For many people it is worrying to see that their dogs do not want to eat the feed as usual or if it is a new food. In this sense, this aspect cannot be taken lightly, because the lack of nutrition in your pet can be the symptom of something else and generate fatal consequences.
The feeding of the dogs with food is designed to offer them all the nutrients they need according to their age, weight and breed. For this reason, there are different types of dog foods that are adapted to the metabolic needs of each one and formulas are still being specialized to respond to veterinary demands.
However, there are specific situations in which we can observe that the dog is not feeding well or refuses to eat the food. The important thing is that we take certain measures when we detect that our pet does not want to eat. But first, let’s talk a little about the most common reasons why a dog suffers from poor appetite.
1. Dental problems
It is very normal that over the years, many dogs lose most of their teeth and before this happens it may be preceded by an ailment or inflammation in the oral cavity that prevents them from eating normally.
You should observe your pet’s behavior and check his mouth, if he has bloody gums or refuses to be checked, as well as look for wounds on his muzzle.
In any of these cases, you should go to the vet, as he is the right specialist to give you a solution or treatment for the injuries, or in any case, suggest the best dog food (here you can find some options to buy) with a soft diet for the animal that can meet their nutritional needs.
2. Not adapted
It may be that if you have adopted an adult dog, he has become accustomed to eating human food or prepared dog food and is therefore unfamiliar with the taste and texture of the food.
Another similar situation is that you have bought a different brand of feed than the animal is used to, so the ingredients may not be the same or it may contain some element that your dog is allergic to and therefore refuses to eat it.
One of the ways to improve this situation is to mix some of the new feed with the old, start with a few portions and after several days replace half of the bowl until you only serve the new feed.
3. He’s suffering from a disease
Many times dogs have some physical ailment that is reflected in their behavior, development of daily activities and feeding. If the pet has reached an advanced age, does not have the same energy to run and is presenting changes in its coat or difficulties in its mobility, before the lack of appetite becomes acute, you should definitely go to a veterinary clinic with an emergency.
Such situations must be addressed quickly, otherwise the high degree of dehydration and starvation can end up being fatal for the dog.
4. Possible choking
Dogs are playful by nature and their fascination with biting into things to drain their energy is something we all know. However, there may be situations where your dog ingests an inappropriate object that is obstructing the intestinal tract, or if it reaches the stomach it is causing pain and discomfort that leads to poor appetite.
In this case, we reiterate the importance of the veterinarian’s evaluation to rule out all these possibilities, because let’s remember that our pets are not permanently in front of us, so we don’t know what they can do while they are out of sight.
People are not the only ones who become depressed in the face of major changes in their lives. Pets also have feelings and emotions that are reflected in their daily attitude. For this reason, if your family is going through a moving process, the death of a loved one or the arrival of a new family member, you may want to evaluate the dog’s attitude, to see if that is what is causing the lack of appetite.
Also, when travelling and leaving your dog’s usual environment, it can be difficult for him to adapt to the new place, even temporarily, and he may find it difficult to maintain a normal diet while he gets used to the space.
What do I do if my dog doesn’t want to eat?
If, after discarding all the above options and applying your vet’s suggestions, your dog still does not want to eat food, here are some tips that may help.
- Go for a walk with your dog: If you have established a schedule for serving your dog, you can modify your routine to include a walk before mealtime. They may run in a park, jog down the avenue or walk around the block several times with the intention of getting your pet to expend energy and when they get home they feel the physical need to feed.
- Decrease the prizes: For those who are used to give cookies and croquettes to the dog every hour of the day or for every pirouette he does, it is time to reduce the amount of prizes, since the dog is being overfed and so he will not be hungry when you serve him the food.
- Promote hydration: You can’t let your dog stop drinking water too, so offer it several times a day straight from his bowl or a bottle you’ve set aside just for him.
Establish a learning system: Some veterinarians recommend training the dog by offering only food and water, for two days. It is important that the whole family cooperates and that no one gives in to the puppy’s demand and feeds it on the sly. If you still don’t eat feed in two days, you can offer a portion of another food to keep your blood sugar levels from dropping. But, the next day you must continue the regimen until you adapt.