Having a finicky fur child is a reality for many pet parents. It can be a stressful struggle day in and day out. While you obviously want your dog to be getting the proper nutrition, at the end of the day, you can’t force them to eat. No need to fret anymore – there are many things that can help get your dog to eat!
Here’s 11 tips for how to get your dog to eat for dogs dealing with dog hyporexia (reduced eating) and anorexia (not eating at all):
1. Stick to a schedule – many dogs get use to a routine so serve their meals at the same time every day. Being on a routine not only trains your pet on when to expect food, but it’s also more likely that your dog will be hungrier at these same times.
2. 30 minute rule – only let the food be served/sitting out for 30 minutes before taking it away. Often times, allowing the food to sit out for a while and allowing your dog to graze can contribute and encourage picky eating behavior. Your dog will quickly learn they need to eat it or lose it.
3. Go raw – Sometimes there is only so much that a schedule and a timeline can do. Our frozen raw and freeze dried patties can often be a HUGE game changer for pets and pet parents. These options bring more meat and more flavor to mealtime which dogs and cats go crazy for! Our raw coated kibble is an option that works for many pet parents too.
4. Top it – If you’re not ready to completely change your dog’s diet, try topping what you’re feeding with our Meal Mixers or another topper, like bone broth, to switch it up and bring something different to their bowl. Even adding warm water can bring out the aroma of your dog’s food and encourage them to eat.
5. Switch it up – imagine eating chicken every single day. It’s not a stretch to imagine that it might get a little boring for your dog. If there are no food allergies or sensitivities, we recommend regularly rotating recipes.
6. Exercise before meals – a quick bout of exercise (whether a game of fetch or a brisk 30 minute walk) before mealtime can stimulate your dog’s metabolism and hunger. We recommend giving your pet a chance to cool down before eating right away, if your dog is susceptible to bloat we recommend a longer cool down period of 45 minutes before eating.
7. Play favorites – if your dog has a favorite human, have that person serve the meals.
8. New dish – trying a different style bowl or an elevated bowl can impact eating for some dogs.
9. Location, location, location – try a different location when it comes to feeding times. This can be particularly impactful if you have more than one dog; be sure to feed each dog in a different location that is distinctly their’s.
10. Don’t treat it – too many treats can cause a lack of hunger or excitement for mealtime. Reduce or completely cut out treats to see if this can help solve the problem.
11. Something more serious – dental or medical issues can cause your dog to not want to eat or have a loss in appetite. Check your dog’s mouth for obvious issues. If none of these tips have proved helpful or relevant for your dog it’s time to consult your vet as loss of appetite can be a sign your dog has a more serious medical condition.
Have any other tips? Share them with us and we’ll add them to this list!
Think your food critic is ready to turn into a food hound? Join the Clean Bowl Club and Save $5 off our dog food! Our food is great at winning over picky eaters!
*If continued non-eating is going on with your dog we always recommend consulting your vet. Our information comes from consultation with our food science experts and veterinarians. For each dog we always recommend consulting with that dog’s veterinarian as they are most likely to know the needs for that particular dog.