If you have a dog, you know how much man’s best friend enjoys eating. They will practically whine, beg, and stalk you while you’re eating something they want a taste of. A dog’s love for food is so obvious that it’s worrisome to see your dog without a healthy appetite.
There are some common reasons why your dog may stop eating regularly. Being aware of these potential causes enables you to understand why your dog lacks an appetite so that you can take the necessary steps to remedy the situation.
The following are some common reasons why your beloved pooch isn’t eating.
The Food Isn’t Up to Par
When it comes to food, there is a perception that dogs will eat practically anything. However, this is not the case for most dogs. Dogs have their preferences when it comes to their food, and they may stop eating if what you are serving them doesn’t seem appealing.
Poor quality food doesn’t go unnoticed by your canine friend. They know when you’ve opted for the kibble with filler ingredients rather than fresh, meat-first food. Now may be a good time to ask – did you know Grocery Pup got the highest quality rating from Woof Whiskers?
Picky and Bored
Some people have a dog that’s simply a picky eater. It likes specific types of dog food and doesn’t want to try anything new. It is important to note if your dog is a picky eater so that you can monitor your dog’s likes and dislikes in the food department. Some dogs love beef but are not so fond of chicken. Some dogs like some vegetable flavors but hate others. With careful observation, you’ll discover what your picky dog friend enjoys eating.
Food boredom is a possibility also. Some dogs enjoy a bit of variety when dining. Eating the same old kibble and wet dog food each day is not enticing enough for the palates of the more adventurous and curious canines. If your dog seems uninterested in their food, consider switching things up! Grocery Pup offers a sampler pack of their three different formulas that would let you find your dog’s favorite, or to simply switch it up from time to time.
You’re Feeding Stale Dog Food
Dogs don’t like old food that’s stale and spoiled. You may not notice that the dog food is outdated, but your dog does, and it may not want to eat stale kibble. Make sure to check the expiration date on dog food to ensure you are purchasing the freshest food possible for your canine.
If you’re feeding kibble, you should use a specially designed dog food container that will resist bacteria growth and seal air-tight to preserve freshness. Even with a special container though, you may find that a big bag of dog food will spoil before a smaller dog can eat through it all, so you may need to buy the right size bag of food that matches your dog’s needs.
If you want to avoid the guessing game “is my dog food spoiled”, Grocery Pup formulas come individually vacuum-sealed so you know your dog is getting fresh food at every meal.
Overfeeding with Treats
Spoiling your beloved pooch with a treat here and there is okay. However, when your dog becomes dependent on treats in place of its regular food, this is an issue. Some dogs expect treats as their main food source because their owners give out treats too frequently. This is a pattern that you, as the owner, must break.
Doggy treats should only comprise 10 percent of a dog’s daily calories. Consider scaling back on the treats and spacing them throughout the day, so your dog doesn’t fill up on “snacks” instead of its main food source.
Likewise, feeding your dog human food scraps such as pieces of sausage or bacon now and then is okay. However, if you do this too often, your dog will end up wanting to dine at the table with you instead of at its doggy bowl. Limit the amount of human food you feed your dog to get your dog accustomed to eating his dog food consistently.
Too Stressed to Eat
There are cases where your dog won’t eat because of stress. It is important to identify these stressors to begin assisting your dog with its reluctance to eat. Here are a few stressors that could potentially hinder your dog’s appetite.
- New Environments – If you’ve recently moved or are currently traveling with your dog, it will take time for your dog to adjust to its new surroundings. Some dogs become anxious when they are in an unfamiliar environment and require time to adjust before they can eat normally.
- New Additions – Any new addition to your environment can create stress for your dog, which makes it difficult for them to eat. In most cases, when your dog has had some time to adjust to the new addition (baby, person, another animal) in its environment, it will return to eating as usual within a few days to a week.
- Uncomfortable Situations – Is there a new baby crying in your home? Have you and your partner been arguing loudly? These are just some scenarios that can stress your dog out and decrease appetite. You may also find that running certain appliances like the vacuum or garbage disposal will put your dog on edge. If this is the case, be sure to save those chores for after your dog eats.
Health Issues and Concerns
There are instances where health problems cause changes in your dog’s appetite. As a precautionary measure, if you think your dog is experiencing a health issue that is impacting its appetite, seek the professional assistance of a veterinarian. The following are health-related issues that affect a dog’s willingness to eat.
- Aging – As your dog ages, it may begin to reject foods that it once enjoyed due to changes in the sense of smell and taste. Aging also increases the likelihood of dental issues, which makes it difficult for your dog to enjoy food. Consider introducing softer, aromatic, flavorful foods such as Grocery Pup’s slow cooked recipes to make it easier for aging dogs to eat.
- Dental Problems – Untreated dental issues can cause pain making it difficult for your dog to eat even if it is hungry. If you notice your dog attempting to eat unsuccessfully, you may want to check your dog’s mouth for possible dental and oral issues. It is important to address dental issues before they escalate and cause more pain, discomfort, and lack of food intake.
- Recent Medications/New Vaccinations – Lack of appetite in dogs is one of the side effects commonly associated with newly administered medications and vaccinations. In most cases, your dog should regain its appetite in a few days once it is feeling back to normal. Check with your vet if you suspect medications are the cause of a lack of appetite.
- Illness – Your dog can exhibit a decrease in appetite due to illness. Illnesses can be acute and related to an upset stomach due to your dog eating something that doesn’t agree with its gastrointestinal system, such as trash or plants sprayed with pesticides. Acute illnesses may cause diarrhea, vomiting, and lack of appetite. Your dog will usually resume eating once they start to feel better. In serious cases, chronic conditions such as cancer, organ failure, or severe infections deplete a dog’s appetite. If you’ve noticed that your dog has stopped eating consistently, it is best to go to the veterinarian. Your veterinarian will provide the proper examinations to determine what is causing your dog’s lack of appetite.
Getting to the cause of your dog’s unwillingness to eat is essential. Take the time to observe, monitor, and apply necessary changes to spark your dog’s appetite again. If you still don’t see any positive changes in your dog’s eating habits, seek the assistance and guidance of your veterinarian.