There are a lot of reasons why your dog might be showing a loss in appetite and it isn’t always clear why. However, if your dog is refusing to or is barely eating, you should not ignore the signs. Your dog could be trying to tell you something important.
Here are a few of the most common reasons why your dog’s not eating their healthy dog food:
Reason 1: Your Dog Is Feeling Sick Or Ill
When your puppy or dog is not feeling well, they tend to act passively and sleepy in addition to showing a lack of appetite. However, this does not necessarily mean that they are feeling seriously ill. It is quite possible that your dog simply has an upset stomach from eating too much or that they hurt their paw while playing. If they are showing a lack of appetite, you may want to pay attention to their movements to ensure they are walking properly.
Still, while it can be a sign of a minor health issue, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be wary of a more serious medical condition such as dental disease, kidney disease, liver issues, and even cancer. If your dog shows a lack of appetite, you should consider taking them to the vet for some tests, especially if they are an older dog.
Reason 2: Your Dog Has Recently Had A Vaccine
Vaccines are an important way to keep your dog safe from a large variety of serious diseases and illnesses. While there has been some negative controversy surrounding vaccinations, there has been no scientific evidence to back them up.
However, it is not unusual for a puppy or dog to show a loss of appetite for one or two days after having their vaccination. Still, you shouldn’t be too concerned as most puppies and dogs return to normal eating their healthy dog food rather quickly.
Reason 3: Your Dog Is In Unfamiliar Surroundings
When you move into or have your dog temporarily placed in a new home, it can be a lot to get used to. Even humans often have trouble sleeping on the first day in new surroundings. Likewise, your dog may feel uncomfortable in their new environment which could hurt their appetite.
The best thing you can do for your dog is to keep them company and play with them even if they do not feel like doing so in order to show your dog that this place is a safe space much like their old home.
Additionally, some dogs simply refuse to eat when they are left alone. Sometimes leaving the radio or TV on can prevent them from feeling alone even when you are not there. However, if you typically have a busy schedule, you should consider adopting a dog that will be fine on their own.
Reason 4: Your Dog Is A Picky Eater
People aren’t the only ones that can be picky eaters, dogs can be rather picky too. This can typically occur when your dog is used to eating one type of healthy dog food or brand and have switched over to a different one. Whether you have a spoiled puppy on your hands or an older dog that seems stuck in their ways, mixing their new food with the old can be a good way to allow your little diva to adapt to the new food.
Reason 5: Your Dog Is Feeling Intimidated By Another Pet
If you have had your dog for a while and have recently adopted another pet or dog, they feel too intimidated to eat. Additionally, your dog may also be feeling a bit jealous of your new member which is causing the lack of appetite. Make sure that you show your beloved companion a little extra love and play so they know that nothing has changed.
It can take some time for them to get used to the new family pet, but they will be best friends soon enough.
Additionally, if the other dog is a fast eater that eats everything in sight, your dog may simply be too slow to get enough. If that’s the case, try to have them eat separately to ensure they both have a chance to eat.
Reason 6: Your Dog Is A Senior
If you have a senior dog who suddenly stops eating or is only eating is very small amounts, you should not assume it is just because they are old. However, older dogs are prone to several health issues that can make eating a challenge such as dental problems. Since this can make chewing difficult for your dog, they may end up discouraged from eating at all. If you believe your dog has dental issues, make sure to check in with their vet for advice.
Tricks to helping your dog eat
If your dog is perfectly healthy, but is refusing to eat due to pickiness, additional pets or a change in environment, here are some ways you can encourage them to eat properly.
- Reduce the amount of treats – Treats can encourage them to skip out on meals so you will want to reduce or stop giving treats so your dog will stop depending on them.
- Use separate crates or rooms – If you have cats or other dogs, you should try to feed them in separate crates or rooms to encourage them to focus on their own food.
- Don’t constantly change the schedule – If you need to change your schedule for something, then you will need to create a new schedule that will allow you to be more consistent with timing.
- Mix new food with the old – If your dog is having trouble getting used to the new food, then try to mix the old with the new. With each meal you will need to use less of the old stuff until they are finally used to their new food.