Why is My Dog Not Eating His Food But Will Eat Treats?

Every pet owner does not want to get to this point – why is my dog not eating his food but will eat treats? This can cause many headaches as a pet owner since you are not sure feeding only treats is enough to enable your fur baby to get all the nutrients it requires.

Dog eats treats but not food

But why do some pets refuse food but would only take treats? Is it a serious problem? Can it be resolved? What do you do? Take a minute and follow us along as we delve deeper into this issue.  

Is it Common For Dogs to Not Eat Their Food But Eat Treats?

It is fairly common for dogs not to eat the food given to them and to prefer eating treats or leftovers from the table. Usually, a dog presenting this sign suggests it is generally unwell, or there is something wrong somewhere. This condition is referred to as partial anorexia.

Anorexia is a medical condition that means that your dog has lost appetite for food. Anorexic animals tend to go days without food, no matter the type of food or special teats. 

For a dog who doesn’t eat its food but prefers only treats, that is partial anorexia since there is a small amount of eating. Partial anorexia can also mean that your dog will eat only when certain special foods like beef, chicken are included. Some also would prefer to eat fastidious foods like a hotdog hamburger or other table foods. 

Medical and Psychological Reasons Behind Dog Anorexia And How to Fix Them

There are a lot of reasons why a dog would refuse its food. Some of these may be as minor as a stomach upset or as severe as a medical condition. 

The reason behind dog anorexia can be grouped into two main categories – medical and psychological. 

Medical condition 

The medical reason behind dog anorexia can be any illness, condition, or any disorder that doesn’t make the dog eat. There could be so many conditions, diseases, or disorders to cause dog anorexia. 

Most of these medical-induced anorexia boils down to pain. Pain in any part of the body, usually internal, would prevent the dog from eating. 

If your dog is not eating, kindly see your veterinarian to run some tests to determine why your dog is not eating.

There are so many medical conditions that would prevent a dog from eating, but the most common ones are:

Gastrointestinal (GI) issues: We all know that an uncomfortable and upset stomach, a hurting tooth, etc., doesn’t entice us to eat, so the same can be said for animals. Gastrointestinal diseases don’t relate only to the stomach and intestines but anywhere from the mouth through the esophagus and the stomach to the small and large intestines.

Most of the diseases of GI are accompanied by vomiting and diarrhea aside from the pain. The most common GI diseases in dogs that can cause anorexia include; 

  • Dental issues
  • Ulcers and blisters in the mouth
  • Tumors anywhere along the GI tract
  • Inflammatory diseases
  • Food allergies
  • Worm infections such as tapeworm, whipworm, roundworms, and hookworm
  • Viral infections such as parvovirus and coronavirus infection
  • Protozoan infections such as gardia 
  • Ingestion of foreign bodies
  • Diarrhea from eating spoilt food

Respiratory disease: Imagine not breathing properly or struggling to get air in or out of your body. We are sure food would be the last thing on your mind since it is difficult to eat and breathe simultaneously. 

Any disease affecting the lungs and the airway tubes affects appetite, either by changing the taste or smell of food just like a stuffy nose does or simply losing the desire to eat. 

Liver disease: Diseases of the liver such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, congenital anomalies like the portosystemic shunts, liver cancer, etc., can significantly affect appetence adversely.

The liver is the organ responsible for filtering wastes and toxins from the blood. It also breaks down drugs so that they could be cleared from the body. 

If the liver is not functioning properly, there would be a build-up of waste and toxins in the blood. Such build-ups lead to nausea, lethargy, inappetence, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Kidney disease: Diseases of the kidneys such as acute or chronic renal (kidney) diseases can lead to inappetence. Your pet would be drinking more water through (polydipsia), thus urinating more (polyuria).

Neurological disease: Neurological diseases are diseases that affect the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. Examples are brain tumor, epilepsy, intervertebral disc disease, vestibular disease, Wobbler syndrome, etc., usually present with incoordination, seizures, pain, and inability to walk. All these would lead to inappetence.

Pancreatic disease: The pancreas is an organ that secretes digestive enzymes (a substance that speeds up biological reactions) and insulin, which regulates the blood’s sugar (glucose) levels. These digestive enzymes break down food for the body to absorb. 

If there is a problem with the pancreas, such as pancreatic cancer or pancreatitis, it usually presents with a lack of appetite, lethargy, vomiting. 

A disease of the blood such as anemia or leukemia can cause a lack of appetite and lethargy.

Any other disease or medical condition that causes pain like fractures, eye problems, etc., can lead to lack of appetite and results in total or partial anorexia.

Psychological condition

Psychological conditions in dogs should be differentiated from neurological conditions. Neurological conditions are diseases or illnesses that affect the brain, spinal cord, and nerves, while psychological conditions deal with cognition, emotions, and behavior. 

It can be safely said that neurological conditions can lead to psychological disorders, but not all psychological conditions can lead to neurological conditions.

Most of the psychological conditions in dogs have to do with something in the dog’s environment that is causing stress. There are no underlying medical conditions. T

The most common types of psychological disorders that cause anorexia include:

  1. Moving to a new home
  2. Reconstructing or renovating a home
  3. New animals at home
  4. Loud thunderstorm or fireworks
  5. A new baby at home
  6. New people staying in the house, such as guests
  7. Someone leaving the house (e.g., leaving for college)
  8. Change in schedules
  9. A switch in foods

How Can I Stop My Dog From Displaying This Behavior?

We all know the stress that comes with dealing with a dog with anorexia. Of course, it hurts to see your dog refuse its food, and you would want to stop this behavior asap. But what do you do? And how do you go about it? You can also try out a few new strategies such as:

Changing your dog’s food

If your dog is not eating its meals, you might want to change its food and see if that would work. Sometimes, your dog is just tired of that flavor or type of food and wants something new.

If your dog is not eating its beef, you can try poultry. If your dog was fed on wet or canned food only, you could dry food and vice versa. You can make homemade food for your dog too. There are a lot of new food combinations to try out with your dog.

Visit your veterinarian

If you have tried switching foods and yet, your dog is still not eating, you would have to visit your vet to see if there is an underlying condition. Your vet will run some tests to see if anything is wrong with your furbaby. 

Dog eats treats but not food

Figure out the change

After the visit to your vet, you find out there’s no underlying medical condition, then it is time to figure out what has changed at your home or your schedule with your dog. Sometimes, a dog might stop eating just to tell you something. 

Did you just have a new baby, moved to a new home or your dog’s best friend (i.e., your child moved to college), or any of the other psychological reasons for anorexia? Then it is time to take action.

Read more  7 Scary Reasons Dogs Foam at the Mouth

No more treats

One thing that might hurt you, but you have to be stern is, to stop giving your dog treats or table food (leftovers from the table) when it doesn’t eat its food. 

This would compel your dog to stop this behavior, especially if it is a learned behavior. Once your dog knows that there aren’t any more treats, it would go back to its food bowl when hungry. 

But if we keep giving treats even they are not eating, they would exchange that to mean a positive reinforcement behavior and would never want to eat their food again since they would be rewarded for it. 

The key is patience and consistency

Getting mad and throwing a tantrum won’t save the situation. Your dog might not understand you, and it might get frightened as a result. So instead, learn to be calm and help your dog walk through this period of anorexia. 

Being consistent is going to help both you and your pet get through this period. Draw up a food schedule and make sure it is adhered to. Food schedules can include treats after dinner or a particular time you desire. Food schedules can consist of the time for meals and what food is to be eaten at what time. 

I Love Veterinary’s Top Tips to Get Your Picky Dog to Eat Again

We know that no one likes picky dogs, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t give them the care and love they deserve. The secret to getting a picky dog to eat again lies in engagement, stimulation, and fun. So let’s look at a few tips from us:

  • The first and foremost tip is to see a vet when your dog is not eating. No matter how picky a dog is, a healthy dog will never go a day without food.
  • Try swapping your dog’s food from one food flavor to a different one. Sometimes, a dog would refuse to eat their food because they don’t like the taste, size, appearance, or smell. 

Note that, when swapping your dog’s food, do not swap from one food brand to another with the same flavor. Usually, this doesn’t work.

  • When switching to a new food, make the transition gradually and slowly. Never change it at once, as your dog might be hesitant to take it. You can start by giving 70% of the old food and 30% of the new food and increasing the ratio of the new food until it reaches the 100% mark.
  • You can also try a bland diet food by mixing the broth of chicken or beef with your dog’s dry food to make it more appealing and taste better. You can also try fish oil, boiled vegetables, or minced meat. These are called food toppers, and they can work the magic for you.
  • This might sound harsh, but you can try removing your dog’s food bowl until the following day. Usually, a dog should finish its meal within 15-30 mins time. So 30 mins after feeding your dog, you should remove the food bowl and wait until the next morning to feed your dog, whether it is eaten or not. 

After two to three attempts, your dog would know it will starve for a day if they don’t eat something.

  • Most dogs like to play, so you can turn mealtime into playtime. Start by throwing a few dry kibbles in front of your dog and watch them pick them up. Then, throw another set a bit further, throw some in the sky and watch it try to catch it. Your dog might think this is a game, but you would end up feeding it, even though this might take a lot of time.
  • You can also make your dog work for its food, either by responding to tricks and commands or through exercising. For example, your dog might stop being picky when they see they have to earn their food.
  • Try warming up your dog’s food to enhance the flavor. You can microwave wet food or pass dry food through a little bit of hot water. Sometimes, an aroma is all you need to do the magic.
  • You can also pretend to eat your dog’s food to get them to eat it. Your dog might think you are offering it human food when you pretend to eat its food. 
  • Other tips include; using a feeding toy, feeding the right amount of food, and elevating the food bowl, especially for senior dogs.

Why Your Dog is ONLY Eating Treats

It is pretty unusual if your dog turns away from its regular food and wants to eat only treats. This is usually an indication that something is changing, and you might want to check it out immediately.

One of the most common reasons a dog will refuse to eat but would want only to treat is ill-health. No matter the condition, from dental disease to tumors, the presence of pain usually detests most dogs from eating. 

Also, you might want to check the expiry date of your pet’s food. Most people think animals would eat anything as long as they are hungry and will never stop to check if the food being given is spoilt. Most animals would reject spoilt food, though, so you should double-check every time. 

Sometimes dogs do not bluntly like the food they are being given and will tend to reject it. Some animals are picky and fussy, and this can be frustrating and annoying, but just like you wouldn’t want to eat something you don’t like, animals tend to be the same. Find food that your dog readily likes and stick to it. 


Picky eating is not something any pet owner wants to deal it, but picky dogs could be telling us something. Figuring out why your dog is not eating is the first step to solving this problem. After that, you just have to do the necessary things to help your dog regain its appetite. 

Feeding time doesn’t have to be set in stone like the old traditional ways. You can spice things up, add varieties and make it fun for your dog. You can get your dog eating in a short time with patience and consistency.  

— Update: 15-03-2023 — cohaitungchi.com found an additional article My Dog Is Not Eating, What Do I Do? from the website www.petplace.com for the keyword dog eats treats but not food.

A common reason for dogs to visit the veterinarian is for the concern that “my dog is not eating”.  The medical term for not eating is anorexia.

Sometimes canine anorexia is complete which means a dog will not eat anything and other times the anorexia is partial where a dog will eat but only if the food is augmented with more palatable things such as cooked chicken or beef or other table food. Another common scenario when a dog has partial anorexia or a decreased appetite and won’t eat his food but will eat treats.

There are many reasons why a dog will not eat or has a decreased appetite. Below we will discuss some of these reasons and give you tips on what you can do at home and when you should see your veterinarian.

First, why will a dog not eat his food but eat treats?

Dog Won’t Eat His Food But Will Eat Treats

Many times when dogs get sick or feel ill, the first symptom that we observe is a decreased appetite. Some dogs will still eat if you “doctor-up” the food with canned food, cooked meats such as chicken or hamburger, or offer other table scraps or human foods. Other dogs will eat only treats but not their food.

There are many causes of anorexia in dogs. Anorexia is considered a symptom, which means it can be caused by many different diseases.  In some cases, a decreased appetite can be one of the first signs of illness. For example, diseases of the stomach, liver, intestine, and/or pancreas can cause a decreased appetite or anorexia. In addition, diseases of the kidneys, blood, and brain can cause a decreased appetite. In addition, dogs that are in pain or have infections are often unwilling to eat. Learn more about Anorexia in Dogs in this complete medical article written by a board-certified veterinary specialist.

Get some good tips on how to get your dog to eat at What to do When Your Dog Won’t Eat His Food — But He Will Eat Treats.

Look for Other Symptoms in Your Dog

When a dog is not eating, closely evaluate him for additional symptoms or problems. It is important to know if the anorexia is the only symptom or if they’re other symptoms. Take your dog out on a leash so you can observe all his or her habits.

Monitor your dog for:

  • Is there vomiting? If s0, how frequently? Is it undigested food or bile? Is there blood?
  • Are the bowel movements normal? Is there diarrhea? Have you seen abnormal blood or mucous? Is the stool black that can suggest digested blood?
  • Is your dog scooting?
  • Is your dog urinating normally? Have you noticed straining or more frequent requests to go out? Is there any change in the urine color? Have you noticed blood?
  • Is your dog coughing? Any trouble breathing? Exercise intolerance?
  • How is your dog’s attitude? Is he/she active, playful and happy? Are you noticing lethargy?
  • Is your dog drinking? Have you noticed decreased or increased thirst?
  • Has your dog lost or gained weight recently?
  • Have you noticed any lameness or trouble walking?
  • Is there any evidence that your dog is in pain?
  • Does your dog have an abnormal odor or foul odor on his breath?
  • Have you noticed any abnormal skin tumors or growths?

Read more  10 Homemade Dog Treat Recipes Without Flour

If your dog is showing any other abnormal symptoms such as not eating, vomiting, lethargy or anything else, please see or talk to your veterinarian. These observations may help identify the underlying cause of the inappetence.

How to Get Your Dog to Start Eating

If your dog is not eating, how do you get your dog to start eating?

  1. Consider the flavor your dog may like most. Just like humans, every dog is different as far as what he or she likes. Some prefer fish flavors, others beef and yet others may like poultry.
  2. Some dogs prefer dry food over canned and others prefer canned over dry.

The best approach is to try to get your dog to eat something….really anything. Start with healthy choices then work to other options. Begin by offering your dog his regular food but if he won’t eat that, then try something else.

  1. You may offer a bland diet such as a combination of boiled hamburger with rice as an option that works well in some dogs. You can purchase a commercial version of this diet e.g. Hill’s Science Diet i/d or make your own. Get our recipe on How to Make a Bland Diet for Your Dog.
  2. Offer your dog some different canned dog foods to help stimulate your dog’s appetite. Choose one that he has had and likes but if that doesn’t’ work, pick something new. The best approach is to add a small amount of canned food to his regular food and hope that he eats the combination of regular food with some of the canned.

If this doesn’t work, then you can start trying other options. Please see our article on Home Care of Dogs with Anorexia for some really good tips on how to get your dog to eat.

Learn more about this situation – when a dog will eat treats but not his food. Go to: What to do When Your Dog Won’t Eat His Food — But He Will Eat Treats

Here Are the Best Dog Foods for Picky Dogs

What are the best dog foods for picky dogs? The best food is both extremely palatable and nutritious. Having this combination can make choosing the best dog food for picky dogs a challenge.  Some foods that are highly palatable are not the best quality and definitely not the most nutritious. It’s probably like junk food or fast food for us. We may really like that fast food hamburger but it may not be our healthiest and most nutritious choice.

After researching various food companies, some food brands that we have found to be both good quality and highly palpable are:

  • Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Food
  • Zignature
  • Acana
  • Fromm
  • Orijen
  • Natures Recipe
  • Wellness Core
  • Taste of the Wild
  • Stella and Chewy’s

Consider if you want canned, dry or a combination and consider what flavor your dog may like. Offer not only food that your dog historically has liked best but also different flavors or textures to see if you can find something appealing to your dog. If your dog likes chicken based foods, you can try a new chicken-based food or offer something different such as salmon, turkey, venison, duck, or beef.

Here’s How to Help a Puppy Who Will Not Eat

What do you do about a puppy that will not eat? This can be serious, especially with puppies that are very young. Puppies less than three months, especially the small and toy breed dogs are predisposed to hypoglycemia which is a low blood sugar when they don’t eat.  This is referred to as juvenile hypoglycemia.

Hypoglycemia in puppies occurs commonly due to their inability to regulate their blood glucose concentrations, especially during times of “stress”. Symptoms of a low blood sugar may include lethargy, weakness, trembling, muscle twitching, and seizures.

For this reason, it is extremely important to get puppies to eat. All the tips above work for puppies but more commonly feeding canned foods work. To further encourage puppies to eat, you may heat a small amount of the canned food in the microwave for a few seconds to release the aromas (but please make sure it is not too hot to the touch) to help stimulate your puppies interest in the food. You may also try to feed baby food such as a chicken baby food. When mixed with water, baby food can be easy to pull up in a syringe to gently syringe fed. Sometimes getting a small amount of food into a dog or puppy can encourage them to want to eat.  If you decide to syringe feed your puppy, make sure your puppy is alert and able to properly swallow. Force-feeding can cause aspiration pneumonia.

Feed only a small amount at a time to ensure your puppy tolerates it and doesn’t start vomiting.

Why won’t a puppy eat?

The reasons that a puppy won’t eat can range from minor things to things that are very serious.  Common causes can include gastrointestinal parasites, viral diseases, and/or bacterial infections. There are many other causes that can include ingestion of toxins, ingestion of indigestible objects and many more possibilities. Often there are additional symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea with many of these potential illnesses.

What do you do next to help a puppy that will not eat?

If you try different foods, canned food, baby food, a bland diet, treats, heating up foods, gently syringe feeding some food…. and your puppy still will not eat, the best recommendation is to take your puppy to your veterinarian.

You may want to take a stool sample with you and be ready to answer the questions about if your puppy is vomiting, having diarrhea, has had a food change, gotten into the trash or is displaying other symptoms such as lethargy, weakness, and/or coughing.   Here is more information and tips on How to Help a Puppy Who Will Not Eat

What’s the Best Tasting Dry Dog Food for Your Pet?

Dog owners commonly ask about what is the best tasting dry dog food.  This is an excellent question with no simple answer. In some ways, it would be like asking a group of people dining at a restaurant what is the best item on the menu? Some may prefer a fish meal, others the steak, and yet others a good pasta dish.  Yet others may prefer a fast food burger.

Tastes may vary from person to person and the same is true in dogs. Some dogs prefer chicken and other dogs prefer duck, beef, venison, and the list goes on.

The best recommendation for dry dog food is one that is a high-quality product with a company you trust. For example, some pet owners research dog food companies looking for characteristics such as quality ingredients, consistency, made in the USA, quality control and for evidence of frequent recalls.

An example of a good company is Fromm. Fromm is a pet food company in Wisconsin that is family-owned and committed to quality, safety and consistency dating back to 1904. Fromm owns and operates two manufacturing facilities in Wisconsin and every bag of their food originates from one of these facilities. They carefully test their ingredients to ensure quality.

You may want to do your own research – starting with the companies listed above to find one that makes you feel good about what you are feeding your dog.

Learn about the bag test to help determine your dog’s food preferences. Go to: What’s the Best Tasting Dry Dog Food for Your Pet?

If you decide to change your dog’s food – make sure you do it right. Any food change can cause vomiting and diarrhea in some dogs. Get our tips on the best way to change foods to avoid problems. Go to: How To Switch Your Dog’s Food: Vet Recommendations.

We hope these tips give you more information about why your dog may not be eating or and provides you with ideas on how to get your dog to eat.

Additional Articles of Interest Relating to Food for Picky Dogs:

Read more  How to Stop Your Dog from Growling

Are you pet crazy? Sign up for our email newsletter and get the latest health and wellness info, useful tips, product recalls, fun stuff, and so much more!

— Update: 26-03-2023 — cohaitungchi.com found an additional article What to do When Your Dog Won’t Eat His Food But Will Eat Treats from the website www.avidpup.com for the keyword dog eats treats but not food.

Dog eats treats but not food

In most cases, dogs have no problem scarfing down their food. It’s the highlight of their day and most pooches are promptly waiting by their bowl once that time comes!

When your dog loses their appetite, it’s definitely a big cause for concern. This is especially true if they are still accepting treats.

This condition is referred to as partial anorexia in veterinary circles.

While you might think that feeding your pup treats is good enough, think again. Treats aren’t designed to provide a balanced diet. Most are high in fats, too.

When your dog is ignoring their normal meals and eating only treats, they are at risk of developing a wide range of problems. So, what are you supposed to do?

6 Possible Reasons Why Your Dog Won’t Eat but Keeps Eating Treats

The first thing you should do is try to identify the reason why they are not eating their normal kibble. There are several reasons why this could be occurring. Some are benign.

Other times, it could be an underlying health problem that’s to blame.

Before you can take any steps to rectify the situation, you have to know what’s going on. Here are some of the most common reasons why dogs won’t eat their main food.

#1. Emotional Stress

Believe it or not, psychological stress can do a number on your dog’s appetite. Despite their carefree attitudes, dogs are susceptible to anxiety just like we humans are.

It’s a unique facet of canine psychology that most people don’t even realize is happening.

There are many reasons why your dog could be upset. Ultimately, it all depends on your dog’s sensitivities. What might upset one dog could very well be a huge enjoyment for others.

For example, dogs can get stressed by visitors in the home, new pets, babies, loud storms, and so much more.

When those triggers start affecting your dog, they’ll likely hole up in their crate or bed. The fear and anxiety they are feeling could be so debilitating that they don’t even want to eat!

#2. Gastrointestinal Problems

Dog eats treats but not food

This is one of the most common culprits. Gastrointestinal upsets are never fun to deal with. Think about the last time you had to deal with them! Chances are that you didn’t have much of an appetite either.

The tricky thing with gastrointestinal problems is that they’re not always obvious.

Your dog might be acting just fine, leading you to believe that there’s no problem at all.

Unfortunately, their stomachs are quite sensitive. They could be dealing with allergies, worms, or a host of other issues.

The best way to check your dog’s gastrointestinal health is to monitor their stool. It’s not a pretty task, but it is an important one. Look out for inconsistencies in content, texture, smell, or color.

If worms are the issue, you’ll see them in the stool. Tapeworms, hookworms, and roundworms all eventually make their way out of the body through the intestinal tract.

If you’re seeing strange colors, there could be issues with internal bleeding, organ failure, or a myriad of other problems.

If the issue is soft and runny feces, your dog could just be dealing with diarrhea. This problem typically goes away after a couple of days.

Look out for other symptoms that could indicate gastrointestinal discomfort, such as vomiting.

Related: Dog food for Dogs with a Sensitive Stomach

#3. Diseases

Unfortunately, many diseases could be affecting your dog’s appetite. These diseases largely affect your dog’s energy levels. So, you might notice extreme lethargy in addition to a lack of interest in food.

Liver disease, for example, causes lethargy, diarrhea, and vomiting. Meanwhile, pancreatitis symptoms include issues like nausea, lethargy, general weakness, and loss of appetite.

Other possible diseases that you can’t rule out include blood disease, lung disease, neurological ailments, and kidney disease.

Even something as simple as arthritis pain could be affecting your dog’s appetite.

#4. Dental Pain

Dental pain is no walk in the park. All dog breeds are susceptible to periodontal disease, which causes severe pain and decay.

The worst part is that you can’t really tell that your dog is suffering from it without getting a close look.

You might notice bad breathe, also known as halitosis. But you can’t be sure that your dog is suffering from a dental disease without a full examination.

Oftentimes, dental pain is associated with pawing at the mouth and general disinterest with food. Hard kibble is tough on the teeth, so it explains why they would avoid their normal food.

The same can be said about treats. Most treats are softer than your average kibble, making it easier to scarf down.

#5. Spoiled Food

Did you know that kibble can spoil? Most foods can stay in good shape for years after manufacturing. But, it’s not uncommon to encounter a long-expired bag of kibble on supermarket shelves.

Usually, the food will have mold or take on a smell that’s more foul than normal. Your dog can detect that spoilage, which is probably causing them to avoid it!

#6. Unsatisfying Food

Dogs can be picky eaters sometimes! This isn’t true with all dogs. However, many owners report their pups getting bored with certain foods after a while.

This is pretty common. Your pup doesn’t like their food, so they’re not going to eat it!

As frustrating as this may be, take their refusal to eat as a sign. Dogs are vigilant creatures. Think of it as a hunger strike!

What You Can Do To Get Your Dog to Eat

Once you have identified the problem, or at least have a good idea of what’s going on, you can take steps to improve your pup’s appetite. Here are a few common tricks you can try.

Take a Trip to the Vet

First things first, visit your vet.

Your vet can rule out any medical problems that may be occurring. They can perform diagnostic tests to ensure that your pup’s lack of appetite isn’t a red flag for something else.

If there is something serious going on, you can take the steps to treat or manage the problem. Even if there are no medical problems to blame, your vet may be able to restore your dog’s appetite.

Prebiotic and probiotic treatments work wonders for dogs with no appetites.

They’re often used after surgery. Anesthetics tend to throw the gastrointestinal tract off balance. Those probiotic treatments restore healthy bacteria and make your dog hungry again.

Limit treats

Sometimes, dogs will avoid their food because they prefer treats instead. If that’s the case, you’ll need to take back control.

You can’t let your dog starve just because they prefer fatty treats! Be a stern owner and put a stop to the treats for a bit.

Once your dog realizes that they don’t have the treats to fall back on, they may start eating their kibble again.

Explore Some New Foods

To appease the picky palate of your dog, you might want to explore some new food options. This is a trick many owners use once their pup has gotten over the excitement of new flavors.

There are a few ways to convince your pup to take a taste.

The first thing you can do is use toppers or gravy mixes. Just pour some on top of their existing kibble to give it a boost of flavor. You can also use canned food.

If that doesn’t work, try switching flavors within the same brand.

Most brands will use similar ingredients among the different flavor choices, making the transition easier for your dog. The new taste could be enough to kickstart their appetite.

Finally, you can change to a completely new brand. Exercise some caution here. Try to stick to a food that has the same nutritional value.

Also, you’ll need to transition your dog slowly to avoid any stomach upsets.

Stick to a Feeding Schedule

Once your dog is eating again, be consistent with your feeding schedule. Avoid those stray treats that you like to give your pup anytime they flash those puppy-dog eyes!

Sticking to a schedule shows your dog what they can expect. It lets them know they can’t hold out for treats or hope that you’re going to offer something better later on.


Your dog’s diet supports every aspect of their health. When they’ve suddenly stopped eating their kibble, you need to take the issue seriously. Figure out what’s going on and address the problem head-on.

Once you do that, you can rest easy knowing that your pup is getting all the nutrients they need.

Also Read: When Do Puppies Start Eating Food And Drinking Water

Dog eats treats but not food


Recommended For You

About the Author: Tung Chi