There are times when a dog just would plainly refuse to eat. She might be sick, may have some gastrointestinal conditions, an upset stomach, or maybe she is on medication, etc.
Your job is to find what’s been wrong in their life and try to encourage them to start eating again. We will discuss what all you can do when your dog doesn’t seem hungry and won’t eat.
Nevertheless, dogs are like us and can go without food for a day easily. If they continue eating from the next day, there’s nothing to worry about.
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How To Encourage Your Dog To Eat
Dogs have been opportunists in the wild. Meaning, they would eat extra when they have more on their plate and can go without food if fail to catch prey the following day.
Sometimes it’s the kibble of the same brand and flavor that doesn’t seem palatable to them. Or it’s just they need a little break from food.
Tiffany Morefield, DVM, Author & Veterinary Advisor at DogNeedsBest, has outlined a few considerations to address this problem.
- Consult your vet within 8-12 hours after your dog skips his meal if he has other symptoms, especially, diarrhea and vomiting.
- With no other symptoms, there are likely emotional issues that make them skip their meal. More about it in the later sections.
- Mostly such problems get solved eventually by themselves. Nevertheless, you should keep a close eye on your pooch.
Here are some steps you can follow if your dog won’t eat.
Check Out Their Food Bowl
When you understand canine nutrition well, you know the feeding methods and other concerning factors are equally important for your dog’s overall health and well-being. For example, choosing the most appropriate dog bowl for your pooch is an underrated job.
If you see red marks or rashes around your canine buddy’s mouth, your dog’s plastic bowl may be the reason for that. The dog will likely refuse to eat from it as eating from that bowl can be a stressful experience.
There are special bowls available for flat-faced dogs like pugs. Those bowls are tilted at a certain angle making eating comfortable. All in all, ensure that your dog’s bowl is not the reason why your dog is refusing food.
Try Out Different Foods
If your dog has tasted some different delicious food the other day at your friend’s place, she might refuse the kibble she has been eating for a few months or even a couple of years. Try a different brand or just limit the amount of kibble in your dog’s diet.
The problem with dry dog food is it’s not natural. However, freeze-dried raw kibbles or air-dried kibbles are better than factory processed cheap kibbles. You may want to try raw dog food, canned food, or homemade food just to see if your dog just wants a different taste or better food.
You can also offer a raw bone or a recreational bone to see how your dog responds. If your dog still doesn’t eat for one more day, you should seek your veterinarian’s help.
Is Your Dog Stressed?
Have you recently moved to a different place? Your dog may miss his previous home and feels stressed about the strange place he is now living in. Check for any loud noise and different stressors in your new place and try to desensitize your dog to that.
Keep playtime funnier, longer, and tiring at your new place. Rule out other probabilities and try to eliminate stressors.
Also, if you haven’t moved to a new place, you may want to see what you have changed in your dog’s surroundings. In short, try to keep your dog’s things as familiar as possible.
Have You Changed Your Dog’s Medication Recently?
New medication or change in medication can affect your dog’s hunger and thirst. If that is the case, you may want to check for the side effects of the medicines online or simply check with your vet. Consulting your vet is more preferable.
In addition to that, if your dog has recently got any vaccine, it may be a culprit.
Your vet may prescribe different medicines for your pooch’s ongoing medication or prescribe some appetite stimulants.
Chicken And Rice
Chicken and rice is the basic bland diet for dogs when they’re sick. However, if your dog is not feeling well apart from its suppressed hunger, it warrants a trip to a vet.
A good thing about chicken and rice is there is one source of protein, one source of carbs, and no tough fats to digest. And on top of that, dogs love it.
Ensure that there are small pieces of chicken breasts with no skin or bones. This surprised treat can be luscious to your dog and quickly eating up large chunks of chicken can choke your buddy.
If your dog eats well, you may want to consider changing their food or just get a different flavor.
These were some real quick suggestions on what to do if your dog is not eating. This helps because dogs sometimes do not feel like eating some days.
In that case, you can rule out the reasons why your dog doesn’t want to eat. But if your dog’s suppressed hunger has accompanying symptoms, you should consult your vet first as any underlying conditions may need to be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.
Do you think we missed anything? Let us know about it in the comment section below.
James Wilkinson joined DogLovesBest as a full-time writer with the objective of offering his insights on how to rear pets better. He shares the information through the experience he has gained over a span of 15 years working as a dog trainer. James also used to contribute regularly to several pet publications during his career as a trainer before joining this website. He also donates a portion of his own personal wealth to shelter abandoned animals in Gainesville, Florida and helps in finding a new home for them.