What to Do If Your Dog Won’t Eat His Food But Will Eat Treats
Do you have a picky eater on your hands? Well, you are not alone. A lot of owners worry about how they’re going to provide proper nutrition, especially when their pooch won’t eat dog food but will eat treats. Yes, most treats are composed of protein, carbohydrates, fat, and fiber, but they are simply not enough to deliver nourishment that’s complete and balanced.
What Causes Loss of Appetite in Dogs?
Make sure that your dog is not sick, first of all. There are plenty of diseases or syndromes that could cause your dog to lose his appetite. His stomach could be upset, he might have internal pain, or he simply isn’t in the mood to eat because he is feeling under the weather.
The best way to find out would be to keep an eye for other symptoms. If your furbaby is sick, he will likely experience other symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, fever, weakness, skin allergies, gurgling sounds from the stomach, and more.
On the other hand, if your pet is his lively old self, without any abnormal changes in his behavior, he simply could have lost interest. You really can’t blame him when he about-faces after sniffing the dry kibble you put right in front of him once. It is likely that you’re always feeding him something tastier or yummier.
Bad Habits Is Why Your Dog Won’t Eat His Food But Will Eat Treats
If your dog seems healthy, yet won’t eat his food but will eat treats, he could have picked up a bad habit from you. Have you been feeding him extra treats within the day? If you’re not the one doing it, then maybe you should ask other members of your family. Maybe they’re guilty of always handing your dog some table scraps during mealtime.
Understand that there’s nothing wrong with giving your dog some treats. However, you should be doing it as a reward for doing something good or for behaving correctly. If you give treats at random times, not only are you reinforcing bad eating habits but, you’re also allowing your dog to be susceptible to obesity.
Worst of all, if your dog knows that he is going to fed something tasty sooner or later, he is going to hold off on eating his kibble because it doesn’t taste as good as the treats he has been given.
What to Do When Your Dog Won’t Eat His Kibble
So, what should you do if your dog has developed bad eating habits? Of course, the most obvious answer would be to stop feeding him table scraps and treats. Then, you could try establishing a more consistent feeding schedule.
At this point, you’ll have to be very patient and positive because one episode of retraining won’t do. If your dog still doesn’t eat after establishing a set feeding schedule, then try again tomorrow.
You can even add canned dog food to your dog’s kibble to make it taste better. It’s also ideal to take your dog for a walk right before feeding time so increase his appetite. If you can do this on a daily basis, then it will help your dog associate the walk with feeding time.
On top of this, you should watch out for your behavior. You don’t want to give him too much attention right before eating or he will think that you are praising him. Try praising him as he starts to eat, and then give him lots of attention after his meal. Give him enough space, though, so he can finish his meal without distractions. You can play afterward.
The key, really, is to establish a routine so your dog knows when it is meal time and when it isn’t. Remember to stop giving him table scraps or treats. You can do so during training time, but for the rest of the day, encourage the routine that you have put in place when it comes to meals.