My 4-year-old yellow Labrador will not eat his dry food. He hasn’t really been eating his wet food either. He gets a lot of treats and I think this may be the reason. I want him to eat well and not get overweight. Do you have any suggestions on how I can get him to eat? It breaks my heart because he looks hungry but so uninterested in his food. I even try to switch it up for him.
Thank you for your question.
Many dogs develop food preferences for things that taste the best to them. Because dogs are not likely going to look out for their own nutritional health, we must do so for our companions.
I suggest reading a treat’s ingredient list to see what the primary ingredients are. Avoid treats that appear to be simulations of meat, which often list meat by-products, sugar, corn syrup, artificial colors, preservatives (sodium nitrite, etc.), or other ingredients that are not in your dog’s best interest to consume.
To get your dog to eat his dry food, you can moisten it with warm water or low-sodium chicken/beef/vegetable/other broth. Try to match the protein that is already in your dog’s food. For example, if your dog’s food is beef-based, then add beef broth. Let the water or broth soak into the kibble for a few minutes before feeding.
If your dog refuses to eat the dry dog food, another route is to not feed anything else and wait for your dog to become hungry enough to eat his designated food portion.
If your dog continues to refuse the dry food, or if there are any other health concerns going on, please schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. Oral cavity disease, organ system (kidney, liver, pancreas, intestine, etc.), abnormalities, cancer, and other illnesses can all affect your pet’s desire to eat.