Some dogs go through a stage where all of a sudden they seem really unsure about eating, it happens, but are they being fussy eaters? This is a unsciency personal view based on experience.
Often this happens when you have introduced a lot of new meats, all at the same time, or when you dump the small introductions and give a whole meal of something totally new or different.
If this happens you have to consider the following things
- is this a sudden change?
- have you checked the teeth are they all OK?
- is your dog healthy?
- how has the poo been?
- has the routine in the house changed or is there tension?
- have you dropped the food bowl or has the bowl been “noisy” < this can spook dogs.
- are you starting to to stress about the not eating – as this might be being transferred to your dog making him/her reluctant to eat…
- if it’s a girly, is she hormonal or due?
- is the food good and fresh, have you had issue with it in the past?
- is this just with one particular food (as this could indicate an allergy – often happens with things like chicken – so try turkey instead) If your dog keeps refusing ONE particular meat consider it might be because he/she knows it’s no good for them and might be self selecting.
- have you changed supplier?
- is this a new food?
What to do?
Some dogs need a little persuasion, as it’s a little like your mum or dad deciding Cesar Salads (with feta! yikes! what could be worse) from now on are better for you then MacDonalds happy meals. I hated peas for years but still had to eat them!!! And it’s done me no harm…. mmmm I think!
But you have 2 ways of going about it… but remember it’s actually OK! for a dog to go without food for a day or 2 – it not going to harm them, and a lot of fussy behaviour is learned behaviour.
revert to the food that is most enjoyed for a few days and add some luke warm bone broth, slowly start mixing new things in over a period of time.
Option 2 and my preferred option
In my house I know the food I give is good and has no issues – my 3 dogs can decide for themselves if they want to eat it or not – if they don’t eat it within 10 minutes that’s it, I pick up the food, till next dinner time, I am after all not a restaurant and unfortunately for them – I do know what is good for them.
If she/he is a healthy dog she/he won’t starve herself but equally he/she needs to realise you are not a restaurant with a menu and you want to avoid teaching him/her that if food is refused you will present him/her with another option.
Let her/her go without food, no treats either, until she/he realises the choice is their own! Equally important to remember is that many raw feeders fast their dogs so the idea of not eating for 24 -48hr shouldn’t really stress anyone out, quite a few people will even say it has great benefits.
If you are starting to flash fry, cook, present loads of different new options in the hope your dog will eat, you are kind of (sorry) making a bit of a rod for your own back. Remember your name is not Gordon Ramsey, neither should you fuss or get stressed with food, as before you know it your dog will start feeling stressed too about food and not know why, but making the whole business of eating tense and there you have it a vicious circle of not eating and stress …
If your dog is under the weather…
If your dog is under the weather, don’t force the food issue, dogs do self fast. What can help though, as you do need to keep the dog hydrated, is to serve some luke warm bone broth with some green tripe – kind of super doggy smelly soup. Few can resist.