Dogs have a reputation for always being hungry, so when your dog won’t eat, you may feel concerned. Fortunately, a dog’s refusal to eat doesn’t have to mean that he or she has a serious medical issue. Simply changing feeding habits or switching foods may be enough to kick your pup’s appetite into gear. If your dog is not eating, take him or her to the veterinarian to rule out any potential medical issues. When the vet gives the all clear, follow these steps to convince your dog to start eating.
Cut Back on the Treats
Some dogs refuse to eat because they are already full from the treats that they’ve had. You may not think that you’re giving your dog a lot of treats, but frequently, multiple people in a household give a few treats to the dog each, adding up to a large number of total treats in a day. To see if treats are an issue, pre-bag a set number of treats per day, and make sure everyone knows to only give the portioned amounts to the dog. If your dog starts eating, you may have been inadvertently overfeeding with excess treats.
Try Different Foods
Some dogs are surprisingly picky eaters, and they may refuse to eat because they simply don’t like the food. If your dog isn’t eating, try switching to a different food with a different base ingredient, such beef-based food if the food you’re currently using is made with chicken. Just remember to transition to a new food slowly, so your dog doesn’t experience stomach upset.
Use Feeding Toys
Feeding toys can be filled with kibble. As your dog plays with the toy, it slowly releases food. This can be a great way to get your dog to eat if he or she simply doesn’t like to hang out in front of the food bowl.
At Horizon Animal Hospital, we can help you figure out the cause of your dog’s lost appetite. We also provide extensive preventive and acute care for all of your family’s pets. Make an appointment at our Scottsdale animal hospital by calling (480) 800-4559.