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Training Blog

March 6, 2022

Ask MM - “My New Dog Won’t Eat”

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Written by: Bob Guere

Keep your eye on the website and Facebook for a new feature where you, the Mutt Militia, can submit questions to the MM team about your doggie situation.  The format is still coming together, and we hope this will be a weekly or monthly thing - we’ll see.  In the meantime, here’s something to tease you….

Hi guys! I have adopted Gandolf and he is settling in, but I am not sure abut his diet and what he has been fed before. He ate a small treat and may just be nervous about his new surroundings and not wanting my food just yet. — Susan

Hi Susan,

It is totally normal for a dog not to eat for a couple of days during a big transition. He won’t starve himself, trust me! The key is NOT to feed him special food and goodies just to get something in his tummy, because then he will get used to human food or wet food, and will never eat his plain kibble! He will learn that all he has to do is wait, refuse his food, and then he will get something much yummier. The best thing to do is put his dry food down twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. Each time, leave the food there for 15 minutes, and then pick the bowl up, whether he has eaten or not. You can even set a timer if you want. This simple action provides structure for him, which is very important as he settles into a new home. Creating a consistent, reliable feeding ritual will help him understand that he is safe and can be comfortable in his new surroundings. Keep up with the feeding routine, being consistent about it every day, and soon (pretty quickly), he will learn that he needs to eat when you say it is time, by setting his food down. It shouldn’t be the other way around, i.e. “you need to put my food down when I am hungry, and/or demand that I want to eat.”

Hope this helps!

- Liz




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