Do you find your self wondering “why my dog won’t eat his food in the morning ?” this is a very common question that occurs often with many pet dogs!
We’ll uncover why some dogs won’t eat food in the morning and what you can do to help your pup become more consistent with eating in the morning!
“Why My Dog Won’t Eat His Food In The Morning ” The Simple Answer
The most common reason why dogs won’t eat their food in the morning and may eat later through the day is that your dog is accustomed to having full access to his food throughout the day instead of only having the opportunity to eat at the scheduled time for food.
What To Rule Out
Before we dive into behavioral reasons and answer “why my dog won’t eat his food in the morning” the first step you should take as a dog owner, is rule out any medical issue that can be an underlying reason your pup may not be eating.
If your dog has always eaten his food in the morning, you haven’t changed your routine and your dog suddenly stopped eating in the morning you should take your dog to the vet for a check-up to ensure that your pup isn’t just feeling under the weather.
Once you have ruled out any medical issues that could have been the underlying cause the next thing to look at is the feeding routine you have for your pup!
When it comes to answering “why my dog won’t eat his food in the morning” ask your self what is the first thing you do in the morning?
Do you just pour your dog’s food in a bowl and simply leave it on the ground all day or do you just allow your pup the opportunity to eat when you place the food down for a few minutes?
There are main feeding routines most dog owners fall into, free feeding and a structured schedule here we’ll look at both.
Free feeding is usually the feeding routine most new dog owners fall into which is simply filling your dog’s bowl and allowing your pup to have full access to his food throughout the day.
Free feeding allows your dog to eat a little bit of his food here and little food there throughout the day.
The main con of free-feeding your dog is the fact that your pup starts to begin losing the value of being fed at a given time because your dog has full access to his food all day so there is simply no need to eat at a given time.
Doing this is often the main reason why your dog won’t eat his food in the morning.
Another con of free-feeding aside from your pup not eating all his food at certain times is the fact that your pup can also gain extra weight because he has access to his food all day!
Structured Feeding Schedule
The second feeding routine is a structured feeding schedule, a structured feeding schedule is when you have a set time scheduled to feed your dog.
On that scheduled feeding time you fill your dog’s bowl as usual but this time you only allow your dog then opportunity to eat for a certain amount of time, if your dog chooses not to eat you simply pick up the bowl and your dog doesn’t eat until the next scheduled time.
Heres What a structured feeding schedule may look like:
7:00 Am: Potty Walk
7:30 Am: Fill bowl and place on ground
8:00 Am: Pick up food bowl if your dog doesn’t eat within that period
6:00 Pm: Fill bowl place on ground
6:30 Pm: Pick up bowl if your dog doesn’t eat within that period
What happens if my dog doesn’t eat?
You may be a little concerned about your dog not eating within the given time for the structured feeding schedule but don’t be this normal.
When you first implement the structured feeding schedule because your dog is accustomed to having access to his food whenever he wants.
If your dog doesn’t eat don’t be alarmed stick to the structured feeding schedule and soon enough you’ll start to notice that when its feeding time your dog will be excited to eat because now your dog’s food has become valuable.
Increasing Value Through Scarcity
As a rule of thumb when your dog has access to something all the time whenever your pup wants it generally loses its value over time.
You see this all the time with dogs who have full access to all their toys!
For instance, the easiest way to ensure that your dog doesn’t lose interest in his old toys is by only allowing your dog to get access to one toy at a time when your dog begins to get bored with a given toy replace it with one of his other toys you had previously picked up.
Your dog will treat the toy switched out like its brand new because he never has full access to it whenever your pup wants.
The same is true for the feeding schedule essentially what we are doing is increasing the value of certain things by not allowing your pup to get access to them all the time!
Ultimately getting your pup to eat in the morning shouldn’t be too hard, consistency is key with everything we do in training!
Next time you’re wondering “why my dog won’t eat his food in the morning” ask yourself what feeding routine is your pup on?
Does he have access to his food all day or have you provided your dog with a structured feeding schedule?
Receive your free dog training consultation and set your pup up for success!