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How do I get my dog to eat?

asked 2016-08-27 16:23:23 -0600

I've been watching a 1.5 year old German Shepherd since yesterday morning and he's not eating his food. He's had a couple bites of his food and he has no problem with bones and dental treats. He's also has been active and has gone on walks and doesn't appear to be sick. I'm chalking it up to new place nerves, but I was wondering what others have done in this situation.

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If you are "watching" some one else's dog, then its common for them to lose their appetite. It is ok for a dog to miss out a meal avery now and again, some god vets will tell you to fast your dog periodicly. Just let him be, he will eat when he's hungry

Karen M.'s profile image Karen M.  ( 2016-10-20 11:47:22 -0600 ) edit

Ditto above. What's worked for me is to isolate the dog in a nearby bathroom so he/ she has privacy, stay with the dog there frequently helps, then if it seems too long a hold out add a squirt of salmon oil. That has worked well for me. A lot of dogs are over fed so a short diet won't hurt.

Jean R.'s profile image Jean R.  ( 2017-01-12 18:57:14 -0600 ) edit

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answered 2016-09-01 01:28:14 -0600

As long as the dog is drinking, showing interest in treats, and being active/acting normally otherwise, I woudn't worry so much about it. If the dog was sick, you would know - no interest in any food, no interest in playing, possibly vomiting or having diarrhea. (These symptoms can also happen with extremely stressed dogs, FYI.) Considering that it's already a stressful situation and GSDs have a tendancy to be anxious dogs, I say give it time. I would also let the owner know. They may already know their dog gets nervous and have tips for you or it will be good information to have the next time they go out of town.

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answered 2016-08-31 12:06:08 -0600

What usually works for me is to warm up the food to entice the dog to eat. I add some warm water or stock and mix it up with the dry food - works almost every time.

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answered 2017-01-12 14:50:31 -0600

I dog sit a lot of different breeds... A LOT of dogs are "social eaters" and will only eat if you keep them company, lol. I sit a puggle who actually sits on his own dining room chair when the family eats, lol. Another elderly dog has to be Hand Fed her kibble, yes, one bit at a time, sigh. One of the catahoula leopard dogs has her own "song" I sing to encourage her to eat...she had a ton of allergies until the right food was found...now she expects her song during meal times. Yes I know....IT'S ALL ABOUT THE DOG, LOL.

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answered 2017-01-12 12:06:25 -0600

Some appropriate responses have already been noted. The exception is using peanut butter other then for pill usage. One other trick I use if a well dog has refused more then two meals is using an unwashed plate of mine to serve the food. They start to lick my food and wind up eating all of theirs.

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If you are using peanut butter...BEWARE! Some companies are not putting XYLITOL in their peanut butter as a sweetener.. THIS IS DEADLY TO DOGS! Use only a natural peanut butter and make sure there are no additives...DOGS ARE DYING FROM PEANUT BUTTER, it's all over the news stations!

Patricia K.'s profile image Patricia K.  ( 2017-01-12 14:46:45 -0600 ) edit
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answered 2016-09-07 14:30:08 -0600

I have used chicken or beef broth. Recently I had a dog stay with me that the owner said was very picky. They brought a small container of parmesan cheese and the slightest little sprinkle gets him to eat. Tried it with my own dog who grazes and he gobbles up all his food now.

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I use chicken or beef broth too...BUT I MAKE SURE IT IS UNSALTED! Especially the elderly dogs need the unsalted broth; Also, I NEVER use the parmesan that comes in the can bec. I saw a special on TV...it has wood cellulose as filler! I use only fresh grated parmesan. Both of those work so well!

Patricia K.'s profile image Patricia K.  ( 2017-01-12 14:44:45 -0600 ) edit
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answered 2016-10-12 14:47:08 -0600

It usually helps to not give the dog any kind of treats; the dog will eventually pick up that even if he doesn't eat his kibble he'll still get other (delicious) treats to fill him up. Additionally, don't leave the food out all day, and put it away if he doesn't touch the food after 10 to 15 mins. He will eventually realize food won't always be accessible to him, so he needs to eat when the caretaker prepares it. Hope this helps at least a little. :)

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that i so true.

Cristina M.'s profile image Cristina M.  ( 2016-11-21 15:34:40 -0600 ) edit
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answered 2016-11-11 16:04:24 -0600

One of my favorite tricks to help get dogs to eat is to add rice to their food with some carrots. It gives them some new flavors and makes the meal more exciting. Remember to get it okayed by the owner! Nerves are probably a key factor into why he isn't eating all that much.

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answered 2016-09-01 08:25:54 -0600

Literally had the same problem last night and this morning. Mixing in some peanut butter into the food (so all the food is coated) or breaking up a treat they're really into and throwing that into the food did the trick for the little one I'm watching.

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Peanut butter, really? Why on earth would you give a dog that? Glad you're not watching my dogs. lol

Karen M.'s profile image Karen M.  ( 2016-10-20 11:48:43 -0600 ) edit

Most dogs love peanut butter! Organic peanut butter is the way to go though. There is also peanut butter powder that doesn't have the bad ingredients that can be mixed with food.

Mary C.'s profile image Mary C.  ( 2016-11-13 09:11:27 -0600 ) edit

Yup! My pooch loves a frozen peanut butter stuffed kong. :)

Moureene T.'s profile image Moureene T.  ( 2017-01-12 14:57:50 -0600 ) edit
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answered 2016-10-14 04:05:36 -0600

The dog is either a picky eater or feels uncomfortable. Either way you should stop giving him treats for a while. If the normal food is the only food he will get, then there's no room for being a picky eater or uncomfortable.

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answered 2016-08-27 22:01:54 -0600

Nerves are probably playing a big part in him not eating. You could let the client know and suggest offering him some boiled chicken and rice to see if he will eat it, but I think that if he does not seem lethargic, dehydrated, or is having any diarrhea/vomiting that he will probably eat in the near future after he feels settled in your home. The fact that he is taking treats is good, as well. Have you tried refreshing his food? Some dogs are picky about their food being fresh, so that it is not stale from sitting out for a while.

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