Loss of Appetite in Dogs

Sometimes inappetence does not imply sickness. Some dogs go off their food because they may just be picky or feel stressed in their eating space. However, poor appetite can be a symptom of serious illness, it is better to talk with a veterinarian as soon as possible. There are many reasons dogs might refuse to eat, including:

1. Sickness

Poor appetite in dogs is often a sign of sickness, especially if a dog is exhibiting other symptoms at the same time. When a dog shows a loss of appetite with the signs of diarrhea, lethargy, vomiting, or weight loss, maybe the dog gets sick.

Poor appetite could be a sign of significant illness, including:

Motion Sickness
Infections (bacterial, viral, parasitic)
Liver or Kidney Disease
Cardiovascular disease
Gastrointestinal disease or blockage
Endocrine disorder
Autoimmune disease
Respiratory illness
Neurological disease

Apart from that, if a dog abruptly starts swallowing every morsel they can get their paws on, it could be a sign of:

Poor Nutrient Absorption
Medication Side Effect
Thyroid Problems

2. Eating Something Wrong

When a dog finds foraging everywhere and eats something wrong that upset their stomach, it may make dogs lose their appetite. Dogs will often eat anything that smells attractive, and these things can lead to loss of appetite.

3. Dental Problems

Perhaps a dog goes off their food because something in its mouth is causing dental pain. Dental pain could be a sign of a broken or loose tooth, severe inflammation of the gums, and even an oral tumor.

4. Vaccine Reactions

Because of injury, a dog feels pain or need to take the medications. The medications, pain, injury or disability can give rise to dog’s loss of appetite. Aside from that, vaccinations and injections sometimes have adverse effects, such as a temporarily decreased appetite in dogs.

5. Aging

If a dog is getting aged, it can give rise to the change in eating habits, physical changes, and illnesses. Also, an older dog may get less exercise and burn off less energy. These can bring poor appetite in dogs.

6. Anxiety

Dogs can react to stressful changes in their surroundings. They like everything in their environment to fit their own sense of order. Being in a new environment can lower their appetite until they feel safe or relaxed again. Traveling or unfamiliar environments can also cause poor appetite. A dog may get motion sickness, nervous or uncomfortable in new places.

What should I do?

If your dog’s loss of appetite is caused by illness, you should contact your veterinarian and talk with your veterinarian about a prescription diet to meet your dog’s nutritional needs immediately. If it is a behavioral issue but not the result of a medical condition, you can do somethings to encourage your dog to eat:

Taking your dog for a walk before feeding it or making mealtime funnier, or

Changing your dog’s feeding situation or food. 

This article is written by Dr. Jack Roberts.

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