Why the dog does not want to eat dry food

Dog Food

Prepared foods are the most convenient choice for owners. They do not take time to stand behind the stove, are long stored, easy to transport, and have a balanced composition adapted to the needs of specific groups of animals. Despite this, the first introduction to “breadcrumbs” does not always go smoothly. If your dog doesn’t eat dry food, don’t give up prematurely and try to find out the reason for his displeasure.

Why does a pet refuse dry food?

The reasons for refusal can be behavioral or pathological. The latter include various diseases that cause loss of appetite and prolonged stress.

Why the dog does not want to eat dry food

Unusual after natural foods or canned foods

Natural foods, moist canned foods, and meat pieces in jelly from spiders differ from dry pellets by having a more pronounced taste, smell, and softer consistency. In this case, the refusal can be explained not only by the lack of habit but also by the disorder of the stool due to too abrupt transition to a new type of food.

TIP! The most finicky four-legged dogs are representatives of decorative breeds. These dogs are also characterized by more sensitive digestion.

Doesn’t like the taste or smell.

The problem with the refusal of food can also arise if the animal has been eating “dry” for a long time. In this case, the cause of discontent is usually a new brand of food. The taste and smell of pellets from different manufacturers vary greatly.

Equally important is the meat used in the composition. Over time, your dog may become bored with chicken or turkey, so fish, rabbit, or lamb should be offered as an alternative.

TIP! Pay attention to the country of manufacture. If it changes, the quality of the same feed often deteriorates.

The disease that causes loss of appetite

Refusal to eat during puberty and heat is perfectly natural, but in the absence of these factors, it is better to examine your pet for alarming symptoms:

  • Whining while eating;
  • Bleeding gums;
  • fever;
  • shortness of breath and tachycardia;
  • Vomiting and diarrhea;
  • the white plaque on the tongue and a putrid odor from the mouth;
  • redness and swelling of the mucous membranes of the mouth.

If you notice the malaise, be sure to contact your veterinarian. A timely diagnosis will help avoid complications and speed up the recovery process.


Another common cause is nervous tension. Stressed pets, like humans, experience either a terrible gorging or a complete loss of appetite. It is essential to find an irritant affecting the pet in both cases. If his emotional and physiological state is critical, the veterinarian may prescribe sedatives as treatment.

Why the dog does not want to eat dry food

Doesn’t have time to get hungry

If an animal consumes more than it consumes, its appetite will be reduced. This is a protective reaction of the body, preventing fat gain.

First, try to figure out where you made a mistake: in calculating daily calories or the rate of physical activity. After that, you will either have to reduce your portions or increase the length and intensity of your walks.

Spoiled food

Hunting dogs are mainly prone to picking up fallen and other questionable food. Other animals are more selective, so expiration or storage violations can seriously affect their appetite.

After opening the package, the product loses its smell and taste after about one month. If your pet does not eat the pellets within this time frame, replace his food with a smaller weight.

Most often, animals refuse to eat “breadcrumbs” bought on weight. This storage method not only wears out the smell and taste but also increases the likelihood of insect and rodent insemination by bacteria and viruses.

What to do if your dog won’t eat his dry food

If he won’t eat it, find out why and take action. As soon as you’re sure there are no health issues, portion sizes, activity levels, or quality problems, try to find a more appealing replacement and make a gradual transition to the new food.

Why the dog does not want to eat dry food

Choose a product she’ll like

Don’t skimp on quality. Budget economy products have poor composition and low calories. Despite the low cost of one packet, the pet will need a much larger volume of satiety than feeding a higher class of food.

When choosing crunches, look no lower than the premium range, but don’t jump at the chance to buy the most expensive holistic. Despite the high content of helpful animal proteins for dogs, such food is contraindicated in cases of kidney disease. If you are not sure about your pet’s health, settling for the medium price segment is better.

The following vital point is the choice of flavor. Here it is recommended to arrange an actual tasting by taking a few small packs to try. If you find the perfect taste and flavor, you will be accustomed to dry feeding much faster.

The last thing you need to look at is the intended use of the food. At the pet store, you can select food according to age and size and according to his physiological condition: the type of illness he has, pregnancy, lactation, and castration.

The gradual transition from the previous type of diet

The principle of gradualness is a vital framework to follow when changing any habitual diet. Transitioning too quickly is dangerous for the gastrointestinal tract and can result in prolonged stool disruption or vomiting.

When switching from one type of feeding to another, use the following formula:

  1. First 4 days – 75% straight and 25% dry;
  2. Days 5-9: 50% of each;
  3. Day 9-14 – 25% “straight” and 75% “dry”;
  4. Day 14 and beyond – 100% “dry”.
Why the dog does not want to eat dry food

Note that the gradual transition is essential when feeding “straight” and wet food. If you change the manufacturer or just the taste within one brand, then in these cases, the animal’s stomach also needs an adaptation lasting for two weeks.

TIP! At first, soak the pellets in kefir, meat broth, or liquid from wet canned food to avoid rejection due to unfamiliar taste and consistency.

Common Mistakes of Owners

Appetite problems in four-legged pets are often the fault of their owners. The most common mistakes include the following:

Occasional handouts from the table. Mixed metals are not only dangerous to health but also fraught with manipulation. If at least one family member can’t resist the dog’s pitying stare, he will refuse food until victorious, knowing that he will get something tastier anyway. Such begging should be ignored by getting cohesion among all household members.

Too frequent food encouragement. Giving out “goodies” for performing commands is the most effective motivation, but it should be adhered to only in the initial stages. Otherwise, the pet will wait for the tidbit until the victory, as in the situation above.

Prolonged soaking of pellets in a meat broth and sour-milk products. Only four days are enough to get used to the new smell and consistency. After that, shots should be given dry.

Lack of a strict feeding regimen. Unequal intervals are fraught with alternating feelings of heaviness and intense hunger. Try to give food simultaneously, so your dog gets hungry but doesn’t suffer from a clumpy stomach.

They are leaving a bowl of under-eaten food. Unlike natural foods, dry food doesn’t spoil after a couple of hours at room temperature. Despite this, it is still recommended to remove the uneaten portion. The occasional lack of a bowl will positively affect appetite by working on the instinct your dog inherited from his ancestors. It makes wild dogs prefer to eat their prey right away, knowing they may stay hungry for days afterward.

Why the dog does not want to eat dry food

Punishment for refusing to eat. This response is completely ineffective and can cause fear of the feeder and the owner.

Improperly chosen place to feed. Avoid areas that are too noisy and passable. The animal is most vulnerable at eating, so it needs to feel safe and not distracted by outside stimuli.

Little activity. Be guided by breed. Hunting dogs and large breeds require long walks and playful activities. Reschedule his food intake until after he returns from his walk to make it more appealing.

While instructive starvation may be effective, try not to overdo it. Prolonged refusal of food is dangerous to health. The recommended limit for adult pets is 2-3 days and only one day for puppies.


If your pet does not eat dry food – do not rush to scold him and leave him hungry. Remember that the lack of appetite can be explained by pathology requiring treatment in some cases. After recovery, the problem often resolves itself, and in other situations – by eliminating the provocative factors affecting appetite.

The article is advisory in nature!

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