As a dog owner, you’ve probably caught yourself thinking about your pet’s diet more than a few times. You want to give them only the best dog food money can buy to ensure that they stay healthy and happy.
Of course, splurging on dog food or other treats for your precious pooch is not always an option. When money’s tight, you may have no option other than to fill their bowl with kibble.
Are dogs okay with that? Are they content to eat the same thing consistently?
I was curious about that matter and so I took it upon myself to conduct some research. I’ve detailed the things I learned below. Feel free to use them as guidance when you’re feeding your beloved pet.
Do Dogs Get Tired of the Same Food?
Many of us have a tendency to think that dogs appreciate food the same way we do. That’s why many pet owners have a habit of sharing their favorite foods with their dogs. I know that’s something I do often.
We also tend to think that our eating habits and preferences are the same. Some pet owners even enjoy their meals at the same time as their pets.
That line of thinking also influences how we feed our pets. Because we get sick of eating the same food day in and day out, we assume that dogs feel the same way.
You may be surprised to learn that eating the same thing over and over again is not a big deal for dogs.
Dogs don’t get tired of eating the same food because of how their taste receptors are laid out. They are known to have around 1,700 taste receptors. That seems like a high number until you consider that we have around 9,000 taste receptors.
Having fewer taste receptors means dogs don’t get bored of their food. If they like something, they will continue to enjoy it no matter how many times you offer it to them. That goes for their favorite kibble or special treats like steak.
Should I Vary the Food I Give My Dog?
We’ve established that dogs are content with eating the same food repeatedly. So, is there any need to vary the food we give them?
If the food you give to your dog fulfills their daily nutritional needs, you don’t have to deviate from offering it. You can keep serving that food to your dog and rest assured that they will be healthy and content.
You only have to change up the food you provide if you know it isn’t good enough.
At the moment, you may only be able to afford the cheapest dog food that doesn’t offer sufficient nutrients. Moving away from that eventually and offering healthier food would be ideal. For now, you can mix healthier treats into your pet’s diet to supplement the inexpensive dog food.
What you want to avoid is changing up your pet’s diet just for the sake of doing so. Changing your dog’s food on a whim can lead to some health issues.
Their digestive system could be greatly affected by the sudden shift and they might even get sick. They may experience bouts of vomiting and diarrhea due to the change.
The adage of sticking with what works applies when it comes to feeding your dog. A pet owner should only immediately change the food they give to their dog if a veterinarian tells them to do so.
How Long Should a Dog Eat the Same Food?
Let’s assume that you were giving your dog low-quality food previously because that’s all you could afford. Now that you can afford healthier and more expensive dog food, you’re planning to change your dog’s diet.
How should you go about implementing that kind of dietary change? The American Kennel Club recommends a meal plan that involves gradually integrating the new dog food into your pet’s diet.
On the first day of the meal plan, you want to fill a quarter of the bowl with the new food and the rest with the old food. Introducing your dog to their new food that way should protect them from the potential issues we discussed earlier. Portion the food out that way for the following day as well.
By the third day, you can now go half and half with the dog food variants. Continue serving those portions for the fourth day.
The arrival of day five means you can tilt the balance in favor of the new food. Fill three-fourths of the bowl with the new food and only leave a quarter left for the old food. You can do the same thing for day six.
Finally, you can fill your dog’s bowl with only the new food by the seventh day. Your dog should have adjusted to the new food at that point so no issues should arise.
Why Does My Dog Not Like His Food Anymore?
Seeing a lot of food remaining in your dog’s bowl when you know they typically finish what you give is concerning. Different reasons can explain why that happened. Learn more about them below.
Your Dog Is Not Feeling Well
Dogs who are sick will struggle to finish their food no matter how much they like it. Several illnesses can cause your pet to lose their appetite. Even something like a damaged tooth can stop them from eating.
Your Dog Is Feeling Anxious
Anxiety can have a significant impact on how people behave, but we’re not the only ones who can experience that. Dogs are susceptible to feelings of anxiety as well.
If you moved recently, your dog may still feel uneasy in your new home. They may need some time before they can start to fully enjoy eating again.
Dogs may also feel anxious if they’re eating alone for the first time. You’ll need to address their feelings of anxiety if you want them to revert to their normal eating habits.
There’s Something Wrong with the Dog Food
Your dog may have declined to eat the food you provided because there’s something wrong with it.
Find out if the dog food has spoiled by first checking its packaging. If the expiration date suggests that the food should still be good to go, you can check for other signs of spoilage.
Look at the bits of food and see if any of them are covered in mold. Open up the dog food container too and check for bugs in there. If you spot any mold or bugs, that means the dog food is probably spoiled.
You can also tell the current condition of the dog food by smelling it. After feeding that food to your pet for so long, you’re probably familiar with its smell already. If it suddenly smells different, take that as a sign that it has gone bad.