Why Is My Dog Not Eating: What You Need To Know
As pet lovers, we all know how disturbing it is to find that our dog is not eating as much as he/she usually does. Whether your dog eats less or has stopped eating completely, both should be treated with urgency.
These changes in your dog’s appetite or eating habits can indicate any possible illness he/she is feeling. Today, we will be discussing possible causes as to why your dog is not eating and immediate remedies to help him/her with.
Why Is My Dog Not Eating: My Personal Experience
There was one summer a friend of mine left his dog with me because of an out of town trip. The dog was a female Shih Tzu, Sophie. She was different from all the big dogs I’ve owned which was why I was quite anxious and excited for the experience.
Unfortunately, we traveled her from my friend’s home to mine via a cab. With only this, I already expected beforehand that she would be under a great deal of stress. Stress due to traveling and stress due to the completely different environment she would be in.
Sophie was very excited and lively when we got home to my place. Like any other Shih Tzus, she was jumping up and down all over the place, trying to play with all of us. We all thought that she was doing fine and adjusting really quickly.
However, come dinner time, she refused to eat her food when we gave it to her. I tried feeding the food to her personally but she only took about two bites. So instead of forcing her to eat, we just let her be. We all thought she’d go back to eat her food, but she never did.
The next day, my family and I decided that she can’t eat that little for too long. Which was why we tried to change her dog food and bought a different brand with a different flavor. Thankfully, she started regaining her appetite little by little.
She started by smelling the food first, taking a few bites then leaving it. But after a few more minutes, she came back to finish the whole bowl. At the end of the day, it was probably just stress that affected her appetite. This is normal for most dogs under stress.
However, this won’t always be the case. Here are some other possible causes and remedies.
Other Possible Causes And Remedies
It is very important to note that the anorexia nervosa humans like us experience is different from the anorexia our dogs might be experiencing. Simply put, when your dog won’t eat, it is already called anorexia.A change in your dog’s eating habit or overall appetite can be an indication of another illness. This is why if your dog’s appetite does not return to its normal even after a few days, it is best to have him/her checked with a veterinarian.
2. Dental Problems
Dental problems are some of the most overlooked reasons as to why a dog won’t eat. There might be times when your dog doesn’t want to eat because he/she just lost a tooth. Or broke a tooth.
Remember, just like us, our dogs experience dental problems as well such as cavities, gingivitis or even oral tumor. This is why giving your dogs dental treats or having their teeth brushed and checked every now and then is very important to their overall well being.
Did your dog get any recent dosage of vaccines? This is important to take note of because sometimes, these vaccines we give to protect our dogs also cause temporary side effects. Some dogs experience a loss of appetite or even fever, after getting vaccinated.
However, this is normal. Do not panic if you remember any recent vaccines your dog might have had. This might be the cause of his/her lost appetite.
4. Stress And Other External Factors
If you’ve already brought your dog to a veterinarian and exhausted all possible reasons as to why he/she won’t eat, the reason might be just as petty as a bowl that’s too high. Some dogs as naturally picky and won’t eat if you changed their bowl out of nowhere. Or if you make them eat with another dog/pet they’re unfamiliar with.
If your dog suddenly loses appetite, here are some possible remedies:
- Feed your dog on time or follow a specific schedule. This helps your dog’s body clock adjust for food. Feeding him/her out of nowhere will simply cause inconsistencies.
- Take your dog out for a walk regularly, especially before meal time. Being more active and using up more energy might help increase his/her appetite.
- Do not give too much treats. This can only distract your dog’s taste buds from eating real food. (similar to eating a dessert first before the real meal).
- Try changing bowls or food brands (even flavor) every now and then to see which works best for your dog. A bowl that’s too low or too high, or a food brand that doesn’t smell like anything might cause your dog not to eat.
- Finally, be creative and make your dog’s mealtime more fun and enticing. You can do this by incorporating toys or treats moderately.
At The End Of The Day…
When a time comes that your dog won’t eat, it is important to treat him/her with extra care and patience. You would find the reason why easier, if you are more attentive and patient with your dog. This is because your dog will become more open and trusting.
However, if your dog’s appetite loss persists for too long, do not hesitate to bring him/her to the vet to get checked. Most especially when you’ve already exhausted all possible reasons and home remedies. After all, our dog’s health and wellbeing is our top priority as pet lovers.