It can be concerning if your dog suddenly stops eating, especially if they usually have an enthusiastic appetite. In this post, our Crystal Lake vets discuss some reasons why your dog might not be eating and what you can do to help them get their appetite back.
Why Is My Dog Not Eating?
The loss of appetite in dogs can be labeled either inappetence or anorexia.
- Anorexia in dogs is not the same level of a medical condition as it is in humans. Doggy anorexia can be either partial or complete. Partial Anorexia is when a dog will only eat certain types of food, but not enough that can keep them healthy. If your dog won’t eat anything at all, you may be looking at complete dog anorexia. Pseudo-anorexia in dogs is another condition in which a dog wants to eat, but is unable to due to another ongoing issue.
- Dogs who are not eating, usually do so because of environmental or behavioral reasons which are typically caused by stressors, or more seriously, an underlying medical condition that could require urgent care and even surgery. We will discuss some of the more common examples of each, and provide information on how your doggy's issues can best be resolved.
Behavioral & Environmental Reasons Why a Dog Is Not Eating
There are many potential reasons for your dog to stop eating. It is important to consider external influences, such as changes in their daily routine or environment. It isn't uncommon for dogs with separation anxiety to forgo eating if one or all of their family members leave them alone for long periods of time.
If your pup has stopped eating, changes in their typical environment could be the issue. You may notice a loss of appetite if your family introduces a new pet to their environment, drastic changes in weather, and other stressors that take your doggy out of their comfort zone.
Medical Conditions That Cause Dogs To Stop Eating
A dog's gradual or sudden lack of appetite could be linked to a more serious health issue that, left untreated, could grow serious or even fatal. Even if you assume your dog's lack of appetite is due to a behavioral/environmental reason or a minor medical condition, do not take the risk of letting your pet go untreated.
Some medical conditions that could be resulting in your dog's lack of appetite include:
- Upset Stomach
- Oral hygiene issues
- Autoimmune/neurological diseases
- Organ troubles
- Recent Vaccination
If you notice any of these symptoms present in your dog, please contact a veterinarian.
What You Can Do To Help Your Dog's Appetite
If your dog has, or you suspect they have, a medical condition linked to their lack of appetite, contact your veterinarian for an exam right away. Our Crystal Lake experts will be able to better treat a medical-related issue to their eating habits.
If the vet confirms your pup's eating habits changing are not a result of an underlying health issue, here are some things you can try at home to encourage their eating again:
- Be sure that your dog is getting the necessary amount of attention and exercise that they deserve
- Be patient and supportive with your dog and do not force-feed them
- Try to avoid feeding your pet table scraps
- Keep them on a consistent routine that is easy for you to maintain
- Cut back on the number of treats you give your dog
- Mix up the food you give your dog (switch from dry to wet food or vice versa, add dressing or sauce to dry food, etc.)
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.