it’s really stressful to have a dog that will not eat.

Many, many owners contact us on this subject and understandably it causes them a lot of sleepless nights. The important thing to remember is that a healthy dog will not starve itself!

It is actually quite common for dogs to periodically  go off their food, its a total myth that dogs will eat anything. However it is worrying when your pup or pooch suddenly starts turning their nose up at their food.

so why do they do it?

Here’s some of the common reasons why it can happen:

is the dog teething?

It is common for puppies to suddenly go off their food during teething, just like little humans do.   Teething can be painful so avoid feeding bone and stick to mince whilst this is happening.  To give relief try filling a Kong with green lamb tripe and then freezing it.  Give frozen and the coldness will give relief to the gums and you’ll find that pup will then eat the tripe.

is it hormones?

As female dogs approach their first season they can suddenly go off their food, or only want to eat bones.  I can’t give you a scientific reason for this, but in my experience many bitches suddenly prefer bone during their season.  Just continue to offer food at meal times as normal. Vary the protein type as much as possible.

is it stress?

Sometimes it can be a vicious circle, your dog stops eating and then the dog picks up on the stress you feel every meal time hoping your dog will eat.  Dogs can be extremely sensitive and if there is any stress or tension in the household however small, e.g. house-move, bereavement,  change of routine, holidays, job change  etc all of these things can cause your dog to feel stress and to go off their food.

are you being a dog-slave?

Who is in charge?  Do you lift up the bowl after 10 mins and give nothing until the next mealtime? Or has your dog trained you so well that you give in to the woeful eyes that follow you wherever you go and feed something extra yummy, thereby rewarding the behaviour. Ban all treats, and don’t give any other food until the next meal.  That goes for any kids in the household too! You can take that either way!

are you overfeeding?

It is very easy to overfeed your dog especially when raw feeding as it looks so little in the bowl.  If you overfeed then your dog will probably self regulate and so may skip a meal.  Our EASY portions help avoid this happening as you know exactly how much you are putting in the bowl for each meal.  Remember dogs require less energy in warmer months and will often self regulate when it is hot.

is it an allergy?

Sometimes dogs do know what is best for them.  If you are feeding a grain based diet your dog may well be telling you to stop. The additives and preservatives in a processed diet can cause your dog low grade irritations and allergy symptoms.

is it boredom?

Dogs like variety and if you’re feeding the same protein day after day it can cause a dog to say no.  Try and provide as much variety in the bowl to keep mealtimes interesting.

remember…

it will not harm your dog to fast a meal now and again as long as your dog is healthy, bright and pooing normally then all is well.   If your dog appears dull and is losing weight then you would be wise to consult with your vet.

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