Why dogs lose their appetite:
Whether you’ve had pet dogs for years or you’ve just adopted your first puppy, it can be very distressing when your dog won’t eat. There are a variety of reasons for loss of appetite in dogs. It’s important to determine the cause in order to design the best treatment plan. The first thing to keep in mind is how you’re judging your dog’s appetite. If you’re concerned because your dog isn’t eating as much as the guidelines state on the food you purchase, remember that these are only averages. Many perfectly healthy dogs eat only 60% to 70% of the amount stated on the packaging. Dogs will occasionally forego food due to a number of factors. Limited, short-term fasting is a tool used by all animals for many different reasons. A minor illness, anxiety, and a bad meal are a few situations that might cause your dog to skip a meal or two. Short periods of fasting in dogs are an evolutionary behavior handed down from wolves, their direct ancestors. Wolves and other wild animals, if they’re not feeling well, will fast without thinking about it. Short-term fasting has beneficial cleansing processes, which can rid the body of unwanted disease, virus and other harmful substances. But extended appetite loss in dogs is more troubling. If your pet hasn’t eaten food for more than two days, you should take it to the vet immediately.
Because loss of appetite in dogs can indicate illness, it is important to seek veterinary care if you notice changes in your dog’s eating habits. It is especially important to respond promptly to a refusal to eat in dogs that usually eat well. Even though most dogs can go a couple of days without food with no significant bad effects, it is best to address the problem as early as possible. The true cause of your dog’s appetite loss can be determined by your veterinarian. Before finding a canine appetite stimulant, it helps to pinpoint the exact cause. Depending on your dog, there can be less serious conditions that may cause your dog to lose his appetite, but there are also a variety of reasons that may be more serious.
Reasons your dog won’t eat:
Just like in people, there are a variety of reasons dogs might refuse to eat. These can include:
Recent travel and unfamiliar surroundings
Anxiety and stress
Eating Something He Shouldn’t
Favoring human food
Serious illness – cancer, diabetes, intestinal worms, renal failure
Digestive issues or IBD
Dental disease – broken or chipped tooth, oral tumor, gingivitis
What to do when your dog won’t eat:
What you can do to help when your dog won’t eat will depend on what you and your veterinarian determine to be the cause of the problem.
If your dog’s loss of appetite is caused by illness, the vet may recommend a prescription diet to meet your pet’s nutritional needs while the underlying disease is being addressed. Sometimes these diets are not particularly tasty, especially if your dog is used to regular treats or people food. If your dog is already ill, never starve your pet in an attempt to force it to eat the prescribed diet. Instead, talk with your veterinarian about alternatives. In more severe cases, your vet may prescribe appetite-stimulating medications, recommend syringe-feeding a liquid diet, or insert a feeding tube.
If your dog’s decreased appetite is a behavior problem caused by pickiness or a discomfort with mealtime, rather than the result of a medical condition, there are a number of things you can do to encourage your pet to eat.
Cutting back on treats.
Feeding your pet on a regular schedule, usually at least twice a day.
Making mealtime a fun time for your pet, such as by playing with a toy that dispenses food or rewarding your dog with food for doing a trick.
Taking your dog for a walk before mealtime.
Changing your dog’s feeding situation. If you normally feed your pet with other animals, try feeding him alone. Or try using different bowls or plates at different heights to see what your dog prefers. (You might even put a few pieces of food on the floor next to the feeding dish.)
Trying a different kind of food, such as canned food if you normally feed your dog dry food.
When should your dog see a veterinarian:
A loss of appetite in dogs can signal serious underlying issues. But before overreacting, you must get a solid estimate of your pet’s daily food intake. If it seems your dog isn’t eating enough, don’t hit the panic button just yet. Many pets routinely take in anywhere from 60% – 90% of the recommended caloric guidelines. And remember, your dog may have simply skipped a meal or two – that doesn’t qualify as appetite loss, according to the strict definition. So before figuring out a cure for a loss of appetite in your dog, you must confirm that your dog is indeed suffering lethargic or disinterested eating habits. Many wasted trips to the vet could’ve been avoided by simply establishing a solid baseline of canine eating habits. Numerous veterinarian visits have ended with the realization that a dog has been eating enough all along! If your dog is starting to experience vomiting, diarrhea, behavioral changes, or weight loss, it’s time to see your veterinarian. Depending on how severe the situation is, your vet may take a stool sample, run blood work, or even do an ultrasound to see what could be causing the loss of appetite and weight loss.
How to get your dog to eat:
If your dog is getting too accustomed to human food and treats, it’s important to stop feeding your dog those immediately so that he’s not disinterested in his own dog food. Sometimes it’s a matter of making small changes like switching the place that you typically put your dog’s food bowl to entice him to eat. You may also to try feeding him a new brand of dog food to see if that does the trick.
Dog appetite stimulants:
An appetite stimulant for dogs can be a valuable tool if your dog experiences a sudden or gradual loss of appetite. Mirtazapine is a commonly prescribed medicine to stimulate a dog’s appetite. The main purpose of Mirtazapine is as an antidepressant, but it also serves a range of other conditions. Since many pet owners are becoming more hesitant to the use of prescription medicines, many are turning to natural supplements for stimulating appetite.
A healthy, robust appetite is not only essential for your dog’s well-being – it’s also a sure-fire indicator that your pet is in the best possible health. Nothing gives an owner greater confidence in their dog’s health than a regular, established, healthy eating plan. Be sure to talk to your vet about different options to help encourage your dog to start eating more and gaining weight.
Appetite is partially controlled by your dog’s ability to harness key antioxidants and phytochemicals from certain foods. This “sub-level” of nutrition is layered underneath the obvious benefits of getting enough vitamins, minerals, fats, proteins and other macronutrients.What we cannot see in our dog’s nutritional habits and regular eating regimen often have the most long-lasting impact. That’s why it is imperative to ensure your dog is getting the best possible nutrition, day in and day out.