My Dog's Gone Off Raw Food | Help With Raw Feeding | ProDog Raw

Help! My Dog’s Gone Off Raw Food!

35 Comments

by Mike Simmonds

When it comes to raw feeding for dogs, it is not unusual to hear reports from an owner that their dog has gone off their raw food or won’t eat it anymore. Often, the dog has been on a raw diet for a while seemingly loving it at first before becoming increasingly “fussy” and appearing to “favour” certain options over others. This can limit the range of proteins that the owner starts to order. It can even go as far as dogs refusing to eat and owners throwing perfectly good raw away!

This situation can be extremely concerning for dog owners. A typical response is to try another raw brand or food type (treats or kibble) which the dog seems to miraculously want to eat instead! Many owners assume it is the fact their dog doesn’t like the old food any more when this is not actually the case. Often, the answer is quite simple having absolutely nothing to do with the fact that they have gone off their raw food or developed preferences! In fact, you may be surprised at the real reason why the food that you put down for them isn’t being eaten.

The Dog is Just Not Hungry

“How is that possible?” you might ask. Well, if you analyse how much you feed your dog and how many treats they get in a day versus what they should actually be eating, you may well find that you are overfeeding them. Of course, we do this with the best of intentions and sometimes without even realising but you would be surprised at the number of owners that contact us to say their dog won’t eat only to discover that this is because they aren’t actually hungry. This is especially common around 9 or 10 months old when growth rates slow and puppies no longer need as much to eat.

To add further confusion to the issue, a dog who is refusing to eat old raw may be drawn initially to a new raw or alternative food source at first as it smells new and enticing. This will be short-lived however as if it’s a new source of raw the same will apply and the dog will eventually behave the same refusing the food again. Many owners can find themselves going through every raw food on the market until they give up or figure out that the dog is just not hungry.

It’s Time to Re-Calculate What Your Dog is Eating

Our raw dog food calculator can help you determine how much your dog should be eating. If you compare this number with what they are actually eating, then you can work out if you are feeding too much. We get used to feeding based on what is eaten and not what should be consumed. Once this becomes routine it seems perfectly natural to carry on giving them the same amount of food at each mealtime. Eventually, you may start to notice an expanding waistline. When you know how much your dog should be getting, stick to it and make sure that any treats are included in this daily food allowance.

Also, feeding guides are exactly that – GUIDES! There are no hard and fast rules as to how much a dog should eat. A common-sense approach should be taken. For example, most Bulldogs need approx. 1.5% of their “ideal body weight” to stay lean and healthy. Their breed is prone to a slower metabolism and bulkier composition so they need less food to stay trim and athletic. Now, most raw feeding guides say 2-3%, but in our experience, this is almost undoubtedly too much for the British Bulldog. This will also apply to elderly or overweight dogs, or dogs that have reduced appetite. It is simply that they are NOT HUNGRY and that’s why they are leaving food. Don’t be concerned – simply skip a meal and then reduce the amount you feed them going forward.

Concerns About Your Dog Not Eating

If you have a dog that is refusing their raw food, at this point you may be worrying that they haven’t eaten their last meal and that they are going to get hungry. Do not worry! If a dog is hungry it will eat, whatever you put in front of them. The only exception to this is if there is an underlying issue or illness in which case, you will want to rest their stomach and get professional advice if it is an ongoing concern.

Be Strict with Their Feeding Regime

If you want to get your dog back into their normal feeding habits then here is what you should do:

  • At their next meal time put out the correct amount of the food you want them to eat – in this case it is their raw meal.
  • Do not start preparing special meals, giving them treats and trying to get them to eat anything other than what they should be eating. You will only encourage picky eating habits.
  • If they clear their bowl of the reduced amount don’t be tempted to feed more. Stick to the plan!
  • Put their food down and leave it. If they haven’t eaten after 20 minutes, pick it up and put the food away again until their next meal time.
  • At the next meal time do exactly the same again!
  • Stay strong and don’t give in to your dog and don’t feel guilty that your dog hasn’t eaten and start to panic.

A hungry dog will eat and as long as energy levels are normal and water is being consumed, they will be fine. If, after following the above steps, they still don’t eat consider the fact that they may just be having a rest day and try again tomorrow. Some days a dog will want to eat more than others. You shouldn’t panic if they don’t eat at all one day. In fact, it is advisable that you rest their digestive system once a week with a fast day.

The Benefits of Regular Fasting

Fasting dogs is a well-researched and highly recommended part of the raw feeding process. It is also how nature works! Remember, a wild dog would not eat daily and when you take a dog back to a natural diet they often mimic natural eating habits, including periods of fasting. The burden of canine digestion demands all of the resources of the immune system. In order to strengthen immunity and give the dog’s digestive system a chance to recover, it is important to fast your dog regularly.

Improving Digestion and Immunity

Now, this may seem like a tall order when faced with a dog that expects their food at a certain time. As owners, you feel obliged to feed them at their expected meal times daily. You feel cruel, mean and like you are starving your dog but the truth is you are doing them a whole world of good. Regular fasting can help the immune system detoxify. It will restore the normal homeostatic balance and help their immune system to stay in peak form. But how often should you fast your dog? It is widely recommended to fast on the 7th day. Feed them their normal recommended allowance of food for six days then give them nothing on the 7th.

A New Routine Will Improve Their Feeding Habits

Once your dog is eating again, start the new regime of feeding for 6 days and fasting for 1. Remember to keep an eye on the amounts you are feeding and the weight of your dog. If you notice a difference either way in their weight then adjust how much you feed accordingly and remember to include treats in their daily allowance. Your dog will no longer be fussy about what they eat and when and they will benefit from much-improved digestion and a stronger immune system.

Follow the Advice Before Considering Other Issues

If the problem persists and the dog has not eaten for a few days or more, then you can start to consider other issues that may be going on. In the majority of cases though we find that, by following the above guidelines and advice, the issue normally rectifies itself after 2 to 3 days and the dog will happily go back to eating the raw food that you put down.

At ProDog Raw, we have many years’ experience of feeding raw dog food are happy to answer any concerns you may have. Our team of friendly experts are on hand to talk you through everything and to offer the benefit of our expertise, especially if you are new to raw feeding. Just get in touch and we will be happy to help.

Mike Simmonds

Our IT guy who uploads all our content written by our awesome team

Comments

35 responses to “Help! My Dog’s Gone Off Raw Food!”

  1. Linda says:

    I have 10 month beagle she has half tripe with carrot biscuit is this OK for my breed

  2. Julie Hocking says:

    I have gone from kibble to raw as it is better for them.

  3. Jennifer says:

    Hi,
    Our 8 month old American bulldog cross has been turning her nose up after we changed the flavor or her food to chicken and salmon. Yesterday she picked at it and today point-blank refused to eat at all. She’s still drinking and her energy levels are normal – do you think she’s just trying to be picky with flavours? She’s had beef and chicken and duck in the past and has been fine.

  4. David says:

    I have a six year old male rottweiler put him on raw food 2 year ago he was getting chin acne and ear trouble.Cleared everything until jan2020 had booster and now he has smelly cheesy ears with a lot of yellowy wax it won’t clear up but I don’t want vets treatments.

    • ProDog says:

      Hi David, have a read of this to start with – https://www.prodograw.com/dog-ear-infections/
      Try adding organic Apple Cider Vinegar both to the food (table spoon a day for a Rottweiler) and apply topically alongside probiotics and try cutting out any veggies with natural sugars like carrots out until its cleared up as it does sound like a yeast infection.
      Also, have a look into titre tests, not boosters, going forward.
      Regards
      Team ProDog

  5. Rebecca Lachmann says:

    Hi,
    My Golden Retriever is really fussy with his food, I’m struggling now for about 3 weeks. All of a sudden he didn’t want to eat his raw food.. after a while I put brie on top and he ate it all which makes me think he is testing his boundaries (he is 8.5 months old). However this is going. on for 3 weeks now, so I changed the brand and the first day he ate it all, which was amazing. Since Monday though he is not eating his raw food again so I’ve done exactly what you recommended – put his food down, leave it and take it away – today is Wednesday so 2.5 days in and he still is not touching it and I am getting worried. He is not getting as much exercise at the moment as he has a problem on his shoulder so he is probably not as hungry but not eating anything is concerning. I won’t give him many treats now either to really see if he starts eating, but how much longer should I persist in doing so?

    • ProDog says:

      Hi there
      While we understand that this is concerning for you, rest assured that the dog will not starve. It’s just that he isn’t hungry. Brie is not suitable for a dog so we would recommend not giving him that to encourage him to eat his food. Have a read of this https://www.prodograw.com/help-my-dogs-gone-off-raw-dog-food/ – it should answer lots of questions for you.
      Regards
      Team ProDog

  6. Corinne says:

    So just to preface I’m not new to Raw, I fed it to my previous giant schnauzer and he did so well on it. I now have another giant and his course has been rocky.
    We got him in May from the breeder and he was on kibble. Always hungry, to the point of eating his own poop. I switched him over and it was going well until August where he developed raging diarrhea and stopped eating. He went on a course of antibiotics as it wasn’t resolving. Since then he keeps having bouts every six or so weeks where he develops diarrhea and I fast him for a day and then start on lightly cooked meat with rice and gradually move him back to his diet. I did a whole fecal panel with vet which didn’t show anything too concerning. This last bout started with him eating other dogs poop while he was off leash on a run. He got sick with diarrhea. I got him back to his regular diet which is just a very good grade commercial chicken or turkey ground with bone. I supplement with some pumpkin, rice and salmon oil at times along with a probiotic. He does get hunger pukes and I’ve mitigated that by feeding late at night mixed with some rice for bulk.
    The last few days he just stands over his food nudging at his bowl but not eating until late at night. (I pick it up if he doesn’t eat). He appears hungry , mooching and even trying to steal toilet paper or various things around the house, but not his food. I’ve stripped everything out now except the Probiotic and the meat.
    I’m at a loss. I think I’ve tried everything. He’s def not overweight. And in fact perhaps a bit light in looking at his frame. Any advice would really help

    • ProDog says:

      Hi there – the best thing to do would be to arrange a call so that you can discuss this further with Heidi. She will be able to help you and give you some advice on how to proceed. The best thing to do would be to message her – info@prodograw.com and set up a time that works for you both. Mark it for the attention of Heidi.

      Kind Regards
      Team ProDog

  7. Anna says:

    Hi I have basset hounds. Very new to the raw thing. I just confused as how much to feed them. They are 45 lbs. I see all sorts of recommendations but we are 2nd week in and my dogs have slowed down in their eating. So I gave less tonight, still didn’t eat all of it. I was told about a lb of meat for each meal. But the way they are eating, I am thinking less?

  8. Kelly says:

    My puppy had the trial pack of the complete and loved it.. couldn’t get enough. Used it for training and she couldn’t get enough! Put in another order for the big bundle and now she won’t go near it on a lick mat or bowl, will eat it from my hand during training but she isnt anywhere near as into it as before. I used some of the ostrich treats for training and shes obedient again.. some days she doesn’t get any treats and would go a full day turning her nose up at her bowl/mat. Shes nearly 5 months so she shouldn’t be missing meals, any suggestions?
    Thanks

    • ProDog says:

      Hi there

      It would be really useful to know dog’s breed and weight and how much you are feeding a day. There are many reasons why the dog may not be eating. She may just not be hungry because she is getting a bit too much maybe? In the first instance, check what she should be getting daily using this handy calculator http://www.prodograw.com/raw-dog-food-calculator – remember that treats are included in this daily allowance. This may also help https://www.prodograw.com/help-my-dogs-gone-off-raw-dog-food/

      If you are still having issues, please do get in touch. You can contact us via our Facebook page – prodograw

      Kind Regards
      Team ProDog

  9. Leigh says:

    We had this exact issue with our 4 year old SCWT. He’s been on raw since birth, we have been through many brands and he still refuses to eat. We have issues with some proteins and offal upsetting his digestion (very runny poo). I’m afraid to say we switched to a kibble 😔

    Is it worth going back to raw? Can you offer any advice on how to do this?
    Thank you.

    • ProDog says:

      Hi there, thanks for reaching out. The best thing to do is set up a call to discuss so that we can get some more information and offer the right advice. We can arrange a call to Heidi. The easiest thing to do is to message us via our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/prodograw – ask if you can book a call with Heidi.

      Kind Regards
      Team ProDog

  10. Frankie says:

    I have an 11 month SBT who has always been a fussy little thing. We changed her onto RAW after months of trying different kibbles/wet foods. She initially absolutely loved it, her stools improved and she seemed to have lots of energy. However, 2 days ago she point blank refused to eat her meal, she was also experiencing really loose stools so we thought maybe she’s got worms! She’s since be de-wormed and we’ve been giving her boiled white fish and rice which she’s wolfed down every time. Moving forward, we want to get her back onto her RAW diet ASAP, but I’m now really worried she’s not going to eat it. Due to her fussy history and the stress this has caused in the past, it’s filling me with dread that it’s happening again! I have read online that dogs go through a detox when being fed raw which includes symptoms of gloopy eyes, increased shedding and a stronger body odor.. All which she has. Any help/advice you may be able to give would be really appreciated!

    • ProDog says:

      Hi Frankie

      It is probably easier if we get you to email the team who will be able to help and advise you. Please drop an email to customerservice@prodograw.com and one of our knowledgeable team will be only too happy to help.

      Kind Regards
      Team ProDog

  11. Helen Roberts says:

    We’ve got a 15 week old puppy, mini labradoodle who, weighs 2.2kg. He’s so picky and we have done the above and moved to a recommended raw food which has a bit less paste like than the puppy stuff we tried him on. Just like the article he’ll eat it once then won’t go near it. We are trying so hard to train him with either his food (which doesn’t work as he won’t do anything for it) or just the tiniest bit of natural treats. Worried that these are spoiling his appetite but a real struggle to train him to do anything without treats. Recommended amount of food is about 160g but we’re struggling putting down the same 40g meal over and over again and he won’t touch it.

    • ProDog says:

      Hi there

      What treats are you feeding him and how often? You have said you are trying to put down 40kg per meal? Is he eating anything? Have you tried pan frying it a little? If you like we can arrange a call to discuss this further? Anything we can do to help.

      Kind Regards
      Team ProDog

  12. Sanjeev Shah says:

    We have a 17 week male golden retriever, Timber, who is a 19.3kg and has been on a raw diet from the time he was weened. He is currently on 3 meals with daily intake at 1.3kg. We have a good range of complete raw meals from all lamb, lamb tripe, mince green beef tripe, chicken and beef, rabbit and finally turkey. We supplement the completes with things like sprats, turkey wings, chicken wings, duck wings, banana etc to make up each meal to allowance of circa 430g. We ensure treats are counted towards daily allowance. I believe if Timber had his way he would be happy with a diet of purely wings! I have always struggled with him wanting to eat the raw completes but recently he will not touch them. I have tried giving them part frozen, adding lardons/sausage, adding a raw egg and also feeding by hand but to no avail. During last 72 hours he has at best eaten 200-300g completes per day and I have not supplemented with anything else. He is definitely hungry but he is just not going for the raw completes. How long should I just continue down this tack?

    • ProDog says:

      Hi there

      It sounds to us like the dog is self regulating so here is our advice:

      Start with 24 hours of no food then cut to 1kg per day fed over two meals for a week
      This will build appetite.

      Make sure any treats are included in this kilo per day – you need to triple the wright off any dried treats as a 5g dried sprat would be the equivalent of 15g of raw

      Can you see two ribs when he is sniffing? If you can’t he is too heavy If you can see 6 ribs he’s too light

      Dogs self regulate and if he is hungry enough he will eat. Most of the info you need is covered in this article but if you follow our advice, he should start to eat normally again.

      Let us know how it goes.

      Kind Regards
      Team ProDog

  13. Chris Keen says:

    We have a 6 month old GSD who has been on raw since weaning. We are following the weight/food ratio, currently 4% of 33kilos. Problem is he is eating the two meals a day, but he is always trying to steal other food, sandwiches, meat, anything. He is above his graph weight and should not be hungry. Why does he always seem to need some other is not in his raw diet?

    • ProDog says:

      Hi there

      So, some dogs will always look for food when they are getting enough. However, there is a trick to make them feel fuller and that is to add raw courgette to their meals. It’s very fibrous and high in water content which means that they will feel full without getting too many calories. Try it. Obviously not too much and maybe just one meal per day. If your dogs weight is OK then there is no cause for concern.

      Kind Regards
      Team ProDog

  14. Laila says:

    Morning, my 9 month old beagle has been on your raw food since we got her at 10 weeks old. She has recently gone off it so much so that she wasn’t eating anything so we have to give her mince and sweetcorn which she loves. She just turns her nose up at the raw when we put it down but if we put mince or tuna out for her she eats the lot. We want to keep her on raw as she’s been so healthy and we can definitely see the benefits. Any advice would be appreciated thanks

  15. Katie white and Chris Tierney says:

    We have raw fed or homemade at first since 1996. I am always open to learning and suggestions. Our 17mo young Belgian shepherd ( sheepdog) has been on raw , different brands, varieties, and also homemade following instructions so it is balanced as much as possible. We have 3 other dogs. In the past month or so he is turning his nose up at all the raw. Might eat it one day but not the next. Wr made a mistake I guess after reading advise and comments here as well as the whole article. He was just to the vet for titers, heartworm and 4dx and physical. My conventional vet said he is very healthy as well as beautiful. 🙂 he will get rabies in June by my holistic vet as it is different there. We put healthy treats on his food, pumpkin, goat milk, yogurt, egg, baked chicken, tried cooking his complete raw food ( commercial or homemade) lightly for a different texture. Now I know putting it on top of his food is just making him more picky. He is not neutered yet. He does a little agility, nosework, and highly active. Plays for hours with my 2 year gsd. This has been going on and we are getting concerned. He will eat freeze dried treats or the food using it as treats. He eats pieces of chicken cooked. He will eat raw Turkey necks and raw chicken thighs. He is fussy about his treats but fortunately the healthy ones he likes. Any suggestions? Once in a while I have quality canned food here to wrap a pill in etc and he seems to like that. I’ve taken spoonfuls and put in his raw. Sometimes he eats, sometimes not. He is not a big Belgian; only 40 lbs but I can feel his ribs. I certainly dont want to have to resort to canned food. Can you advise? Thank you Katie and Chris Have a great day

    • ProDog says:

      Hi there

      It would probably be more useful to you to arrange a call with one of our team to find out more about your dog and his eating habits. Have you followed the steps in the article as a first step? If you would like to arrange a call you can message us via our Facebook page or email the team – customer-services@prodograw.com and they will be able to help.

      Kind Regards
      Team ProDog

  16. Sharon says:

    I have two large dogs (Pyrenees mixes) that have been on raw for three years with no problems. All of a sudden they’re not wanting to eat it. I have different types of food from four sources and they’re being picky with all. I’ve separated the organs from the meat and tried little things like that, thinking that batch of organs or meat were bad. Some days they will eat pork, for example, the next day they won’t. So I thought maybe there’s a bad smell in their fridge that’s getting on all the food. I spend a lot on this food and have thrown out a lot and given a lot away. Not sure how to fix this.

    • ProDog says:

      Hi Sharon

      So we recommend that you rest the dogs i.e. no food for 24 to 48 hrs
      Then flash fry the food off for the first few days before you reintroduce raw
      Underfeed for a week to promote appetite then be strict with feeding amounts
      Dogs need less as they get older so maybe their calorific requirements have changed however, a hungry dog will eat anything so building appetite is the key

      If you have any further questions, please do get in touch.

      Kind Regards
      Team ProDog

  17. Debs Fisher says:

    Hi
    Would you recommend a starve day for a 4 month old English Bull Terrier? He initially loved this food, but now won’t entertain it.
    Thanks

    • ProDog says:

      Hi Deb, so further to our comments yesterday, we recommend feeding once a day and sticking to a strict 2% of ideal body weight. Any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

      Kind Regards
      Team ProDog

  18. Claire Ching says:

    Hi,
    We have a 18week old frenchie, loved his raw but since we went on a walk and he ate some sheep poop (which he loved 🤢) he’s not interested in his meals. He’s currently 7.6kg in weight, which I believe is a good weight for his age and breed?, he has had my husband give into him and been cooking him chicken breast and rice the past few days because Sid was sick, and he’s ate this with no problem, (obviously because it’s a new meal) I believe he was sick because he had no food in his stomach. I’ve just taken out another raw packed to defrost, Shall I persevere and try him back on the raw? Or should I add something to it? I think he’s just testing his boundaries but he has my husband wrapped around his paw. With him thinking the dog is starving. Any advise will be great and I can feed back to my husband to reassure him. (Sid (the dog) is his normal self and very playful, was a bit under the weather last week after our walk and that’s when he went off his Raw) so I think it was due to this and him eating something dodgy.

    • ProDog says:

      Hi there

      Sorry to hear you are having problems. Here is our advice:

      Fast him totally for 24 hrs
      Then give 75% cooked food and 25% raw fully mixed together on day one
      Then increase the raw, decrease the cooked on day 2 so 50/50
      25/75 day 3 etc.

      Hopefully, this will do the trick however, if you have any concerns, please do get in touch with us and we will be happy to help.

      Kind Regards
      Team ProDog

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