food, but it’ll also make him work for it. The exercise will also be an excellent way to improve his overall health.
To sum up, no matter what’s causing your dog to stop eating dog food, it’s redeemable. There are several options and you’ll definitely get there. You should face no trouble as long as you:
- Make sure your dog is healthy.
- Keep your dog hydrated.
- Try different methods and flavors.
- Don’t tolerate picky behavior.
- Avoid scraps for treats.
- Be on the move with him.
You might not even need to follow every single method to start noticing some progress. It’s quite likely that you’ll find a response from your dog to almost any of the methods you can use.
- Adult Dog Food, Feeding Schedule, Nutrition, and Weight from Pets WebMD
- How to Handle Dogs That are Picky Eaters from Hillspet