We all get concerned when our dog is not eating properly. Our minds conjure up many reasons why this could be happening! There can be many reasons why our dog is choosing not to eat, and it is important to figure out the issue so that you can have a plan moving forward.
One of the first things is to look at your dog’s appetite objectively. The eating guidelines on the dog food package are usually overstated and it is okay if your dog is only eating 2/3 of the amount listed.
But important – your dog losing his appetite can show signs of an illness. It would be important to seek veterinary care if you see changes in consumption patterns. If your dog rejects to eat at all – this is an important sign for you to seek immediate care.
Your dog cannot go without water but usually can go a few days without food, but it is important to address the situation ASAP.
Why would my dog not be eating?
There can be many reasons why your dog is not eating. Some typical reasons:
- Sick: Loss of the desire to eat is a sign of an illness and your dog may have other symptoms as well. This is when you should see your veterinarian.
- Gum and teeth issues: If eating causes a dog pain, they are more likely to skip it. Your veterinarian can do a mouth exam.
- Recent shots: Sometimes your dog may not feel well after having vaccinations. This is usually minor and quickly over but if not, call your veterinarian.
- Change in environments: Was all well before you left home on a road trip or moved to a new home? Sometimes your dog is just feeling stressed about a new situation or could get sick from motion.
- Just because: There are times where your dog will refuse to eat – with no known reason. Always explore other options since the underlying issue could be an illness.
What can you do to help?
How you handle the situation will depend on the symptoms and your veterinarian’s advice.
If the loss of eating is not caused by an illness, there are actions you can take to persuade your dog to begin eating again.
Options to help:
- Cut down on treats between meals.
- Begin a reserved time for feeding – perhaps twice a day.
- Feedings can be fun – there are toys that you can hide food inside or you can reward for tricks with food.
- Try taking your dog outside for a walk before feeding.
- Change up the mealtime routine. If the dog usually has food at the same time as other pets, try it alone.
- Changing up the food that your dog eats can help as well.