How to Tackle a Dog Who Doesn’t Eat Dog Food

Do you have a picky dog and are wondering why your dog isn’t eating his food? It can be worrying for pet parents when their dog eats human food but not dog food. Here are some top tips to inculcate healthy eating habits in your pet.

You’ve just set down a large kibble bowl in front of your dog. Instead of digging into it hungrily, she looks at it haughtily, picks at it and turns away!

Sometimes, dogs are simply bored with their routine dog food. On the other hand, your dog could be suffering from some ailment that is putting him/her off dog food. Before attempting any of these suggestions given below, check out whether your dog has any health problems, like vomiting or sluggishness, a sudden weight loss or diarrhea and so on.

If your dog has always been picky about dog food, nothing to worry! But if he/she suddenly shows signs of picky eating, it’s time to worry. The causes could be numerous. It could be old age or joint pain. Go visit your vet immediately to get to the root of the issue.

What Causes Loss of Appetite in Dogs?

  • Is your pet stressed or in a new environment?
  • Are there strangers around?
  • Is there another more aggressive dog in the family?

If all these are ruled out and you’re still saying “My dog won’t eat his food but will eat treat”! Here’s some help.  Let’s dig into the problem.

Check Yourself

Do this first. It is entirely possible that you are the cause of this behavior. Maybe, you’re feeding him a lot of tasty treats, which are better and tastier than your dog’s usual dog food. This could result in making your dog finicky. Are you feeding him tasty morsels of human food under the table?

Maybe you’re tossing your breakfast bacon, noodles or the steak to him? Look at it like this – If you asked your son whether he wants spinach or Twinkie, what would he choose? Duh!! This could be the cause of the problem.

If yes, then you need to make changes. Your entire family has to be on board for this to succeed. Cold turkey.

These tidbits and scraps of human food will only result in weight gain. Your dog will also miss out on a balanced and nutritious diet.

Reversing Tips

For a dog that only wants human food, try these tips to reverse your dog’s finicky behavior:

  • Don’t offer too much of a variety. Limit the options.
  • Make the environment comfortable.
  • If he doesn’t like a particular dog food, don’t react immediately and change it.
  • Follow a schedule and keep the food for only half an hour, then take it away.
  • Stop all treats for some time, as an extreme step, if nothing else works.

Daily Dog Feeding Routine – Healthy Eating Habits

Why is my dog not eating his food anymore? Start early training. Have a routine feeding plan and see that the entire family is on the same page. Have a fixed schedule according to your vet recommendations for the particular breed. You can feed an adult dog twice a day.

Offer the meal at the same time each day.  Use measuring cups, so that the portions are the same each time. Consistency is important so don’t change brands frequently.

Sweetening the Deal

My dog will only eat human food – If he is plain bored with his daily kibble, and your dog won’t eat dog food anymore, try out these ways to spice up his dry dog food.  We spice up our food to make it more palatable, so why not do the same for our dogs? They too love flavor, so just sweeten the deal.

  • If your dog wont eat dog food but will eat human food, add Omega 3 oil to make his/her joints stronger and add a sparkle to the skin. Try salmon oil or extra virgin olive oil.
  • Add bone broth to dog food. It makes it easier for digestion and offers plenty of calcium for stronger bones.
  • Add fish flakes as a topping and sprinkle it all over dog food.
  • Add seasoning to put the smile back on your dog’s face. Herbsmith Smiling Dog seasoning can be added to dog food. Even the pickiest eaters will make a dive for it.
  • Mix his kibble with some low-fat veggies, if you have to give him some human food.
  • If you started on the wrong foot by introducing human food, try to wean your dog away bit by bit, until he/she’s completely off from it.
  • Mix some warm water inside the dry food to tackle eating disorder in dogs.

What’s Your Dog Breed?

Some breeds live to eat. If you own a Labrador, you’d agree with me. But smaller dogs like Yorkies are picky about their food.

Be Firm

On the other hand, if you feel your dog is simply holding out and being obstinate waiting to be given human food, you need to be firm. If your dog isn’t eating dog food, don’t give in. Leave the bowl out for a fixed period and if he/she doesn’t eat it, just take it away.

He’s sure to learn that dog food is better than no food throughout the day. He’ll soon understand that there are no options. Don’t worry, he won’t starve, if he is hungry he will surely eat the dog food and break the hunger strike.

Wrap Up

So next time your dog is ignoring dog food, try eliminating all the causes mentioned here.  If it’s a medical problem, your vet is the best person to consult. Don’t over fuss if he doesn’t eat. Praise him for eating. Give your dog proper exercise before meal times to increase hunger.

In short, get to the bottom of the problem and be assertive.

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