Feeding time for most dogs is a great highlight of their day and one that seldom causes us concern.
I know from my experience with my 4 Greyhounds I have never had to ask the question Why Is My Dog Not Eating?
However, although it is one of our dog’s most elemental instincts sometimes placing a bowl of food on the floor and expecting our pooch to hoover it all up simply doesn’t work.
From having my dogs I have always given them food at a regular controlled time. Mealtime, if you like.
I do know that some people fill bowls of food and just leave them there all day and If that works for them then that is fine.
I have never really liked that idea as it sends the wrong sort of message to a dog. Plus from a hygiene point of view, It’s not a great way to behave toward our dog as bugs and other critters can have a nibble of the food too and if you have lived in rural areas, sometimes bigger animals take a fancy to it too.
Leaving food exposed all day is not best practice and it is something that should be avoided.
What Should I Do If My Dog Is Not Eating?
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You have to ask yourselves some questions here. Firstly, do you think your dog is unwell?
If for any reason you do think that your dog is unwell then it is vital that you follow your own gut instinct.
Good indicators can be has your dog lost weight or is losing weight recently?
Are they urinating more than usual?
Are they drinking a lot more than usual?
Is it possible they have a broken tooth or are there any signs of blood in their saliva?
Have you noticed a bad smell from their mouths? This can be a sign of an oral illness either in the mouth or gut?
If you notice anything like this with your dog then you must quickly as all of these issues are indicators of poor dog health.
Generally, you will know your own dog better than anyone else so if you spot something or sense something is not quite right with them, then reading this article is an absolute waste of time.
You need to get your dog to a Vet and you need to do that NOW.
Assuming that our dog is physically well, then we have to look at other factors with fussy eaters.
Have You Changed Your Dog’s Food?
If so, then that may be the answer. They may not like it so change it back.
Have you noticed anything different in their poop?
I know it’s not a pleasant thing but you should always be checking the stools daily to see what the consistency is and color and I know you pick up their poop on walks so there really is no excuse.
Again, if you notice anything unusual, then a trip to the vet is needed.
It’s really good for your dog to have scheduled meal times. Along with scheduled walks and play, dogs thrive on routine and food should be no different.
Other factors we need to consider are as follows:
Is Your Dog Hungry?
It may be that they are simply not that hungry when you first put down their bowl of food. If this is the case, leave it for around 20 minutes and then put in the fridge or cover it and take it away from the usual feed spot.
Leave a for a few hours and then try it again and see if your dog is hungry by then.
Exercise helps and a decent walk or play will soon boost a dog’s appetite and you can try this approach.
Go Easy on the Treats.
Try to avoid giving your dog too many treats. Treats can easily make your dog more lazy about their food and if you want them to eat a decent balanced diet then keep treats to a minimum.
You want your dog to eat good wholesome food and if they get to understand that a tasty treat is an alternative, they will soon purposely avoid the real food and go for the “candy”
It’s a bit like a child refusing its green vegetables by saying “I am not hungry” but then gobbling down Chocolate pudding!
We want to avoid this because as well as being intelligent, dogs are crafty too!
Try To Vary The Food As Well
Different flavors of the same food can be a great way to vary our dog’s diet. For instance, many food manufacturers will make different flavors of foods of the same substance for that very reason.
Most of my dogs have absolutely loved the beef flavor and also the chicken.
I tend to stick with the same three or four flavors and regularly change it around to give that bit of variety for my dog. It is exactly the same food but it makes it more interesting at mealtime for him.
Adding in a few vegetables is always a great idea too.
I regularly add some rice, beans, carrots and things like broccoli too as it is good for our dogs to have different textures and these slight changes in the bowl can be interesting for them too.
As a slightly last resort, it can be beneficial at times to hand feed your dog if you really want to make sure that they are getting some really decent food.
A couple of cooked chicken breasts or some beef always goes down well with my dog and although it can be quite expensive sometimes, it’s also good to know from my perspective that at least my dog is getting some good protein daily.
If you do decide to change your dog’s food as they don’t seem to enjoy it as much, asking a simple question at your food suppliers can sometimes offer up a similar alternative with a different texture or flavor and it’s always worthwhile experimenting a bit with different suppliers too.