Other Solutions And Considerations
There are a lot of things that may cause your dog not to eat. Stresscan make your dog lose their appetiteif something in your dogs routine orenvironment has changed , start there and tryto find a way to keep their eating routine as comfortable and familiar as possible. Also,check your dogs food and make sure it hasnt expired. Dog food can go bad, and dogs can tell. No one wants to eat spoiled food. If your dogsuddenly stops eating their usual kibble or starts exhibiting other symptoms oracting differently, you should make sure there arent any other serious healthissues going on with them. Consult your vet and have your dog checked out.
Environmental Factors Also Influence Dog Hunger
Even weather affects how much a dog should eat! I typically feed Baby twice a day. During the hot summer months in North Carolina, Ive noticed that a bowl of food I leave for her in the morning is untouched when I get home from work. Summer heat drives dogs to cool resting spots where they do not need or use much energy.
My dogs need for food, her hunger, if you will, is diminished when she is less active. This year, I started feeding her one smaller meal during the dog days of summer, and found that she was better about finishing it. The same principle energy expended guiding the amount of food you provide can be applied to any dog, regardless of environmental conditions.
What Causes Dogs To Lose Their Appetites
The first thing you need to do is consult your vet to rule out illness, dental problems or a reaction to a vaccination or allergen. If they get the all clear from the vet, its time to address the pickiness for both of your sakes!
If your dog is consistently disinterested in food, it may be that they simply dont have as much of an appetite as their four-legged friends – whats normal for one dog may be too much for another.
Once youve ruled out illness, and youve checked that your dogs body condition is neither underweight nor overweight, you may need to consider a behavioural reason for their reluctance to eat. You can usually tell if a loss of appetite in dogs is behavioural if they refuse dog food, but miraculously regain their appetite when it comes to human food or tasty treats! If your dog is refusing all food then the most likely cause it that they are unwell.
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My Dog Wont Eat Or Drink Water
If your dog wont eat or drink water, then you need to talk to your vet. Right away. It isnt normal for a dog to go more than a few hours without drinking or eating anything. If your dog is drinking a lot more water than usual and refusing to eat this can also be a sign of an infection or a serious disease.
Just like people, dogs get tummy bugs. When the are vomiting and/or have diarrhea their natural instinct will tell them to stop eating. These minor bugs are not usually serious and most dogs will carry on behaving normally throughout. And they will drink enough water to replace lost fluids.
Veterinary advice is to not feed your dog for about 12 hours after a tummy upset. Then start by feeding small amounts of bland food every few hours on the first day. This allows the digestive tract to recover. Increase the amount of food gradually and if it seems that the problem is solved you can start reintroducing normal food.
A lack of appetite accompanied by absence of bowel movements, or by straining, may indicate a bowel obstruction. So its off to the vet without delay! Obviously, you dont want to run to a vet with every little minor tummy upset, but your vet would always rather see a healthy dog unnecessarily, than a sick dog too late. Illness aside, the vast majority of dogs that go off their food are not in the throes of a medical emergency.
Many dogs that gradually stop eating do it because they want you to feed them different food. Lets have a look at this.
The Food Is Old Or Spoiled
Most dogs aren’t picky about their food, they are fine about eating the same meal over and over again, and if they enjoy it, they will be excited every single time.
However, if the food is old, they may be more hesitant to eat and go on a hunger strike for a fresher diet. âIt is always important to check the expiration date on your dog’s food and to store them properly,â says Sakura Davis, Veterinary Technician and Veterinary Consultant at Catpet.club.
The easiest way to ensure you donât run into this problem is to prevent the food from getting old or spoiling. Before you purchase food in a store, you should check the expiration date and ensure that it is not old.
If it’s dry food, keep it in a tight seal container. For wet food, store it in the refrigerator after opening for up to three days and use fresh ingredients for home-cooked meals.
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Which Brand Should You Try
People often ask us which brand of dog food they should try, especially when their dog is refusing several brands. We simply cannot advise you on which brand of food you should feed your dog. That is a matter for you, and possibly your vet, to decide in consultation with your wallet.
But be very wary of switching brands on more than one occasion. You can end up in a cycle of constantly switching from one food to another whilst your dog gets more and more picky.
How Long Are Dogs In Heat
Female dogs in heat in the estrus phase of the heat cycle usually display the signs of heat for 3 21 days or 9 days on average. For more information see the detailed explanation above. Dogs will typically have two heats per year, but each dog differs in length of heat, discharge amount and hormonal changes.
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What To Do If Your Dog Does Not Like Their Food
Dogs can be picky like humans and may reject the food that you give them. This can become a big problem. If your dog is refusing to eat they may become malnourished which can lead to a myriad of serious health issues.
So you need to make sure that you always feed your dog the best dog food available so they will not only get the nutrition they need but will also enjoy the flavor.
Hes Having The Zoomies
When youre dog is zooming around, it can mean 2 things: either hes bored and tries to get rid of his excess energy. Or hes hyper active because hes over tired.
You have to look at this in the context of whats been going on before he started to become hyper. If there has been a lot going on, its a good indicator that its time for bed for your fur baby.
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Your Friend Likes A Schedule
Like people, dogs can be creatures of habit. Offer a meal at the same time each day, and give your pet a certain amount of time to eat it, say 15 or 20 minutes. If they dont eat within that time, take the food away and try it at the next meal. The idea is to set a routine where they know that if they skip this meal, they can eat in a few hours.
How Can I Make My Dog Eat Better
Iâm now âspicing upâ Balooâs kibble every now and then. I usually add a spoon of coconut oil and sometimes I squish a canned sardine and mix it with his food. These are both healthy supplements to your dogâs food and heâll love it!
You can also try mixing it with water to make it softer. I donât do that because itâs not good for his teeth and poodles tend to have bad teeth anyway.
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How To Treat Lethargy In Dogs
In some cases, if your dogs tiredness is due to overexertion or a mild passing bug, 24 hours rest and relaxation is probably all your pup needs to bounce back to his normal self, eagerly greeting you at the door again with his tail wagging furiously.
However, if his symptoms go on for longer your dog really needs to visit the vet. His treatment will vary widely depending on the condition he is diagnosed with. Some issues such as a parasite infection or a dietary indiscretion can probably be resolved quite simply, but if it turns out to be a more serious problem such as canine diabetes, heart problems or a respiratory disease your pet may require a longer-term treatment plan.
If your vet thinks that inadequate nutrition is to blame or if your pooch has been found to be suffering from pancreatitis or IBS you might find that transitioning your dog onto a low processed, healthy diet such as Pure Pet foods could make a marked difference to your furry friend’s energy levels. Pure is also fabulous for senior dogs who might need something more than a bowl of dry biscuits to tempt them to eat, as dogs just like us can become more selective later in life, the food is also suitable for dogs that need to keep an eye on their waistline or have dental issues, both of which can be the culprit of lethargy.
When A Dog Has Gone Off His Food
When a dog hasnt eaten at all for around three days vets will refer to it as anorexia. Partial anorexia is when a dog eats, but not enough to keep him healthy and fit. This is a medical term and doesnt mean that your dog has a mental problem. There are many reasons why a dog or puppy might go off their food.
If a dog eats nothing for a few days or loses his appetite over a period of time this can be a sign of a serious illness. A mild illness, like a tummy upset, could cause him not to eat for a day or two. Problems with his teeth or pain can also cause him to eat less just like you would.
But there are other reasons for a dog to stop eating. Lack of appetite can be caused by changes in the environment or emotional upsets. Not eating can also be a learned response. Thats right. Some dogs learn to get the food they prefer, by refusing to eat whats on offer.
Well look at all this and more. But first things first. Lets exclude serious emergencies.
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So Why Has My Dog Stopped Eating Their Food
Some dogs are a little fussier and can get a bit bored from time to time. There is the potential for some to turn their nose up at their regular food in favour of something else. This could be because they tried something else they liked and that was taken away. Rotating different flavoured food can help encourage them to eat again. Pouring a little homemade bone broth over kibble can also make their tastebuds tingle.
But, dont overlook the possibility of a loss of appetite due to other factors including medical reasons. If they continue to refuse any alternative foods and show other signs of lethargy or sickness, go and see your vet.
How To Stop This From Happening Again
Many pet owners ask, âHow can I avoid having a dog that wonât eat or will only eat their treats?â The answer is to avoid underlying causes and monitor your petâs diet. For example, if your dog is not eating because they got into the trash, ate some spoiled food, or have an upset stomach, the recommendation would be to ensure that your dog doesnât have access to the trash can. Another example is, if your dog is not eating due to pain from arthritis, work with your veterinarian to treat and prevent pain.
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When To Seek Help If Your Dog Isnt Eating
In cases where your dog stops eating but then resumes a few days later, it might be nothing to get concerned about But if it doesnt clear up relatively quickly and you notice any of the aforementioned symptoms, it might be time to seek professional help.
If your dog goes a couple of days without eating and nothing else is wrong no vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, no having accidents then Im not that worried about it, says Hohenhaus.
As mentioned above, however, if your dog is not eating and is either vomiting, having diarrhea, or both, contact your veterinarian within 8-12 hours. Hohenhaus also raises concerns about a fluctuating appetite. If you notice a marked change in your dogs eating habits, a visit to the vet might be your best bet, as well.
Have a non-urgent question for a veterinarian? AKC Vetline is a live, 24/7 service staffed by licensed veterinary staff and pet professionals. Get unlimited access to answers about your pets health and wellness whenever and wherever you need it from a source you know you can trust.
The Labrador Site Founder
Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of The Happy Puppy Handbook, the Labrador Handbook, Choosing The Perfect Puppy, and Total Recall.
She is also the founder of the Gundog Trust and the Dogsnet Online Training Program
Pippa’s online training courses were launched in 2019 and you can find the latest course dates on the Dogsnet website
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The Mating Act: Am I Allowed To Separate Dogs While Mating
There is a clear answer to this: NO, under no circumstances! You can easily harm both dogs, since the limb of your dog is swelling, while the muscles of your female dog are contracted.
The mating act should not be mistaken as a light encounter. This process can last up to 30 minutes and might often look embarrassing for humans.
Is Your Dog A Puppy
A young, healthy puppy shouldnt go more than a few hours without eating.
Small breed puppies, especially, are at a high risk of hypoglycemia and should be watched closely for signs of lethargy or collapse if they are not eating. If this happens, they should be treated on an emergency basis.
Some puppies may not like larger kibble, as it can be hard for their puppy teeth to chew, especially if they are just transitioning to solid food. This can be remedied by mixing in water and letting it soak to create more of a porridge consistency, or the kibble can be mixed with canned food as well.
If your puppy still will not eat, they should be seen right away by a veterinarian. If they are also lethargic, vomiting, or having diarrhea, they should be seen on an emergency basis.
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How About More Behavioral Reasons
Often, refusal to eat is a chosen behavior for a dog. Usually, we refer to this as simply being picky. Some people might even call it being spoiled or bratty, but pickiness is usually a learned behavior, so we have to keep our own accountability in mind, as pet parents. After all, it is our responsibility to establish consistent feeding routines to prevent poor eating habits from forming in the first place. There may be other causes at play that arent necessarily grounds for calling the veterinarian immediately.
Did You Just Adopt Your Dog Recently
A newly adopted dog can take days or weeks to settle into their new home. Anxiety is a common cause of temporary inappetence, so its not unusual for a new addition to the household to refuse food for the first day or two.
It is important to ensure that they are given a quiet place to eat, away from other pets or children that may interrupt them. As long as they are otherwise energetic and not having vomiting or diarrhea, its okay to give them a day or two to get used to their new home before worrying about them not eating.
However, if they are lethargic, vomiting, or having diarrhea, or go more than 48 hours without eating anything, they should be examined by a veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical conditions.
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How Much Food Should Your Dog Eat Activity Level Matters
Does your dog sit on the couch so much that he practically has his own indentation in the couch pillow, fitted neatly to his curled-up girth? Daily, or at least regular, exercise plays a part. In many cases, a hungry dog or a dog who seems hungry is actually just in need of more physical activity. I try to walk my dog, Baby, every day. Realistically, it works out to about 4-5 times each week. Movement uses energy, and energy expended means a dog needs nutrients to replenish it.
Regular exercise affects digestion, too. At Dogster, we think a lot about dog poop. A healthy dog eating wet food can move their bowels within 4 hours after eating. The same amount of dry food might take 8 hours. Each of these times to evacuation are affected by motility, or the operation of the muscles in the digestive tract. A dog that exercises regularly moves and processes the food he eats more efficiently than a sedentary dog.