Saint 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 using a free service called 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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2 thoughts on “Saint Bernard Refusing To Eat”

  1. Hello John,

    I’m shwetha, please help me here my st.bernard Casper doesn’t eat all of a sudden and she is unable to get on her feet when she sits down or sleeps. She eats biscuits a lot And cooked chicken if given separately and that to just a little bit.

    We are giving her syrups and antibiotics after consulting vet and she has some rashes on her back which is being healed now sometimes if we feed her from hand she eats.

    Please help John getting too worried she is 4yrs old

    Thanks in advance
    Please help

    1. Hi Shwetha,

      Thanks for reaching out but you’re reaching in the wrong direction. You are describing a serious problem that is highly unlikely to be related to behavior. You need a veterinarian’s assistance for testing which hopefully should lead to a diagnosis and treatment. Something seriously wrong so don’t delay.


      John ‘Ask The Dog Guy’ Wade
      Embracing Science and Common Sense

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