While a handful of dogs may be picky eaters, most doggos have a ravenous appetite and devour anything that’s put in front of them, within minutes. If your dog is not licking their plate clean anymore or wagging their tail at the sight of their favorite food, it could be a sign that something’s wrong.
5 Reasons For Appetite Loss in Dogs
If your dog has a temporary loss of appetite and has no other symptoms, you need not worry too much. However, if this is a prolonged issue then it could indicate a serious issue.
1. Food Change
One of the most common causes of appetite loss in dogs is a change in diet or cuisine. Maybe your dog’s favorite food brand or kibble flavor was discontinued, or maybe the vet recommended a new dietary plan.
Just like humans, your doggo too, can be a food critic, and snub their nose at the food they don’t enjoy. Also, don’t rule out the possibility that the food may have spoiled. Check the food for any visible signs of spoilage and the expiration date on any packaged dog food.
Overfeeding your dog can also contribute to appetite loss and obesity, as they’re being fed more calories than they can expend. Keep doggy treats limited to about 10 percent of their daily calorie intake.
Stressful situations can contribute to appetite loss in dogs. If anything has changed in your dog’s environment lately, it may be taking them a little bit of time to adjust to the changes.
For example, you may have moved to a new location or you may have a new puppy in your family. Appetite losses due to stressful situations or environments are usually temporary and resolve themselves over time. However, if it lasts longer than a few weeks and is coupled with anxiety or aggressive behavior, it’s a good idea to consult your vet.
A sudden loss of appetite could also indicate a physical illness or infection. Your dog could also be suffering from an undiagnosed dental issue, making it hard for them to chew or bite their food.
If you suspect your dog is ill, look for other symptoms as well. For example, if your dog is vomiting or has diarrhea, it could indicate a bacterial or viral infection in their stomach. Also, monitor their water intake, and if they’re not drinking water in addition to not eating, consult your vet immediately.
While medicines and vaccinations are meant to keep your puppy healthy and happy, they too can have certain side effects. If your dog is on a new medication, monitor them closely after you administer it.
If your dog continues to not eat for longer than 24 hours after being given the medicine, or if there are any other long-lasting side effects, contact your vet at the earliest.
5. Sedentary Lifestyle
A sedentary lifestyle is the outcome of an urbanized lifestyle and this can influence our pets too. This type of lifestyle is paired with a lack of regular exercise, their caloric utilization is further reduced, as the calories are not being burned to produce energy. A dog-walking service like Collrs can help you schedule regular walks, even when you're busy.
To help your dog eat, it’s important to treat the underlying issue. Try regular mealtimes, make meal time more fun with a puzzle or toy, or feed them away from other dogs, if they’re anxious. If none of these work, make an appointment with your vet to determine the cause and treat it effectively.