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How To Get A Dog To Eat Dry Food

For anyone that has a dog in their household, I am sure that you’ll agree with the following.

Dogs are greedy!

Not greedy in a sense that they will eat what’s in their bowl but greedy in a sense that they’ll pretty much eat any and everything that they think is your food.

I have been around dogs for many years and to this day, I cannot seem to understand why dogs are so intrigued by the vegetable salad that is on our plates and not the full bowl of dog food just sitting there waiting to be devoured.

Do you wanna know a secret? Dogs really don’t care for the taste of the food on our plates, they only want it because we got it.

Over the years, I have worked with countless dog owners that run into the problem where they buy a particular brand of dog food for their dogs and their dog will eat the food placed in the bowl to its entirety for a couple of days but after that, owners are finding that the dog simply won’t eat it again.

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Then the owners are just left with a big ole’ bag of dry dog food and a dog that refuses to eat it.

Well, fortunately for you, the problem isn’t that they don’t enjoy the food anymore, but rather they have just grown bored of eating it.

dog won't eat

Here are a few tips and tricks that you can use to spice up your dog’s relationship with their food bowl and to get your dog to eat their dry food again.

Tip #1 The food shall be prepared and presented in your finest linen.

Kidding! But not really. I learned this trick from a co-worker of mine when I was having trouble getting my dog to eat their dry food. Shout out Caitlynn!

Your dog doesn’t find it appealing when you simply dump out a scoop of kibbles into their bowl and expect them to eat it.

What I found out works best for my dog is that I put the food in her bowl and then I act as if I’m doing something special to it to enhance the flavor. Keyword being ACT!

You have to sell it, or your dog won’t believe you.

“Selling it” can include:

  • Stirring it with a spoon
  • Sticking it in the microwave
  • Sticking it in the oven
  • Pretend to season it to perfection
  • Blow their food
  • Etc.

The goal is to do anything you can think of to make a presentation for your dog.

After I add the food to her bowl, I take a spoon and stir her dry food around for about a minute. Then, I grab some food seasoning from my cabinet and pretend that I am seasoning the food just for her.

Make sure that your dog is watching you chef it all up while their food bowl is in your hand.

how to get dog to eat dry food

After that, I put the bowl in the oven or microwave and just act like she’s got something special coming her way. When I pull the food out, I simply blow it for a few seconds and eyeball the food to make it seem like it has to be just right.

When I am doing all of that she simply stares at me with her tail wagging back and forth, her mouth drooling, and her eyes just eager with excitement because she can’t wait to taste what I have “prepared”.

When I set her food bowl down, she eats and eats until there is nothing left but the shine of a stainless-steel doggie bowl.

This trick works every single time.

When using this method you may want to implement this trick as little as you possibly can because after a while, your dog is going to know what’s going on and they’ll leave you looking for more tricks to get your dog to eat their dry food again.

Tip #2 Don’t eat in front of your dog!

Try scheduling your dog’s breakfast and dinner either an hour earlier or an hour after you intend to be eating.

Many times, dogs will often ignore the food you set for them to eat if they notice the entire family gathering around the dinner table eating lamb chops. I mean, wouldn’t you do the same if you were a dog?

Dogs will disregard their kibble crunch bites and outrage in jealousy and disbelief if you are 5-star dining right in their presence. How rude!  

This is where the whining comes in. Oh boy! If you have a dog that whines and begs for your food, be sure to read this article “how to get your dog to stop whining”.

Tip #3Water works wonders! 

Adding water to your dog’s food can entice them to eat their dry food.

First, add the food to their bowls, then grab a cup and fill it with warm water and add it to their dry food.

Going back to the presentation method used in step one, grab yourself a spoon and stir it around for a bit while your dog watches in anticipation for the exact same food you’ve been giving them all along. Only this time, it’s wet.

For an added boost, put your dog’s food in a blender and blend it until it reaches sand or powder-like consistency. While still in the blender, add a cup of warm water to the bowl and blend some more.

You’ll want to do this until the food is consistently similar to that of clam chowder. This method will usually work better for picky dogs.

Tip #4 The food tastes bad. 

Most dog owners fall into the category of “their dog used to eat all the food but doesn’t anymore”.

dog won't eat dry food

If you are finding that your dog just never seemed to eat the food much or they tried it and walked away from it, then chances are that you fall into the category of dog owners whose dogs just hate the dry food you’re giving to them.

Don’t be afraid to switch things up until you can find something your dog really likes. Really likes, meaning that you don’t need to use any of the methods I mentioned earlier in this article in an attempt to “trick” your dog into eating their dry food.

I’m finding that dry foods that contains real morsels of chicken, beef, lamb, turkey or any other kind of meat, dogs tend to enjoy much better as opposed to dry dog food that doesn’t contain much of these things.

My neighbor feeds her dog Purina ONE SmartBlend with chicken and rice (link to Amazon) all the time and it usually doesn’t require much convincing on her part to get that pup to eat it all.

Tip #5 – Fine, I’ll eat it.

This is all dog psychology at its finest. As I mentioned earlier in this article, dogs just want it because we have it.

Here’s a way you can flip the script and make it work out in your favor. Just grab their food bowl and sit down where you normally would when you are about to eat.

This will help to sell the illusion even more. Remember NEVER STOP SELLING IT!

When their food bowl is right in front of you, all you need to do is pretend to chomp down on a big bowl of dog food.

This will signal to your dog “Wait, that food might have been good after all!” Then they will beg you to give them their food back.

I like to hold on to my dog’s food for about 10-15 mins, or until I can no longer take the whining anymore.

This tip will instantly trick your dog into believing that their food is actually good.

Disclaimer: The effects of this hack generally only last for about 1 serving of their regular dry food. You may need to repeat this trick every time you want your dog to eat their dry food.

I don’t think I’ve ever met a dog that didn’t like this food much. Hope it works for your dog!


I have found that about more than 80% of the time if there is food in your dog’s food bowl then chances are, they aren’t really hungry. They’re just waiting to see if you come around with something better later.

For my more experienced dog owners, have you ever noticed that your dog will ignore their food bowl all day waiting for you to give them something else, but after you go to sleep and wake up in the morning their bowl was licked clean?

Wonder who that could’ve been.

Though not to say that you should consider starving your dog until they eat but, you’ll notice that when they find that nothing “special” is coming they will usually settle for the food in their bowl, not because they’re hungry but because you’re asleep and the chances of getting anything else is basically non-existent.

I hope that in this article I have been able to give you some cool tips & tricks that you can use on your picky eater of a dog and eventually get them to start eating their dry food again.

Here are some handpicked articles that I thought you may find useful:

My Dog Will Not Stop Whining – Fix This Now!

10 Hacks To Encourage Your Dog To Drink More Water

Free Dog Training. Click Here.

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