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8 Easy Ways To Encourage Your Puppy To Eat Their Food

April 30, 2021
April 30, 2021

Regardless of what it is that you feed, sometimes our puppies don’t want to eat. So how do you get them to wolf it down like every other puppy on the planet? 

I feel like my dog is weird sometimes. I raw feed, and I put a bowl of gorgeous, sumptuous raw food down, or hand him a great big meaty rack of ribs, and sometimes he just looks at it, like …

“Mmmm, nah. Maybe later…”

(There is an Indie voice if you’re wondering, maybe I’ll do it on video one day…). Then usually I look at him all heartbroken that he doesn’t want to eat whatever it is I just gave him, and walk away grumbling about how my puppy is broken.

So, I’m guessing, if you’re reading this, you totally sympathise! This piece is about more than just raw though! We cover kibble and wet too. 

puppy isn't so keen on their food, how do you encourage them to eat?
puppy isn’t so keen on their food, how do you encourage them to eat?

I mean it’s a common fact right?! Puppiess love food? So what the hell is going on when they just look at it? Not to mention that they need to eat.

Well, Indie is the exact same. Honestly. I can fill a bowl full of raw food (and bloody good quality raw food too!) and he’ll just be like “Eh.” That’s basically Canine Caviar!?! How can he just leave it?!… and i can offer it to him over and over again, doesn’t matter. Some days, he just doesn’t want it.

But, I’ve found ways of getting him excited to eat. My dog My dog who doesn’t enjoy eating, I can consistently get to eat. 

Let’s not let fussy Fang get to the point that they will only eat human food from a plate…I wanna share these tips with you, because they work. 

Because we all feed differently, this will include tips for kibble too! 

1 – How’s The Temperature

If you’re hitting summer, you know yourself how sometimes the idea of a roast dinner in the throws of summer is just not appealing, so if it’s warm where you are? It might be that. Try feeding your puppy earlier in the morning or later at night when it’s cooler! I find that in the hottest months of summer, Indie’s not interested in eating until around 2am – luckily he’s fed once a day!

white german shepherd eating from a kong
Kongs are a wonderful tool to encourage your puppy to eat their food, whether you’re adding in a few things to encourage them to enjoy their food, or if you’re just making it more interactive.

2 – Ditch The Damned Bowl

It could also be that feeding from a bowl is boring. I mean it! If you feed kibble? Try feeding interactively with toys like kongs, feeding balls, and wobbly toys! You could also try scatter feeding in the garden. Then, if you feed wet or raw mince? Things like kongs and buffalo horns can make it a little more interesting to eat from. Try it! I promise it’ll make a difference!  

3 – Apply Heat

Remember that dogs are built around their nose – and if you have a hound, or a hunting breed, then this applies doubly so (And even for cockerpoos! They’re hunting dogs at heart!) they have to know that your dog wants to be enticed. The easiest way to do this is smell. How often have you seen your dog lift their nose to the air when your neighbour is cooking bacon?

Kibble can also be uninspiring; it’s all the same texture, it’s all kinda just a little middling – even great quality stuff! 

Try popping it into the microwave for five to ten seconds! This application of heat can just release the smells and make it taste a little better – and suddenly? Dinner is way more appetising!  (Don’t apply this one to raw, though please!) 

add an egg to your dogs food to make it more tasty!

4 – Add An Egg

Eggs! Haha they don’t even need to be over easy, just straight cracked from the shell! A commonly ignored fact is that dogs love eggs. It’s a wonderful treat! Whether you scramble them, or hardboil them (this always makes an interesting first introduction!) – they’re awesome.
So, why not try cracking a raw egg into fussy fido’s food, eggs are super yummy! They’re also fab for your Puppy’s coat and they’re good for trying to add some weight if you need to.  (Ignore the veggies in the picture though! Well, unless your puppy loves a veggie?!)

5 – Soak It Up

It could be a digestive thing, kibble takes a long time to digest, and then swells in the stomach as it takes on water. Which doesn’t sound yummy, does it?  So, to overcome that, you can add a little water to soften the kibble, leave it on the side for a minute or two then feed. This may make it a little less crunchy, and will abate some of the affects of the kibble teeth cleaning thing (which I’m sure is a myth, but I’ll investigate that another day!) but it will make it a lot easier to eat, and a lot easier to digest! 

Bone broth! A slow boiled thing of bones with cooked bones (like chicken bones!) carrots, celery, bay leaves, peppercorns, apple cider vinegar and garlic (no onions!) simmered over 24hrs actually makes the bones go to mush, they can then easily be eaten and pose no risk to our pups.

6 – It’s All Gravy, Baby!

If you want to make it super yummy? Add a ladle of bone broth to it! Packed full of meaty juices and yummy fats (and soft squidgy bone if you want to!) it’s packed with great nutritional value and is actually an immune booster too, if you make it right. Make sure it’s cooled though! Don’t feed it piping hot.

Again, if you feed kibble, let it sit a little and soak up all the deliciousness, and your puppy will be smacking their chops again in no time, and eating their food like a pro.

Soak up all the deliciousness!

7 – Change It Up

Sometimes, what your feeding isn’t good for your puppy… or it’s just bland and uninteresting. If you can afford it, raw feeding is a wonderful way to feed. You can literally see the ingredients. It’s tasty, it’s engaging, and there are very few dogs who will turn down a raw meal. Eating food might just become easy again for your puppy!

8 – How Old Are They?

Be aware, if you have a female Puppy coming up to their first season or heat, it can actually create inappetence! So if they’re not really feeling eating their food, it may not be the case that they don’t like their food, just that they’re feeling a little icky. And that’s totally understandable in my opinion.

8 – How Old Are They?

Be aware, if you have a female Puppy coming up to their first season or heat, it can actually create inappetence! So if they’re not really feeling eating their food, it may not be the case that they don’t like their food, just that they’re feeling a little icky. And that’s totally understandable in my opinion.

Did you know?

Our pupdates are packed full of information like that about your girls season. I’ll help you predict these things, understand what they are, and why they are, and it’s more than just a sudden lack of an appetite too! It’s about keeping you a step ahead of everything your puppy has to offer.

Did you know?

Our pupdates are packed full of information like that about your girls season. I’ll help you predict these things, understand what they are, and why they are, and it’s more than just a sudden lack of an appetite too! It’s about

Ta-dah!

Pretty good little list, huh? Anything on there sound like it’s going to work? Think that Fussy Fifi might be able to do something with at least one of these? Try them out and let me know what you and Picky Petunia think! Have they helped? Or maybe you know something else that might work wonderfully? Let us know! 

If you’re struggling to stay on top of your puppy’s changes by day, by week, by month – why not sign up for our pupdates? They’re going to really help you predict changes in behaviour (like with our girls eating habits changing as their season is due!) and help you to normalise raising a puppy.

frenchie puppy being held by clueless panicking owner who definitely needs our weekly pupdates!

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