6 Reasons Why Your Dog Is Not Eating (And Solutions)
Whether you're a veteran or first-time dog owner, it can be very concerning if your dog doesn't show any interest in food whatsoever, especially during these uncertain times due to the outbreak.
There are a number of factors ranging from health-related issues to behavioral problems to the type of food you're offering. However, to find out the exact reason why your dog refuses to eat can be hard, as they obviously can't talk to us.
That's where we come in. In this post we've listed the most common causes, and things you can do — usually with the help of your vet — to get your furpanion's appetite back.
6 Reasons Why Your Dog Won’t Eat
Just like in human, loss of appetite in dogs could be due to a variety of reasons. These include:
In general, a sudden decreased appetite in dogs is a sign of a health concern, especially if it is accompanied by other symptoms at the same time.
Loss of appetite in dogs doesn’t necessarily indicate serious disease, but it's crucial to respond quickly. Prompt veterinary attention is required.
Because it could be a serious indicator of illness, such as infections, pain, liver problems, cancer, and kidney failure.
2. Dental Problems
When dogs are suffering from dental problems, such as severe gingivitis, loss of teeth, jaw infections, etc., they are unable to tell their discomfort to their owners.
However, they may eat less than usual, suddenly spit out food, or refuse food (especially hard foods like kibble). You can tell from these behaviors that show there are something wrong with them.
It's a good idea to check your dog's mouth if your dog stopped eating. Like foul odor, broken or loose teeth, large amounts of calculus, these can all be indicative of something is serious. It's best to take him to the vet immediately for a check-up.
3. Receiving Recent Vaccinations and New Medications
Although the injections and medicine play an important role in protecting your dog from many diseases, they do sometimes come with side effects.
The majority of reactions are mild. Your pup may experience a temporary loss of appetite in dogs. Don't worry, this is completely normal.
If changes in eating coincide with a new medication, or if your dog won't eat for more than two days after vaccination, either of those is to blame.
4. Pickness issues
There's also a chance that your dog is a picky eater. For the most part, finicky eaters are made, not born.
A picky dog will often refuse to eat his typical bowl of dog food — but show great enthusiasm for high-fat treats and tasty table scraps.
So, if you often give your pooch table scraps or feed extra treats during the day, they tend to be pickier than those who don't. Likewise, dogs who aren't fed on a strict schedule is less likely to eat than those who learn they eat at certain times.
5. Your Dog Gets Too Many Treats
Excess of treats can make your dog pickier. Dogs love new food with different types and flavors. When they get too many treats, they may not feel hunger. Even worse, they will lack excitement or interest in their regular food.
Try cutting back on treats, sticking to low-calorie options, or giving treats only on a set schedule.
6. Unfamiliar Surroundings / Stress
If your dog’s appetite was fine until you went on a trip with him or moved to a new place, it may be that your dog refuses to eat because of traveling or the unfamiliar environment.
Dogs may get motion sickness, and tend to become stressful or uncomfortable in new places.
Due to the outbreak, people are feeling added stress and anxiety. Dogs can pick up on their owners' negative emotions, which will result in dogs feeling more anxious and refusing to eat.
Also, dogs cannot understand what is happening and with their routines upset they will show an increase in depression, such as trouble sleeping, losing their appetite, or not wanting to play.
How to Help a Dog Who Won't Eat
What you can do to stimulate your dog’s appetite will depend on the exact cause of the problem that you and your veterinarian determine.
If it's illness that affects your dog’s appetite, the vet may suggest a prescription diet to meet your pet’s nutritional needs while the underlying disease is being addressed.
In more severe cases, your vet may prescribe appetite-stimulating medications, recommend syringe-feeding a liquid diet, or insert a feeding tube.
If behavior problem is to be blame, (like pickiness or a discomfort with mealtime, rather than the result of medical conditions), there are some adjustments you can make to get your doggy back to normal eating.
- Reduce the number of treats.
- Feed your dog at least twice a day, on a regular feeding schedual. This can help to establish discipline in dogs.
- Make mealtime more interesting for your dog by playing with an interactive feeding dispenser toy or rewarding your dog with food for doing a trick.
- Exercise your dog before meals. Routine exercise can help to improve your dog's metabolism and stimulate appetite.
- Create a safe and comfy feeding situation. Try feeding your dog alone in a comfortable environment away from other pets. Or try using different bowls or feeders at different heights to see what your dog prefers.
Stay healthy. Stay safe. Stay together with your pet.
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