Most dog owners are used to their dog demolishing anything you put in front of them. So it can come as a shock that all of a sudden your dog doesn’t want to eat. Forcing them can sometimes make the matter worse. Generally, they will be back at eating after a skipping a meal or two.
If not it’s best to go straight to the VET and get a check-up, as not eating is usually a sign of oncoming health issues.
#1 – Stomach Bug/Upset Stomach
Just like humans when we have an upset stomach we generally skip a meal or two. This is the same for dogs who have eaten something they shouldn’t have. All dogs will sniff and chew on stuff they find around the house or backyard and often that’s when they get onto things they shouldn’t have.
If you notice they a vomiting or eating grass, it’s a good sign that they have an upset stomach and will avoiding eating until they feel better.
#2 – Recent Vaccination
It’s not uncommon for your dog or puppy to not eat after being vaccinated, you may have misheard or didn’t hear at all the VET tell you this but it isn’t something you should overly worry about.
Keep an eye out and if your dogs’ eating hasn’t returned to normal after a day or two then go back to the VET for a check-up. This is very rare.
#3 – Dental Hygiene
Gum disease is common in dogs, especially those who disregard their dog’s dental hygiene altogether.
Swollen gums, bleeding, loose or missing teeth will cause a dog pain when eating, once the pain becomes too much for the dog to handle they will stop eating.
It’s important to be on top of your dog’s dental hygiene to avoid this problem altogether.
#4 – Routine
Dogs rely on routine, once their daily routine has been established, they will stick to it.
Even the slightest change will cause them to become anxious and uncomfortable, leading them to skip a meal or two.
Make changes to their routine slowly and monitor them if they become too distressed.
#5 – Pickiness
Certain breeds are pickier than others if your dog becomes used to the same food you might find it very difficult to swap them for anything else.
This is the same if you provide your dog with too much variety, they will eventually develop a taste of certain things they like and not like. Causing them to not eat because of one ingredient they’ve decided they don’t want.
In order to swap their diet, you should always mix a little bit of the new food with the old and make a gradual change.
What to do when your dog won’t eat?
Due to so many different possible reasons for your dog not to be eating it’s important to be vigilant and monitor their behavior.
Refusing to eat can sometimes be an early sign of oncoming health issues, so monitoring their stool and water intake. As if they aren’t drinking or experiencing constant diarrhea, it’s a smart decision to go straight to the VET.
Physical Examination and Check their Teeth
Feel around on your dog’s belly ensure you find nothing unusual like large bumps, overly firm or tender spots. After which you should check your dog’s mouth to see if you notice any of the above issues (signs of gum disease, swollen, bleeding or discolored/missing teeth).
Take them to a VET
Go to your VET is always a good idea if you become unsure at any point. Having a trained professional to examine your dog for any possible issues.
Catching an issue early is always best and they will be able to provide you with actionable steps to ensure the health and safety of your dog.
If they don’t find anything, usually your dog will begin eating like nothing ever happened once you arrive home, wondering why you ever to them in the first place. At least you’ll have peace of mind and know you have a healthy dog.