Social & Emotional Issues
Just as a major life change like moving to a new city, changing jobs, or a breakup can affect your appetite, an upheaval in a dogs life could affect their hunger as well.
Hohenhaus has even witnessed a dog patient stop eating after being re-homed following the death of her owner.
She was on a bit of a hunger strike, and I think it was because her life was upside down, says Hohenhaus. There are two kinds of people. When your life is all upset, either you eat a lot, or you eat nothing because youre distracted by whats going on in your life. I would say the same is true for dogs.
Why Is My Dog Not Eating And What Can I Do
Written bySmall Door’s medical experts
Dogs love to eat. Whether theyre making puppy-dog eyes at you from beneath the dinner table, or lunging for that pizza crust on the sidewalk, it often seems as though their main mission in life is getting food. So if your pup has suddenly lost their appetite, its bound to be a bit concerning.
In This Article
Puppy Isnt Eating When To Be Concerned
Is your puppy is losing weight?
Dr. Aycock-Williams advises that if your puppys ribs and vertebrae are more prominent than before and your puppy is not growing like he or she should be, then its time to consult your veterinarian. She explains that there are medications, which your veterinarian can prescribe, to stimulate the appetite.
Other signs to watch for include:
These could be signs of a health problem. Make an appointment with your veterinarian to diagnose the cause and get your puppy well.
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Your Pet Dislikes The Meal
Have youever considered that your pet might not love his food? Yes, that isconceivable. They might be seeking something more delectable.
In thisscenario, they are quickly gulping down meals to complete them rather thansavoring them. They are hungry for sure, and with that need, swallow ratherthan chew.
A Puppy Can Become Ill If It’s Not Eating Enough
The Spruce / Phoebe Cheong
Like humans, it’s not unusual for a dog to lose its appetite once in a while. But if your dog is refusing to eat, it could be a sign of a deeper problem. Any sudden loss of appetite that is out of character for your dog and lasts longer than a meal or two requires veterinary attentionsooner if your puppy acts sick.
We break down the reasons that puppies sometimes refuse to eat and how to know when it’s time to seek a veterinarian’s assistance.
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Theres Something Wrong With Her Bowl
The problem may not be your pooch or her food at all: It could be her bowl. Dogs can be finicky creatures, and it can be surprising how sensitive some pooches are to the bowls we try to use.
Auto-feeders, which cause a bit of a commotion when filling up the bowl, can also be a source of anxiety at times. Hygiene is also important for your hounds appetite. If your dogs bowl is grimy, she may refuse to eat out of it. So, be sure to clean your dogs bowl regularly to avoid bacterial growth.
Washing your dogs bowl in warm water with dish soap will suffice , but remember to rinse thoroughly and let it dry before the next feeding.
Dont Ever Feed Your Dog From The Table
When you choose to give your dog human food to eat, make sure youre adding it to the top of their food in their bowl at their mealtime.
If your dog thinks that begging for scraps at the dinner table will get them a tasty treat, they will do it.
This also helps you to make sure that they arent getting too many scraps. Make sure to measure the amount of food your dog is eating, including any scraps they may receive from your dinner table.
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My Dog Doesn’t Chew His Food: The Reasons
Eatingfood faster than usual, having your dog whine at night, and other unusual habits willundoubtedly raise concerns and worries.
Is it badif my dog doesn’t chew his food? Yes, in some cases, since they tend to choke.In most situations, though, it is simply a part of being a dog. The behaviorcan be avoided, halted, or tamed. Before we get there, let’s look at why ithappens.
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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The Food May Be Going Rancid
The oils in most dry kibbles can quickly go rancid when exposed to the air. That means that your dogs food starts going bad as soon as the bag is opened.
Keeping your dogs food in an air-tight container can help, but only if you regularly wash the container.
Even if you cant see or smell the difference, your dog can. They may not like to eat their kibble when it starts to go rancid.
Add Fresh Human Food To Your Dogs Meals
There are many human foods that can be healthy for your dog. You can add small amounts of human food to the top of their dry kibble to add a boost of flavor to their food.
Many fresh fruits and vegetables are safe for dogs and full of antioxidants. Meat, eggs, and fish also provide amino acids and other nutrients your dog may benefit from.
If youre using scraps from your own meals, make sure there arent any ingredients that may harm your dog. Strong seasonings, onions, garlic, and other ingredients are all difficult for your dog to digest.
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Old Dog Losing Weight Is This Normal
As older dogs begin to slow down, they take less exercise and often gain weight. So if your old dog is losing weight there is almost certainly an underlying cause. Bear in mind weight loss is a symptom of several illnesses including diabetes, heart, liver or kidney disease and cancer. It can also be a sign of poor digestion, dental disease, or an inability to swallow. Weight loss in older dogs is not normal so always consult your vet if your old dog is losing weight.
Giving Your Puppy Too Many Treats
Let’s face it: puppies love to eat, and many new puppy owners love giving treats to reward good behavior. That’s why it’s important to understand a puppy’s feeding requirements to get daily calorie needs and aim to make no more than 10 percent of those as calories treats. That way, you won’t dilute the critical nutrients your puppy needs to grow and thrive. As an alternative, try offering small portions of your puppy’s regular dietborrowed from his total calorie intakeas treats.
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Could Your Dog Have Separation Anxiety
Many dogs with refuse to eat while their pet parent isnt home. Some dogs with separation anxiety even expect their loved one to be in the room while they eat, and will stop eating if their human leaves the room.
While this is not necessarily a health concern, it is a sign that your dog may have severe anxiety that needs to be addressed. Calming chews such as Composure or Solliquin may be helpful, and calming pheromone collars or diffusers such as Adaptil can be beneficial as well.
However, if you are concerned that your dog may have severe separation anxiety, consider consulting with a board-certified veterinary behaviorist for help.
We Arent The Only People That Have Converted To Making Homemade Dog Food And Are Loving The Results Check Out The Links Below For More Homemade Dog Food Recipes Your Pup Will Love
Easy Crockpot Dog Food from Damn Delicious || This simple homemade dog food recipe combines ground beef, brown rice, kidney beans, butternut squash, carrots, and peas in the slow cooker so you can set it and forget it!
Homemade Dog Food Recipe from College Housewife || Elizabeths sweet dog Rascal suffered from all sorts of health issues which led them to having him allergy tested. Turns out Rascal was allergic to all sorts of things even beef! So, Elizabeth developed a homemade dog food recipe that is just perfect for Rascals sensitive belly that is filled with ground turkey, sweet potatoes, carrots, and zucchini squash and macaroni noodles!
DIY Homemade Dog Food from Damn Delicious||Chungahs dog Butters battle with stomach issues led her to start making dog food at home. This recipe is easy to make and super good for your pups too! It combines a delicious blend of 50% protein, 25% veggies and 25% grains and is made of ingredients like ground chicken, brown rice, shredded zucchini, spinach, carrots, and peas.
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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.
My Dog Only Eats If I Hold The Bowl
If your dog only eats if you hold the bowl, this is likely because he feels safe while you’re feeding him.
Try the following to get him used to eating on his own:
1. Make sure you are in the place you would like him to go to eat.
2. Hold the bowl and start feeding him from it.
3. Gradually lower it to the ground while he eats.
4. Very slowly release the bowl until you have only fingertips on it.
5. Remove one hand then the over – again, slowly.
6. If he stops eating at any point, do these actions in reverse until he resumes, then try again from that point.
Be patient and keep going: eventually you’ll get there.
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Is Eating A Little At A Time Normal For Dogs
Dogs are supposed to have a feeding routine that lasts for 15 minutes. Except in some health cases, slow or picky eating habits can stem from excessive pampering and spoiling them with too many treats. Some dog breeds are naturally finicky but when you are aware of that from the get-go, its easier to instill in them healthy eating habits.
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.
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Make Your Dog Work For It
I dont know about you, but I find that the rewards I work the hardest for are the most satisfying
Your dog feels the same. He will be considerably more likely to eat his food if he has to work for it.
A short session of Shake, Roll Over, or any other trick will have your dog expecting a reward for his hard work.
Its at this point you offer your fussy dog his meal. Many picky eaters get so caught up in being rewarded that they forget they would normally reject this meal.
The key here is to make your dog think his reward is a big deal. Shower your pup with praise and pats while offering him the meal.
If you can get your dog excited enough, he will believe this meal is the best thing that has ever happened to him He will eat his food without a second thought.
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.
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Puppies In A New Environment
Dogs in general and puppies, tend to become overwhelmed when their environment or routine changes too much.
Despite your best efforts, your puppys entire world just changed and they may be feeling a little disoriented.
If your puppy wont eat and seems withdrawn or your new dog has no appetite, it can be from the stress of a new environment New puppies may also be missing its mother and siblings.
Depending on their age and where you adopted from, puppies have been in their family since birth.
It is completely normal for them to whine a bit and feel lonely.
If your pup is refusing dog food of any kind, including wet food, consider that some dogs need privacy to eat while others like companionship.
Try giving him some space and letting him explore his new home on his own.
It may also be a good idea to avoid too many visitors for a couple of days so as not to inundate him with too many new stimuli.
He will likely eat once he feels more comfortable and familiar with his surroundings.
Pickiness or behavior issues
Some dogs are just picky, or the puppy wont eat it may be caused by feeding them in situations where they arent comfortable, such as around an aggressive dog or from a bowl at an uncomfortable height.
Because a decreased appetite in dogs may be caused by illness, never assume that your dog is picky without investigating other possibilities first.
Tips to Encourage Eating
Just try again at the next feeding time.
Tips To Increase A Puppys Appetite
If Feeding Dry Food:
If Feeding Canned Food:
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