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My Dog Won’t Eat, What Should I do?


5 min Read

August 26, 2021 | Training & Behaviour

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My Dog Won’t Eat, What Should I do

“My Dog is not eating!?” Is this the question you keep pondering over? Worried that your dog doesn’t eat as much as the other dogs or why they seem so unenthusiastic about food? Here are a few pointers that could be the reason for loss of appetite in dogs.

Illness: This can be one of the main reasons when you think about what causes a dog not to eat. Illness can be the reason for loss of appetite in dogs. The best way to rule out any kind of allergy, fever, dental problems and other underlying conditions like liver disease, cancer or severe infections is to visit the vet for a thorough check-up. Once your vet gives you the green signal that all is well, you can try different ways to increase the appetite of your dog. Your vet might prescribe a hunger enhancing medicine or a digestive syrup to get rid of conditions like bloating or any other mild stomach infection.

Medication and Vaccination: It's common knowledge that when vaccinated, most dogs stay off their food at least for one whole day and this can be due to excess lethargy and sleepiness that is induced by the vaccination. Sometimes, dogs have mild stomach upsets due to a new medication like antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs and other strong allergic medicines that can repel their hunger pangs. During these times, it's best to let them be, however it is important that they get enough water to keep them hydrated.

Hunger-strike in your absence: This can be another cause when you wonder, “Why is my dog not eating”. Of course, it applies only if you have not been around and your dog has refused to touch the bowl of food that you had left for them. And much to your relief, they might gobble up all the food the moment you are home and closer to them. This is quite common in many dogs, and can be due to the fact that they love to be amongst their clan and might go on a hunger strike when this is not the case. Unlike cats, who are quite happy to be self-absorbed, dogs are more social animals and need to feel integrated into their families to carry on their normal routine.

cute puppy siberian husky dog standing near silver plate

Boredom with the same food: When you think about ‘what causes a dog not to eat?’, you should also remember that just like humans, even dogs get bored of eating the same kind of food day in and day out. Or it can be a certain flavour they do not like in their staple food that is served every day. You can try and change the brand or the product and try something new. Also, some dogs are allergic to gluten and certain chemicals present in the high amounts of preservatives that are used in commercial dog food. Try and change their diet to something more organic and food that is 100% naturally made. You can also serve them home-cooked meals that are rich in proteins and essential nutrients and use multi-vitamin seasoning powders on these meals to urge them to eat and balance the nutrient levels in the body.

pet food assortment

Change in the environment: This could be another reason for loss of appetite in dogs. If you have very recently shifted base to a new city or if you have moved homes then the change in their general surroundings can be a reason for what causes a dog not to eat. Even if one of their favourite family members have moved away from them to another place or city might propel them to go on a hunger strike. It’s their way of expressing that they are confused and know not what to do.

These were some reasons that can answer your question, “My dog is not eating!”

Here are a few tips and tricks that can help your dog increase their appetite and be more enthusiastic during their meal time.

It is essential to take effective measures to get your dog to start eating and increase their appetite as soon as possible. Long periods without nutrition can lead to severe conditions that may be difficult to revive. Therefore, visit your vet and try these tips at home.

little chihuahua gray surface

Tip 1: Shift to foods that are organic, preservative free and made of good quality ingredients. This can be a game changer in improving your dog’s digestive abilities and also increase their appetite to a large extent. Healthy dog treats that boost your immunity are a must in your dog’s diet chart too.

Tip 2: Take care of their dental health to avoid plaque, tartar and dental illness that might trigger them not to eat his food. You can treat them with long lasting dental chews that aid both in improving dental health and also has an interesting flavour that might reignite your dog’s appetite.

Tip 3: Do not miss their regular walks and make sure they get their daily exercise without fail. A good amount of playing and running around is sure to increase their hunger pangs and will also keep them healthy and maintain their weight.

Tip 4: Warm up the food before you serve them. This can be a trick that works for some dogs who do not prefer to eat cold and stale food left in their bowls for a long time. It is best to take away the food when your dog refuses to eat. You can try serving the same food again in a couple of hours.

Tip 5: Give them freeze dried fruit and veggie treats that can increase the vitamin content in their diet and in turn increase their appetite as well. Vitamins play a major role in keeping your dog healthy and are one of the most needed ingredients to fight diseases and infections.

These were some ways to tackle and figure out reasons to understand what causes a dog not to eat. We hope you found these helpful. Do remember that good quality food takes care of half the problems and therefore do a thorough research before you buy commercial dog food and do check the amount of preservatives and chemicals used. You can also explore gluten-free dog foods and the benefits they provide before you think about switching your dog food. The best food is that which is naturally produced with ingredients that have good quality crude protein and calcium.

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