The dog does not eat his food, but he eats his treats [Causes and solutions] (2023)

There is no denying that dogs love treats. Our furry friends want a tasty treat every time they sit down, go for a walk, or even bark. And why not? The treats are delicious! But sometimes it can cause your dog to prefer treats to proper nutrition. So what can you do when your dog won't eat the food but eats the treats?

When a dog is not eating its food, it is very concerning and could mean something serious. The first thing to do is determine the cause of your dog's loss of appetite. There are many things you can do to encourage your dog to eat once he knows the source of the problem. These are some of the things you can do to get your dog to eat!

What does it mean if my dog ​​won't eat his food?

It's never good if your dog won't eat his food. A dog that won't eat could have an underlying medical condition. It can also lead to further complications and health problems if left untreated.

A dog can also lose his appetite for behavioral or situational reasons, including changes in his routine or environment. Some dogs also refuse to eat certain dog foods. Food may be expired and spoiled. They may also prefer other foods after a while, including treats and human food.

Is it common for dogs not to eat their food?

It is not common for dogs to avoid eating. Dogs are highly motivated by food and you've probably noticed that your dog will do just about anything for a treat. And when you go to the kitchen, your dog thinks he's going to take a bite of the food you're cooking or some more kibble on his plate. If your dog isn't eating, it's probably a sign of other issues to watch out for. Here are some common reasons why your dog refuses to eat his kibble:

  • Tooth disease or pain in the mouth: If your dog has loose or decayed teeth, eating dry food could harm him.
  • stomach ache: If your dog is vomiting or experiencing diarrhea, he may have an ongoing stomach ache that is causing him a lot of discomfort.
  • serious health condition: Your dog may be too sluggish, sick, or uncomfortable to eat if he has a serious medical condition, such as liver, kidney, or lung disease, or congenital heart failure.
  • To emphasize: A change in your dog's environment can make him crave food. A new family member or the loss of a family member can also cause stress.
  • Distress: Fireworks, a visit from a stranger, a storm and other sudden events can scare your dog. This can cause your furry friend to lose his appetite.
  • problems with food: The food itself can be the problem if it is old, expired or spoiled. While some dogs can eat almost anything, others are more specialized.
  • Your dog notices a pattern.: Some dogs will realize that you may be feeding them "human" food or another food that they find more desirable than their kibble if they are reluctant to eat their own food.

The dog does not eat his food, but he eats his treats [Causes and solutions] (1)

Do dogs go hungry if they don't like their food?

No, dogs don't suddenly stop eating and decide to starve themselves if they don't like their food. However, dogs can be picky and quite picky when it comes to certain foods. They may refuse to eat, but they will never starve themselves on purpose. that would go against youinnate survival instinct.

Your dog can go 24 to 48 hours without eating. But eventually hunger will set in and they will start eating again. But what if your dog still doesn't eat after that time? When that happens, he's not some picky dog ​​on a hunger strike. This is most likely a sign of an underlying medical condition and you should take your dog to the vet immediately.

(Video) My Dog WON'T EAT Their Food 🐶 What to Do About It

How long does a picky dog ​​go without food?

Your dog can go from one to five days without eating, in very rare cases, sometimes seven days. However, it is not normal for a dog to go without eating for several days. If your dog doesn't want to eat his usual or new food, it's time to take him to the vet.

Don't wait too long to seek veterinary advice. A healthy dog ​​will never go hungry. You should take your dog to the vet if he doesn't eat for more than two days.

Is it bad if my dog ​​doesn't eat his food but eats his treats?

Yes, it is not healthy for a dog to skip the main course and go directly to the snacks. Sometimes your pup will avoid eating dog food because he senses that you respond by giving him treats or human food when he isn't eating. While you can do this in a panic, it encourages the dog's behavior.

Dog treats lack the essentialsnutrients and ingredientsDogs must be healthy and active. They generally don't have as much protein and contain more carbohydrates and other ingredients that you don't want your dog to overeat. you make a lot of sweetsoverweight dogand unhealthy. Quality dog ​​food is formulated to provide your dog with a balanced and healthy diet. They need to eat the required amount of dog food every day to thrive properly.

Why does your dog only eat treats?

If your dog only eats treats, it's probably a learned behavior. Just like you'd rather eat a cupcake than a salad, dogs prefer junk nutritious dinner🇧🇷 And being willing to give your dog a treat when he's not eating can encourage him to continue avoiding food to get the reward.

A dog that only eats treats could also be suffering from a disease. It is sometimes thought to be a form of anorexia. If your dog doesn't eat his food within 24 hours (even if he's willing to eat treats), call a vet right away and schedule an appointment.

Is my dog ​​a picky eater?

Several unique characteristics of your dog can determine whether or not he is a picky eater. Due to their genetics, certain breeds are predisposed to eat more than other breeds.

Breeds with very healthy appetites include:

  • beagle
  • Bull terrier
  • Dachshund
  • golden retriever
  • Great Pyrenees
  • Labrador retriever
  • norwegian elkhound
  • Pembroke-WaliserCorgi
  • treadmills
  • rottweiler

If your dog is not one of the breeds listed above, it is likely that he is a picky eater.

(Video) 🐶🥓¡Your DOG Doesn't EAT his food but he EATS TREATS! (Reasons)

Another determining factor and a strong indicator of whether or not your dog is a picky eater is how long it takes your dog to finish his food. Consider your dog a picky eater if he doesn't empty his food bowl in 20 minutes.

One last sign that your dog may be a picky eater is if he refuses to eat regular kibble but eats other types of food, such as human food or table food. No matter how picky your dog is, it's important to provide nutritious food and stick to a regular feeding schedule. Giving your dog a routine will get him used to eating at specific times and prevent him from going hungry.

What breeds of dogs are picky eaters?

Several breeds of dogs are genetically predisposed to be finicky. If you have a dog that won't eat his own food, but eats other foods, chances are he is a picky eater and belongs to a breed that is naturally prone to this trait.

Dog breeds that are often picky eaters include:

  • bichon frize
  • boston terrier
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Dachsund
  • cocker spaniel ingles
  • french bulldog
  • greyhound
  • maltese
  • Pekingese
  • A bottle
  • treadmills
  • west highland white terrier

What can you do if your dog doesn't want to eat his food?

There are natural ways to encourage your dog to eat around the house. You may need to try different dog foods or not spoil them with them.table scraps🇧🇷 Try some of these tips to see if you can get your furry friend to eat his kibble.

Check expiration date

The bag of dog food may simply have expired. If it is too old or the bag is left open, the food could spoil. This can bother fussy pups with more sensitive palates.

One receptor

If you suspect your dog's food has gone bad, try astainless steel container🇧🇷 This provides an airtight place to safely store food and keep it fresh for much longer. Avoid plastic containers.

try a new food

On rare occasions, your dog may get bored with the same food. This is not very common, but not impossible. Try buying a new flavor or brand of dog food and mix it into your dog's current food to slowly introduce him to the new dry food. The new smell and taste may attract them. Pet owners can also change the type of food they feed their furry friends. Is your dog used to dry food? Try wet dog food or canned food.

Change the food plate

While dogs are generally not very picky, there are some things you can do to improve their eating habits, such as:

(Video) What to do when your dog not eating food or drinking water l Tips on LOSS OF APPETITE l

The dog does not eat his food, but he eats his treats [Causes and solutions] (2)

Add the chicken broth

Once your dog gets used to human food, try adding a little to his food to encourage him to go back to dry food. A healthy chicken broth can spice up the dog food a bit, and you can continually remove the broth from your dog until he's done chewing again.

Make a firm schedule

A change in location or routine can upset a dog and cause him to lose his appetite. Be sure to feed your dog the same amount of food at the same time each day to create a consistent schedule that calms him down. Feed them at the same time in the morning and at night. You can also purchase dog feeding calendars to help get them into a routine.

Try CBD Treats

If you give your dog the occasional treat, you'll want to make sure it provides plenty of wellness benefits. Thats why weRecommend CBD Dog Treats🇧🇷 CBD is a non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid found in the hemp plant and offers many benefits for both pets and humans. When it interacts with your dog's endocannabinoid system (ECS), it can reduce physical discomfort and stomach upset, as well as help stimulate appetite.

It can also calm your dog and help him feel relaxed after a stressful situation (including a move or a storm). If you think your dog is eating too many treats,try giving them CBD for dogs🇧🇷 You can put it directly in your dog's mouth and when he is ready to eat, mix some oil into his food.

make dinner fun

Try to get your dog excited about playtime before meals. She makes dinner fun and works up an appetite. Walk your dog in the morning before breakfast. You can also give your pup some dog food as a reward when he solves a puzzle or performs a trick. This makes eating a positive social experience.

heating wet food

You can reheat your dog's wet food to make it more palatable. Using a microwave to heat up wet dog food is perfectly safe and a quick way to prepare your dog's food.

Microwaving wet dog food will increase its odor. As a result, your dog will find the tasty aroma attractive and will be tempted to eat it. Don't worry if you don't have a microwave. You can easily heat wet dog food in a skillet. Make sure it is a different pan than the one you normally use to cook your food. This helps preventcross contaminationmiallergic reactionin your dog

limit sweets

Your dog may be full of treats and human food. When they're full, they probably won't bother eating their dog food. They may also know that the treats are coming, which gives them a reason to hang in there and wait for the tastiest option.

(Video) Dog Won’t Eat Breakfast | Dog Not Eating Possible Causes and Appetite Solutions

Create a suitable food environment

Where you feed your dog can affect whether or not he wants to eat. Your dog's food environment depends on the type of dog you have.

If you have a social dog, they may prefer to eat in an area with a lot of people and pets. These dogs do not like to eat in secluded and quiet places. However, these quiet places can be the ideal feeding environment for nervous dogs. These dogs want privacy and prefer to eat alone or with a few people and pets.

Play with your dog's personality and change where he usually eats. Changing the environment can go a long way toward solving your dog's appetite problems. Depending on your dog's personality, he may experience the following feeding environments:

  • Nervous/lazy dogs:Feed them in a quiet room or area of ​​your home. See if he calms down and starts eating. Be in the feeding room with your dog so he feels calm and relaxed.
  • Social/active dogs:Feed them when other people and pets are around. Try to include activities during the feeding so they can play during the meal.

Take your dog to the vet

If your dog refuses to eat the food for 24 hours or more, take him to the vet. A vet can perform some tests on your dog to determine the possible cause of her loss of appetite. They may also offer advice, including new foods and treatment plans.

Should I take my dog's food away if he doesn't want to eat?

If your dog does not eat within 20 minutes, you should remove the food. A little reverse psychology can make your dog eat more. Your dog will go without food for a few hours, maybe even a day or two, before he starts eating when he's hungry.

You may need to use this technique several times to get your dog hungry. Keep in mind that dogs are generally not hungry and will eventually eat. If your dog goes more than 48 hours without eating, you should take him to the vet to check for a problem.

Final Thoughts: The Dog Doesn't Eat His Food, But He Eats His Treats

If there's one thing you can count on, it's that your dog will want food anywhere, anytime. Therefore, it can be quite worrisome when your dog stops eating. When a dog refuses to eat, he's probably dealing with something serious. It could be a medical problem or a behavior problem. If your dog hasn't eaten for 24 hours or more, take him to the vet to determine what's going on.

Sometimes dogs still want human food and treats. This could be due to conditioning or a medical problem. However, sweets do not provide the same nutrients as a healthy and balanced diet. Fortunately, there are ways to encourage your dog to eat his meals, including a feeding schedule, CBD, fun with food, and limiting treats. With the right help, including a visit to the vet and natural home remedies, your dog will be back to eating in no time!


What to do if your dog will only eat treats? ›

A dog who will only eat treats may also be suffering from a medical condition. It's sometimes considered a form of anorexia. Call a veterinarian immediately and schedule a visit if your dog doesn't eat their food for 24 hours (even if they are willing to eat treats).

Why does my dog not want to eat his food anymore? ›

Many dogs won't eat if they're not feeling well, especially if they're suffering from intestinal or dental issues, so you should visit your veterinarian to make sure nothing's wrong. But if your dog eats other kinds of food (like wet food or snacks) and refuses to touch his dry food, it may mean he's a picky eater.

What happens if my dog eats all his treats? ›

It is still important to contact your veterinarian or after-hours emergency hospital if you think your dog has ingested a large amount of food or treats. Prompt advice and treatment from a veterinarian can make this condition treatable and provide your dog with quick relief.

What happens if you give your dog a lot of treats? ›

As a rule of thumb, you want to keep treats capped at 10% of your dog's daily caloric intake. Overdoing it could lead to tummy issues (and messy stools) in the short run, and weight gain in the long term. Because obesity in dogs can lead to serious health problems and is arguably the No.

What to do if your dog has an appetite but won t eat dog food? ›

Try Out a New Food

There is a world of flavors and textures out there that your pup may want to experience. Maybe substituting your dry kibble for some wet dog food for a while will do the trick. If he does not like the next food, try again until he does. Once he does seem to like what's on the new menu, stick to it.

What do you feed a dog that refuses to eat? ›

For feeding a sick dog that won't eat, most vets recommend bland chicken with white rice or white meat from a rotisserie chicken. Other options are sweet potatoes, unseasoned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling!), bone broth, and meat-based baby food. Lastly, you can try hand-feeding your sick dog.

Should I take my dogs food away if he doesn't eat it? ›

Don't leave food out for your dog to graze on — take it back within 10 minutes if it hasn't been eaten to help cement the idea of mealtimes. Use your dog's kibble as treats, and only offer meals for short periods of time. This leaves your dog no choice but to eat their food and hopefully get used to it.

Why do dogs prefer treats over food? ›

Not surprisingly, one reason why dogs love treats is because they taste amazing. Treats are specifically designed with savory ingredients like beef, chicken, fish or lamb. Some treats such as jerky are even made of pure protein. And when you pull a treat out of the container, your dog will immediately smell it.

Can dogs become addicted to treats? ›

4. Can dogs get addicted to treats? Like humans, dogs can get addicted to salts, sugars, and complex carbs that are found in popular treats. It's no secret that some dog food manufacturers include sugar in their products for the very reason that it's palatable and addictive for dogs.

Can too many treats hurt my dog? ›

Just like such foods provide more calories than necessary to your body, feeding too many treats can harm your dog. Avoid giving your dog chocolate! Chocolate can be harmful to your pet, so make sure it is out of their reach.

Is it OK to give your dog treats everyday? ›

There's no rule about how often you can dole them out, as long as you limit treats to 10% of their daily calories. Some owners choose to give one large biscuit each day. Others give a handful of kibble (perhaps 20 or 30 pieces) over the course of the day, one or two pieces at a time. Giving no treats is fine, too.

Why you shouldn't give your dog treats? ›

Treats are an essential part of positive reinforcement, rewards-based training, but you also need to be mindful to balance your dog's treats with their overall daily calories. Give them too many treats and you won't just spoil their appetite for actual meals, but you could also make your dog overweight and unhealthy.

Should I give my dog a treat when I leave? ›

When you leave, give your dog a treat or a toy to play with to distract them. Calming treats for dogs can be used as a short-term remedy for separation anxiety. They will also teach your pooch that being alone is not scary and create positive associations with your departure.

What soup can I give my dog that won't eat? ›

Bone broth is very mild but also nutritious and sits well in an upset stomach. If your dog hasn't been eating and has a suppressed appetite, bone broth can be a good way to get your dog some of the nutrients they need.

How do you reset a dog's appetite? ›

Ways to Stimulate Your Dog's Appetite
  1. Rotisserie Chicken. For a sick, debilitated, or geriatric dog who is picky about eating, one of the easiest (and cheapest) options to try is tempting him to eat rotisserie chicken. ...
  2. Acupuncture. ...
  3. Mirtazapine. ...
  4. Meclizine. ...
  5. Ghrelin Receptor Agonist. ...
  6. CBD Products.
Nov 8, 2017

What can I add to my dogs food to make him eat? ›

You can make his kibble seem more appealing by adding a simple, low-sodium chicken broth to the top of your dog's meal. The extra flavor might turn a ho-hum eater into a kibble fan! Just be sure the broth doesn't contain any ingredients that might be harmful to your dog, like onions, certain herbs, seasonings, etc.

Why is my older dog not eating but acting normal? ›

Less interest in food is a normal sign of aging for dogs, but not eating for more than a day or avoiding drinking their water are both good reasons to call the vet. Whether your senior dog is slowing down or still a puppy at heart, they need the right nutrition.

What to do if your dog refuses to eat kibble? ›

There are some simple homemade choices that you can add to your dog's kibble that may make it more palatable and even healthier. Cut up or puree fruits or vegetables, like carrots, green beans, and apples. Unsweetened canned pumpkin has fiber and may settle an upset stomach.

Why does my dog eat everything but his food? ›

In many cases, the answer is pica. Pica is a relatively common disorder that often stems from an attempt to obtain nutrients that might be missing from their diet. This disorder can lead your dog to chew on or eat things that are not food, such as socks, shoes, or toys.

How do you force feed a dog that won't eat? ›

Pour chicken broth, beef broth, clam juice, or tuna water over the food to make it more appealing. Pour warm water over dry food to make it softer. Feeding your dog dry food if they usually only eat wet food or vice versa. Try hand-feeding, as social eaters sometimes just want attention.

Can I feed my dog treats instead of food? ›

While dog treats can contain essential nutrients, your dog's should consume food for their primary nutrition. 2) Do not feed human snacks and junk food to treat your dog. Just like such foods provide more calories than necessary to your body, feeding too many treats can harm your dog.

Why is my dog not eating food but eating treats? ›

Does Your Dog Eat Treats But Not Food? If your dog is refusing dinner but saying yes to treats or table scraps, they may be filling up on “junk food” rather than their own dog food. However, if your dog has other symptoms of not feeling well, a medical condition could be to blame for their altered appetite.

Why is my dog not eating kibble but eating treats? ›

If your dog eats treats but not their food, it could be the result of a picky appetite. However, often dogs will eat something if they are hungry enough! Remember that sometimes a bad batch of dog food could cause an upset stomach and render regular meals unpalatable to otherwise healthy canines.

What is the best tasting dog food for picky dogs? ›

Best Dog Food for Picky Eaters March 2023
  • The Farmer's Dog.
  • Nom Nom Fresh.
  • Ollie Fresh Dog Food.
  • Raised Right Fresh Human-Grade Dog Food.
  • Merrick Lil' Plates Small Breed Recipe.
  • Canidae All Life Stages Wet Formula.
  • Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Dog Food.
  • Blue Buffalo Life Protection.

How long can a sick dog live without food? ›

How long can a dog go without eating any food? Dogs can go around three to five days without food as long as they're drinking water, but that doesn't mean you should wait that long if your pup isn't eating. “If your dog usually eats well and [suddenly] doesn't eat, that should be a red flag,” Dr.

Can my dog live off treats? ›

As a dog owner, you know that your special furry friend needs a daily balanced diet to grow up big and strong. Well, that can only be achieved by eating real, nutritious food! Treats are yummy and they are fine to give to Fido occasionally, but they should never make up most of his meal.

What makes dog treats different than dog food? ›

Your dog's normal food, whether dry or wet, contains the correct balance of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients they need to stay healthy. But treats are usually made with one goal in mind: to taste and smell awesome.

Why do dogs like dog treats more than dog food? ›

Not surprisingly, one reason why dogs love treats is because they taste amazing. Treats are specifically designed with savory ingredients like beef, chicken, fish or lamb. Some treats such as jerky are even made of pure protein. And when you pull a treat out of the container, your dog will immediately smell it.


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