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You likely don’t enjoy eating broccoli and other less-than-delicious foods. And your pup is no different!

Even if you buy your pooch premium, top-shelf dry kibble, they might prefer tasty treats more than anything. However, Milk Bones aren’t a suitable substitute for the proper nutrition they get from their daily food.

So, how can you make the food they’ve become bored with a bit more exciting?

At a Glance

  1. Try Experimenting With Some New Types of Dog Food
  2. Warm Up Your Dog’s Food
  3. Go for a Walk Before Mealtimes
  4. Maintain a Consistent Feeding Schedule
  5. Add a Topper to Their Bowl

Keep reading, and we’ll let you know more.

See Related: 6 Ways To Make Picking Up Dog Poop Not So Terrible

Why is My Dog Eating Treats but not Food?

Your canine companion is driven by his or her natural instincts. Even though domesticated dogs don’t need to hunt for their food anymore, this part of them isn’t gone forever!

Just like with humans, the appetite of dogs can vary from day to day. So, if your furry friend greatly prefers tasty treats over their daily dry diet, there could be a very real reason why.

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#1. They’re Bored With Their Regular Dog Food

If you ate the same bland dish day in and day out, odds are you’d get tired of it really fast. And the same goes for your pooch! After eating the same dog food for years, they likely are ready to switch it up.

The treats you occasionally feed your pup are the tastiest alternative to them. They’re special and delicious!

Instead of filling their food bowl with Milk Bones for all three meals, try buying a new brand of kibble or offering canned food. Another option is to feed your pup wet food for a while.

#2. Stress is Affecting Your Dog’s Appetite

At one point or another, you’ve likely felt stressed enough that you lost your appetite. If your household is undergoing some serious changes, your canine companion might feel anxious. Another cause of your pup’s stress could be separation anxiety.

#3. There Have Been Some Changes in Routine

Dogs thrive when they have a stable routine. Predictability is what keeps them content! Sudden changes to their daily schedule can confuse their appetite. If you abruptly move feeding times, it can throw off their inner clock.

#4. You’ve Been Giving Them Too Many Treats

It’s not a surprise that your furry friend loves dog treats. And as a loving pet parent, there’s nothing more adorable than seeing their happy dance when you feed them a biscuit!

However, too many treats can fill your pup’s stomach and spoil their appetite. After chomping down on a few biscuits, your pup may not be hungry enough to eat when meal times roll around.

If this sounds like the case, try to cut back on the amount of treats you give your pooch, even if they turn on those sad puppy dog eyes. The same goes for too much human food – if you’re regularly tossing your dog table scraps, then they’re more likely to turn their nose up at dry kibble.

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#5. There’s an Underlying Health Problem

There are a few medical reasons why dogs refuse to eat food at times. It could be because they’re suffering from partial anorexia, where they will only eat something if it’s deemed “special.”

Dental issues like gingivitis or tooth decay could be making it painful for your pup to chew. There are also potential digestive problems causing discomfort. It could just be an upset stomach, or there’s a chance it’s a sign of something more serious like gastrointestinal disease or pancreatic cancer (though it’s not likely.)

There could be another serious illness at play that is making your pup uninterested in eating. Inflammatory diseases, neurological diseases, or airway and lung diseases could lead to a decreased appetite.

Should I Take My Dog’s Food Away if He Doesn’t Eat It?

It’s not a good idea to leave out your pup’s food all day if he decides he’s not hungry. If he doesn’t start eating within 10 minutes, take the food away – don’t leave it out for him to graze on! This will help solidify the idea of set meal times.

Ideally, this will give your pooch no choice but to eat their food while it’s out.

How to Get Your Pup to Eat Food Again

Understanding why your furry friend stopped eating his normal dog food is only part of it. It’s time to fix your dog’s eating habits!

It’s always a good idea to visit your vet to rule out any underlying health conditions. That way, you can be sure that your pooch is completely healthy and just being a little stubborn.

Of course, you can’t have a sit-down conversation with your pup and explain to them in detail why they need to eat their dog food. So, you need to rely on other methods to get them interested in their regular food again.

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Bonus: Why Does My Dog Keep Licking Me?

#1. Try Experimenting With Some New Types of Dog Food

The odds are that your pooch is sick and tired of their regular food. Puppy biscuits and treats give them the varied flavors they’re searching for. However, you can’t fill their bowl with Milk Bones instead of nutrient-rich dog foods.

That means you need to find other ways to spice up their diet!

Start by swapping your over-used dry kibble for a different brand. Maybe that will be enough for your pooch.

If that doesn’t cut it, it might be time to try feeding your pup canned food. Alternatively, you can mix wet and dry food together. Another popular choice among pet parents is to add water or chicken broth to their regular dry food for some new flavor and texture.

If you’re ready to invest a bit more time into your pup’s regular feeding schedule, you can try giving them human food. If your pup seems sick, you can try giving it boiled chicken and rice. Make sure the chicken is skinless and boneless.

#2. Warm Up Your Pup’s Food

There’s nothing more soothing than a nice, warm meal. Heating your pup’s food can make a world of difference! Just add a tablespoon of warm water and pop the bowl in the microwave for a bit (make sure it’s a microwave-safe bowl before you do so.)

Check that the temperature isn’t too hot before giving it to your canine companion.

#3. Go for a Walk Before Mealtimes

Some exercise can help stimulate the digestive system and get your dog interested in eating. If you take a walk right before feeding them, they’re more likely to gobble down their food!

To make your dog walks a bit more enjoyable, hire a team of pet waste removers. They will keep your yard feces-free, so you never have to worry about stepping in piles of poo when you walk outside. You should spend your time looking after your pup’s health, not tending to their bowel movements!

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#4. Maintain a Consistent Feeding Schedule

As we said, a consistent routine is key. Especially if your household is undergoing some changes (moving, having a new baby, etc.), you need to maintain a solid feeding schedule. This will keep your dog happy, relieve stress, and ensure they eat their food.

Your pup should have two to three meals each day. Give your pup their food at a predetermined time, and stick to that schedule. If your pooch doesn’t start to pick at their food within 10 minutes, take the bowl back.

#5. Add a Topper to Their Bowl

A bland bowl of dog kibble is boring. If your canine isn’t interested in eating, sometimes all it takes is a dash of flavor.

Some pet parents try mixing in a touch of human food to entice their canine companion. Add a pinch of boiled chicken, butternut squash, fish, sweet potatoes, or pumpkin to the top of their bowl. Be sure to not include any ingredients that could be harmful to your pooch, like garlic or onion.

Final Thoughts

It’s time to get your pup’s eating habits back on track. If they’ve been turning up their nose to their regular dry kibble, now you know why (and how to get them eating again!)

Keep Reading: What Kind Of Dog Are You? Your 2024 Dog Personality Assessment

Scoop Masters offers professional dog waste removal services in California, Texas, Florida, and Tennessee. Since 1988, we’ve saved dog owners across the country from the overly unpleasant task of picking up after their pets. Each poopy project we complete gives them the freedom, convenience, and sanitation they deserve! Contact us for a free quote, or simply stock up on enough dog poop bags to keep your pet’s number twos at bay. To stay in the loop, follow up on Facebook and Twitter/X. If your dog can poop it, we can scoop it!

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