She Has Tooth Pain Or Other Dental Issues
Dental problems make eating a real pain, particularly if your dog has a kibble-based diet thats crunchy.
Sadly, dental disease is common in dogs, especially in seniors and small breeds. Cracked, decayed, or loose teeth are uncomfortable and aside from causing her to refuse food they put her at risk of serious infections.
Checking your dogs mouth regularly and performing routine teeth brushing can help detect and prevent dental issues. So, if your dog isnt eating, check her mouth for signs of injury or infection and make a vet appointment if necessary.
Why Is My Dog Not Eating The Top 6 Reasons
By Katelyn Son | Updated November 28, 2022
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Is your dog not eating? If youve ever had a dog who wont eat the food you give them, youll know how frustrating this can be. Since they cant put into words why theyre not eating, its natural for pet owners to feel frustrated and worried. There will be so many things going through their head.
Maybe their dog isnt eating because theyre sick, maybe its one of the signs that your dogs health deteriorating. Maybe theyre just a fussy eater!
In this article, well be going over some of the most common reasons dog wont eat. Hopefully, after reading it, youll know the answer to the question Why is my dog not eating?
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If Feeding Dry Food:
If Feeding Canned Food:
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What Do You Do When Your Dog Wont Eat
When your dog doesnt eat, its time to take notice and search for clues. Check your dogs mouth, note changes in your dogs behavior, and try to remember any recent changes in their eating habits. Early loss of appetite can be approached with at-home remedies, like hand-feeding unique dog-safe foods such as sweet potatoes. You can also try to add dog-safe chicken broth to dry food or mix in new canned food flavors.
If your dog still refuses to eat, starts losing weight, or shows other concerning symptoms, then they should be taken to the vet immediately.
Here Are A Few Things To Try If Your Dog Isnt Eating:
- Change up your dogs food. If you feed homemade raw or cooked, try a different recipe. If you feed premade raw, try a different protein or brand. Or if you feed processed food like kibble, consider adding or switching to canned dog food.
- Walk your dog before mealtime to stimulate his appetite.
- Change bowls, or where you feed your dog. Your dog may feel more comfortable eating in his crate or in a quiet corner of the home.
- Dont show your dog youre stressed by him not eating. Be cheerful and matter of fact when you feed him, and if hes not interested, just pick up the food and offer it to him later.
- Cut back on the number of meals. Many people feed twice a day, and a lot of picky dogs eat better with only one meal a day.
- Experiment with feeding at different times of day.
- Temporarily cut back or eliminate treats.
- Give pre- and probiotics regularly maintain gut health.
- Give bone broth or raw goat milk to get some nutrients into him.
Finally, try natural options to stimulate appetite, such as CBD oil. Some research suggests it may help stimulate hunger hormones. It can also relieve pain or anxiety if those are the reasons your dog isnt eating.
Its not a good idea to force feed your dog, even if he hasnt eaten for a few days. In extreme cases, your vet might recommend feeding a liquid diet, giving subcutaneous fluids or inserting a feeding tube.
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Testing To Determine Why Your Dog Is Not Eating
While history and physical exam will help guide the type and order of diagnostic testing, most hyporexic or anorexic dogs will need further evaluation, which may include some or all of the following.
Blood Work – This is an excellent way to get information about a dogs overall systemic health. Blood work can help your vet determine if your dog has kidney disease, liver disease, an endocrine disorder such as diabetes, or evidence of infection or anemia. While some types of cancer can cause changes in blood work, many do not.
X-rays of the abdomen and chest – Imaging of the chest can be helpful in looking for evidence of infection, heart disease, lung disease, and cancer. Radiographs of the abdomen are helpful in looking for masses, enlarged organs, evidence of foreign body or intestinal obstruction, etc.
Ultrasound – This is another way to image the abdomen and internal organs that is more detailed than radiographs for evaluating soft tissue structures.
Specific blood tests – Your vet may want to test for a specific disease process, drug, or toxin.
Referral and advanced imaging – In complex cases referral for additional testing such as CT, MRI, swallowing study, etc. may be needed.
Empirical treatment, diet trial, or appetite stimulant – Sometimes response to treatment will not only help a dog feel better but also provide information about the underlying cause.
Feed Your Dog More Often
Feeding your dog smaller meals more frequently throughout the day may help reduce hunger and scavenging behavior, which could be contributing to their coprophagia. Be aware that if you’re still working on your dog’s potty training, changing their meal frequency may affect how many times and the time they need to go #2 every day.
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Take Your Dog To The Vet
Visiting the vet is always a good idea if your dog is sick and wont eat. Your vet can help you figure out what ails your dog and what to do to get them feeling better. Your vet can also make sure your dog is prescribed any medications it may need, whether to address the illness or to encourage appetite.
Summary: Why Dogs Wont Eat
It is not normal for a dog to refuse to eat. If this happens, there is a problem, especially if your dog has always been a good eater.
Some dogs are picky eaters, but a sudden loss in appetite should be taken seriously and brought to the attention of your veterinarian.
With your vets guidance, you can identify suitable treatments and home remedies for a dog that wont eat.
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The Importance Of Water
You may be so focused on food intake you forget about water entirely. But, water intake is arguably more important than food intake. If your dog refuses to eat, in the meantime, youll want to encourage water consumption to help keep them hydrated.
Dogs are naturally able to go longer without food but their tolerance for not drinking water is much less. At most a dog can go three days without water intake but can survive for five to seven days or more without food. Realistically, you dont want to test your dogs limits but do not force your dog to drink as this can cause aspiration pneumonia.
Its important to get your dog medical attention as soon as possible if they are not eating or drinking for 48 hours or more.
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Best Salmon Oil Supplements For Dogs
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We have also reviewed dozens of different brands of salmon oil to find the best for your dog why settle for less?
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Why Your Dog Is Only Eating Treats
It is pretty unusual if your dog turns away from its regular food and wants to eat only treats. This is usually an indication that something is changing, and you might want to check it out immediately.
One of the most common reasons a dog will refuse to eat but would want only to treat is ill-health. No matter the condition, from dental disease to tumors, the presence of pain usually detests most dogs from eating.
Also, you might want to check the expiry date of your pets food. Most people think animals would eat anything as long as they are hungry and will never stop to check if the food being given is spoilt. Most animals would reject spoilt food, though, so you should double-check every time.
Sometimes dogs do not bluntly like the food they are being given and will tend to reject it. Some animals are picky and fussy, and this can be frustrating and annoying, but just like you wouldnt want to eat something you dont like, animals tend to be the same. Find food that your dog readily likes and stick to it.
Youre Offering Too Much
Did you start off measuring your pups meals meticulously, but now youre just eyeballing it? Could it be that the portions youre offering have gotten gradually bigger over time? It could be that your pet is leaving part of their meal simply because theyre full. Try weighing out their meals, and check whether theyre still eating substantially less than you put in the bowl.
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Why Wont My Dog Eat His Food But Will Eat Treats
A dog that just wont eat their meals can be a real stress for pet parents, after all, you want your dog to love their food!
If your pooch isnt eating their dinners but will still scoff down a treat or even your leftover Sunday roast, its referred to as partial anorexia. This means that your dog isnt refusing all kinds of food, but theyre definitely not eating enough to keep them healthy. So, lets delve right into why your pooch might be sticking their snout up to their meals.
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So, how does this relate to your dog? Well, we can probably assume that dementia isnt the issue if your senior dog is off his food although dogs can suffer from dementia. More on that later in another blog, though. You are controlling the food, so its not like your dog is starving himself because he has forgotten to eat.
You might be surprised to know, though, that many of the reasons that senior humans fail to eat enough are exactly the same reasons that your senior dog is not eating. So, lets talk about that.
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How Do You Solve This Eating Habit
Mix Canned Soft Dog Food In With Your Dogs Kibble
The scent and texture of the soft food can be more appealing than plain kibble, so mixing a small portion into your dogs kibble can be a way to motivate them to eat.
You shouldnt need to add much, especially if your dog was raised on a strict kibble-only diet. One-quarter of a can should do it.
The aim isnt to switch your dog over to soft food. Dry kibble offers many health benefits, like scraping plaque off the teeth.
Instead, youre just using soft food to entice your dog to eat their regular diet, so you should only use small amounts of soft food.
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Her Food Has Gone Bad
Dog food has a shelf life, and old, stale food is rarely as tasty as your pup would like. And this can lead to your pooch refusing her dinner.
Most dry dog foods last for around a year, but always check expiration dates before purchase to be safe. This information is usually located toward the bottom of the bag, but you might need to play a bit of I-Spy to find it on a busy backdrop.
Also, be sure to watch for signs of spoilage, including foul smells or noticeable color changes on the kibblets.
Spoiled food should always be thrown out, and if your dog has ingested any, call your vet. A watch and wait approach works just fine most of the time, but checking in with your vet doesnt hurt, especially if you have a puppy or senior.
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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Your Dog Is Holding Out
Does this sound like you? Your dog wont eat her favorite kibble, so you switch brands. When she stops gobbling that up, you dress it up with something yummier, like cheese or chicken. Pretty soon youre sitting next to your pooch coaxing her to take a bite, wondering, why is my dog not eating? It feeds into this attention-seeking behavior where the dog says, If I dont eat, my owner will give me something better,’ Bain explains.
Another variation: Youve gotten your dog used to people foodhand-fed from the table, says Teller. The solution? After you get the okay from your vet , put down her dish of plain dog food, and take it up after 15 minutes even if she doesnt eat it, suggests Bain. Try again in the evening, doing the same thing until your dog gets the memo. If table scraps are ruining your dogs appetite, feed her at a different time and keep her away from the table as you dine, Teller advises. Now find out these other things your dog wishes you knew.
- Lori M. Teller, DVM, clinical associate professor at the Texas A& M Universitys College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
- Megan E. McClosky, DVM, lecturer in internal medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine
- Melissa Bain, DVM, professor of clinical animal behavior at the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine
Why Is Wild Caught Alaskan Salmon Oil Best For Dogs
You may have noticed that nearly all our top picks are made from wild-caught Alaskan salmon.
As far as salmon oil goes, it cant be beaten.
Firstly, lets look at why we recommend wild-caught
Wild caught refers to any salmon that was caught in the ocean, where it was free to roam and eat a natural diet of other fish. On the flip-side, farm-raised salmon are kept in giant nets and are fed pellets.
It might seem like a small difference, but that natural diet causes wild-caught salmon to have up to a 30% higher Omega 3 concentration than farmed salmon.
As for why Alaskan Salmon? Well, these salmon are caught in American waters. And the fisheries and manufacturers need to abide by USA laws around food safety.
Another benefit is that the Alaska Department of Environmental control monitors the fish in its waters. Alaskan salmon have very low levels of mercury and arsenic, among the lowest levels in the world.
It is for these reasons that wild-caught Alaskan salmon oil is superior and should be the number one choice for your dog.
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