Why Won't My Dog Eat Their Food?
While most dogs are Hoovers, vacuuming up any and all scraps under the kitchen table, others don’t move a muscle when you pour out their bowl of food. So what gives? There are many factors that can influence a dog’s eating habits. A decreased appetite may be signs of underlying health concerns, so it’s important to know what’s normal for your pup and pay attention to any changes in their daily dining. Here’s what to look for if your dog isn’t chowing down like usual.
Does your dog have a health issue?
If your dog is one that never misses a meal but refuses to eat all of a sudden, this should be a red flag. Problems in the mouth (dental disease) may cause discomfort and prevent eating even if they act hungry. Gastrointestinal, respiratory, cardiac, autoimmune, metabolic, and neurologic diseases may also cause some degree of decreased appetite. Stress can even be a factor for some dogs. Now we don’t recommend digging yourself into a DogMD hole. It’s always a good idea to consult your vet if you notice any sudden or drastic changes in your dog’s appetite to rule out any conditions.
Did your dog pick up bad habits?
If we’ve learned anything as pet parents, it’s that dogs are actually training us and not the other way around. If your dog is otherwise healthy, they might just be holding out for the good stuff -- aka table scraps and treats. For some dogs, exposure to new foods that are different than their regular diet may result in pickiness over time. You should definitely keep tabs on if they’re getting any extra treat spoiling around the house or office since treats shouldn’t make up more than 10% of their total daily calories. If this is the case, you should be strict in offering only their core meal and feeding as directed by the guidelines on the bag. Eventually they will develop a stronger appetite for their core diet.
Should you try a new option for your dog?
When it comes to flavor, not all dog food formulas are created equal. If they’ve been protesting mealtime consistently, it might also be time to try a new food. You should always introduce a new food gradually and transition per the on-bag directions to avoid upsetting the digestive system. At Jinx, we knew we wanted to create recipes that were not only beneficial for our dogs but also just as palatable. During an independent extended feeding study, 9 out of 10 dogs preferred the taste of Jinx to the leading kibble brands. We think your dog will dig it, and we even guarantee it with our 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you want to treat your dog to a taste test of all three of our recipes, try our discounted Kibble Sampler.
Do you have a shy dog?
If you have an especially sensitive dog, you may need to pay careful attention to where they’re eating. Some dogs chow down better alone with no distractions (like other dogs competing for a bite). Scolding one dog for stealing another’s food may also discourage one to eat from fear of being punished. Reducing stress and following a consistent routine are advised.
A few extra things you can try…
- Feed them highly palatable and nutritious food (we’ll just leave this link here).
- Add a splash of warm water to dry food to bring out the aroma and soften it up.
- Praise your dog when they actually eat their food to reinforce positive behavior.
- Feed the first few pieces of kibble by hand to reassure them that it’s safe.