My Dog Won’t Eat Their Food Any More

One day you wake up and your dog won’t eat their food. They aren’t sick and don’t seem upset…so what’s going on? Other owners are perplexed that dogs can basically eat the same exact food all day, day after day, and feel guilty that they don’t enjoy more variety.

The American Kennel Club notes, “Dogs have fewer taste buds than we do—about 1,700 in the average dog compared to 9,000 in us.” This means their passion for flavor variations isn’t like humans. In other words, they don’t need to have a wide variety of flavors to be as content as we are.

However, they still have 1,700 taste buds and can stop enjoying their food for a number of reasons.

  • A Change Might Be Nice
    Dogs can get tired of their food flavor as they age and mature. However, experimenting with food changes can cause digestive problems. One solution would be to try the same brand of food with the same basic ingredients, but a different flavor profile. For example, changing from beef to lamb.
  • A Physical Deficit
    Just like human bodies will often crave a deficiency in their diet (i.e. vitamins), dogs may also detect dietary deficiencies. This can sometimes be seen when you are mixing your old kibbles with new ones. Often dogs will eat one strain of the kibbles and leave the others untouched. Be careful with this, though. Puppies being moved to adult kibble will often only eat the fattier, tastier puppy food. It can help if there is a slight color difference and you track which kibble they eat first. Be aware if they are experiencing unusual hair loss, seem depressed, etc., as this would warrant a trip to the vet.
  • Treats Can Become Addictive
    One additional issue that surfaces are dogs enjoying the flavor of their treats so much, that they quit eating their food. They may even attempt to emotionally manipulate you to get more treats because they enjoy the flavor profile better. Dogs who are “treat-trained” when being house-broke may even force little dribbles or preemptive poops to get one or two extra treats. Here’s a good slogan: “Play with your dog, but don’t let your dog play you.”

Most of the time a dog may simply detect they’ve had enough food and take a more “chill” attitude. Don’t worry unless this becomes an ongoing issue without any food consumption at all; then you should see your vet. VetHelpDirect says, “If your dog is quiet, not themselves, or displaying any other symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, weakness or lethargy; or has not eaten at all for 2 days then you should seek veterinary attention.”


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