Does Your Pooch Refuse to Eat? How to Correct a Treat-Spoiled Dog

Posted on: 15 May 2015

It is super easy to spoil a dog, just as you can spoil your children or grandchildren. But a spoiled dog is not as easy to notice as a child is. For example, if you frequently give your dog treats, he or she may think that they can have treats instead of the healthier foods you're offering them. Your first thought if they won't eat is that they are sick and you might begin to worry.

Before you rush off to the vet to see if your dog has some exotic disease, consider whether your furry friend might just be spoiled. To find out, follow these steps for a few days to see if your dog will finally fall in line and eat what you put in front of them.

Step 1: Put Down the Food

At your dog's normal feeding time, set the food down, in the same dish that you normally use. You want the same dish because dogs associate this with feeding time and they have become accustomed to it. There is no need to think that they don't like the bowl and that you need to purchase an expensive one.

Step 2: Leave the Dog Alone with the Food

Call the dog to you while you're putting the food in the bowl. If they don't come to you, pick them up and take them to the bowl. Then walk away. As hard as it might be, don't encourage the dog to eat and don't try to force them to eat.

Step 3: Remove the Food

If your dog has not eaten within 10 to 15 minutes, remove the bowl from the floor and set it somewhere out of reach. Do not give him or her the food back until the next scheduled feeding time.

Step 4: Withhold Treats

During the time that your dog refuses to eat, do not offer any treats. You may have noticed when their non-eating behavior started, that they would eat their treats and not their food. If this has happened, it is a good sign that your dog is spoiled and only wants the good stuff instead of what's good for them.

As hard as it is to refrain from melting and giving in to those sad eyes, too many treats can cause obesity in dogs, and many treats don't have the nutritional values that dogs need to live a healthy life.

When your dog gets hungry enough they will eat. Some dogs can go for days without food and only eat when they need to. When your dog is eating when they are supposed to and what they are supposed to, you can reintroduce the treats.

If you notice that your dog is not drinking water for a day or so, then you should make an appointment with the vet to see if there is an underlying cause to this behavior. Additionally, keep an eye on your dog's weight. If they seem to be losing weight quickly, see your vet, one like Orange Grove Animal Hospital, so they can run some tests to learn what the problem might be.