How to make your dog eat dry food

By Kodichukwu Okonkwo, DVM | March 22nd, 2022

Dried dog food are obviously not natural to dogs but are made to give them complete nutrition. The ingredients and additives contained in them helps to supply all the needed minerals and nutrients to the pet. It's normal to see a dog preferring canned food, wet food or meat to dry food. The point is making sure the dog eats something that keeps him healthy and active.

The most common complain I get from some dog owners after buying their first dried food for their pet is that; “the dog just ate a little and never went there”. This made me to prepare the minds of first timers when they come to buy dried food for their pets. Sometimes, I try to find out if the dog has been eating dried food and which one? If the answer is yes then I know that the buyer is not a candidate for my advice on dried food but if not, I try to explain somethings the owner will experience when trying to feed the dog with it.

The first rule – Never give meat to a dog you intend to feed with dried food.

When I say meat, I mean both chicken, beef, Turkey etc. Dogs are carnivores and flesh is their best food. Somehow, I discovered that after a meal with meat, whether raw or cooked, they can stay a long time without really feeling hungry. I don't mean that if you bring another meat they won't eat but if you keep dried food they will not eat it. Restrain yourself from giving meat until your dog is used to eating dried food well. Give meat once in a while, like once or twice a week.

The second rule  – don't add water or milk to the dried food.

People try to make their dog to eat the dried food anyhow by trying to wet the food with canned food or milk. This practice is wrong because the food is supposed to remain dried in other not to get contaminated. Once the food is wet, it starts to “spoil” or grow molds which will eventually affect the dog adversely. If you have to do this by any reason, please make sure to remove the ones the dog couldn't finish immediately to avoid the above.

The third rule – don't grind the dried food

Some people try to grind the dog food to smaller particles to eliminate the difficulty in chewing the food. I will not say that this is completely wrong but many things can go wrong when you grind the dog food to finer particles, especially contamination. You should rather buy dried food with finer particles. Most puppy dried food come with smaller particles in other to enable the puppy to chew it without difficulty. If you dog is a small breed like Lhasa Apso, Maltese, pug etc, use puppy dried food if you can't find dried food specifically made for such small breeds.

The 4th rule – Start feeding your puppies dried food from 12 weeks or 3 months of age

Puppies at this age are very willing to chew things. They want to play with their teeth. Feeding them with dried food will be very ideal at this stage. They have teeth that are matured enough to chew dried food. You can feed them earlier with dried food but ideally at 12 weeks it's much easier.

The 5th rule – Always keep plenty drinking water by the side for the dog or puppy

Dried food absorb water or moisture from the mouth of the dog while he is eating and will quickly induce thirst. Drinking water strategically placed for the dog is very important because the dog will always need water while eating and after eating.


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    Kodichukwu Okonkwo, DVM

    Founder of Fairvet Animal Clinic Ltd since 2011, studied at the University of Nigeria Nsukka. He is well experienced in small animal, large animal & poultry medicine, and also skilled at zoo medicine. He loves animals and builds both professional and personal relationship with pet owners in order to sustain a good interaction with pet and animal owners, coupled with His great skills in programming; he brought about which he personally built from scratch.

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