Is Your Dog Diabetic
If your dog is diabetic and will not eat, this could be an indication that something is seriously wrong. Ask your veterinarian what they recommend doing if your dog wont eat at the time of your dogs diagnosis.
As a general rule, dogs should not be given as insulin if they arent eating, as this can cause dangerously low hypoglycemia. If your veterinarian advised you to give a half dose of insulin if your dog skips one meal, do so, but alert your veterinarian immediately if your dog skips another meal.
If your diabetic dog skips a meal, is lethargic, nonresponsive, or vomiting or having diarrhea, they should be seen by a veterinarian immediately, as this could be an indication of hypoglycemia or diabetic ketoacidosis, both of which are life-threatening if not treated right away.
Is Your Dog Not Eating
If you’re worried, chat with a real vet now â for free.
If you have questions about why your puppy is not eating, Pawpâs trained veterinarians are available to assist 24/7. Pawp offers telehealth visits, so you can get the answers you and your pet need right from the comfort of your home.
Puppy Adjusting To A New Family And Home
Puppies usually need a day or two to get used to their new surroundings. It’s more critical that small breeds and very young puppies eat regularly. If your puppy is between 8 and 12 weeks, hasn’t eaten in a day, and is acting quiet, talk to your vet. If your puppy is bouncing around like a maniac, he’ll probably come around to eating once he adjusts to his new environment and all the stimuli that come with it.
And be sure to check with whoever had the puppy before you on feeding habits: ask what type of bowl or dish was he fed in, when he was fed, and whether he was a social or independent eater. If you can match these factors, your new furry best friend will feel more comfortable at mealtime.
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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.
Dogs That Are Over The Threshold
If your dog is not food motivated on walks or during training class when there are other dogs and people are around, chances are he or she is too excited or anxious to eat. Dog trainers often depict such dogs as being “over the threshold.” In other words, their emotions get in the way of their digestive system and the ability to cognitively function shuts down.
This is a normal reaction. When a dog’s body is in fight or flight mode, the blood flows away from the digestive system to the dog’s limbs and sensory organs so that the dog is in a state of hyper-vigilance and ready to spring into action.
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Make The Transition Slowly
Note: Skip to the next section if you have not switched to a new food
Have you swapped over to a new brand of dog food? Dogs often dont react positively to a change in their routine. When presented with a new type of food, many dogs will refuse to eat it.
My Golden Retriever is the perfect example of this. He will gladly eat a wide range of disgusting things. Cat poop? Delicious! Vomit? Yeah sure, hell lick that right up
But a new kibble? Thats where he draws the line he instantly becomes selective with what he eats.
If you are transitioning your dog to a new food, its best to do it slooooooowly.
Fortunately, if done right, switching to a new food is a simple process
All you need is your dogs current food, and the new food want your dog to eat.
Now, what you are going to do is combine the two foods. Over ten days, your goal is to decrease the amount of old food and increase the amount of new food.
- Days 1 3 75% current food. 25% New food
- Days 4 6 50% current food. 50% New food
- Days 7 9 25% current food. 75% New food
- Day 10 100% New food
It may be slow, but your dog will be more likely to eat his new food if you follow this process.
Now, you may be unable to obtain your dogs previous food to mix in with his new food.
Lets say your dogs favorite food is discontinued. Or you ran out of food and after a mad dash to Walmart, grabbed whatever was on the shelf?
What To Do When Your Dog Wont Eat Their Food But Will Eat Treats
It is common for dogs to not eat their food, but eat treats or table scraps. This is referred to as partial anorexia and it typically occurs because your dog doesnât feel well.
Partial anorexia means a dog will eat, but only if something special, such as treats or table scraps like chicken or beef, are added to the food. Sometimes, dogs will refuse everything but will eat something as peculiar as a fast-food hamburger.
Full anorexia is when a dog wonât eat anything, including normal dog food, special treats, food doctored up with cooked ground beef, chicken, baby food, or anything you offer. Both problems can be serious, but full anorexia is an even bigger issue. Learn more about Home Care of Anorexia in Dogs.
Reasons for anorexia in dogs can vary from minor issues, such as a stomach upset, to serious and even life-threatening problems. For more information â please see this article: My Dog is Not Eating, What Do I Do?
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What Should I Do If My Puppy Isnt Eating
If you notice that your puppy is not eating, there are a few steps that you can take to help relieve this problem. Of course, itâs best that you first ensure that your puppy is medically safe.
This means taking to a vet as soon as you notice unusual behavior from your pup. The vet will be able to better figure out if the reason that your puppy is not interested in eating is something that can be easily fixed at home or if they’ll need to be treated for an illness.
Less Serious Reasons For Loss Of Appetite
A puppy with no appetite isn’t always a sign of a serious problem or even a problem that requires medical attention. Some puppies actually refuse food simply because they do not like the taste, or they may be experiencing anxiety from being in a new place, meeting new people or getting to know a new pet.
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How Many Times A Day Should A Puppy Eat
Like human babies, puppies have little stomachs and need to eat several small meals a day. As your puppy grows, you can feed larger amounts less frequently. Your veterinarian can recommend a schedule, but Gale says these are the general guidelines:
- 4 meals a day: Recently weaned puppies of all sizes need four meals a day.
- 3 meals a day: Small breeds can transition to three meals a day around 4 months of age, while larger breeds make the switch around 6 months.
- 2 meals a day: Maintain two meals a day starting between 4 to 10 months for small breeds and between 6 to 12 months for large breeds.
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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Does Your Dog Eat Treats But Not Food
If your dog is refusing dinner but saying yes to treats or table scraps, they may be filling up on junk food rather than their own dog food. However, if your dog has other symptoms of not feeling well, a medical condition could be to blame for their altered appetite.
For example, if your dog is happy, energetic, drinking water, playing, and not having any vomiting or diarrhea, it may be that they are simply getting too many calories per day in treats and arent hungry for their meal. They may also have outsmarted you, knowing that if they refuse to eat their food, theyll get tasty chicken and dog treats instead.
However, if your dog is lethargic, having any vomiting or diarrhea, starting to eat a bit then stopping, or drooling or licking their lips, they may not be feeling 100% well. Treats are higher rewards, so many dogs will be more likely to eat those rather than their food, even if they arent feeling the best. Think of a time when youve had an upset stomach but powered through to have your favorite treat while passing up the salad bar.
It is always best to be on the safe side and have any possible medical conditions ruled out if getting your dog to eat is becoming a frequent challenge.
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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Your Dogs Got A Mild Stomachache
Your dog may stop eating because he feels queasy or ate something bad. If youre wondering why is my dog not eating, one way to tell its not something more serious is if your pup bounces back to his normal self pretty quickly, says Megan E. McClosky, DVM, lecturer in internal medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. Even if you suspect a mere bellyache as the reason for your dog not eating, call the vet anyway. Dogs have pretty good appetites, so if they are picky eaters, especially when thats accompanied by chronic signs, like occasional vomiting or occasional diarrhea and soft stools, theres usually an underlying GI problem that requires more attention, McClosky explains, adding, That is more common than people realize. Your vet can rule out the source of the upset, from food allergies to inflammatory bowel disease. Get to the bottom of another concerning canine habit: Why do dogs eat dirt?
Owners Not Wanting To Use Food
Sometimes, dog trainers stumble upon dog owners who may state that their dogs are not food motivated, when in reality, it’s the owner that does not want to use food. This reluctance may stem from the outdated belief that dogs are born to please their owners and, therefore, must obey every command just because the owner “said so.” Some owners are even worried about the extra calories, spoiling the dog, or do not want to spend money on treats.
Dog trainers should explain to clients that dogs aren’t born to please their owners but that they are willing to work if there’s an incentive. Just like how people expect a paycheck and can care less about a pat on the shoulder, dogs should be provided with food as reinforcement. Often such dog owners claim their dogs are not food motivated because they have only tried a few treats and are not willing to try more. Many dog trainers can attest that, as soon as the owners try to entice these dogs with some high-value treats, their dogs are ready and willing to be trained.
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Increasing The Puppys Appetite
If the puppy is very plump, then cutting back their rations by a quarter will resolve the problem quite quickly.
A slightly plump puppy can usually be left to grow into their daily food ration. Just dont increase it for a while.
As the puppy regains their figure, they will also regain a naturally healthy appetite. You should see a renewed enthusiasm for food within a few days.
Are You Feeding Your Puppy On A Regular Schedule
Feeding your puppy on a regular schedule, versus leaving food in his bowl all the time, can help him regulate his digestive system. As a general rule, puppies under six months of age should be fed three small meals a day and then switched to twice a day: once in the morning and once in the evening. Once your puppy reaches maturity , you can decide whether to feed him once or twice a day.
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General Tips For Instilling Proper Eating Habits
Picky eating in dogs is a headache to handle, but its possible to avoid the problem in many cases. Preventing feeding issues with your dog starts with a healthy routine, including:
Has your dog gone through a picky period with her food? Any tips for owners looking to entice their pups to chow down? Let us know in the comments!
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Behavioral And Environmental Reasons
Behavioral reasons are , your dog is used to getting lots of treats and table scraps, your dog likes to eat alone or only when theres someone else in the room, or your pooch is used to being hand-fed.
Changes in the environment include a recent move or traveling, absence of a family member or another pet, weather changes, recent stress, or a change in the feeding schedule.
My dog refused to eat for two and a half days when she got a new food bowl. Maybe its a dachshund thing. The point is, you should consider every change in the environment and habits.
What to do?– Read about Treating environmental and behavioral loss of appetite in dogs
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Month Old Puppy Suddenly Not Interested In His Food
Our 10 month old dachshund, Bowie in the last week has gone from…
Eating half of his food before going outside, then finishing when we come in
Picking at his food and maybe finishing it later
Showing no interest in his food at all, and maybe gets about 1/4 of his normal daily intake down with hours of us trying to feed him little pieces at a time.
He has an older brother who is still inhaling his food. They both eat Nulo small-breed grain-free salmon and lentils. Bowie is about 11lbs and gets 1/3 cup twice a day at 7am and 4pm.
He still has loads of energy and is pooping with no problem. We have not overindulged with treats to compensate, as we dont want to reinforce if you dont eat your food, you can have yummy treats instead.
Yesterday I tried wetting his food, still not interested. Then I mixed in some shredded cheese, and he just ate the cheese pieces and maybe got a few kibbles here and there.
Im not sure if this is just a phase or if it warrants switching his food? He used to eat so fast when he was little, he would throw up. So they both now have puzzle bowls and have never had an issue. At first we thought, as his nose got longer, he was getting more frustrated with eating, but even putting his food in a regular bowl doesnt change anything. Nor does softening his food.
Last night he almost ate all of his food by 8pm over the span of hours because we would feed him a few kibbles at a time.
Any advice is super appreciated!
Shes Pregnant Or In Heat
Hormones affect your dog from nose to tail, and intact females ride a rollercoaster of changes during a heat cycle or pregnancy.
In addition to eating less, your female may demonstrate other symptoms of her ready-to-go reproductive status, such as urinating more frequently or being restless . Pregnant dogs typically eat more than usual as pregnancy progresses, but they can exhibit food aversion or vomiting early on. Similarly, intact males can be overly restless if an in-season female is near, impacting their appetite.
A dog in heat will have a bloody discharge or period that makes it obvious, whereas a pregnant dog may not show symptoms for a few weeks after mating. If you suspect that your dog is pregnant, take her to the vet as soon as you can. Providing proper prenatal care is essential to avoid complications. The only way to prevent either is by spaying your dog.
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