What To Pay Attention To If Your Dog Is Not Eating
So you notice that your dog is not eating. Now what? If your dog’s eating habits have changed, there are several questions you should attempt to answer to pinpoint both the cause and seriousness of the situation your pet is dealing with.
These questions include:
How long has it been since your dog stopped eating?
How long has your dog been eating this type of food?
Are there other symptoms you’ve noticed, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy?
If you have other dogs, are they also refusing to eat?
Has your dog stopped drinking water?
Ideally, you will have these questions answered before you go to the vet. Having a robust understanding of the entire situation can help you â and your veterinarian â figure out what exactly has occurred and is leading to food refusal.
Understanding How Dogs Communicate When Eating
Dogs read us very well. They talk to us using their canine language all the time, it helps when we understand what they are telling us. The most important thing you need to know if that your dog needs to feel safe when eating.
Question: How does a dog tell another dog its finished eating and that they will not interfere if another approaches the food source?
Answer: They walk away without looking back.
When feeding, replicate this after you pop your dogs plate down. If you step a few paces away and face away, your dog will be able to eat in peace and enjoy the experience even more. Some dogs may prefer if you remain in the room, as your dog may be more comfortable eating with company close by.
We have gone through methods to get your dog eating and some reasons behind your dog not eating.
Dogs speak to us using their behaviour and actions. Listen carefully and be proactive with confidence. Your dog needs you to be confident when they feel less so. Be a parent your dogs guide, their safe place and the one they can ultimately trust.
We can promote great eating habits in our puppies and older dogs. The first step is often a change of food to a raw dog food, species-specific diet because it is closer to what our dogs have evolved to eat.
The Best Way To Get A Fussy Dog To Eat
As already mentioned, we would always suggest feeding a tried and tested food that been designed with fussy dogs in mind. They contain ingredients that are known to be the most palatable to dogs, and have been designed in a way to help eliminate fussiness. We have a dedicated section on our website that lists all our best foods for fussy dogs.
After making sure you have the right dog food, you have to help your dog understand that no other food option exists. We regularly hear from vets and nutritionists that dogs require routine, and the best way to get your dog to eat is to follow a few simple steps:
As a loving dog owner you might think that this sounds harsh, but you have to remember that your dog isnt starving. Theyll definitely eat if they are hungry. This is basically a battle of wills, and if you maintain this strategy youll have cracked the fussy dog enigma code and be able to move forwards with a renewed dog eating pattern.
We have heard from countless owners who have used the above method to convert their fussy dogs into healthy food loving pets, so it really does work!
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Is Your Dog A Senior
While senior dogs may have lower caloric requirements than young dogs, and therefore may eat less than they used to, marked weight loss or a refusal to eat is not normal and can indicate serious underlying health conditions.
These can include, but are not limited to:
Cognitive decline, mobility issues, or vision loss can also cause a dog to not eat if they are unable to find or get to their food bowl. It is important for senior dogs to have a feeding routine, that the food bowl remain in the same area of the house so that they know where to find it, and that they have a rug or yoga mat to stand on while eating to avoid slipping or having trouble standing on hard floors.
If your senior dog has gone longer than 24 hours without eating, they should see their veterinarian for a thorough physical examination and possible diagnostics to investigate the cause of their loss of appetite.
What If They Have An Appetite But Theyre Bored
This happens all the time and is something you should have been able to confirm with the ultimate appetite test at the start of this article. It may seem like your dog has lost their appetite, but If your dog immediately went in to eat the enticing food and didnt just take a few bites before walking away, that usually means theyre just bored of their food.
Heres how you can make food exciting for dogs again.
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Meal Topper Ideas For Your Dogs Kibble
After ruling out medical issues for picky eating, meal toppers are one easy way to make your dogs dry food appealing again.
Reasons Your Dog Lost Their Appetite
Unfortunately, when it comes to a dog losing its appetite, there is no one size fits all answer. There are several reasons a dog will refuse to eat. After dealing with numerous dogs that seem to have lost interest in food, we have noticed it usually comes down to one of the following eight things.
Take a quick look at all eight reasons below. Do any of them make sense for your dog?
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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.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Eggs
Can I Feed My Dog Raw Egg? Most veterinarians recommend cooking eggs before feeding them to your dog, but some dog owners feed their dogs raw eggs. Owners who feed raw eggs to dogs could also be exposed to salmonella. If a dog eats an egg contaminated by salmonella, they could get an infection called Salmonellosis.
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My Dog Is Old And No Longer Wants To Eat What Should I Do
An old dog that wont eat is a worrying thing. Remember that as your dog ages, his dietary needs will change. Make sure that you review your pooches chow to match its phase of life and changing digestion. Your dog might eat less now in its later years than it did when it was younger and more energetic.
Oftentimes, the reason for older dogs not eating is due to dental issues. Get a good dental check-up on your senior dog to make sure theyre not suffering or in any pain that its causing them to avoid eating. Add more moisture to dry food too, so its softer and needs less aggressive chewing.
Of course, be on the lookout for any symptoms that may indicate a more serious problem, and dont delay in getting it checked out by a vet.
How To Get Your Dog To Eat: 10 Reasons Dogs Stop Eating
Your first instinct when your dog does not attempt to eat or even finish their meal is trying to find solutions for how to get your dog to eat. However, they could have a very legitimate reasoning for holding off on food.
- Nausea. When a dog is in pain, they could be experiencing nausea. Signs that your dog may be nauseous are little to no appetite, excessive drooling, frequent licking, and restlessness. Your dog may eventually vomit.
Dogs can experience nausea for many different conditions such as upset stomach, recent treatments, or a virus. Other reasons that require a visit to your veterinarian are cancer, kidney issues, diabetes, and or an infectious disease. You do not have to diagnose your dog by yourself, it is best to make an appointment with a professional.
- Motion sickness. Dogs can experience motion sickness brought on by travel, just like humans. They might reject a treat at first and not seem like themselves. Usually, after they stop moving, get some exercise and fresh air they are feeling better.
- Unpleasant food. It could be the food itself, check to make sure your dogs food is not rancid or perhaps the manufacturer changed the formula. It could be as simple as your dog does not like the food.
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Food Issues And Diet Changes
Dogs arent known for being picky eaters but occasionally they will turn their nose up at food that doesnt quite make the grade.
There are some food issues you should consider if your dog refuses to eat. First and foremost, check if the food is spoiled. If its not, consider if you recently introduced new food that tastes or smells differently than the old food. Also, dogs will often refuse to eat when you go from home-cooked meals or wet dog food to kibble.
Another thing you should consider is the food’s ingredients. If your pooch is sensitive to one or more of them, you may find the food untouched. Theres also a chance that you have a picky pet or that youre overfeeding your dog. Also, note the temperature of the food youre serving, whether it is too hot or too cold food, which might be causing your doggo to skip dinner.
Finally, if you havent changed anything in your dogs diet for a long time, this can be an issue too. Dogs can get bored with food if theyre eating the same thing every day for months. After all, who wouldnt get bored?
What to do?
Is Your Dog Pregnant Or In Heat
Early in pregnancy, your dog may have a reduced or absent appetite. If your dog is in the middle or late part of her gestation, she may eat less because her stomach has less room to expand due to the presence of puppies, but she should make up for this by eating a smaller amount more frequently.
Regardless of what point of gestation your dog is in, if she has not eaten in over 24 hours, your veterinarian should be called right away to ensure that everything is okay.
Dogs in heat may also have a decreased appetite, which is considered normal. However, if she goes longer than 48 hours without eating anything, she should be checked by her veterinarian. If she is lethargic, vomiting, having diarrhea, or drinking and urinating more than usual, she should be seen by her veterinarian right away, as this could indicate an infection in the uterus known as pyometra.
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What To Do When Your Dog Wont Eat
If your dog is lethargic, vomiting, or having diarrhea in addition to not eating, see your veterinarian right away. If you dont see any of these, here are some ways to try to entice your dog to eat:
Add water or no-sodium chicken broth to the dog food and let it soak for several minutes to soften it.
Heat canned food for a few seconds in the microwave . Canned food can become scorching hot quickly, so feel the food first to avoid any burned tongues.
Try mixing some plain, boneless, skinless boiled chicken and rice with their kibble to encourage them to eat.
Add a probiotic such as Purina Fortiflora or Advita on top of the food. Not only can this make the food more palatable, but it can also help any inflamed or irritated intestine heal by rebalancing a healthy gastrointestinal flora.
If you have tried these tricks and your dog continues to refuse his food, he should be seen by his veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical conditions.
Unless explicitly prescribed by your veterinarian, your dog should not be given any over-the-counter gastrointestinal medications like Imodium or Pepto Bismol, as these could cause serious side effects or even interact with medications that your veterinarian may want to give. It is best to consult with your veterinarian before attempting to treat symptoms at home.
Healthy Homemade Dog Food Ingredients
According to WEBMD your dog needs protein from animal meat, seafood, dairy, and eggs. They need fat from meat or oil and carbohydrates from grains or vegetables. In addition, essential fatty acids from plant oils, egg yolks, oatmeal, and other foods. The question is in what amounts? After much research, we created a recipe that our dogs love they are healthy, have tons of energy, and their coats and eyes shine!
- From the Cutting Board.
- Joanies Ancient Food Processor!
- Finished Dog Food!
- Ready For Freezing!
The listed ingredients are used most of the time. Fresh meats like lean ground beef, ground turkey, and chicken gizzards provide a heavy dose of protein. Tuna, salmon, or sardines are always used. The eggs also add protein and essential oils. There are fruits and vegetables in the mix and even rice for digestion, although no wheat grains or sugars! Our homemade dog food is human grade. The main point is we know and control what goes into their food!
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The ‘grab & Go’ Method
For a new rescue dog or anxious dogs who struggle eat their food and look worried and those who feel safest in their beds and under tables
A dog who hides in his bed and refuses to eat is one who just needs to take their world in at a slower pace right now.
These are dogs who may have just come to a new home and are in a state of shut down, welded into a corner, their crate or bed.
Avoid Kibble With Air And Water For Fillers
Some brands of dog food will make their kibble look larger by puffing them up with air during their heating process. This type of kibble can make your dog feel full quickly, but also make your dog hungry again in no time, as he burps out the air. Foods that are high in water can also create a placebo effect, making your dog feel more satisfied right after eating, then hungry again after he urinates.
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Deflect Your Dogs Attention From Food
Most dogs overeat, because of the same reasons most humans do – because they enjoy eating, and food is delicious. One way to stop your dog from begging for food is by diverting their attention to something more exciting.This can also help you feel less guilty for not giving into their adorable demands. Instead of re-feeding your dog, try taking them outside for a long walk, play with them on the ground, or spend some time brushing their fur out. It only takes about 15 minutes of spending quality time with your puppy to make them completely forget they wanted more food in the first place.