You are an attentive pet parent. You buy only high-quality dog food for your precious little Fifi. You dutifully fill her bowl every morning. You may have even gotten her a fancy ceramic bowl with her name printed on it.
Perhaps you mix in some oils or vitamins to make it even healthier.
But, Fifi turns up her cute little nose at it. And when you sit down to eat, your dog won’t eat food. Instead, she stares at you with big dewy eyes as if to say ‘Why don’t you ever feed me?’
This can be a frustrating situation. What can you do about it? Can you stop it, to begin with?
Why Fin Won’t Eat Her Food?
Generally, you should not have any trouble at all getting Fifi to eat. Most dogs will eat anything and everything that isn’t medicine. And even that can be fed to Fin if you’re sneaky enough.
If your furry friend suddenly has no enthusiasm for food, something is very wrong. It is your job as pet parents to make sure your dog is healthy and well-fed.
Are There Any Underlying Health Problems?
The first thing you should consider if your dog refuses to eat is if she has any health problems. Does she have a tummy ache? Is there something wrong with her mouth or throat?
Illness, in general, can be enough to kill anyone’s appetite. If a refusal to eat is accompanied by vomiting or diarrhea, something is very wrong.
Check Fifi’s mouth to see if there’s anything stuck in there or if something looks wrong or smells bad. (Dog breath has a reputation for being less than sweet but it shouldn’t be putrid.)
If it’s something you can’t fix, it’s time to go to the vet.
Have You Fostered Bad Eating Habits?
There are no bad dogs, only bad owners. Sometimes well-meaning owners spoil their pets by giving them foods they shouldn’t have too often or at the wrong time.
Your dog may have learned she can manipulate you into giving her something tastier.
In this case, Fifi is like a child who has been given too much cake and candy. Just wait it out and make it clear she will eat her dog food or nothing.
As long as she isn’t very young or has health problems like diabetes going hungry for a day or two until she caves and eat what’s given to her won’t kill her.
Did You Make A Bad Choice With The Food?
Maybe it’s the food and not the dog that’s spoiled. Dog food has an expiration date.
Are you feeding Fifi expired food?
It may not only be unappetizing but unsafe. Keep consistent with your dog’s food so you don’t upset her system.
You can also stimulate Fifi’s appetite by taking her for a walk.
Are There Behavior Issues You Need To Tend To?
Is Fifi begging for attention rather than food?
Even bad attention is good for a dog. Let your dog know that mealtime should be peaceful and private.
Give her a quiet and safe place to eat alone. Provide her with a comforting routine of feeding. When she finishes, tell her what a good dog she is.
Reasons Why Your Dog Is Begging For Food?
Dogs beg for food when they think they can get away with it. Some use begging as a controlling behavior to exert dominance. This should not be put up with at all.
Some small dogs are allowed to get away with things a big dog normally isn’t because they seem so harmless.
It is not good for you or the dog to let her get so spoiled.
How To Teach Your Dog To Stop Begging For Food?
If you have already made the mistake of encouraging bad behavior, don’t worry. You can undo it. It’s a bit like giving up cigarettes.
It is difficult and it would’ve been best never to start in the first place but it can be done if you just keep at it. Just follow these steps.
- If you don’t want your dog to eat people food, just don’t give her any. Simple as that. Keep food including (especially) trash where she can’t get it.
- Do not give your dog food while she is near the table. Not even her own.
- If you do not want your dog in the kitchen while you are cooking don’t feed her in the kitchen. Reward her for going to her own spot.
- If you do decide to feed your dog the odd people’s food does it only in her designated eating area. If she goes there without being asked, reward her.
Try Stopping The Problem Before It Starts
Keep your dog from begging by choosing a space where your dog will go while you eat. It’s easier to teach your dog things if they’re still a puppy but even adult dogs can learn.
Use a baby gate or tether to keep them there until they learn to stay. Give her a toy or chew bone to keep her occupied.
Teach Your Dog The “Stay” Command
Fifi needs to be taught to obey the ‘Stay’ command. Tell her firmly but gently to stay and reward her when she does so. Do not punish her for not getting it right away. Eventually, she’ll figure out what she’s supposed to do.
Don’t Give Up Too Easily!
Rome wasn’t built in a day. The Fin may fall back on her old behaviors, trying to get you to give her what she wants by whining and begging.
Don’t give in. The only way she’ll learn to stop begging is if it’s not giving her results.
You Do Not Need To Withhold “People Food” Completely
Some human foods are fine if you want to give Fifi a special treat or coax her into taking medicine. There are some foods a dog should never have like chocolate, onions, or anything made with grapes.
Otherwise, the odd people’s food treat is fine as long as she didn’t beg for it and she otherwise eats healthily.
Do Not Yell At Your Dog
Aggression will only be met with aggression. You must be firm, yet calm. You must also be even-tempered and persistent.
You’d be surprised how much of dog training is doing nothing until Fifi behaves herself.
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Over To You
Which fact here did you enjoy best?
I think the best advice is to keep at it until you get results. Dogs are natural people pleasers so you are sure to get results if you show how pleased you are with good behavior.
Reply to your own questions and comments below. Please share this article if you like it.
What has your experience with begging dogs been?
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