Is Your Dog Not Eating? Possible Reasons & Solutions



“The bond with a true dog is as lasting as the ties of this earth will ever be.” – Konrad Lorenz


Any fur parent would be stressed when their fur baby won’t eat.  This can be a great cause of concern especially if your dog’s favorite time of the day is meal time. There are many possible reasons why your dog won’t eat. Fortunately, most of the common reasons can be fixed easily. Find out why your dog is not eating and how it can be solved.


Possible reasons:


Loss of appetite along with other symptoms can be a sign that your dog is suffering from an illness. It doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s serious, a trip to the vet can confirm it and prevent the illness from getting worse.  


Medication or vaccination 

There are medicines and vaccines that can cause loss of appetite. This adverse reaction is usually temporary and would wear off after some time. 


Dental issues 

One of the common reasons why dogs wouldn’t eat is because of dental issues. Painful, swollen, or bleeding gums caused by periodontal disease, gingivitis, oral tumor, and loose or broken teeth can make your dog avoid eating.


Upset stomach

If your dog ate something he shouldn’t eat then you can expect digestive issues to follow. Possible results would be vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. The uncomfortable feeling in their tummy will make them want to avoid food.   


Quality of food

The quality of food greatly affects your dog’s desire to eat. If he is used to eating high-quality dog food and you shifted to feeding him cheaper dog food that contains low-quality ingredients then it wouldn’t appeal to him as much as the old one. 


Spoiled food

Dog food can go bad. It might be difficult for you to tell if the food has gone bad but dogs would know it very well when their food becomes rancid, moldy, and smelly. It becomes unpalatable to them and they would avoid eating it.  


Spoiled pet

Dogs love eating human food and sometimes they like it more than their own food. Since we love them so much, we tend to spoil them and there are times they won’t eat dog food unless you give them a table food treat first. This can develop into a bad habit that would be hard to correct later on.


Overfeeding with treats

Treats are oftentimes the culprit why your dog won’t eat. You love seeing your dogs play tricks, wag their tails, beg, kiss, and cuddle. All these actions usually deserve a reward - treats. However, overfeeding them with treats will make them lose their appetite for what they should be eating. Treats are just that - treats, they should not be more than 10% of their daily calorie intake. You can find a list of healthy treats here.


Change of routine

Dogs love sticking to their schedule. A change in their daily routine can make them upset, uncomfortable, and lose their appetite. 



Even dogs get bored with their food when they eat the same thing over and over again. It becomes unappealing, unsavory, and something they want to avoid. 


Being picky

Just like their human parents, dogs have preferences too. They develop a taste or distaste for a certain flavor or ingredient over time and would prefer eating it or avoid it. 



As your dog gets older, his preferences, senses, and needs change. Senior dogs with poor health or those who have medical issues tend to eat less. 


New environment 

Moving to a new place or going somewhere your dog hasn’t been to before can cause discomfort, anxiety, and loss of appetite. 



Stress can make your dog lose his appetite. Dog stress can be caused by loud noises, thunder, fireworks, and unfamiliar human, canine, or feline visitors


Separation anxiety 

When your dog won’t eat when you’re not around then munch heartily as soon as you get home then chances are he’s having separation anxiety. 


What to do: 

Observe your dog’s behavior 

Check if your dog is eating only a small amount or not eating at all a particular food. Observe if there are any routine or behavior changes. Eliminate the offending ingredient or flavor as soon as you find one.  


Inspect the surroundings 

Check the areas where your dog often stays. Is there anything new? Was anything changed? Is anything missing? Remove chemicals and medications that can cause harm when ingested. 


Check his body 

Check his body for injuries, parasites, bumps, and lumps. Call the vet if you find something suspicious


Examine his teeth 

Check if his gums are swollen or bleeding. Check for broken or loose teeth. A trip to the vet is necessary if you find any of the above. 


Check the food 

Check if there’s anything wrong with his food. Check the expiration date, smell, and color. Get rid of the food immediately if you find that it’s spoiled and give him a new one. 


Change his diet

He probably just doesn’t like what you offer him. Slowly switch to a new diet or switch back to his old one and this might do the trick.  


Call the vet

If your dog is vomiting, bleeding,  or has diarrhea, consult your vet immediately. 


Seeing your dog not eating can be worrisome and frustrating so it’s essential to remain diligent, vigilant, and supportive. Always keep your eyes peeled on your dog and don’t hesitate to ask for professional advice. 


You might also be interested to read Human Foods That Are Safe For Dogs and Are Essential Oils Safe For Pets?

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