Hi stranger! Signing up for MypetMD is easy, free and puts the most relevant content at your fingertips.

Get Instant Access To

  • 24/7 alerts for pet-related recalls

  • Your own library of articles, blogs, and favorite pet names

  • Tools designed to keep your pets happy and healthy

or Connect with Facebook

By joining petMD, you agree to the Privacy Policy.

Q. My dog is 3 years old and has recently stopped eating unless we hand feed him

Answered By

A. Sudden behavior changes can sometimes indicate a health issue so it is always good to schedule a checkup and rule out health issues in addition to behavioral ones. Making sure that the bowl itself isn't causing an issue (such as dog tags making a loud noise against a metal bowl) is another good idea, and switching to a new one may be helpful. You can also get your dog used to eating in the bowl again by dropping kibble in a few at a time in the bowl instead of giving it to him by hand to encourage him to eat there instead and then increasing the amount fed in the bowl. If the issue does not resolve with this, then speaking to a trainer or behaviorist in your area may be beneficial.

DISCLAIMER: The answers in Ask petMD are meant to provide entertainment and education. They should not take the place of a vet visit. Please see our Terms and Conditions.


Ask an expert about your unique situation now FOR FREE!

IMPORTANT: The opinions expressed in Ask petMD content area are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. Our Ask petMD experts include veterinarians, vet techs, veterinary students, pet trainers, pet behaviorists and pet nutritionists. These opinions do not represent the opinions of petMD. User-generated content areas are not reviewed by a petMD veterinarian or any member of the petMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, timeliness, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. petMD does not endorse any specific product, service, or treatment. Do not consider petMD user-generated content as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your veterinarian or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on petMD.