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.
Whatever You Do Dont Ignore The Problem
Most of the reasons that your dog might turn up their nose at their food bowl are benign. However, you should always take canine anorexia seriously and rule out any dangerous causes before writing it off as an anomaly.
Once you locate the problem, you can take steps to solve it so your dog can get back on their feed and save you from wasting any more expensive kibble.
Featured Image Credit: Pixabay
Your Dog Has A More Serious Illness
Infectious diseases, like parvovirus, or conditions such as pancreatitis can be other reasons for your dog not eating, says Teller. Your pup may even have a life-threatening illness like gastric dilatation and volvulus, which causes the stomach to twist up so nothing passesor even cancer. When your dog is really sick, shell probably also be lethargic, throw up a lot, have diarrhea or even bloody stools, or cough and sneeze. The time to worry is when your dog isnt behaving normally, especially if she refuses treats or people food or if her appetite waxes and wanes, McClosky notes. Then youll want to alert the vet statespecially if you see any of these 10 signs your dog is sick.
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Cost Of Not Eating Dry Food
The average cost of treating dehydration is $400, while the cost of nausea treatment ranges between $50 and $1000, depending on the cause. It costs an average of $1200 to treat tooth root abscess, while tongue cancer, which is dangerous, complicated, and expensive, costs an average of $12,000 to treat.
Worried about the cost of treating your pet’s symptoms?
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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 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.
She Has Become Tired Of Her Food
While it isnt very common, dogs can get sick of eating the same food day in and day out.
So, if youve exhausted other avenues and your pooch still isnt interested in her food, changing to another protein or brand might spark her appetite. Be mindful of any food sensitivities before making any changes, and always double-check the entire ingredient list before purchase to avoid issues.
Also, note that food changes should always be made gradually, over the course of about 7 to 10 days, rather than suddenly to prevent digestive upset.
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Turn Feeding Time Into A Game
Picky eaters often play with their food instead of eating it. With the help of a good feeding toy, you can get your dog to do both.
Feeding toys combine play with eating. And for toy-obsessed pups, they are a great way to convince a dog to eat his food
Jessica, the owner of a dainty poodle, says her dog refuses to eat dry food. However, the moment she places it inside a treat dispensing dog toy, her poodle cant get enough.
Another owner, Jack, uses a snuffle mat to get his fussy English Springer Spaniel to eat. When this super-sniffing dog finds kibble using his nose, he will promptly eat it without a second thought even though he refuses to eat the same kibble when offered it in a bowl
Unfortunately, feeding toys only hold a limited amount of food. While this may not be a problem for a small dog like a Boston terrier, it presents an issue for bigger dogs
You see, large breeds like Rottweilers or Mastiffs may need as much as 10 cups of kibble per day. Constantly refilling a feeding toy with this amount of food would be a full-time job it just isnt practical.
But for small/medium breeds, a feeding toy could be the very thing you need to get your dog to eat his meal.
Why Not Eating Dry Food Occurs In Dogs
Problems with dry food consumption may originate in three parts of your dogs body. Your dogs refusal to eat dry food can stem from a general systemic failure, in which the need for hydration drives your dog to seek moist food. Your dog may have difficulty digesting dry food. There can also be various problems within your dogs mouth that make it painful for him to process hard food.
A dogs lack of hydration affects his entire body. A dehydrated dog may have a dry nose, mouth, and gums, with sticky mucous membranes he may be tired, dull, and weak, he may pant more than normal and have a fast rapid-fire breathing pattern, and will be generally operating at a low capacity. Dehydration simply means that your dogs body is losing more water than it takes in, through panting, vomiting, or simply drinking less, possibly because of a deeper condition. This is more likely to occur in young, old, and nursing dogs, as well as small breeds.
If your dog is nauseous, he has an upset stomach. This can occur as a reaction to illnesses, such as Parvovirus and gastroenteritis, or environmental causes, such as motion sickness, blockage of the intestines, or toxic exposure. Nausea is an equal-opportunity condition dogs of any age, breed, or sex can experience nausea.
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Psychological Causes For Anorexia In Dogs
Psychological causes of refusing to eat include things in a dogâs environment that caused them to not want to eat. There is no underlying medical issue or disease. Common examples of psychological anorexia include anything that changes a dogâs schedule or causes stress, including:
- New pets in the home
- New baby in the home
- Guests from out of town
- Moving to a new home
- A loud thunderstorm
- Remodeling or home construction
- Switching dog foods
- A change in schedules, such as a family member starting a job or becoming unemployed and staying home more frequently
- A family member leaving the homestead, such as a child going off to college
He Doesnt Like His Food
Some dogs are just plain picky. If you have ever been in charge of a toddler, youll be familiar with this refusal to eat certain foods. Your pup is not unhealthy or in danger hes just fussy! That can be really annoying and frustrating, but you cant force your fur baby to eat something they dont like.
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Easy Meal Toppers And Mix
Stella and Chewys is known for high-quality ingredients and sourcing.
If homemade isnt your thing, there are many pre-made options for kibble toppers and mixers. Most of these are not cheap given the quality of their ingredients. The good news? A little goes a long way, which helps justify the price point.
- DogNog is a well-reviewed goats milk-based topper. Simply add water and mix in.
- Honest Kitchen makes an easy powdered bone broth that offers the same nutritional benefits as homemade broths.
- Green Juju is a whole food supplement for dogs. The formula contains anti-inflammatory ingredients like turmeric and ginger, along with bison bone broth and coconut oil for digestive and joint health.
Make Sure Youre Giving Your Dog A Healthy Diet
Occasionally the problem with a picky eater may be that they dont like the brand of food youre giving them. Or it may be that they prefer canned food over dry or vice versa. Both vets tell WebMD that a high-quality commercial brand is important for a healthy diet.
Check the ingredients, and make sure corn doesnt top the list. Murray says, Corn isnt an ideal diet for a carnivore.
If youve tried three brands and both canned and dry food, its time to look for another reason your dog refuses to eat. Most likely, they are holding out for table scraps.
Reserve treats for times when praise is necessary, such as in training. But remember, not all rewards have to be edible. If your dog loves attention, a scratch behind the ears is a treat, Murray says.
If you find that food treats get the best results, create some boundaries.
For instance, only give a treat after a trick, and always do it in the backyard.
Also, limit treats to three a week, and put them in a separate container so that the entire family knows how many have been given.
Its one thing if your dog knows he only gets certain things while hes training, Murray says. But its another if youre sitting in the kitchen reading a magazine and give your dog a treat because he looks cute.
Louise Murray, DVM, Diplomate ACVIM and director of medicine for ASPCAs Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital, New York.
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My Dog Is Suddenly Not Eating Its Dry Food
If your dog is suddenly very picky about its food, and youve ruled out any medical issues, perhaps consider spicing up their meals with some meal toppers to make them a bit more interesting and attractive?
If your dog wont eat dry food anymore, add moisture to dry food with delicious and super nutritious bone broth or yogurt with active cultures to help with digestion. Other options include goats milk, unsweetened canned pumpkin, and other tasty fruits and veggies.
How To Cure A Fussy Eater
The cure for a fussy eater is straightforward. But before you begin:
Trying to cure a fifteen-year-old Labrador of a lifetimes fussy eating is probably a bit mean.
Here are the steps:
- Set a timer for five minutes.
- When the timer goes off, take the bowl away.
- Do not feed him any treats whatsoever until his next mealtime.
- At the next time, offer the dog a small quantity of exactly the same food again. For exactly five minutes.
- Do not feed him anything else.
- Make sure he has clean drinking water available at all times.
- Rinse and repeat
Build up quantities as soon as he starts eating again. Thats it. All you have to do is ignore the pleading eyes, thwart any attempts to raid the fridge, and prevent the dog from eating the cats dinner or mugging your visitors. Some dogs will hold out for a couple of days. But you will win this battle.
Remember that no healthy dog will normally starve itself to death, but very occasionally youll meet a dog that will keep itself chronically underweight rather than eat what you are offering.
So what are the main points covered in this article?
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My Dog Won’t Eat Kibble Or Dry Food Anymore: What To Do
Give your dog something to look forward to add tasty meal toppers to kibble and dry food! We have 5 delicious flavors of healthy, fresh, human-grade dog food toppers, and you can sample them all in our meal variety pack!
At Portland Pet Food Company, we often hear my dog wont eat kibble or my dog wont eat dry dog food anymore, and there can be a number of factors that could be causing this.
Lets look at some of the most common reasons that could cause dogs to stop eating kibble or dry dog food.
IllnessOne of the primary reasons that dogs stop eating kibble or dog food is that they simply dont feel well. They might be under the weather from GI issues, digestive troubles, or some other medical problem. Particularly, if their disinterest in kibble or dry food coincides with symptoms such as diarrhea or vomiting, you should take them in for a vet visit.
Dental IssuesIf dogs have dental issues, it can be hard for them to chew food. Since most kibble and dry dog food is hard, the food could be making it painful to eat. Dental issues that can make eating difficult for dogs include: broken teeth, infected teeth or gums, gum disease, missing teeth, and oral injuries.
Picky EatersSome dogs are inherently picky eaters or have lower appetites than others, something which can often be seen when theyre young. Other dogs become picky eaters over time. Most dogs that are picky eaters, in general, tend to prefer wet food over kibble or dry dog food.
Dog Wont Eat Dry Food
Its very common for dogs to go off dry food. Lets face it, kibble can be quite boring. If you ate the same old pellets every day, you might get bored too. Having said that, most kibble fed dogs consume their daily ration with gusto. So why do some dogs stop eating dry food?
There may a perfectly good reasons. Older dogs, or those with dental problems or painful jaws may find them hard to chew. Or in winter the food might just be too cold. The solution here is simple add a bit of warm water. But most often the reason is that someone added something tasty to the kibble at some point. And the dog has really appreciated that addition.
It might have been some tasty gravy or some after dinner scraps. Either way, plain old kibble without any additions the next day, doesnt have quite the same appeal. So the dog turns his nose up, and what happens next?
Well, if youre anything like most of us, and your dog has gone off dry food, you probably feel sorry for the dog and add something to the kibble to encourage him to eat it. Which he does! Job done. Or not. Because you now have a dog that wont eat dry kibble at all. Ever.
No he is prepared to hold out for the tasty additions he has come to expect. So what do you do?
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The Different Types Of Refusal
A dogs refusal to eat is called anorexia, just like in humans, although its a different condition. Canine anorexia can be partial or complete.
Partial anorexia is when your dog will eat some things but refuse to eat others. For example, they may turn up their noses at their kibble but wolf down any treats you offer them.
Complete anorexia is when your dog refuses to eat anything. This is typically much more concerning than partial anorexia.
Theres a third kind of anorexia called pseudo-anorexia. Its when your dog wants to eat but cant because of a different medical problem .
Once you figure out what kind of anorexia your dogs suffering from, you can begin the process of diagnosing and treating the problem.
Making Your Dog’s Food Appealing
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