Why doesn’t my dog eat?
There are numerous reasons why a dog may refuse to eat. First, it’s important to note that loss of appetite is one of the most prevalent symptoms of disease; therefore, if your dog hasn’t eaten for 24 hours, you should contact your veterinarian, especially if there are other concerning symptoms, such as diarrhea or lethargy. Keep in mind that you may reach Small Door vets 24/7 via the app.
Dental disorders can frequently result in appetite loss. Similar to toothache in humans, your dog may not feel like eating if something is wrong with their teeth, therefore it’s a good idea to inspect their mouth for anything lodged between their teeth or gums.
If you notice a foul odor, loose teeth, or a significant amount of tartar buildup, it is imperative that you take your pet to the veterinarian as soon as possible.
Of course, prevention is superior to treatment! Remember to brush your dog’s teeth regularly and to take them to the vet at least once a year for a dental exam.
Some dogs may temporarily lose their appetite when their environment or habit is altered. If your dog has lately been exposed to a stressful situation, this may be the cause.
Once the initial worry subsides, dogs typically resume their normal feeding habits. Try some of the suggestions below to encourage them to eat, and contact your veterinarian if they’re still not eating after a few days.
Vaccinations and new drugs might also cause dogs to temporarily reduce their appetite, although this should resolve within a day or two. As long as your dog is not on a hypoallergenic diet, a small amount of chicken and rice may help with medication-induced appetite loss.
There might not always be a medical or behavioral cause for your dog’s dinner refusal. They could simply not be hungry!
It is surprisingly simple to give dogs too many treats or to overfeed them. Remember that the recommended amounts on dog food packaging generally exceed what a normal dog needs.
Try keeping track of the number of goodies your dog receives each day (and be sure no one else is sneaking them food!) Always see your veterinarian if you are uncertain about how much your dog should be fed.
If your dog is simply refusing specific foods and not all of them, this is a positive sign that there is nothing badly wrong. There may be a picky eater on your hands. This condition occurs more frequently in dogs that have been fed a range of foods, who frequently receive table scraps, or who are fed at irregular intervals.
Puppy diets are very picky. If your new puppy refuses to eat, this does not necessarily indicate that he or she is ill. They may require time to acclimate to their new environment, and you may need to experiment with their diet.
If dogs have become accustomed to receiving human-food goodies on a regular basis (such as high-fat, delectable bits of cheese or salami), they may snub their blander kibble in the hopes that something better will come along later.
If you believe that your dog is simply being choosy. Check out our suggestions on how to convince him to eat again.
And if your dog suddenly stops eating a brand of food they’ve enjoyed for years, check to make sure it hasn’t expired.
Open a new pack if possible to test whether your dog would eat it; dry kibble can sometimes contain mold that humans cannot detect but dogs can. Also, the ingredients may have changed, so it may be worthwhile to try a different flavor.
Some dogs will not touch their food while you are away but will begin eating as soon as you return home. Dogs are group animals by nature, so they may feel more at ease eating at home. If this is the case, attempt to feed your dog at least 10 to 15 minutes prior to your departure time so they have time to finish their food before you leave for the day.
If dogs are accustomed to receiving human treats on a regular basis, they may reject their kibble.
How to get your dog to eat food once more
If you and your veterinarian are satisfied that your dog’s lack of appetite is not due to a medical condition. Then try the following suggestions to entice them to eat.
1. Alternate between many alternative dog foods.
Try a variety of flavors, combine dry and wet food, or swap between dry and wet to determine if your dog prefers another food. Make adjustments gradually so as not to disturb their stomachs.
2. Add a flavorful topping or blend to their food
Try adding a small amount of human food to see if that helps. Good alternatives include plain chicken, fish, or a little amount of low-sodium beef or chicken broth, as well as steamed or cooked butternut squash, sweet potatoes, or pumpkin. Just be sure not to feed them any substances that are toxic to dogs, such as onion or garlic.
3. Reheat the food
Even humans generally prefer a warm dinner. Add a tablespoon or so of warm water or gently reheat the dish in the microwave. Make sure it’s not too hot, so your dog’s tongue doesn’t get burned.
4. Take a stroll before meals
Ensure that your dog is well-exercised before feeding it to stimulate its appetite.
5. Feed at regular intervals
The food should be divided into two or three meals and served at regular intervals each day.
Don’t allow your dog to graze on food; if it hasn’t been consumed within 10 minutes, remove it to reinforce the concept of mealtimes.
Use your dog’s kibble as treats and limit mealtimes to brief intervals. This leaves your dog with no alternative but to consume their food and perhaps become acclimated to it.
When to seek assistance if your dog stops eating
You should not be extremely concerned if your dog stops eating for a day or two but later resumes without exhibiting any other worrying symptoms.
Any significant change in your dog’s eating patterns that persists for more than a few days, recurring vomiting or diarrhea, lethargy, unexpected weight loss, extreme thirst, not defecating, or odd feces are all warning signs. In these situations, it is essential to consult a veterinarian.
What to do if your dog refuses to eat
Your dog may stop eating for a variety of reasons, many of which are pretty normal and should not be cause for concern if your dog starts eating after a few days. If your dog stops eating for more than a few days or displays other troubling symptoms, you should contact your veterinarian immediately. We hope you find this advice helpful. As a member of Small Door, you can contact us via the app whenever you have questions or concerns regarding your dog. We are here to aid you!