Doesn't your dog eat dry food? Before doing anything else, you need to take him to the vet for an examination, as this rejection may indicate a more serious problem. If he's just used to a more humid kibble, you should take some steps to change your pet's eating habits, buying high quality dry products, maintaining a feeding routine and adjusting it over time.
Method 1 of 3: Analyzing the Dog's Reason for Not Eating Dry Dog Food
Step 1. Take the dog to the vet
There are two main reasons that may be causing him to reject food: the first is some disease, while the second is the habit of feeding on wet food or human food. To discover the cause of such behavior, the ideal is to take him to the veterinarian so that the professional can examine him.
When the dog's health is good, he is used to wet rations or human food. In this case, it will be necessary to adopt some measures to change this custom
Step 2. Think about when this behavior started and report it to the veterinarian
Sick dogs may start rejecting food overnight, realizing that they only eat some of the kibble or not at all. He may be nauseous or simply lost his appetite.
Heart, kidney or liver disorders, in addition to digestive problems, teeth or tumors can lead to this behavior in dogs
Step 3. Know that many problems can result from the habit of choosing the type of food
Even in healthy dogs, the habit of rejecting certain rations can lead to other health disorders and behavioral difficulties, which are mild, serious or even put the pet's life at risk. Some of them are:
- Nutrient deficiency.
- Difficulty treating a chronic illness at later stages of life.
- Behavioral problems, such as being “poor”.
Method 2 of 3: Adjusting Dog Feeding
Step 1. Understand the importance of providing the animal with quality feed
Dog food is formulated to meet all the nutritional needs of dogs, which are different from those of humans in terms of fat, proteins and especially minerals and vitamins. They don't get sustenance solely through food for humans.
- Dry food helps remove bacteria and tartar that accumulate on your dog's teeth every day.
- Feed nutrients, such as calcium, develop and strengthen the pet's teeth and bones.
Step 2. Meat should always be the main ingredient in the dog's diet
The dry ration must have it in the constitution; review the packages of some brands. If meat (by-products won't do) is the first (or is in the top three) ingredient, the flavor will likely be more palatable to the dog.
Avoid feeds that list corn as the main ingredient
Step 3. Adjust the dog's feed slowly
When you want to change feed brands, start by mixing a small amount of the new food with the old one; for a week or two, feed more and more of the new ration and less of the old one until the animal fully gets used to eating only the new one.
Step 4. Mix wet feed with food for humans
Dogs "addicted" to food for humans can initiate the "conversion" to dry food by giving wet that is the same brand you plan to give. Mix some of the wet kibble with human food he likes; later, reduce the amount of the latter, giving more and more wet feed for a week or two, until he gets used to eating only feed, without human food.
When the dog is already eating wet food, start mixing it with the dry form for two weeks. Gradually reduce the amount of wet food until he gets used to only dry food
Method 3 of 3: Trying Other Strategies
Step 1. Give some human food to keep the puppy happy
If he can't get rid of the habit of eating this type of food, add a small amount of broth (it can be heated) or a spoonful of mashed banana or pumpkin along with the dry kibble. Curd cheese or a small piece of hard-boiled egg are also good options, but remember that it can't be more than 10% of the pet's daily food.
Step 2. Cut out snacks
While you're making the switch to dry food, stop petting the dog and allow him only two meals until he gets used to dry food on a regular basis. At this point, you can go back to giving treats again, but never give food to humans again, or he could have a "relapse".
It is very important to be consistent in your dog's diet. Everyone who lives and regularly attends your house needs to be aware of the rules, not breaking them
Step 3. Adopt a time limit for meals
Impose a regular schedule for feeding the pet, removing the dish as soon as time runs out; that way he will try to eat everything in the meantime. The ideal is to place the dish always at the same time every day, leaving it for 15 minutes for the dog to eat; once this period has passed, pick up the food and dispose of the leftovers. 12 hours later, give another meal and follow the same steps, not giving the animal anything to eat between the times of the two meals.
If the dog continues to refuse food after two days, give him some of the food he is used to eating (about half the normal amount). Follow the same method again. Still, to increase the possibility of him eating, you can put in very little human food (no more than 10%)
Step 4. Feed him with your hands
Sit next to the animal and put a few pieces of food in your hand and offer it to the dog to see if he will eat. If he is used to it, he will be able to accept it and eat from your hand.
- You can add a little chicken stock (less than ¼ cup) to the dry food to make it more palatable to the dog. It has little sodium.
- It may be necessary to experiment with a few brands of dry food to find one that suits your pet. Buy a small sachet so you don't lose a lot of money if the animal doesn't like it.
- If the dog keeps asking for food while you're having a meal, put him in another room in the house and don't feel sorry for him.
- Any change in nutrition should be gradual. Making this sudden change can irritate the animal's stomach, causing vomiting and diarrhea.
- When you notice that the dog is rejecting the kibble and only wants certain types of food for more than two days, contact a veterinarian. He might be sick.