It is understandably upsetting if your beloved companion suddenly stops eating – it doesn’t matter whether you are a first-time pet owner or an experienced one. Dogs lose their appetite because of several reasons, and it is important to figure the cause before a treatment plan can be determined.
But keep in mind that dogs lose their appetite from time to time and a severe health condition does not usually cause this. Healthy dogs would only consume about 60% to 80% of the total food amount as indicated on the food label.
Anorexia: loss of appetite in dogs
When a dog stops eating altogether, it’s medically called anorexia. But it’s not the same as anorexia nervosa in humans. Since the loss of appetite in dogs usually signals an illness, it is vital that you seek medical care as soon possible, especially if your pooch is a good eater most of the time.
Causes of anorexia in dogs
As mentioned earlier, dogs lose their appetite because of some reasons. These are:
Changes in the eating habits of your dog can be a sign of sickness especially if it’s accompanied with other symptoms. Immediate medical assistance is essential as the appetite change can be associated with a much more critical illness such as cancer, pain, liver and kidney problems.
If your dog is in pain, you can expect a loss of appetite. Check his mouth for any problems including a loose tooth, gingivitis or any oral growth that causes him pain.
It’s hard to imagine that vaccinations can cause a dog to lose his appetite. Although these injections are available to treat a significant number of contagious diseases and have saved millions of dogs’ lives, loss of appetite is one of the common effects. But the condition is temporary and would go away after some time.
Like humans, dogs don’t like to eat if they are suffering from motion sickness. If you went on a trip with your pet, then the loss of appetite is because of motion sickness. The new location may also cause him to become nervous which can affect his eating habits.
Sometimes the reason why a dog losses his appetite is because he is in a situation where he is uncomfortable. Or maybe he is simply being picky. But don’t just assume right away that your pooch is a picky eater. Observe and investigate other possibilities as to why your dog suddenly loses his appetite.
What you can do
Your vet will determine the cause of the problem. He will then formulate the best diet plan while treating the underlying cause of appetite loss.
If it’s determined that the loss of appetite is caused by behavioral issues, you can try the following tips to help control these issues. You can try the tips below.
- Put a limit on the treats.
- Feed your pet according to schedule.
- Make feeding time fun. Try rewarding your dog with food after obeying a command or doing a trick.
- Change the feeding location of your dog. You can also try feeding him alone, or use different food bowls.