Keep our pet free from hunger, thirst and malnutrition It is a right of the animal and a responsibility of its owner, as recalled by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), but no matter how much care we put into its diet, sometimes a dog with an excellent appetite, suddenly or progressively, can stop eating.
It is absolutely normal that your pet is one day “listless”. You may have eaten something that didn’t sit well with you, or you may just be stuffed. But if the situation persists for more than two or three days, veterinarians point out that it is cause for concern, being very important find out what happens to the animal in case some type of medical attention is necessary.
Does your dog follow a proper diet?
If a healthy dog repeatedly refuses food, something abnormal happens and, in many cases, the problem is in an inadequate diet. Today, there are different types of menus to offer your pet, from diets based on raw food, like BARF, even the usual processed feed that the Official College of Veterinarians of Valencia (@ICOVValencia) points out as the best option, as long as they are quality products that guarantee a balanced nutrient composition.
For example, it is possible that the food you give your dog is not the one that suits him best. according to your age and constitution. You have them for puppies, elderly dogs, lactating dogs or animals with an “extra” vitality, for example. The cause may also be simpler than you think. If your pet is older, he may not be able to chew the feed well because it is too hard on his teeth, or your puppy may not eat because the size of the feed balls is too large for him. Take a good look at the recommendations that appear in each type of food.
Another common problem is a abrupt change in the menu. Even if you only change the brand of the food that you normally give it, your dog may, at first, reject that new food. That is why experts recommend that the changes always be made progressively, mixing both feeds for a few days.
On the other hand, your dog may I’m bored of always eating the same thing, the same would happen to you. In these cases, try to make your “plate” more attractive by incorporating a delicacy in the form of chicken pieces, cooked ham or wet food.
Other causes of loss of appetite in pets
The reasons why your dog rejects food are many and varied, some of them worrying. If you have tried a thousand changes in your diet and there is no way to eat, the first thing you have to ruling out is a possible disease. If the animal shows any other abnormal symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea, lack of activity …), it is important to take him to the vet if he has not eaten for more than two days.
Stop eating for a long time does not usually indicate anything good. An intestinal obstruction, a pathology of the liver or kidneys or something less serious, but that affects the lack of appetite, such as the presence of intestinal parasites, a cold or otitis can be behind this null desire to eat.
You should also bear in mind that your dog may have had some kind of accident without you even realizing it. A blow or a fight with another animal would be responsible for severe pain or even trauma that you are not detecting. Also, on your walk, you may have ingested some toxic sustance. If the lack of appetite is linked to other symptoms, do not wait and go to the vet.
Details that may be the source of the problem
If you are convinced that an illness is not the reason for this lack of appetite, you will have to find out what is happening to your dog. Some possible causes that you should assess are:
- Lack of exercise and activity. If your pet is not eating, a good way to stimulate his appetite is by increasing his activity level. Try taking it out for a walk with you or taking it to a park. A young animal needs to run, jump, go after a ball … If he is locked up at home all day, especially if he spends many hours alone, perhaps that is the problem.
- The trough. This detail also matters. A pet may stop eating because it is “martyrdom” to access food. The size and height of the feeder is a key element, especially in the case of puppies and especially tall or long-legged dog breeds, who need their food container not to be level with the ground, but somewhat elevated.
- Psychological and behavioral problems. If your pet is physically fine, he may not eat due to situations of fear, stress, anxiety or sadness. It is normal for a dog to stop eating, for example, with the arrival of a new pet or a small child, with a change of address or after spending a few days in a kennel. Generally, it will happen with some extra attention and some pampering, but if the situation persists, consulting with an ethologist, an expert in animal behavior, is a possibility that you should take into account.