Whether you're a new dog parent or you've had dogs most of your life, it's distressing and sad to see your furbaby not eating. The majority of dogs go gaga when mealtime comes around, jumping around excitedly or waiting expectantly by their food bowl. However, every dog is different, and some pups just don't have as much interest in their food. If your dog is turning up their nose and walking away from their doggy dish, there are several possibilities that could be the cause.
My Dog Won't Eat
A lack of appetite is a symptom that should not be ignored. If your dog is refusing to eat, there could be something wrong, and your job is to find out what that might be. Whether their appetite has taken a dip or they've always been a bit snobby at mealtime, here are five possible reasons why your dog's not eating:
1. Medical Issues
Although this is a worst-case scenario, loss of appetite is a symptom that accompanies many medical issues dogs can experience. It could be something as simple as an upset stomach after gobbling up some stray trash. But it could also be something more severe, like:
- Liver or kidney problems
If you're unsure what's causing your dog to become a picky eater, take them to the veterinarian right away. That way you can rule out anything serious.
2. Dental Problems
Dental health is just as important to dogs as it is to us. When dental issues arise, the pain could be making it difficult to eat. When you take your pup to the vet, be sure they check for broken teeth, gingivitis or other oral problems.
3. Vaccinations or New Medications
Dog parents know how important regular vaccinations are to the health of their dog. But one of the side effects that could occur is a loss of appetite. If your dog has new medication or just had a round of vaccinations, they may temporarily lose their desire to eat. But it should return in no time.
4. Pickiness and Bad Habits
Dogs love a good meal as much as we do. If your dog is not enjoying their dry food, it may be because they're holding out for something better. Are you giving your dog tons of treats or feeding them scraps from the table? This may have turned them off to their usual fare.
However, pickiness can also be caused by your pup's environment. Some causes for picky eating include:
- The dog food has gone bad
- Your pup doesn't like the taste of their kibble
- They don't like their feeding environment
5. Struggling With Anxiety
Dogs love routine, and they love spending time with you. But if their schedule gets thrown off or they spend a lot of their time alone, this could create anxiety issues. New surroundings or changing their schedule in any way could make them uncomfortable and throw off their eating habits. And just like us, they get lonely when they're left alone for long stretches of time.
Tips for Helping Your Dog Regain their Appetite
If the vet gives the all clear and doesn't see any health issues, you may be at a loss as to what to do next. Do not try to starve your pet to make them hungrier. Even though dogs can go about two days without food, they still require the vital nutrients they get from eating every day. With that in mind, here are some things you can try to help your dog regain their appetite:
- Change up Their Food: Try a new dog food or include some scrambled eggs, hamburger or chicken into the mix. Try wet dog food instead of dry. You might also consider going raw as this will give them all the nutrients they need. This is especially important for a new puppy as you get to know their personal tastes.
- Be Mindful of the Needs of Older Dogs: As dogs age, they lose their sense of smell. But you can purchase specialized dog food formulated for senior pets.
- Keep to a Feeding Routine: Most pet owners feed their dogs twice a day, in the morning and at night. Your dog will appreciate having these regular feeding times.
- Rearrange Their Feeding Environment: Maybe the dog bowl is at an uncomfortable height, or maybe your pup prefers to eat alone. Try feeding your dog in a different location or at different heights to see if this makes a difference.
- Praise Your Puppy After They Eat: With dogs, a little affirmation goes a long way. They relish your praise, and it may encourage them to continue with this positive behavior.
If your puppy is struggling with anxiety, Furbo Dog Camera can help. It not only allows you to keep tabs on your pooch, but you can also interact with your dog even while you're at work or running errands. Furbo dispenses treats, encouraging your dog to eat when you're not at home. Purchase Furbo Dog Camera and ensure your doggy is at their best.