'Ask the Dog Guy' with John Wade

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Saint Bernard Refusing To Eat

– Posted in: By Problem, Dog Behavior Miscellaneous Articles, Newsletters
St. Bernard Refusing to Eat

Refusing to Eat May Indicate a Dental Issue

We have a Saint Bernard, 8 years old that is refusing to eat. We got Benny when he was a puppy. He never had problems to eat in his stainless steal bowl on an iron stand. A couple o moths ago he started refusing to eat. We tought was because we were given him too much treats. We decide to stop the treats and only offer him the food. He ate a few bites and stop. After two days we were very concern because he start to get weak and with a hard time to get up. My husband decided to try to give the food on his hand and he ate a lot. My husband try to put the bowl on the floor and Benny got scared and didn’t  get close. Looks like he is afraid of his food bowl. His water bowl is made of the same material, but he is not scared of drinking water from that. Benny has a dog door and he can go out to the fenced backyard any time. I don’t know if a animal got inside the house to eat his food and scared him. Do you have a suggestion?


Hi Elizabeth,

Although since he will eat out of your hand and so it might suggest this might not be the case, I wonder if he has dental issue. Something like a cracked tooth might cause a sudden onset of reluctance to eat. Try the vet first. If you can send a video of him taking the food from your hand and refusing to eat out of the bowl it might help. Send to my email address *protected email* using a free service called www.wetransfer.com which can handle larger video files.

Will he eat out of the bowl if it’s on the ground? In another room? Outside?


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