Dog owners find it stressful when their pets lose their appetite, which frequently points to a medical concern. Dog food and treats refusal that continues for more than a whole day should not be disregarded because it frequently signals that something is going on.
Experts from Superior Care shared the most common reasons why a dog can refuse food, and what to do about it.
The reasons why your dog might refuse food
A dog can refuse to eat for a variety of reasons, but these often fall into three categories:
- medical problems;
- behavioral issues;
- issues with the food itself.
Let’s break it down in more detail.
There are many conditions that can make your dog refuse most if not any foods. Among them are the following:
- dental conditions and oral pain;
- nausea and vomiting, or diarrhea;
- any infectious diseases;
- heart failure;
- lung problems.
Basically, if a dog feels unwell in any way, they usually refuse food.
Like with people, some dogs may have decreased appetite due to stress. Remember that your perception of stress may differ from your dog’s one. Even seemingly insignificant events can cause your dog to become anxious and stop eating.
Anxiety can be brought on by changes in a dog’s habits or surroundings, such as new people or dogs in the home, traveling, or loud noises, even in the distance.
It may take a dog days or even weeks to become used to a new home. A new member of the family may refuse meals for the first few days since anxiety is a typical cause of temporary inappetence.
It is crucial to provide them with a calm dining area away from other animals or kids who could disturb them.
Any issues with the food itself
The issue might be with the food itself ? it could be old, expired, stale, or spoiled. If a dog has been on the same diet for a while and usually had no problems with these products, take a look at the expiration date on the package and ensure it is stored in proper condition.
All dog food containers and bags should be tightly closed, and the food should be thrown out if the expiration date has passed. Open canned food can be sealed with plastic wrap or a lid that’s made to fit dog food cans, and it can be kept in the refrigerator for two to three days.
What if a dog eats only treats but not the actual food?
It’s possible that your dog is just receiving too many calories per day from treats and isn’t hungry for their meal. If they are active and not experiencing any vomiting or diarrhea, it might the case. They may also have outwitted you by getting the idea that they would receive dog treats if they refused to consume their food.
If a dog is not eating dry food
Many dogs prefer canned food because it is simpler to chew than dry food, yet others may still consume dry food while having severe oral discomfort. You have to take your dog for a visit to the doctor for an oral checkup if you find that they prefer canned food over dry food for a long time.
Additionally, because canned food often has a richer flavor and may be perceived as more of a “prize,” there is a chance your dog prefers it over dry food. To get your dog to eat more, try combining canned food with dry kibble or add a bit of water onto the dry food to make it more chewable and appealing. Then, gradually increase the proportion of dry food until your dog is once again eating it as usual.
Age-related reasons your dog won’t eat
Senior dogs may consume fewer calories than younger dogs because of this, but excessive weight loss or a lack of appetite is abnormal and can signify serious underlying medical concerns.
Senior dogs should have a regular feeding schedule, and the food dish should be placed for 20 minutes of feeding in the same location, so they always know where to locate it when it’s feeding time.
On the other hand, a healthy normal puppy shouldn’t fast for longer than a few hours.
Some pups might not enjoy bigger kibble since it might be challenging for their developing teeth to chew it, particularly if they are only starting to eat solid food. This can be fixed by adding water and allowing it to soak to make it more like porridge, or the dry meal can also be combined with canned food.
What to do about it?
Visit your veterinarian immediately if your dog isn’t eating and is also sluggish, nauseous, vomiting, or has diarrhea.
If you don’t observe any of these, try making the food more attractive. In the microwave, briefly reheat canned meals. To avoid tongue burns, feel the food before eating it as canned food can get boiling hot very rapidly.
To get them to eat, you can also try adding food in chewable toys ? this way you can make the idea of food more appealing to your dog.
After using these methods, if your dog still won’t eat, you should take him to the doctor to check out any serious medical issues.
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