What to do when our dogs won’t eat their food | TeamDogs

What to do when our dogs won’t eat their food

Are they being picky or is there something wrong?

Danielle Elton

Posted 4 months ago

Our dogs love their food, and they seem to love ours too. Getting a dog means never eating a meal in peace again.

But sometimes, they can be fussy little things. Refusing to eat or turning their nose up to what we place in their bowl is not uncommon. 

And while our dogs being off their food can be cause for concern, it could also just be their way of trying to get their paws on something a little tastier.

So, what do we do when our dogs refuse to eat what we feed them?

We spoke to Dr Joe Inglis, veterinary surgeon, pet nutrition expert and founder of VetChef, for his advice.

And what he advised was to simply give in to their fussiness by changing up their diet. After all, we don’t want our beloved pets to go hungry.

Joe said: "You can approach this in two ways - either try to win the battle of wills with your dog by refusing to give in to their fussiness and hoping they will eventually give in when they are hungry enough. 

“Or, more realistically, you can try changing their diet to find a type and flavour of food that they will eat and enjoy. 

"Generally speaking, moving away from highly processed foods such as dry kibbles to fresh foods will have a dramatic effect on a dog's appetite, so trying some homemade recipes or good quality wet foods is a great way to go. “

If you’d prefer to persevere with their usual food, Joe also had some words of advice on how you can make it seem more appealing.

He said: "There are other tricks you can try, such as warming food up to body temperature before feeding or adding small amounts of tasty ingredients such as yeast extract (Marmite) or gravy to their food. 

“Just be aware that these ingredients can contain a lot of salt so it is best to avoid giving them this every day or in large quantities."

When should I be worried?

Our dogs being off their food isn’t always a result of them being picky. It could be a sign that something is wrong and that we need to seek professional help.

A loss of appetite could be due to dental problems, pain, stress, infection or a serious illness or disease.

Other symptoms that could be a cause for concern include:

  • Weight loss
  • Lethargic
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Jaundice

You know your dog better than anyone else so if they’re acting out of character or your instincts are telling you that something is wrong, it’s always best to speak to your vet.

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