How To Force Feed A Dog Who Won’t Eat

When you see that your dog isn’t eating the food, it can be an alarming sign of something being wrong. There could be many reasons why your dog will not eat. One common reason is that the dog may be sick and have a loss of appetite. Another possibility is that the food you are feeding your dog is not appealing to him.

An animal’s rejection of food is never a good sign. We believe that a healthy appetite means they are feeling fine. So, this guide will help you give your dog vital nutrition when they’re just not eating or drinking themselves.

Should I Force Feed My Dog If He Won’t Eat?

If your dog is refusing to eat or drink, it’s important to take them to the vet to rule out any underlying health issues. Once you’ve determined that there isn’t a medical reason for their lack of appetite, you can begin working on getting them to eat again.

It is never a good idea to force-feed your dog. Forcing food into your dog’s mouth could cause him to choke or aspirate food into his lungs. In some cases, it may even cause your dog to vomit.

Instead, try to entice your dog to eat by offering him small amounts of food throughout the day. You can also try different types of food or treats until you find something your dog likes. If your dog is still not eating, talk to your veterinarian about possible causes and solutions.

Why Won’t My Dog Eat?

1. Illness

The most likely reason your dog isn’t eating runs parallel to the main reason humans don’t eat at times.

They’re sick. They don’t feel like eating when they have a fever. They feel like lying down and taking a nap. Other times, there could be an underlying health condition causing your dog to lose its appetite. Dental disease is a big one. If your dog is in pain every time it tries to eat, it makes sense that eating would be the last thing on its mind.

However, if your dog is not eating and is either vomiting, having diarrhea, or both, contact your veterinarian within 8-12 hours.

2. Social & emotional issues

One common reason why dogs will stop eating is due to emotional issues. Dogs who are experiencing anxiety or stress may refuse to eat as a way of trying to cope with those feelings. If your dog has stopped eating, it’s important to try and identify any possible emotional factors that could be contributing to the problem.

You may need to seek professional help from a veterinarian or animal behaviorist to get to the root of the problems.

3. Medical Conditions

There are also many medical conditions that can cause a dog to lose its appetite. If your dog has suddenly stopped eating, it’s important to take them to the vet for a check-up to rule out any potential health problems. Some of the most common medical issues that can cause a dog to lose its appetite include:

  • Pancreatitis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Intestinal parasites
  • Dental problems
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Cancer

4. Dietary issues

It’s also important to make sure that your dog’s diet is not the cause of the problem. Dogs who are fed a poor quality diet or who are not getting enough of the nutrients they need may stop eating as a result.

5. Time of day

It’s been found that the time of day can have an effect on whether a dog will eat or not. For example, in tests, it was found that dogs were more likely to eat during the morning than they were at night. This could be due to a number of factors, such as the natural light exposure during the day or when their feeding schedule is.

However, some dogs only eat during specific times of the day. Maybe your pup only likes to chow down at noon, or perhaps they only finish their bowl after the sun goes down.

No matter what your dog’s preferences are, eating at the same time each day is common practice. So, we should choose a time that is convenient for them, and stick to it as much as possible. Setting a feeding schedule helps our dogs know when to expect their next meal and can help regulate their bathroom habits.

How To Force Feed A Dog Who Won’t Eat

What should we do to feed them again?

1. Check for medical causes

If your dog is refusing to eat, the first step is to check for any underlying medical conditions that may be to blame. If your dog has recently been ill or undergone surgery, this could be the reason why they’re not interested in food. Additionally, some dogs may need medication to stimulate their appetite.

2. Make sure they’re not eating too much

If your dog is getting enough food, they may simply be losing interest because they’re no longer hungry. Dogs can become overweight if they eat more than they need, so it’s important to make sure their meals are appropriate for their age, weight, and activity level.

3. Try different foods and flavors

Dogs can get bored of the same food day in and day out, so it’s a good idea to mix things up by trying different flavors and textures. There are many commercial dog foods on the market as well as recipes you can make at home.

4. Feed smaller meals more often

If your dog is used to eating one large meal per day, try switching to smaller meals fed multiple times throughout the day. This can help increase their interest in food and make them less likely to become full and lose interest.

5. Increase their activity level

Dogs that are active and have plenty of things to do tend to be less interested in food. If your dog is getting enough exercise, try adding more physical stimulation to their day such as playing fetch or going for walks.

6. Make mealtime interactive

Many dogs love when their owners interact with them while they’re eating. Try putting their food down in a place where they can’t reach it and seeing if they’ll try to get your attention in order to get a bite. You can also hand feed them small amounts of food to make the experience more fun.

7. Check for environmental stressors

If your dog is suddenly refusing to eat, it’s possible that there’s something in their environment that’s causing them stress. Dogs can be sensitive to changes in their routine or surroundings, so try to think of anything that may have upset them recently.

8. Warm the food up

Some dogs prefer their food to be warm, so try warming up their kibble or giving them a bowl of warm water to drink. You can also add some broth or wet food to their diet to make it more appealing.

9. Give them soft and easy to eat food

Many dogs have trouble eating certain foods because they irritate their mouth, teeth, or ulcers. Soft food can help with this problem. There are many different types of soft food on the market. You can find them in canned, frozen, or dry form. Some dogs prefer certain types of soft food over others. For example, some dogs love canned food while others prefer the taste of dry food.

10. Visit the vet

If you’ve tried all of the above and your dog is still not eating, it’s a good idea to take them to the vet for a check-up. There could be an underlying health issue that’s causing them to lose their appetite.


It is important to consult with a veterinarian if your dog is not eating for an extended period of time. If the dog is healthy, there are several things that can be done to encourage the dog to eat. If you decide to force feed your dog, it is important to do so slowly and carefully to avoid causing injury.

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