Your Labrador retriever Hunter has a mission in life. Every day, this ravenous four-year-old dog wakes up with a desire to find (and consume) as much food as possible. He begins by downing his kibbles in record time, and frequently scarfs the cat’s meals after that. Next, he scours the kitchen floor and even sniffs along the counters for sandwich-making scraps. Nothing is off limits for your dedicated food hound. Lately, though, Hunter has been playing with his meals, and turning away after just a few bites. You’re worried about poor nutrition and a potential medical problem. Tomorrow, he’ll visit your San Jose veterinarian for a physical exam and expert nutritional counseling.
You’ve always provided Hunter with the best food available. However, with your increasingly hectic schedule, you might have missed the latest bag’s expiration date. Worse yet, the contents might have become stale or rancid. Your canine gourmand has no intention of eating those compromised kibbles.
Hunter will happily accept food from any source. During his neighborhood walks and dog park trips, he heavily pressures his human friends for tasty snacks. While visiting the farmer’s market, he trolls the food vendors’ area, looking for scraps that might have fallen to the ground. Unfortunately, he has become a wildly successful treat hound, causing him to gain several pounds from the excess calories.
Maybe your dog’s disinterest in eating doesn’t relate to the food. He could be suffering from a hidden dental condition that makes it painful to chew. You might easily see the culprit, such as mouth or facial sores, damaged teeth, or a foreign object. Don’t try to peer into his mouth, as he won’t cooperate and will likely become rather testy. Instead, take him to the vet, who will safely diagnose and treat his problem. After he has recovered, his appetite should return.
Make the food so interesting that Hunter is driven to consume it. Spritz warm water over the kibbles, producing that intriguing smell and taste. If your San Jose veterinarian approves, add some warmed canned contents. However, don’t burn your dog’s delicate mouth.
After Hunter’s appetite returns, let him consume his meals without disruptions. Heap on the praise after he empties his bowl. If your dog won’t eat his food, contact us for expert assistance.