Help! My dogs gone off raw dog food!

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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 dog 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

If you refer to our raw feeding guide and calculate what your dog should actually be eating against what they are actually eating, you can then 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 raw feeding and 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.

Comments

18 responses to “Help! My dogs gone off raw dog 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?

  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!

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