PetFitness Blog – Pet Exercise, Workouts & Fitness Tips for Dogs

Why is My Dog Not Eating?

essential foods for dogs

For all of us devoted pet owners, it can be very worrying when our beloved four-legged family members don’t eat for more than 24 hours. This lack of appetite is likely caused by ill health, just like it would be with humans – something that strikes fear into us all.

If you’re asking, “Why is my dog not eating?” then don’t fret.

In this article, we’ll explore why your dog might not be eating and what you can do to help them feel better.

Why is my dog not eating?

Decreased appetite (hyporexia) or loss of appetite (anorexia) in dogs often indicate underlying medical conditions.

Generally, the reasons why a dog won’t eat fall under three major categories medical, behavioral, and issues with the food itself – it could be old, expired, stale, or spoiled.

Possible medical causes include:

  • dental disease
  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • intestinal parasites
  • intestinal obstruction
  • stomach upset
  • infection
  • fever
  • cancer
  • organ disease
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • congestive heart failure

Injuries and pain, especially dental pain, will definitely affect dogs’ appetite. Make sure you check your dog for mouth sores, broken or chipped teeth, oral tumors, or any other bodily injuries, and contact your vet immediately.

When is it normal for a dog to not eat?

However, if your dog has just had surgery or has been under anesthesia, losing an appetite is a normal reaction. Just monitor their eating habits and behavior while under treatment, if they won’t eat after a few days, consult a vet.

In addition, aging is another factor. The older a dog gets, the noticeable decrease in food intake as they get less exercise and burn off less energy, resulting in eating less.

On the other hand, anxiety, stress, and fear are some behavioral factors that can affect your dog’s decreased appetite.

Even dogs may suffer from separation anxiety, its exaggerated fear of separation from their owner resulting in exhibiting destructive behavior like deep claw marks or scratches on windows or doors.

Also, just like humans, dogs can become stressed also due to changes in their surroundings, new environment, or even with the presence of another dog or even simply changing its food bowl. If possible, just find out what is causing them to be stressed and simply remove it. Just keep its surroundings as normal and consistent as possible.

However, if that is not possible, just calm your dog by playing, cuddling, and talking to them

How to Get Your Dog to Eat

Here are some tips that you can use to get your dog eating again.

  1. Try rotating through several alternative dog foods. You can different flavors and mix dry and wet dog food together. Make sure you do this gradually, though, so that you don’t upset their stomachs.
  2. Warm up the food. Just like humans, dogs also love a nice warm meal.
  3. Add a tasty topper or mix to their food. You can mix a little chicken, fish, or low-sodium beef broth.
  4. Go for a walk before meals. Make sure your dog is well-exercised before you feed them.
  5. Feed at a consistent time. Divide the food into two or three meals and serve them at a consistent time each day.

In addition to the above-mentioned tips, just give your dog plenty of attention, affection, and regular exercise. Always be patient and supportive when they won’t eat. When they do, feed them a healthy and balanced diet and make sure their bowls are clean. You can also give them treats, like the doggy donuts in the video above, as long as it’s in moderation.

With these tips, you can get your pup back on the eating track and make sure they’re healthy and happy for a long time to come! For more articles like this, check out our PetFitness blog!


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