Share

My Dog doesn't Want to Eat Dog Food

By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: February 22, 2018
My Dog doesn't Want to Eat Dog Food

See files for Dogs

Many people have to face the issue of their dog refusing to eat its food; in some cases, the food remains in its bowl for days. This is actually quite common and can happen with any dog.

If you're worried about this situation and want to deal with this problem for good so that everything returns to normal, keep reading this AnimalWised article. It's very important for you to know the causes and the solution of why your dog doesn't want to eat dog food.

You may also be interested in: I Don't Want My Dog to Have Puppies

Why doesn't my dog want to eat dog food?

Before you identify the specific cause that is affecting your dog, you should know that dogs are almost carnivorous animals, and they should only eat vegetables occasionally. Feeding a dog on diets based on carbohydrates or fiber or including too many veggies is a mistake, because it forces its digestive system to work more than necessary.

Furthermore, you should also know that it's better for a dog to eat rationed portions, just like we eat two or three meals spread throughout the day, with fixed schedules. Its diet should be somewhat varied, occasionally combining dog food with wet and homemade food.

Possible reasons why your dog doesn't eat dog food include:

  • Before trying to work out if this situation results from another sort of problem, you should make sure that your dog is completely healthy. In other words, you should go to the vet and ensure that your dog refusing dog food doesn't boil down to a health problem.
  • If you don't give it a balanced diet, the dog will get apathetic from always eating exactly the same thing. Additionally, it may require other types of nutrients, vitamins or proteins. It might be the case that the dog simply doesn't like the food, or that it is a poor quality.
  • Giving your dog human food is a serious mistake. Besides being harmful to digest, it can lead to health problems and even reinforce its unwillingness to eat dog food.
  • Your dog knows that if it doesn't eat it will get more appetizing food instead. If when your dog refuses to eat dry dog food you immediately give it wet food or human food, it's normal for it to turn down balanced food.
My Dog doesn't Want to Eat Dog Food - Why doesn't my dog want to eat dog food?

How to make your dog eat

Your dog's health depends on the diet you give it. It needs more than just a good diet; you need to think about nutrition as well. As previously mentioned, many owners overlook the fact that dogs are pretty much carnivorous animals. This is why it is a mistake to give it an excess of carbohydrates, fiber, fruits and vegetables - and of course forbidden foods like candy or chocolate.

There are different types of diets, such as the BARF diet (Bones and Raw Food), leftovers from your daily food or even homemade meals. The most recommended is a basic dog diet that combines:

  • Quality dog food
  • Wet food
  • Homemade food
  • Rewards and treats

All these foods should have a high content of animal and vegetable protein. They should be free from additives and colorants, low in carbohydrates and with a low presence of cereals.

In order for your dog to eat normally once again, you should stop giving it human or inappropriate food and give it a suitable diet. It's very important that you follow this step, because if you keep giving it extra or better tasting food it will never want to eat the dry dog food - which is necessary - that it has on its plate.

Everyone gets worried at seeing a full bowl of food. Still, you should retrain your dog to eat certain foods much like you would a small child. You can't allow it to eat only what it wants, because this won't be doing any favors to the dog or its digestive system.

Put the amount of food that your dog should eat - it will be listed on the product packaging - into its bowl. Don't worry, if your dog is hungry it will end up eating what you put on its plate.

These are the basic steps to reintroduce dry dog food:

  1. Completely remove treats and human food from its diet.
  2. Get hold of a sack of good quality dry dog food and some cans of wet food.
  3. Empty a can of wet food (pâté style) into its bowl. Add a small amount of dry food on top, and then mix both together.
  4. You'll need to use a different type of pâté every day in order to enrich and vary its diet. When doing so, you should always add the dry dog food.
  5. Gradually increase the amount of dry food.
  6. Never take the food out of the bowl. If it is hungry, it will eventually eat it.
  7. You should always give it plenty of water.

This should be a gradual process so that the dog goes back to eating dry dog food. Remember it's very important for it to do so, since balanced food contains nutrients such as omega 3, omega 6 and high quality protein and minerals, which you can't find in other diets. Don't lose faith, and be persistent.

We hope that we've been able to help you! However, if your dog still doesn't eat even after following all these steps, take it to the vet for a check up, and explain the problem and the steps that you have taken to try and solve it.

My Dog doesn't Want to Eat Dog Food - How to make your dog eat

If you want to read similar articles to My Dog doesn't Want to Eat Dog Food, we recommend you visit our Diet problems category.

Write a comment about My Dog doesn't Want to Eat Dog Food

Add an image
Click to attach a photo related to your comment
What did you think of this article?
2 comments
Rating:
Hans Fleischmann
Thanks, great advice.
Rating:
Chuck Taylor
Step #6: "Never take the food out of the bowl." That's a strong statement for a bowl of "wet" and "dry" dog food. How many days is this allowed to be out there?? I do believe that the "wet" dog food will go bad in less than 24hrs. I have left some food out, hamburger patties with cheese cubes, and in an 18hr plus time frame he never touched it. I finally picked it up and tossed it. My Daokotah, a GSD/Husky, will eat "dry dog food" as a treat while we are out walking -but- will NOT eat it out of his bowl. I gave away 2 bags of dry food, Crave and Nutro, and 12 cans of Blue Buffalo because he wouldn't eat them. I will try your suggestion only IF you can tell me how long I can safely leave the food plate out.

My Dog doesn't Want to Eat Dog Food
1 of 3
My Dog doesn't Want to Eat Dog Food

Back to top