When you have a dog for many years, you’re most likely to be knowledgeable about their eating habits. It can be stressful if they stop eating because that might indicate a potential health issue.
Keep in mind that there are a variety of reasons why your dog has lost his or her appetite. It's necessary to find the cause so you can implement the best treatment plan.
The first thing to do is to observe your dog's appetite. If your dog isn’t eating as much as the average dog, just know that these are guidelines that are stated on the food that you purchased for your dog.
A lot of healthy dogs don’t follow the guidelines because not all dogs are created equally. Some dogs eat more, while others would eat less. It all depends on what eating habits they are comfortable with.
However, when your dog eats significantly less or stop eating altogether, this might indicate a potential illness that requires further investigation. If this were the case, it’s best to talk to your vet.
It is understandable that this is a stressful situation, but we have some insights for you on the reasons why your dog might not be eating.
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If your dog is sick with pain, upset stomach, infection, or malignancy, then it is possible that is why they are losing their appetite. Just like when humans get sick, all we want to do is lay around.
Some techniques to help your dog eat while they’re sick:
- Pour a meat broth over their food like chicken, beef, clam, or tuna water
- Heat their food in the microwave.
- Mix it up. Try to feed your dog dry food if they usually only eat wet food or vice versa.
- Try hand-feeding, as social eaters sometimes just want attention.
If they are not eating in addition to diarrhea or vomiting, it’s essential to bring them to the vet to check for potential liver problems, infection, pain, cancer, and kidney failure.
In some serious cases, your vet may be able to prescribe a medication that can cause them to eat. Luckily, not all appetite loss means that your dog is ill, there might be other factors as well.
2. Dental issues
Your dog may stop eating because he has a broken or loose tooth, gingivitis, tumor, or cavity. Before anything, it’s vital to inspect the mouth to look for the problem. If you smell bad breath, bleeding gums, or chipped tooth, then it’s time to visit the vet.
Vaccines have saved millions of pet's lives in the past 100 years, but they do have undesirable side effects. The majority of the issue with vaccination is an allergic reaction that can cause the dog to lose its appetite temporarily.
4. Unfamiliar surroundings
If your dog has just moved to a new location with you, then the different surroundings can cause some stress and anxiety. This can result in a temporary loss of appetite that will get better once the dog gets accustomed to the new place.
You can always try CBD dog treats to help your pup relax during this stressful situation.
5. Picky or behavioral issues
If you’re used to feeding your dog an exquisite meal every day, then he or she will be picky about regular dog food. This is especially true for dogs who are accustomed to wet food, and a sudden change to dry food would only turn them off.
Another reason for picky eating is that the dog might not be comfortable around another aggressive dog due to fear. If you have a more submissive dog, it’s advisable to try to feed your dog alone to check if this might be the issue.
After all, dogs have a ranking system, and usually, the dominant or alpha dog eats first, so the beta dogs would have to wait until they finish. This behavioral tendency might be the reason why your dog has lost its appetite.
Related: High fiber dog foods you should try!
6. Separation anxiety
If you have left temporarily for vacation and had to leave your dog at a friend's house, then there could be a chance that your dog might have separation anxiety.
Separation anxiety can cause a dog to lose their appetite when they are away from their owners. Fortunately, their appetite will return when the owner comes back home to see them!
You can try CBD dog treats to reduce their stress during the separation process and to stimulate their appetite.
7. Lack of exercise
If the dog does not get an adequate amount of activity, their metabolism will slow down. That means the food is not being metabolized or digest that often.
The food can be sitting in their stomach for an extended time. This can cause a lack of appetite and satiety so that they won’t eat that much.
The best solution is to grab a leash and take your dog out for a walk. It's advisable to walk your dog 30 to 60 min daily.
8. Disgusting dog food
If you recently switched to a new brand of dog food, then there might be a chance that your pup may not like the taste of the food. It does happen, and if you notice that the dog isn’t eating that much, then it’s best to get a new brand that they might like.
Keep in mind that there's a possibility that your dog is adjusting to the new brand. That is why it’s essential to gradually switch them by integrating the new brand of dog food and mixing it with the old brand. This can reduce upset stomach and help your dog adjust to the new food.
However, if you noticed that the dog completely refuses to eat after the switch, then that might indicate that he or she does not like the new food.
9. Too much people food
If your friends and family have been feeding your canine companion table scraps or giving him lots of dog treats, then there is a reason why your dog is not eating his or her meal.
If that is the case, then it’s best to stop feeding him table scraps and to decrease the number of treats that he gets.
Related: CBD oil for dog allergies
There are various reasons why your dog has lost his or her appetite. They could be stressed, anxious, don’t like the food, or have eaten a lot of treats beforehand. However, there can also be other reasons like illness, pain, or dental issues.
If the loss of appetite is not temporary but has been happening for more than 2 to 3 days, then it’s essential to bring your dog to the vet. Once the vet diagnoses the underlying issue, your dog will get better in no time.
We hope that with our information, you can get some valuable details on the possible reason why your dog may have lost their appetite.
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