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Is this because they miss her or because they are in a different setting?

It’s been 5 days and they only really will eat snacks. Just not their food

  • 1
    what do you mean by eating snacks? Snacks may be enough depending on the size and frequency of the snacks and the size of the dog – user6796 Jan 1 at 21:27
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To help understand what could be causing this, consider going through the following points:

  • Are you using their own food and water bowls (the ones they normally use at home)?

  • Are they eating the exact same type of food and treats/snacks?

  • Are they being fed on the same schedule?

All of the above things are very important to consider and to have remain constant when pet parents and their pets are separate from one another. It's also important to have as many things from home (blankets, toys, etc.) that smell like the pet parents to help alleviate separation anxiety.

When I have been pet sitting for dogs that have been reluctant to eat, I have often sat down on the floor with them at meal time, and let them eat out of my hand if necessary. Sometimes this is soothing for them and they can be convinced to eat more readily this way.

Keeping change to a minimum around all the areas involving routine things and diet will help. Try to remain as scheduled and familiar with them as possible.

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When you say they will only eat snacks it really depends upon the snacks.

  1. If they are nutritious snacks designed for dogs, then a short term period of them not eating their regular food should not be a problem, depending on the size and frequency of the snacks and the size of the dog.

  2. If they are not suitable for dogs, then it could create health problems and actually become life threatening.

Key points to look for:

Weight change.

Not just weight loss, as they may gain weight eating snacks.

Vitality.

Are the dogs in good health, are their eyes bright, are they active? Has their behaviour changed?

Providing number 1 applies above:
If they are stable in weight and healthy their should be no reason for concern. It's usual for dogs to miss their owners and often animals can pull tricks on people who don't know them as well as their owners into providing treats and privileges they may not usually enjoy as often. If this is only a short term stay, it shouldn't be a problem.

If it's number 2, then do not feed snacks. Put out food for 30 minutes and pick up any uneaten food. Keep following this process. If the dog is losing weight or doesn't eat or in any way doesn't seem well, they it would be advisable to seek veterinary treatment.

Check this link for some further helpful reading.

Why won't my dog eat on her own?

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