It’s not a big deal if your dog decides to skip a meal. Maybe your dog prefers to eat once a day rather than twice. What is important is that they are maintaining a healthy weight, and receiving 90% of their calories from their meals (not treats).
Start with a high quality food. Consider switching proteins, dogs get bored of eating the same thing every day. We highly recommend rotating proteins often.
Make sure to set a feeding window, if you’re free feeding now this may need to be longer at first and then cut back on the time the food is allowed out. If your dog doesn’t eat, take the food up until the next meal time.
Are you overfeeding table scraps and treats? If so, your dog may not be hungry at meal time and choose not to eat. Calories from treats should not exceed more than 10% of their daily calories.
There could be some anxiety over meal time. Be sure to feed in a quiet place without any foot traffic. Leave your dog to eat without hovering. Try feeding in the middle of the floor rather than against a wall. You can also try using a flat plate or board rather than a bowl.
Try adding some healthy meal toppers such as bone broth, raw goat milk, canned, freeze dried or raw food.
If this is a sudden avoidance of food, check that your dogs food hasn’t gone rancid. We recommend that a bag of food is consumed within 3-4 weeks of opening or kept in the freezer.
The original bag is the best way to keep food fresh, they are designed for this purpose. If using a storage container, keep food in the original bag and set inside of the container.
Check with your vet to make sure there isn’t a medical issue causing food avoidance.
Sometimes when switching away from free feeding, reducing overfeeding of treats or switching from a high carb diet to a more species appropriate diet we need to show some tough love.
Set the bowl down for up to 30 minutes, if your dog does not eat, take the bowl back up.
Repeat this step again at the next meal time. It is OK for a dog to skip meals for 2 days, just be sure they are drinking.