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My Dog Won't Eat Dry Food, What Can I Do?

 
By María Besteiros, Expert veterinary assistant and canine/feline hairdresser.. November 3, 2020
My Dog Won't Eat Dry Food, What Can I Do?

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There are many different options when it comes to feeding our dog. Some people opt for freshly cooked food, while others prefer feeding their dog with dry food. However, what can you do when your dog won't eat their dry dog food anymore?

In this AnimalWised article we are going to explain why your dog won't eat their dry dog food, we'll also give you tips on how to help them eat and enjoy their food again. Keep reading to learn more!

You may also be interested in: Why Won’t My Puppy Eat?

Feed your dog the right diet

First things first, we need to make sure our dog is eating a healthy and balanced diet. So, what does a healthy canine diet consist of? Well, dogs are omnivores that thrive on a protein-based diet. Therefore, we want the majority of their diet to consist of meat-based protein. They will also need some other nutrients and minerals to make sure they have a balanced diet.

A natural canine diet mainly consists in essential fatty acids and meat-based protein. The protein should have two or three types of protein from meat. For example: whole chicken, lamb, beef and fish. For fat sources, you can opt for chicken fat. Good fat sources can solute some of the most important vitamins a dog needs.

When it comes to carbs, it should be kept in a low amount as dogs thrive on meat. If you are cooking for your dog, then we recommend to include low amounts of whole carbs, such as sweet potatoes. Lastly, you can offer some fruits and vegetables that provide good vitamins and minerals to help your dog's over-all health.

You may also be interested in our article about toxic food not to feed your dog.

My Dog Won't Eat Dry Food, What Can I Do? - Feed your dog the right diet

Feeding your dog dry food

If you choose to feed your dog dry dog food, there are a couple of things you should take into account in order to be sure that your dog is having a healthy diet:

  • Make sure it is high quality dry dog food: it should be made from only a couple of ingredients and fresh meat should be the main ingredient.
  • Check how much you are feeding your dog: respect the ration recommended by the manufacturer for your dog's weight. You can also ask your veterinarian for further guidance.
  • Remember that puppies eat more times a day: where an adult dog will eat 2-3 times a day, a puppy will eat smaller rations but more times throughout the day.
  • Always provide fresh water: especially if your dog is only eating dry dog food, it's very important to offer fresh water for them to drink.

You may also be interested in our article about combining homemade food with store bought food.

Why your dog won't eat dry food

They're suffering from an underlying health issue

The first reason why your dog may not eat their dry food is because they're suffering from an underlying health illness. Loss of appetite is a common symptom in many diseases, such as fever, lethargy or even physical pain.

Their diet is unbalanced

Another reason is that they are suffering from nutrient deficiencies. This occurs when they don't have a balanced diet and are lacking certain nutrients and minerals. Some symptoms of a nutrient deficient dog are: decrease in energy, dull coat, behavioural changes, etc. Learn more in our article about nutrient deficiencies in dogs.

They don't like the dry food

Lastly, your dog may not like their dry food. This may be because the dry food isn't of high quality or your dog simply doesn't enjoy the flavour. Perhaps it's time to change things up and try a new brand or flavour. You can even try some high quality wet dog food.

Learn more in our article about why your dog has stopped eating.

My Dog Won't Eat Dry Food, What Can I Do? - Why your dog won't eat dry food

How to help your dog

Make sure they have a healthy diet

First, make sure your dog has a healthy and balanced diet. You can do this by checking the commercial food you buy and making sure it is made up of meat-based protein and healthy fats. You can also take them to the veterinarian to make sure they are not nutrient deficient. Your vet will also be able to guide you in order to improve your dog's diet and quality of life.

Change their dry food

Perhaps it's time to change things up. Offer your dog a new brand of high quality dry food or a new flavour. If your dog has been eating the same dry food for a couple of years now, it's understandable that they are no longer satisfied with their food.

Incorporate wet food

Another option would be to incorporate wet food. Just like any other dog food option, make sure it's of high quality and balanced for a canine diet. Wet food will also help your dog keep hydrated. Many dogs prefer wet food over dry food, so if you're not sure what your dog would prefer. Offer them both and see how they react.

Take them to the veterinarian

Last but not least, it's always important to take your dog to the veterinarian once they begin exhibiting abnormal behaviour. As your dog has recently refused to eat their dry food, it's a good idea to take them to the veterinarian to rule out any underlying illnesses as a cause. This would be a great opportunity to also talk to your veterinarian about their diet.

We hope you found this article useful! If so, don't forget to check out our videos below about a dog's diet.

If you want to read similar articles to My Dog Won't Eat Dry Food, What Can I Do?, we recommend you visit our Diet problems category.

Bibliography
  • Carlson and Giffin. (2002). Practical manual of canine veterinary medicine . Madrid. Editorial el Drac.

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