General Question

ashleyvvv's avatar

How do I get my puppy to eat out of his bowl?

Asked by ashleyvvv (99points) June 12th, 2012

So I just adopted a 4 month old long haired chihuahua from the pound and we got all the supplies and toys for him but for some reason he won’t eat out of the bowl, he’ll drink out of his water bowl which is the same as the other, but won’t eat out of it. Now if I pick up the food he’ll eat it out of my hand or if i drop it on the floor he’ll eat it. I even tried putting the food into another bowl but no luck! This is dry and wet food! Help!?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

15 Answers

syz's avatar

Does it move or make a noise when he touches it? Is it too deep or too large or too small for his size? Is it plastic or does it have a strong odor? How long has this been going on? If it’s just a few hours, he just may not be that hungry yet but it taking it form you to please you.

If there’s noting about this particular bowl that’s a problem, hold food or a treat in your hand near the bowl and gradually move closer until he’s taking it form you directly over/in the bowl. If you can get him to the point of taking it from you while your hand essentially lays in the bottom of the bowl and he’s showing no hesitation or fear, you should be able to transition to dropping the food into the bowl while your hand hovers nearby. Gradually move your hand away until he’s eating on his own.

ashleyvvv's avatar

Well he’ll put his face to it then just back away from it. The bowl is small but not too small and I brang him home yesterday afternoon and he didn’t eat out of it and this morning as well.

Hmmm I’ll try and see if that works, thanks!

Pandora's avatar

Leave the food in his bowl. He will eventually get hungry enough to eat it on his own. But I believe when my puppy was young I got him to eat by breaking a liver treat into his bowl. They love the stuff. Its stinky as hell but its like crack for puppies. Give him one from your hand near the bowl and then break the next one in the bowl. The sound of a metal bowl will make them jumpy so buy a plastic one for now. Try just sitting next to the bowl and letting him come to it. Then over time move away from it. Sometimes I think they aren’t sure its ok to eat it before we get a chance to eat any. It takes them a while to figure out its only for them and not for you as well. Especially if they are shy and nervous. Don’t over feed on the liver treats. They are extremely fattening.

chyna's avatar

I had a metal bowl that my adult dog stopped eating out of. All that I could think of is that the bowl might have “shocked” her nose. I did all the things that @syz said to do and eventually she started eating out of the bowl again.

ashleyvvv's avatar

It is a plastic bowl, should I try this at dinner time ?

ucme's avatar

Important to remember that dinner time for dogs should be in a designated area.
Keep the bowl there at all times, so they know where the “dining room” is.

josie's avatar

See @Pandora Put the food out. The dog will eventually get hungry enough to eat it.
The next step will be put the food out for a specific time then pick it up. The dog will learn to eat from the bowl, and learn to eat at meal time. Then coordinate their trips to the bathroom with meals and voila a well trained dog.

blueiiznh's avatar

Try a different material for the dish. As a test, pour the dry food in the same location for feeding directly on the floor.

flutherother's avatar

I know I don’t like eating out of plastic. Maybe the dog feels the same way.

rooeytoo's avatar

A baby chihuahua doesn’t weigh much so I would not let it go too long without eating. The theory it will eat when it gets hungry enough works most times but a baby maybe not. Tempt it with something tasty like hamburger or liver in it. Although I have to admit, I have a 14 year old who one day refused to eat out of the bowl she had been eating from for the last 13 years. I don’t know why but she wouldn’t eat. She is small and old so what do I care what bowl she eats out of????? Now she has her meals from a china soup bowl and is happy and so am I. Why don’t you just try a different bowl and see what happens.

chyna's avatar

@rooeytoo I totally agree with you. As long as my dog ate, I didn’t care what she used.

Ponderer983's avatar

I think the dog is nervous with coming to a new environment. If you only brought it home yesterday, the nerves may be getting the best of the dog. I know when my dog is anxious, she doesn’t eat. The problem with taking it out of the bowl and putting it in some other means so that the dog will eat is bad (on the floor or your hand as mentioned). It will get used to that. I would try maybe come ground beef or chicken, something the dog will really want. I’m sure the dog knows how to eat out of a bowl at 4 moths old and living in a pound. It will come around when it’s hungry enough. Good luck! Welcome to the world of persnickety dogs.

SuzM122's avatar

I bet if you gave him food he can’t resist, he would eat out of his bowl. Not sure what you are feeding him, but if it has any corn, soy, wheat or fillers in it, that could be why he won’t eat it on his own. Try an all-natural brand like Natural Balance and see if that changes his behavior. Also try their Dog Food Rolls – grate them over his food in his bowl and I bet you he will eat that.

chyna's avatar

@ashleyvvv Can you update us on this? Is your puppy eating now? And if so, how did you handle it?

ashleyvvv's avatar

He is eating now thankfully! I was impatient at first and would put flood on the floor to eat but I just stopped doing it and eventually he got hungry enough to eat. Sometimes he doesn’t have a huge appetite in the morning, but he will eventually eat later in the day.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther