I am the proud owner of two beautiful dogs. I've had to use some creative means to get them to eat on days when they don't want to eat.
So, you've put the food bowl down in front of your dog, and suddenly you realise something isn't quite right, and then it hits you that you aren't hearing the usual frantic sounds that usually go with canine mealtimes. You turn back to your beloved pet, only to see him/her sit staring intently at you, their eyes communicating one simple message . "This again?"
If this is the first time this has happened, your first reaction will be colossal surprise and confusion. You know your dog, and you know he/she will eat ANYTHING, up to and including their own feces. Whatever you've put down in front of them can't be any worse than that, surely?
You may be tempted to fuss over your dog, to coax them, or possibly even to get angry with them, especially when you've spent all day lovingly preparing their favourite meal, and you've been cleaning the house to get everything ready. The solution is brief, stress-free, and mind-numbingly easy to administer . if you have the backbone.
Lectures Don't Work
The first time one of our two Staffy crossbreeds turned their nose up at dinner, we told her off. And the next time, we quickly realised—after checking that she wasn't ill or out of sorts in any other way—that if there's one thing that dogs understand, it's a reaction of any kind. Telling them off won't fix it and may only exacerbate the problem. In fact, with ours, the other one then started doing the same thing, and two fussy dogs are infinitely more annoying than one.
The Secret: How to Get Your Dog to Eat
Put the food bowl down and stand over them waiting. If they ignore it and look up at you, count to 10, and then take it away. And then walk away. Don't be dismissive of the dog in any way; just let them know that all that's happened is their food was taken away.
Then, at the next mealtime, give them the same bowl. If the same thing happens, give them the same response. What will probably happen (bear in mind, our dogs take it in turns to try it on about once every three months) is you'll end up in a minor battle of wills.
It'll be you feeling guilty about them not eating and them trying to push you into giving them what they want. Believe me: Stick with it, and you will win. It took our female three days the first time (and then there was no more problem for several months).
Eventually, they will get the message and eat what they are given. We felt TERRIBLE, but ultimately we couldn't afford to keep wasting food and switching brands just because our dogs decided to be fussy. Some owners may disagree, but I believe (along with many other responsible dog owners) that dogs are happier when they know their boundaries and know who's in charge; and that sometimes means making difficult decisions.
So be strong, take the bowl away, ignore the puppy-dog eyes and the whining and pestering, and you'll get a dog who eats what he's given and is happy about it. Good luck.
© 2012 DoctorDarts
PVASTER on May 30, 2020:
THANKS FOR YOUR ADVISE. I HAVE BEEN THROUGH THIS i TRIED DIFFERENT BRANDS. AND IT'S MAKES YOU FEEL GUILTY - UNTIL I SEE MY DOG LEAVE LOOSE STOOLS. AND i KNOW THE REGULAR DOG FOOD IS BEST FOR HER.
Angelicavazquezad on October 13, 2018:
Gays what do i do when my dog is not eating
Erica on September 19, 2018:
Thank you for this article! I needed the reassurance that my dog suddenly refusing to eat her food was common and your advice on how to deal with it relieved my stress about it. I will put away the guilt and put away the food if she won’t eat it.
Beatrice Rybak Pet on September 10, 2018:
Need help- My pit mix recently had 4 different cancers, 1st 2 seem like a breeze compared to now. He has Lymphoma and has stopped eating. Seems like he is hungry but takes the food in his mouth and drops it. He lost almost 7 lbs in one week, After CHOP chemo and a new chemoI am stopping and going holistic and homeopathic. But we have lost time. I've got his GI bleed under control just don't know what to do about his eating, I can barely syringe 3oz in a day and he used to weigh 55lbs. Any thoughts or ideas
Donnie Brady on August 25, 2018:
My dog is 14 and wont eat much what should i do
Melinda on August 08, 2018:
Good advice, I love my dog .your tips is so very good have Great news.This is best blog about to eat dog.Thanks for your advice
Sway on June 21, 2018:
Doesn't work, tried it 2x on 2 dogs for almost 7 days straight. BAD! Tried it a 3rd time for a few days and same thing. Make sure you give them healthy food from day 1 and you wont run into this finicky behavior. Also, treats caused my dog to have seizures, Vet couldn't figure it out, put her on blood pressure meds, didn't help at all. When I stopped the treats and figured it out - she NEVER had another seizure again. Treats are crap people and dogs cant handle it. Don't do it, you're poisoning them.
DoctorDarts (author) on June 12, 2018:
Thanks Elena, glad you enjoyed it! :-)
Elena on June 10, 2018:
Thank you for the advice but what I wanted to say is that I really appreciate your sense of humor and your fine sarcasm. You genuinely made me laugh.
Andy on April 12, 2018:
An easier way if they had their bowl for a while is to change it for a stainless steel one and use a foil tray till you get one. I believe over time a dogs bowl becomes repulsive to them, though clean to us.
DoctorDarts (author) on February 27, 2018:
Nick on February 27, 2018:
This worked amazingly! Have a rescue shepard/hound I adopted 3 weeks ago. He ate like crazy the first two weeks, but suddenly stopped. Hadn't eaten his bowl food for 3 days (while eating tons of treats, etc.), so he clearly wasn't sick (had a checkup at the vet the same week). Did this a couple times and he started eating right away
Rachael on October 26, 2017:
My new dog doesn't like walkies any more
matt1123 on September 05, 2017:
Hi i have a 4 month old maltese nd she dont want to eat since we purchased her by a friend , its alrdy 3 days but she still refuses to eat even we give her a treat ..wht should we do i think she is depressed
sitamaharaj on August 14, 2017:
tick fever he not eating it been 10 day now ..i am worry I think I losing him
Sheila Mckiernan on July 16, 2017:
It makes sense
I love my dog but she needs to know I'm in charge
Roy on May 30, 2017:
Hi, my super picky German Shepherd 14 month she has no interest in food since birth, she stop eating her food for 3 days. And I almost tried every thing nothing works with here.
But, still eat treats so, I guess she's not sick.
Doug on April 24, 2017:
Good advice, I don't like for the way it's written though.
kmnotary on April 17, 2017:
What do you know about dogs not eating because of depression? A few months ago I took in my daughter's dog. She had the dog for 5 years and she spent a lot of time with her. She wouldn't eat when we first got her but eventually started eating. Then I went away for 10 days and she would hardly eat anything while my husband took care of her. Now we are back to her not eating again.
Michele Phillips on April 08, 2017:
Not to disagree, but only to warn dog owners, I am a over the top, dedicated peto owner...she is spoiled...has her own armoire of clothes, a following on FB with friends that have handmade dresses made for her. Anyway, over 5 mths. ago now, I had her yearly exam done and as I usually do, I had them do a complete blood work-up on her, expensive yes, but well worth it for my baby. All the blood work was perfect, except one kidney test that was high normal. Since the other kidney tests were fine, they said, there wasn't a need to worry unless she started not eating, peeing more and drinking more. As the months went on the one thing I noticed the most was her being pickier than usual with food, I had to switch it 3X, just to get her to eat. She was always picky, so even that wasn't loud sirons. I thought, she is going to be 15, she is getting for finicky. Then she didn't want to eat at all. As for the pee and drinking, well idk if I was being hyperparanoid or if she really was peeing and drink more. Right about when she wouldn't eat, she started peeing in our bed, where she has always slept with us...this is not her. I rushed her to the vet, they did blood work and she has 4th stage kidney failure. I couldn't believe it could could change that quick, so I took her to an internist, who gave us hope and said it started as an acute kidney injury that turned to Chronic Kidney Failure. Possibly a kidney infection, they said dogs rarely show if they are in pain or if something like that is wrongoing with them. I of course felt awful, because if I knew I would have had her at the vet in a second. The good news is, because it started as an acute injury, the stages could come down and within a month, she was already down to low end of stage 3. Her one kidney level is normal and the 2 other are creeping there. After a very long explanation, if they are not eating, but eating treats, does not necessarily mean they are okay, so be aware of other symptoms, research online. Cocobean at her worst was still eating her treats and human food (that was all we could get her to eat, boiled chicken etc...) Also, if yourequired animals are healthy, I def. recommend Pet insurance. Some may think it is a waste of money, believe me i paid since she was 6 yrs. old and never submitted a claim, but it is priceless now, because her care is expensive, but her ins. is good and they pay 80% after $100 deductible, and $1500 max a year, plus her friends have been kind. I loved your article, I just wanted people to know, they can be eating treats and human food and not their reg. food and not be well. I wouldnt to see anyone to go through what we are, but especially their furbaby. We have to give her fluids 3x a week, 5 meds and forget trying to get her to eat renal food. Good luck everyone, to you and your furbabies.
Megan Shaw on March 20, 2017:
Hi. I have brother and sister 9 week old german shepherds that will not eat from seperate bowls. I tried to get them to eat seperately but they wouldnt eat wuthout each other. How do i fix this.
DoctorDarts (author) on March 11, 2017:
Which is exactly what I advise. As I've said many times here, check with a vet first and then if all is well, try my method. Please read articles fully.
lady bug on January 14, 2017:
i have a small jack russel and she want eat dry dog food she will eat a couple of pieces then she will stop i have been feeding her wet puppy food she loves that but that wii roten her teeth out of her mouth what should i do thanks lady bug
DoctorDarts (author) on November 18, 2016:
I'd check that one with the vet. Sounds like its related to the infection so I'd check with a pro before implementing my method.
Del on November 18, 2016:
Rosie is a 13 month old short haired border collie. She's never been a massive eater but recently she was poorly for a few days with a gastric infection and since then I cannot get her to eat her normal food. The only thing she is interested in is tinned tuna and because she's been poorly I've given this to her a couple of times because I can her her tummy rumbling. She is 15 kilos and bright as a button - I'm really worried about her lack of appetite as she is due to be spayed this coming week.
Karen Diamond from Michigan on October 11, 2016:
Okay. Thank you. At least I don't feel so guilty now!
DoctorDarts (author) on October 11, 2016:
Stick with it. Ignore him when he asks for food. The food is fine and he's misbehaving by refusing it. He'll soon get the message. The middle ground is to put a fresh plate down at mealtimes rather than the same one, but let him see you throw his uneaten meal in the trash. Don't talk to him when you do all this, just ignore him and go and do something else once you've taken his food away. Simple as that. He's basically trying to get back to the chicken he liked. Don't let him.
Karen Diamond from Michigan on October 11, 2016:
God help me, it has started again. I put the food down, he sniffs, he walks away, I pick the food up, I put it down at dinner, he sniffs, he walks away.....2 days now. I know he's hungry, he begs and hops up & down asking for food. There's nothing medically wrong with Smokey. He just got the works at the vet, head to toe checkup. I thought I had this issue covered! What the hell did I do wrong now?
DoctorDarts (author) on October 11, 2016:
Your vet is 100% correct and your dog walker is, I'm sorry to say, an idiot. I sincerely hope you've either sacked her or told her to stop feeding your dog garbage. But if you're leaving the bowl out for an hour, you're doing it wrong.
As I say here: put the bowl down, wait a few seconds, if the dog doesn't eat it MAKE SURE SHE SEES YOU TAKE IT AWAY AGAIN then walk away without a word. It may take several days but the dog WILL get the message. If you give in, be prepared to feed your dog chicken nuggets and toast for the rest of her life and let her dictate what you feed to her.
Be strong, you can do it, and trust me; if the vet says the dog is ok, then she will get the message. Hunger will win out and she'll learn to eat what she's given.
Lisa on October 11, 2016:
I've got a girly one when I first got her she was ok bushes is 4 now n I have a dog walker n she gives her chicken nuggets toast everything n she won't eat nothing else so I put her food there n she won't look but I've spoke to a vet n they sai give her nothing at all apart form her food n when she hungry she will eat but I'll put it out in morning n if it still there hour later I remove it till tea time see how I go but there so fussy dogs there like a baby could you plz tell me if this is ok thankyou
DoctorDarts (author) on October 07, 2016:
You're more than welcome Cyndi!
Cyndi on October 07, 2016:
I did this, it took 4 missed meals, I guess it's clear we have a very stubborn pup on our hands but it worked like a charm!!! I will admit after missed meal 3 I was getting very close to caving but it worked finally and she has cleaned her bowl 3 meals since!! Thank you SO much! You're a genius!! This something my vet never considered, this is my first dog ever and I am VERY relieved! Thank you!
DoctorDarts (author) on October 05, 2016:
Excellent. Smokey seems to have realised that he doesn't run the show. Readers, take note! But always check with the vet first!
Karen Diamond from Michigan on September 22, 2016:
He's eating, like a HORSE!!! I followed your recommendations and within one missed meal Smokey decided it was best to eat what was put before him. Problem solved! Thank you so much! Smokey's not a jerk anymore
DoctorDarts (author) on September 21, 2016:
Hi Smokey, firstly try a different brand of food and get your dog checked out at the vet to rule out any medical complications. If that makes no difference and there's nothing wrong with him, don't LET him be 'picky.' You are in charge, not the dog. Put the food down for ten seconds, and if he doesn't eat, let him see you scrape it into the bin. He needs to learn that it won't be coming back, its eat or don't eat. Keep this up. If he still hasn't eaten after several days, take him back to the vet. DO NOT (boiled) CHICKEN OUT. Let me know how it goes. Good luck,
Karen Diamond from Michigan on September 17, 2016:
HELP!!!!! We just adopted a 10 year old Pomeranian from our local shelter. When we got Smokey we knew he had problems, cataracts, hearing loss, teeth that need pulling. After taking him to our vet we found that we were correct. We adopted a money pit and we knew that from the start, but the poor old guy needed a home....and my husband and I are suckers for a sad face. The problem is that since his teeth are bad ( and he's set up for dental work next week) I gave him soft food. I should state that he's EXTREMELY picky. My others dogs would eat the leg off an elephant, but not Smokey. So, the first night we had him I gave him some boiled chicken. He scarfed it down. The next morning, same thing. Then I headed to the local pet food palace and bought all kinds of tasty (yuck) stuff in cans. He ate it for 2 days, no problem. NOW he's decided he's not going to eat. I offered it to my other dog and he wouldn't eat it either. Okay. Maybe there's something wrong with the food? So I opened another can, and another, and another....no dice. I'm not cooking chicken for Smokey the Jerk every day of the week! So I took the food away ( and because my cats thought this stuff was manna from heaven , I set it on the counter) but now I feel guilty as all get out. My head is screaming " he's starving! I can hear his stomach growling! Good lord he's a rescue and he's thinking he has the home from hell!" In a word, torture. I'm torturing myself, and Smokey is sound asleep on the couch oblivious to my discomfort.
So now that I have rambled and poured out all of my guilty feelings my question is this: how long do I let him starve? I know he's not starving, that's my head talking again. But how many days do I let an 11 pound dog refuse to eat before I go back to (sigh) boiling chicken?
Linda on July 15, 2016:
Very few dogs need a flea and tick pill and they are poison. Often causing lack of appetite. And although the fussy eater may not want to eat--especially after smelling what you eat, sometimes they are reacting to the fact it is basically garbage (even so called premium brands) they detect toxins in the food (not long ago thousands of dogs died from bad dog food --and it was many different brands, some expensive). It really is pretty cost effective to make them their own food. Cheaper cuts of meat, etc. And healthier. Google for articles re pet food recalls and deaths. Also google homemade dog food remedies, natural flea and tick repellents.
Rotties on July 04, 2016:
My female rott (4.5 months old) is like this, i have changed about 5 brands of dog food to get her to eat it, I first introduced one to her and then buy the biggest bag of the one she EATs. Come home to see after one meal, if I don't beside her and hand feed her, she'll go hungry for a day and i have to give in. My male Rott (9 weeks, - female's to be husband) he ate his food normally but since my female Rott is acting like a mother to him, he is quickly learning how not to eat his food and get something else. My female has been on a raw meat + kibble diet, and raw meat is 3 times as expensive as dog food in a months span.
I just read this and will start on doing this from my, wish me luck.
Felicia on June 18, 2016:
I rescued a adorable shut tzu when I got her home she would eat and was coughing up bile sometimes 3 plus times a day . After a couple trips to the vet we tried one thing after another from mixing dry with something appealing to straight prescription canned food (from the vet) tried feeding her more often to keep something in her tummy to stop the retching. She seemed to do ok on hsmburger chicken rice but I knew she couldn't eat like this forever. I give her a .05 milagram of famolidine and the vet suggested I pull her from the grain, welllllll... She's doing amazing but now she will not eat anything that isn't prepared straight off the stove. No I'm not kidding. She gets chicken, salmon, liver, beef , turkey , sweet potatoes, potatoes . All of these are soft foods so no chewing dry food, I feel like she needs more nutrition and honestly I feel like some of the foods out there today are really good well balanced food for dogs do I purchased both wet and dry nutrish and dish by Rachael Ray ! Heck I'd eat this stuff ! No luck ! Help !!!! Well my sweet Nikki has to have a pill once every 24 hours that is normally snuck in a piece of ham or treat and pulling her food for days only makes her sick because there is nothing in her stomach so... I would welcome any suggestions . Anyone else had this problem of the retching with their dogs ?
DoctorDarts (author) on June 08, 2016:
Your family are being extremely unhelpful. If she's getting tasty human food then she's going to expect that. She won't starve to death if you insist she eats only what she's supposed to, and eventually she will get the message as long you're consistent. You need to absolutely lay down the law with your family. But check with your vet, as ever, that there isn't an underlying medical issue for her appetite
Esther Hans from Cape Town, South Africa on June 08, 2016:
Hi! I have a very baby Jack Russell (she's 7 weeks) and had her first round of injections last week. She's currently on the Hill's Science Plan for mini puppies but she's refusing to eat it. I out the tinned food over it so that she can at least eat something but then she started getting diarrhea. I am at my wits end - I have been doing everything in my power to make the food more appetizing for her but nothing works. I live with my family and the pity her when I don't feed her and give her human food. I don't know what to do as I work during the day. Help me, please!
DoctorDarts (author) on June 06, 2016:
As long as you're giving him treats at a time when he's turning up his nose at regular food Andy, STOP! :) Good luck with the approach bud. Will probably take more than a few days though.
Andy on June 05, 2016:
I have a six month Border Collie who I've hand fed since I picked him up at 7 1/2 weeks. He's the brightest dog I have ever met, mellow temperament and is the gentlest little guy I've ever met. He's started to turn his nose up at Orijen food (not cheap or full of fillers like some of the others - NZ based). He would rather play with his Action Ball rather than eat at the moment which is a little bizarre. He isn't I'll as if I bring out a little tab of cheese or savaloy he'll be doing the collie eye until I submit. Will definitely be giving this approach a shot, probably even more beneficial given how intelligent BCs can be, he's probably found a little weakness and trying to exploit it haha ^_^ will post back in a couple of days and let you know how I get on.
Rachel on May 30, 2016:
the problem with this is ours do this then they puke up bile then they have a seizure
DoctorDarts (author) on May 26, 2016:
Hi Jill, though I don't like the slightly aggressive tone of your comment, you make a very fair point, and I have edited that line out of the post. It's been a few years since I wrote this article and I'm surprised to see such a line was even in there. I guess people change and learn, huh? Thank you for bringing this to my attention.
shadow on May 24, 2016:
I was really worried. i never thought dogs can get fussy..
Thanks for the info.
Jill on April 19, 2016:
Really? You have to mock Rosie O'Donnell to make your point in this article? When can we stop fat shaming women to get a laugh? It's not OK. And it adds nothing to your article, and makes you look like a jerk.
Soli.C on April 12, 2016:
Thanks for the great help! My girl is pretty picky when it comes to her food. But i have to learn to be firm and stick to this plan. I'm sure it will work with her. And i hope it works for your pals too!
G on April 07, 2016:
Our Boston girl is 2 1/2 yrs. We just adopted her. She was a "show dog", won best in breed international! Her owner passed away of cancer :( she was sent back to the breeder in FLORIDA, we live in PA! There the breeders husband got cancer! Sent sweet girl back to PA! She started acting out, attacking her older sister..bad! So Guardian now knowing she has to let one of those 2 dogs go..calls her vet, which is also our vet. He told her he has the perfect home, us! We just lost our 16 yr old chihuahua in February this year & asked our vet to keep an ear open. So now we have this precious baby (no longer a show dog, just needing loving home & she was very picky eater. We've fed her what her guardian was feeding her but then turned away from it. We did what you said NOT to do. But now she's not eating at all. We know she's grieving awful & has been thru SO MUCH. Tonight we tried a scrambled egg with food & she started choking on it. We bagged the egg & hand fed her some kibble, she ate maybe 10 pieces. She just had her vet visit yesterday, everything great. She had a distemper & was also given a 1/2 pill to help joint pain from shot..we were told to give her the other half today. She also had a flea & tick pill today, which Guardian never gave her, she said she thought it was in her heartworm pill!! Could that have made her sick? My gut is telling me this dog is going thru more than what's obvious to vet. I'm worried she is very sick, after all the cancer & loss she's been around :(
I just googled this & you were 1st on list, so here I am! My vet just went on vacation for 10 days or I would have called him!
PS, our vet is the very best & has taken care of all our FURBABIES..he also has 2 bostons of his own along with others! Before our last loss @ 16 yrs old there was our baby who we had to say goodbye to after 17 yrs!!
Sorry this is long..but I don't know what to think.
Anne on April 02, 2016:
I've read ur article our jack Russell is driving me insane with food he just won't eat normally need to hand feed and tease him to eat it have even put meat on his food to try and tempt him been eating fine then he had a dose of being sick and now won't eat only bits even just left on floor for him makes no difference it's like he's scared of food .help ideas needed please
DoctorDarts (author) on October 10, 2015:
Thanks for all the comments guys. Alex, sorry I just saw yours; hopefully you've fixed the problem by now? It's a battle of wills, guys, and hunger will win in the end.
Nicki; what do you do when you put the bowl down and she won't eat? I would say let her see you take the bowl away after leaving it for a moment, and then ABSOLUTELY NO TREATS AT ALL. Sounds to me like she's obviously pining for her owner (as you've probably guessed) but if she's getting tasty treats that go down easy (think of what you will eAt when you're hungry or depressed, ice cream and junk food) then she'll never get hungry enough to get with the program ...
nicki gregory on October 10, 2015:
we have a boston terrier that refuses to eat everytime my mom goes on vacation for days. she wont eat until mom comes back. how do i get her to eat while moms gone? sometimes mom is gone for a week or more at a time. she wont eat her wet, dry dog food. nuthing i eat.. but she will eat treats. i can't just feed her treats. Is there anything i can do to make her eat? she wont drink either. i have had to get out a syringe and squirt water in her before.
Bear on June 26, 2015:
This is great advice. I get so sick of all the comments people make such as, I gave him this and he wouldn't eat it, then I gave him that and he wouldn't eat it, so now I just give him sirloin steak with bechamel sauce and a side of roast potatoes - it's just ridiculous. I have a dog that doesn't eat purely for attention. In the beginning I was telling him off which unfortunately just gave him more reason to not eat. The vets have checked over him at least 6 times and they continue to tell me there's nothing wrong and that I should get the help of a dog behaviouralist. He will often go 2 - 3 days (2 meals a day) skipping and usually by the third or fourth day he eats (the fact that he is toy poodle doesn't help with his fussy behaviour). Great article. Thanks
Judi on March 30, 2015:
Reading this article made me happy because we've been struggling with our dog for quite some time now. Suddenly he decides to turn his nose up at food that he's been chowing down on for a year now. It's been an ongoing battle between him and I (my fiancé just laughs and thinks we're nuts). Me standing over the bowl yelling at the dog to EAT...NOW!! The dog just sitting there, staring at me and NEVER taking not even one bite of his food. I see I'm not alone and I will continue to do this.....just won't yell at him anymore. Eventually, they do get the picture. Thanks.....
alex on September 08, 2014:
Hi my cousin's dog is a year old, he eats but by hand only, I've tried leaving the bowl but he won't have any of it. Any tips please? PLEASE HELP.
Victoria Baughman from Michigan on July 20, 2014:
This made me giggle because my very special American Pit Bull Terrier is very guilty of this and I am just as guilty. She waits until the end of the day, just before bed, to eat her food. It's as if she waits to see if one of the kids will drop her an extra treat from their plate. I'm going to try this.
Mindy on July 20, 2014:
It's not so much that my dog is picky about his food, he just chooses to ignore it because he wants to play with my neighbors dog (who's carrying his puppies) or play with his toys or chew a bone. He'll eat one bite or two and that's all he'll eat for the entire day.
Sharon on March 17, 2014:
I have an 8 month old jack Russell she is so fussy. I am going to try your idea. Every thing else hasn't work. Fingers crossed
sangeeta verma from Ludhiana India on December 09, 2012:
I don't agree with you Rain defence in India too this happen my puppy don't eat the food given to him he look at me, when I spoon feed him he will eat, what I was not able to understand is constantly serving one food even they get bored. Thanks to Doctor Darts for writing this informative hub, even I noticed if we change the food he eats them very quickly.
Rain Defence from UK on October 29, 2012:
You don't get fussy dogs in India / Thailand, or any other place where people are poor and food is scarce. They would eat each other over there, so if you put down a bowl of food, they would be doing backflips, high fiving you and anyone else around and doing the running man, before eating the food and the bowl.
Good tips, show that dawg who's boss!
DoctorDarts (author) on April 25, 2012:
idaburns on April 25, 2012:
iam glad iread this it help me to under stand my dog better thanks iam going to try. that
DoctorDarts (author) on April 16, 2012:
Cheers Suhail. To be honest, I wouldn't give him the second offering after the walk; cements the simple idea that it's a case of eat it when it's there the first time, or don't get it. Thanks for the vote buddy.
Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent from Mississauga, ON on April 16, 2012:
So I admit that I have been plagued by this problem. My boy sometimes doesn't show any interest in the food. In the morning, I take away his food as you have advised and my wife serves the same at lunch, when he eats it. But for dinner, if he doesn't show interest, I take it away, and take him for his normal walk. When we come back, as a rule, I would offer the food once again. Normally he eats it. If he doesn't, I take it away for the night.
Great hub. Very informative. Voted up.
DoctorDarts (author) on April 16, 2012:
Thanks for the rating Georgina! It's only been up two minutes as well, thanks! :-)
Georgina Crawford from Dartmoor on April 16, 2012:
Great doggie psychology. We have a really fussy jack russel. I've printed this off for her to read (by the way, how did you know about the French underwear?). Rating up and following you.
Appetite Stimulants Conclusion
Appetite stimulants for dogs are a valuable tool if your dog experiences a sudden loss of appetite. Considering the fact that your dog’s good appetite is crucial for your dog’s health and overall a dog’s well-being, appetite it a sure and helpful indicator of your pet’s health.
Try some simple tricks to get your dog to eat, use treats or try another food. If that doesn’t work make sure to talk to your vet about different options to encourage your dogs eating.
After all, what we don’t see in our dog’s nutritional habits is seen in the long run, and has a long-lasting impact. Therefore, it’s imperative to ensure that your dog is getting the best possible supervising regarding nutrition.
Note: Barking Royalty isn’t a veterinary provider. Always relay any questions you have regarding your pet’s medical condition to your veterinarian, local animal hospital or other qualified veterinary provider.
Four Dog Odd Food Bowl Behaviors Explained
Let’s face it: sometimes dogs can act quite weird, and some of the oddest behaviors happen around the food bowl. Some dogs act scared of the food bowl, others will move the food bowl around and some others will nitpick a mouthful of kibble and then eat it off the floor. What’s up Rover? As with everything revolving around dog behavior, it’s difficult to find a black and white explanation for certain behaviors and we can only make assumptions, but by discovering a bit more about a dog’s eating habits, and through some trial and error attempts, we can perhaps get a tab bit closer to understanding the real potential cause for some of these dog behavior quirks.
My Dog Won't Eat: 5 Things to Help Even the Pickiest Pooch Love His Food
It may be your most simpatico relationship, but despite you and your pooch's uncanny ability to understand each other, there's no comprehending why he's gone off his food. It can be troubling and frustrating!
"'My dog won't eat and I don't know what to do,' is a really common complaint," says Sean Casey, the owner of both Sean Casey Animal Rescue, a New York City nonprofit small animal shelter, and The Hamilton Dog House, a Brooklyn-based pet store. You're not alone in wondering what, if anything, you should do different at chow time.
How do you know where to start? "There are many reasons why a dog might experience appetite loss, and it's natural for people who love them to worry, but most of the reasons dogs stop eating are correctable and not indicative of anything serious," says veterinarian Dr. Jill Elliott, a co-author of "Whole Health for Happy Dogs: A Natural Health Handbook for Dogs and Their Owners."
If "my dog won't eat" is your current mantra, these tips will come in handy:
Reasons Why Dogs Stop Eating
- Your Dog Might Be Sick
Monitor your dog for 24 to 48 hours to look for other symptoms and rule out illness first. When in doubt, always go to the vet, says Casey, whose animal rescue facility houses hundreds of homeless dogs annually.
"If a dog doesn't feel well, a full work-up, including blood and urine tests, will typically indicate the problem. If there's no medical issue, it's time to look for other reasons why the dog won't eat," adds Dr. Elliott.
Summer heat can make dogs lethargic and diminish their appetite. A dog that's cooped up all day in cold weather might experience the same issue if she's left in an overheated, stuffy environment for extended periods of time. Cooling your dog's surroundings and adding more fresh air and exercise to his routine may be all it takes to reinvigorate his appetite.
Dogs can get bored with their food just like people do, and others are picky by nature Before you cart out the free-range sausages and filet mignon, try some food modifications, such as those below.
Some dogs stop eating when their owners leave them for long stretches, be it for the workday or for a long weekend. Try being consistent with the dog sitter you use so your pup doesn't feel lonely and abandoned when you aren't home.
my dog won't eat
5 Tips for Getting Your Dog to Eat
- Modify Your Dog's Food
Your dog may just need a change of food to stir up her appetite again. Try these modifications suggested by Dr. Elliott:
- Mix Things Up
Mix a food your dog likes, such as cooked chicken, hamburger, scrambled eggs or cottage cheese, into his food. Try a dog food topper, such doggy gravy, as a flavor boost
- Change the Typeof Food
If you generally feed your dog wet food, switch to dry or vice versa. This can sometimes prompt a dog to eat again.
- Try Cat Food (yes, seriously!)
Believe it or not, adding cat food to dog food sometimes does the trick.
- Go Raw
"Raw food diets can be really effective for finicky eaters. It's like table scraps without the nutrients cooked out and no seasonings or spices added that dogs don't need," says Casey.
Dr. Elliott adds that these diets are not for every dog. "People have to be careful their dog is getting all the nutrients they need, like calcium." He recommends buying a complete raw food product or use recipes like those found in The Good Food Cookbook for Dogs by Donna Twitchell Roberts.
- Make Sure the Food Hasn't Gone Bad
You may have a hard time telling your dog's dry food is going bad, but he doesn't. Once opened, dry dog food starts to turn rancid in about a month unless kept airtight, and it can also acquire storage mites. Canned food goes bad within several days after opening, even in the fridge. Make sure what you offer your dog is fresh and appetizing!
- Check Food Temperature
Be sure to take note of food temperature. Lots of dogs love food straight from the can but won't touch it served cold. Try letting food get to room temperature, or carefully heat it in hot water or the microwave first.
- Be Mindful of a Senior Dog's Needs
Dogs over age 7 may have a diminished sense of smell, which affects their appetite. Try senior dog food formulas that are designed to appeal to older doggy noses.
- Give Plenty of Lovin'
Don't forget to pour on the love, as well as the food! Praising your pooch for eating helps, too. After all, pleasing you is important to your dog!
Time for your pup to chow down - bon appetit!
For more dog health concerns, read Why Do Dogs Eat Poop?
Corey Kagan Whelan is a freelance writer living in New York. She shares her life with two kids and two rescue dogs, both of whom eat too many table scraps (the dogs, not the kids).
Some finicky pups develop preferences for certain foods and refuse to eat anything else. When you give in and feed your puppy its desired food, you've taught it how to get its way. If your vet has confirmed that your puppy is otherwise healthy, practicing “tough puppy love” may convince it to eat your choice of food during scheduled feedings.
Stress can suppress your pet's desire to eat being left at the kennel or change in a owner's work schedule that results in separation anxiety can suppress the dog's appetite as well. Just the stress of household visitors could prompt anorexia. High outdoor temperatures can also kill a pet's appetite.
How to Get Your Dog to Take Its Medicine
Last Updated: March 10, 2021 References
This article was co-authored by Sophie Amphlett. Sophie Amphlett is a Professional Dog Trainer and Service Dog Coach with over five years of experience. Sophie graduated from CATCH Canine Trainers Academy’s Master Course with Distinction in 2016. She is also a Certified Trick Dog Instructor (CTDI) and a Certified Fun Scent Games Instructor (DN-FSG1). Sophie serves as a volunteer adoption counselor and dog walker for Adopt-A-Pet as well.
There are 24 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.
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Getting a dog to take its medicine can be a big challenge for pet owners. If you're having trouble getting your pup to swallow a pill, you might need to try hiding it in food, crushing up the tablet, or administering a liquid medicine. With a little patience, giving your pet its daily meds might just turn into no big deal!