Why Is My Dog Not Eating His Food But Will Eat Treats

Why Is My Dog Not Eating His Food But Will Eat Treats

It can be very alarming when a dog suddenly stops eating the main food while excitedly devouring treats because most dogs will eat practically anything they see.

Although Fido can enjoy treats from time to time, they shouldn’t make up the majority of his food. Even if it’s preferable to not eating at all, you should investigate the cause of this behavior as soon as you can so you can give your pet a balanced diet that will keep it healthy.

This article will cover a few potential causes for your dog to refuse his main food and provide some helpful advice to get your dog gobbling those kibbles again.

Reasons Why A Dog Eat His Food But Will Eat Treats?

Bad Dog Food

Fussy dogs will naturally turn their noses up and trot away from their meal bowl if there is anything wrong, like the food being off, and wait for some treats instead.

It’s wise to examine the package to see the expiry date if your dog has been eating the same food for some time. Unbelievably, this also applies to any dry dog food.

Also, Cheaper brands might not have strict quality control, which might lead to rotten chicken or fish entering the food, however, this can also happen with high-end brands on occasion.


Dogs are no different than people when it comes to feeling ill and not wanting to eat.

Numerous ailments might impair your dog’s appetite, making her appear reluctant to eat kibble but eager to consume the most delectable of morsels, such as human food. These illnesses can be anything from mild problems like an unsettled stomach to more serious underlying illnesses.

You should always start by taking your dog to the vet for a thorough examination if you discover she isn’t eating. By doing this, you may rule out any illnesses before looking into them further.

Dental Issues

Eating becomes extremely difficult for dogs that have dental issues, especially if their food consists mostly of crunchy kibble.

Unfortunately, dental illness affects a lot of dogs, especially tiny breeds and older canines. In addition to making her refuse food, cracked, decaying, or loose teeth are painful and pose a major infection risk.  

Regular oral examinations and tooth brushing for your dog can help identify and stop dental problems. Therefore, if your dog isn’t eating, look inside her mouth for any injuries or infections and schedule an appointment with the doctor if necessary.

Dog Doesn’t Like the Brand

Many people enjoy experimenting with various brands, and occasionally it can be challenging to discover the brand you prefer, requiring you to try something new.

While not quite as picky as cats, some dogs can nonetheless be very selective and won’t eat certain brands. This was especially true for me when it came to healthy brands. My dogs choose foods high in corn and other bad components over a more nutritious brand.

She’s Stressed or Anxious

Weimaraner sleeping on couch. Free public domain CC0 photo.

Storms and fireworks are two well-known sources of stress and anxiety in dogs, but there are also more common causes like separation anxiety or schedule adjustments. Some dogs are so sensitive that unusual noises, such as the furnace turning on, might scare them to the point where they refuse meals.

Anxious dogs may pace, groom themselves excessively, or whine. In addition to causing mental suffering, this condition can also have negative effects on one’s physical health. A few basic adjustments can help you manage canine anxiety, but in more difficult cases, a trip to the vet may be required.

The Bowl Is Not Right

When deciding if the bowl is “right” for your dog, there are so many different bowl shapes, sizes, and styles available that it could seem like an afterthought. To get your dog to eat their food, though, pay attention to their bowl. For dogs with longer noses, like German Shepherds and Collies, a deeper dish is ideal so they can reach in without the food pouring out of the bowl. For smaller, flat-faced breeds like French Bulldogs, a shallower dish can be more suited to make the food more accessible.

Training Gone Wrong

Our well-intentioned training efforts often unintentionally change the way our dogs eat. For instance, your dog may begin to associate food primarily with rewards and treats if you use treats excessively during training sessions. Their everyday meals may look less appealing as a result.

Striking a balance between rewards and everyday eating is crucial for overcoming this. Make sure your dog still receives praise and attention for good conduct during mealtime while gradually reducing the number and size of training treats.

Temperature And Texture

If you’ve noticed that your pet is excitedly devouring treats but not their usual food, it may be because they prefer a particular temperature or texture. It’s important experimenting to find the ideal temperature that piques your dog’s attention as some dogs may prefer their food warmer or cooler.

Another crucial factor is the texture. Although some dogs appreciate the crunch of kibble, others can favor the softer and moister texture of wet food. You can prepare meals that your dog will like by learning about their preferred food textures.

He’s Not Hungry Enough

If you give him too many treats or table scraps during the day, he might not be hungry enough for his meal. Additionally, overfeeding might result in overweight and unhealthy dogs.

To prevent this, maintain a regular eating schedule and routine. Give him the appropriate amount of food based on his age, size, and degree of activity. Additionally, since human food and table scraps can be toxic or hazardous, it is preferable to avoid offering them to dogs.


Things slow down for our pups as they become older, especially their appetites. This generally occurs because your dog’s body doesn’t need as many calories to function. After all, she is probably not using as much energy when rushing about.

Even while eating less may be a normal aspect of becoming older, your vet should always be consulted to rule out any underlying medical concerns. Additionally, it’s a smart idea to modify your senior dog’s care regimen to accommodate her advanced age.

There aren’t many effective techniques to increase an old dog’s appetite, but your veterinarian could have some ideas. You can also discover that simply adding a tasty topping does wonders.

How To Get My Dog To Eat Again?

Switch to softer food

You might try switching to softer food and schedule an appointment with the vet to get your dog’s teeth examined if you suspect your pet has dental disease. To avoid dental issues for as long as possible, it’s a good idea to get your dog accustomed to manual brushings with dog-safe toothpaste. For the majority of dogs, crunchy food is also preferable to wet food since the firm kibble will aid in removing plaque and tartar.

Constant feed intervals

Your dog should have a food schedule that you keep to. The scheduling of potty breaks can also be made easier by using this eating window to teach your dog when to eat.

Multiple feedings

Instead of giving your dog one huge meal a day or letting him feed all day, feeding him two to three little meals may be more effective in stimulating his appetite.

Switch to another brand

There is a good likelihood that your dog does not like the new food if you recently bought a new brand and it is not eating. We advise sealing the bag and buying a product you are confident your dog will like. You will need to throw away or donate the new brand if your dog consumes the previous brand. Save the new brand if your dog is still refusing to eat until you figure out why.

Maintain Dental Hygiene

Brushing your dog’s teeth regularly will help to prevent dental problems and pain. Even though it could take some time to get used to, your dog will adapt if you keep an upbeat attitude and use tasty toothpaste.

Deal with emotional problems

 Make sure your dog is content and involved in daily activities. Even if life can be chaotic, your dog’s attitude can be much improved by an extra play session with you or a fun new toy.

Praise Him When He Eats His Food

The best approach to encourage your dog to eat is to praise him when he does. Give him lots of praise and compliments, such as “good boy,” pet him, or give him a tiny treat when he finishes his food, to show him how much you appreciate him. He will want to do it again if you provide him with positive reinforcement for his good conduct.

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