Asshole Dog Hates His Food
November 11, 2015 6:02 PM   Subscribe

My normally food-obsessed dog does not appear to like his new food.

It's kibbles, like all his other food. He's normally such a voracious eater that I had to buy him a slow feeder. Now he's turning up his nose. If I mix it with old food he won't touch any of it, he won't even pick out the old kibbles and leave the new. If I leave it in his dish long enough, will he eat it? I don't know if dogs have complex thoughts like, "Well, it's been there for two days, and I'm really hungry, so I guess I'll eat this stuff." Is my little bastard going to attempt a hunger strike? I do not want to have a clash of wills with a ten pound dog.
posted by juniperesque to Pets & Animals (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Why are you so invested in his liking this food? Is it prescription food that you need to switch him to or something? If not, I would just say that even if he WILL eat it when he's starving two days from now, he doesn't like that food. You wouldn't want to be left with nothing to eat but that which you wouldn't eat until you'd been starved for two days, so why do it to your dog?

If there is a reason why he really needs to switch to this food, I would mix it with something that is A) AWESOME and B) Cannot be unmixed. The two things I have used for this purpose in the past are chicken broth, or freeze-dried liver treats, smashed into powder and sprinkled into the food. Hell, sprinkle liver treat powder in the broth. Even better.

I don't think his eventual eating will involve complex thoughts about how long the food has been there but more "Geez, I really am hungry right now and this is all I can find."
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:09 PM on November 11, 2015 [7 favorites]

I apologize if this is a stupid question, but will he still eat his old food?

I mean, he hasn't just coincidentally lost his appetite at the same time you switched foods?
posted by ernielundquist at 6:28 PM on November 11, 2015 [4 favorites]

Why did you change food?
posted by samthemander at 6:31 PM on November 11, 2015

My little dog is silly about his food. He gets fed twice a day, morning and evening. Sometimes he comes rushing to the bowl, but a lot of times he's just like hey whatever. Sometimes I'll get home at the end of the day and his breakfast will still be sitting there. Sometimes he'll just not eat for two days at a time. Very occasionally he decides that eating is THE. BEST. THING. and is all over me whining his head off if I'm even 5 minutes late dumping food in his bowl. My conclusion is that dogs are weird.

I don't know what goes through his head during his atypical times, but I don't really care. He's an animal, there's food in front of him, he'll eat when he's hungry. He's got good quality food that he seems to like enough to hit a voracious patch now and then, so I'm not too concerned about that aspect of it.

I will say, when he's being weird and just won't eat, like if it gets to the two day mark and he's just not showing any interest, I will feed him secondary food. I have a small stock of literally the cheapest canned petsmart brand food, which for some reason he just loves, even though it's, like, horse gristle and hamster anus, and let him eat a can of that. It always resets his system and he happily goes back to his regular old dry food the next day like it never happened.

Just literally right this moment he walked over to start eating the food I put out for him three and a half hours ago.

tl;dr I wouldn't worry about it too much, this may just be how he dogs. If he's still not eating, buy a can of some disgusting wet food and use it to rejigger his appetite.
posted by phunniemee at 6:32 PM on November 11, 2015 [4 favorites]

Have you had his teeth checked lately? My little one got very picky about her food, particularly the dry stuff. It turned out she was having problems with her teeth, and needed several pulled. She went back to (relatively) normal after they were out.
posted by bluloo at 6:43 PM on November 11, 2015

My dog (also a very voracious eater) did the same thing. It turned out the food was spoiled.

The obvious thing is to replace the new food. If he won't eat ANYTHING, you have a different problem. If he just won't eat the new food, it might well be spoiled or simply just taste awful.
posted by zug at 6:51 PM on November 11, 2015 [6 favorites]

Just replace it with what you know he likes. You spend more on your own food in a few days than what it costs to feed him what he enjoys for a month.
posted by cecic at 7:45 PM on November 11, 2015

If by kibble you mean dry food.... Yeah. You don't really want to know how they make that stuff. There is every chance that batch was made with spoiled ingredients.

See if you can return it or exchange.

(Wet food is often same. I don't know why I equivocated.)
posted by jbenben at 8:20 PM on November 11, 2015

Best answer: My small dog had trouble eating kibbles that were too big or too hard. Is it possible the texture of the new food is difficult for your dog? You could try softening it with some water or chicken broth and see if that helps.
posted by Meg_Murry at 9:16 PM on November 11, 2015

Not a dog owner, but a proud dog-sitter. I had a dog that hated his new food, but if you covered it in his old food, he would start inhaling so quickly he'd end up eating most of the new food... until he realized he was just eating old food, and he'd stop. Mixing would also work, but it did need to be more like 75/25 vs. 50/50.

I'm sure there are guides on this situation if you google it, but I always thought it was like when I'm hungry and don't eat anything until I order a pizza, even though there is literally a bunch of edible stuff in my apartment. It's just food I don't want to eat.
posted by AppleTurnover at 11:47 PM on November 11, 2015

I probably wouldn't eat food given to me by someone who called me an asshole either, though I'm assuming that's your title due to frustration, not a reflection on your dog.

My dogs are sometimes picky sometimes not. Sometimes i'll add a bit of chicken broth to the dry food. But given you're trying a new food, I'd day maybe ditch that food and go with something else.
posted by mulcahy at 6:53 AM on November 12, 2015 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Asshole dog apparently did not like the new kibbles because they were slightly larger than his old kibbles. I put today's breakfast in a baggie and smashed them with the side of a meat tenderizer this morning before pouring into his slowfeeder and he inhaled his food like usual.

What a weirdo.

For the record: Just like humans, he is an asshole about some things and not about others, so I didn't mean to upset anyone by conveying that I didn't like my dog. I love the little bastard, and this nickname derives from the NYTimes cartoon caption.
posted by juniperesque at 11:56 AM on November 12, 2015 [3 favorites]

It's ok, juniperesque. I call my dog an idiot all the time even though it's been years since that time he walked under the table and couldn't find his way out again.
posted by phunniemee at 12:49 PM on November 12, 2015 [4 favorites]

Wait a minute, no picture?!?
posted by acm at 4:06 PM on November 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

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