When a dog won’t eat, it’s normal for a caring dog parent like yourself to get worried. Knowing the reasons for a dog not eating in advance can help you to address the issue. Because not acting promptly can be life-threatening for your dog, here are the 6 most common reasons why a dog won’t eat, plus what you can do about it. Once your dog is eating normally again, check out our guide for feeding vegetables to dogs.
The most common reasons why a dog won’t eat:
- Injury and pain
- Medical treatment
Temporary appetite loss in dogs is not serious. Just like us, dogs occasionally may lose their appetite due to lack of exercise or a change in the weather. However, if your dog won’t eat for more than two days, it’s best to contact your vet immediately.
When your dog won’t drink water, or even when they drink too much water, there is likely a serious problem. There are also several dangerous reasons for a loss of appetite in dogs:
Just like humans, dogs can become stressed due to changes in their surroundings and this might result in the dog not eating. A new environment, adding a new human or four-legged family member to the household, or other changes can make your dog nervous and stressed. Their appetite may decrease until they feel relaxed again. Separation anxiety and fear are other similar reasons why a dog may not eat.
What you can do: If possible, find out what is causing your dog to get stressed or fearful and keep them away from those triggers. If that is not possible, calm your dog by playing, cuddling, and talking to them. Keep things in your dog’s surroundings as normal and consistent as possible – and consider that even changing the food bowl might be a source of stress or confusion for old dogs.