My Dog Won’t Eat His Dry Food

With many animals, it happens again and again that the food is left standing. This is especially the case with dry food. The causes of this can be very different and many dog owners get it, especially if the fear persists for a longer period of time.

No wonder, because some dogs don’t just leave their dry food standing every now and then. Many dogs do not touch their food for many days and some even for weeks.

As a result, the affected animals lose weight, which can quickly become a problem, especially for small and thin dogs. In this article, you will find out what can be the causes if your dog suddenly stops eating its dry food and what you can do about it.

The causes and the appropriate solutions

Many dog ​​owners have the problem that their dog suddenly doesn’t want to eat any more dry food and simply leaves it there but still continues to beg for other food. That’s a good sign, by the way. Sometimes this behavior lasts only two to three days, but with other dogs, it lasts longer or every now and then. Food refusal becomes a problem especially when the dog is only fed this dry food and thus gradually loses body weight.

These could be the causes:

  • Dental problems (dog teething, inflammation of the gums, tooth decay);
  • He doesn’t like food;
  • the same food is boring in the long run;
  • health problems (food allergy, digestive problems, upset stomach, etc.).

Dental problems as a cause

There are different dental problems in dogs, which can lead to them leaving their dry food or hardly eating any other food. For example in young dogs when they are teething. At this time, affected animals have toothaches, and loose teeth can also hurt when eating hard kibble. As with babies, dogs are very sensitive at this point.

The solution is very simple. You have to make sure that the dry food is not so hard anymore. The easiest way to do this is to soak the dry food in warm water for a short time and then give it to the dog. The dry food is so soft and still has the same taste. However, you can also give your darling other food, such as wet food.

However, it can now happen that your dog becomes choosy. Many dogs prefer wet food to dry food. It is therefore not uncommon to see that many dogs then no longer eat dry food because they prefer wet food. For this reason, you should try soaking the normal food for the time being. Soft food isn’t as painful to eat, so many vets recommend soaking typical dry food before resorting to wet food.

However, some dogs also suffer from tooth decay or have an infection in the neck of the tooth, the gums, or some other place in the mouth. Even now, eating dry food hurts. In contrast to the change of teeth, however, it is not a cause that goes away on its own.

If your dog is suffering from dental problems, it is important that you take them to the vet. The dental problem must now be treated urgently. Depending on what problems are found, a small operation may even be necessary. During this time you should not give hard food, but soft food that is easy to chew.

But caution is also required here because dogs quickly get used to a new food, so it can of course also happen here that your dog later no longer wants to eat the old dry food. Soaking the normal feed is also a good idea in this situation.

Food does not taste good or becomes too monotonous

Of course, it can always happen that the dog does not eat the dry food because it simply does not like it. Like us humans, the tastes of animals are totally different. For this reason, it is not uncommon for the dog to simply not like the food. Here it is advisable to test several types of food until you have found one that the dog really likes.

Many dogs also suddenly stop liking the dry food they have been eating for a long time. Many dogs become bored with their food over time. No wonder, because we humans don’t want to be served the same food every day. For this reason, many dog ​​owners mix small treats into the food from time to time, cook for their animals from time to time or have several different types of dry food on hand in order to get some variety in the animals’ diet.

Health problems

In addition to dental problems, dogs can also refuse dry food due to other health problems. For example, due to a food allergy. The dog reacts allergically to one or more ingredients in the food. Symptoms begin with bloating and progress to abdominal pain, severe vomiting, and diarrhea. Itching can also be a sign of intolerance.

In this case, you need to find out what your animal is allergic to. This works with a so-called elimination therapy, in which you initially feed your dog only one protein source, i.e. one type of meat, and one type of carbohydrate. If your dog doesn’t react to this after eight weeks, then he tolerates it and you can add other components. An allergy test at the doctor’s can also help.

Furthermore, it can of course also be the case that your dog has upset its stomach with something else. That would sound plausible, especially in the case of a short-term refusal of food. In times of poisoned baits and the like, however, you should never let your dog out of your sight and better go to the vet once too often.

By the way, the hormones in bitches are always to blame for the bitches not eating properly or behaving strangely when eating. However, this behavior often only occurs during heat or in the case of a subsequent false pregnancy and is harmless.


Of course, dogs like to be bon vivants too, and like to be spoiled with treats when it comes to food. However, if the dog refuses food overnight, you should immediately check whether you can find something in its mouth. Sometimes, however, dogs do not eat very well for two to three days. In such a situation, however, it is important not to let your pet out of your sight. There can always be a serious health cause behind it, which you should rule out. However, always offer your pet some variety so that the food does not become too boring. However, always make sure that you only use very high-quality food and thus offer your dog many vitamins, trace elements, minerals, and other nutrients. Because food is the basic structure for a healthy dog ​​life.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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