Think back to the last time you were in a stressful situation. Did you want to eat a full dinner, or were you too concerned with what was going on to eat? Many dogs react to stressful situations and new environments with a decrease in appetite. Some dogs stop eating when their owners leave them with the pet sitter for a few days. Others may temporarily stop eating if your family has recently moved to a new house or traveled to an unfamiliar destination.
When a dog won’t eat, it is referred to as anorexia. This is different from anorexia nervosa, an eating disorder found in humans. Instead anorexia describes a complete loss of appetite in dogs.
Because loss of appetite in dogs can indicate illness, it is important to seek veterinary care if you notice changes in your dog’s eating habits. It is especially important to respond promptly to a refusal to eat in dogs that usually eat well.
A dog not eating for quite a while, then it could be a sign that something is particularly wrong. If you see your pupper skipping more than two meals, definitely take them to the veterinarian.
Since dogs don’t diet like we humans do, dogs don’t stop eating because they want to lose weight. It’s almost always a sign that something is wrong. If you haven’t changed up their food and turned it into a bland diet, it might be best to take them to the vet.
Canine health care has improved drastically over the years. New vaccines and medications make it possible to tackle a variety of health concerns and keep potentially dangerous diseases at bay. However, some medications do come with unwanted side effects.
Certain medications can make your dog lose their appetite. Most often, this adverse reaction is only temporary.
Your dog may not feel the need to eat for a day or so, but the effects will typically wear off in no time.
When observing the dog’s behavior, check if your dog won’t eat anything or won’t eat some type(s) of food. You can monitor your pet’s water bowl through Petcube. If your pet won’t drink water either, make an appointment with your vet.
See if your dog is behaving as usual or there are other changes in their daily routine. Also, pay attention to their stool and urine. If all is normal, you can let your them skip a meal or two. If your dog is vomiting, has diarrhea, is lethargic and dehydrated, talk to a vet.
If there is no sign of dental distress, next step is to check your dog’s temperature and get your vet to do some blood tests to rule out other physiological causes. There are an array of disorders that can knock your dog off its food including virtually any fever, gastrointestinal ailments and upsets, constipation, a blocked nose which disrupts their sense of smell and, in some cases, medications and treatments such as chemotherapy may leave you with a sick dog not eating.
In some cases, however, there may be another reason your dog won’t eat. Dogs may go off their food because of changes in their environment, stress, an adverse reaction to drugs, and nausea. Dental problems, pain and internal obstructions can also cause dogs to lose their appetite. There is also the possibility your dog is just fussy and turning their nose up at the food you’re offering them. But it’s important you establish this is the case with your vet before you rule out other causes.
Allowing ad-lib feeding (unrestricted access to food) especially with bulk feeders, is one of the common mistakes owners make. If you don’t meal-feed your dog, you are unlikely to be able to tell early-on if he is ill, as you never see him hungry. It can also lead to behavioural problems. One exception to this would be if a puppy weighing less than a kilogram is left alone for long periods of time. Tiny puppies need frequent meals for their blood sugar levels and need to have food available.
Avoid fussing about your dog and his food at mealtimes, as this will result in your dog expecting this at every meal. He will soon realise that by playing up, you may be pushed into providing ever more elaborate treats.
While dogs are carnivores, they are more than happy to scavenge whenever the opportunity presents itself, even in the home. Pet dogs frequently steal food from the counter, off the table, and eat things from the trash when they get the chance. Some dogs eat dog poop in the yard and other things that are tasty only to dogs. And if you take your dog to a dog park or other public place, he can have access to things like candy and other things left by visitors. The result is that dogs can sometimes eat something they shouldn’t.