There is nothing worse than seeing your dog refusing to eat, no matter how long you’ve had him or how recently you acquired him. There are numerous reasons why a dog may lose interest in eating. Identifying the underlying reason is critical to developing an effective treatment strategy.
To begin with, consider how you’re measuring your dog’s hunger. There is no need to be concerned if you see your dog isn’t eating as much as recommended on the bag of food you bought. Many healthy dogs take only 60 to 70% of the amount listed on the container, and this is entirely acceptable.
Here’s some information about why your dog isn’t eating, as well as some suggestions for what you can do about it.
The Food Is Old Or Spoiled
When it comes to food, most dogs aren’t fussy, and they’ll happily eat the same thing again and again if they like it. But some dogs may go on hunger strike if they are given food that has been sitting out for too long and is no longer fresh.
Maintaining freshness and preventing deterioration or spoilage of food is the most straightforward way to avoid this problem. The expiration date of food should be checked before purchasing it. Keep dry food in a sealed container. For home-cooked meals, use fresh ingredients and preserve wet food in the refrigerator for up to three days after opening.
Time Of Day
It’s not uncommon for dogs to eat just at certain times of the day. It’s possible that your dog prefers to eat at noon, or that they only finish their bowl at night. Even though your dog prefers to eat at a different time each day, it is usual practice to feed him at the same time each day. The only thing to be concerned about is if they only eat at one hour of the day.
Pickiness Or Behavior Issues
A dog’s refusal to eat may be a result of feeding them in a situation where they are uncomfortable, such as in the presence of a hostile dog or from a bowl that is placed too high. Never make the assumption that your dog is being picky without first checking the other causes, as a reduced appetite in dogs may be the result of a disease that you aren’t aware of.
Your pup is experiencing side effects from a medication. Dogs may also lose their appetites as a result of new drugs. Nausea is a common side effect of some medications. It’s possible that a brand-new prescribed diet is to blame as well.
Consult your dog’s veterinarian if you suspect this is the case. You might be able to persuade your dog to eat by offering a tasty reward or switching to a different medication or diet.
Your dog’s reduced appetite could be a symptom of a more serious ailment such kidney disease, liver disease and diabetes or an infection (bacterial or viral), a fever, cancer, or even pyometra (infection of the womb).
As you might expect, the treatment for each of these ailments differs, therefore finding the underlying cause is critical if you are to provide the most effective cure. Your veterinarian will need to perform diagnostic tests if they suspect that one of these disorders is the root of the problem. It’s common to begin with a blood test (and/or urine test).
Your dog’s refusal to eat could be due to something more than a medical or behavioral issue. Perhaps they aren’t hungry after all. It’s very simple to overfeed a dog, either by giving them too many treats or by feeding them too much in general.
Always keep in mind that the recommended serving sizes on dog food packages tend to be excessive for an average canine. Try to maintain a running tally of how many goodies your dog receives every day. If you’re still unclear about how much to feed your dog, consult your veterinarian.
What To Do When Your Dog Won’t Eat
A prescription diet may be recommended by your veterinarian if your dog’s lack of appetite is due to an underlying medical condition. If your dog is accustomed to regular treats or human food, these diets may not be all that appetizing.
Never deprive your dog of food in an attempt to make him consume the specified diet if he is already sick. Instead, discuss your concerns with your vet. Veterinarians may give appetite stimulants, suggest syringe-feeding a liquid diet, or even place a feeding tube in more severe situations.
If your dog’s lack of appetite isn’t due to a medical ailment, but rather to pickiness or discomfort at mealtime, there are a few things you can do to get him to eat more:
- Maintaining a consistent feeding routine for your pet, which should consist of at least two meals per day.
- You can make meals more enjoyable for your pet by engaging them in activities such as playing with a toy that dispenses food or giving your dog food as a reward for doing a trick.
- Try feeding your pet alone if you usually do so with other animals. You can also experiment with different bowls or plates at varying heights to find out what your dog enjoys to eat.
- If you regularly feed your dog dry food, you might want to experiment by giving him something different, such as canned food.