It is not uncommon for dogs to go through phases where they start to ignore their main kibble. Although they won’t eat food, they will still gobble down treats. Food pickiness in dogs can be a familiar problem for some owners.
Whilst this can be frustrating, there are a few ways you can address the problem. Here are some reasons why your dog may turn up his nose at his main food:
They Feel Unwell
The first thing you should check is if your dog is feeling ill. Many illnesses can lead to a decrease in appetite in dogs, like a simple upset tummy to more serious conditions like dental problems that cause pain when chewing. If he starts acting unusually disinterested in food, especially if it lasts for over a day or two, it may be time to bring your furry pal to the vet.
The Food Is Not to Their Tastes
Contrary to popular belief, dogs don’t always like all foods equally. They can behave a lot like toddlers; when they dislike the taste of their food, they can go on a hunger strike until you pull out the treats or something tastier.
If this is a reaction to a new brand of kibble, your dog may simply not like the taste. Luckily, this can be easily solved by changing to a different brand or adding toppers such as bone broths or ground chicken to enhance the aroma of the food.
They are Stressed or Depressed
Much like us, dogs can also go through bouts of mental turmoil such as stress, anxiety, and depression. Your dog may be feeling too anxious to eat when there is a nearby stressor, such as a storm, or maybe suffering from separation anxiety. These can manifest in keyed-up behaviors like pacing, nervous whining, and excessive grooming.
Alternatively, your dog may be feeling a little down in the dumps, which is generally more prevalent among older dogs. To ease these negative feelings, it may be a good idea to spend more time with your dog. Buckle that collar on and take your dog for a long walk or increase playtime with him for additional mental stimulation.
Their Food Has Expired
All dog food will go bad after a while, and you may not have realized that the kibble you are giving your dog has gone past its shelf life. Spoiled food is unsafe for your dog and may cause an upset tummy or other complications if ingested. Be sure to always check the best-by date, or for any foul smells or mold on your dog’s kibble before giving it to him.
If your dog is feeling sick after consuming expired food, do bring him to the vet as soon as possible.
Of course, this list is not exhaustive. Whilst these are common explanations for dogs refusing their food, there are many other reasons as well. If you are ever uncertain of your dog’s health, we recommend paying a visit to the vet to check for underlying conditions and suggestions to increase your dog’s appetite.