It can be concerning when your dog isn’t eating the right amount. Particularly if they seem to be losing weight. However, there are some tricks you can try to increase your dog’s appetite and ensure that they are eating a healthy quantity each day.
Take Them On A Walk
Not all dogs are labs – who will typically eat anything, anytime you put it in front of them – and there are certain breeds who want some exercise before they are willing to eat. Indeed, a dog that is not eating may simply not feel the need. You’ll have to tire them out before dinner time to get them to chomp down.
Some dogs are constantly fascinated with what’s going on around them. As such, they can quickly get distracted at dinner time and this will mean they forget all about their food. They could be more interested in the conversation that’s going on between family members, particularly if the word ‘walk’ is mentioned. That’s why you should consider moving their feeding area to a quieter spot in the house where they will be able to concentrate.
In contrast, other dogs see mealtime as a social activity. They just want someone around them, perhaps sitting next to them before they are ready to eat. At the very least they might want you close by and this can be a safety issue with some dogs feeling vulnerable while they are eating.
Change Their Food
Dogs can be quite fussy eaters and it’s possible that they just don’t like the way the food that you have purchased tastes. Or, they may not like the texture. Some dogs will prefer the best wet dog food over dry dog food specifically for this reason. As well as this, it’s worth noting a dog will not eat food they know is making them unwell. If this is the case, it’s possible that your dog is allergic to the food that you have purchased.
It’s worth exploring a few different brands and flavours to find the right fit for your dog.
Change Their Habits
Some dogs do become grazers. This will be the case if you leave the food out through the day. If this is the case, dogs will eat whenever they feel like it rather than at set times. If you want to correct this issue and ensure they are eating more regularly, make sure you put the food bowl out of sight if the dog refuses to eat. You should only put the food back when the dog comes to you asking for their food and ideally at the time when you want to feed them each day.
Make It Fun
Finally, if a dog is not interested in eating, you can consider making it a game. You can hide the food in certain toys or get dog bowls that make it more entertaining by separating the food into sections. This is just a behavioural quirk and some dogs do like to be amused at dinner time.