Why is My Dog Not Eating?

dog not eating food

Dogs may lose their appetite due to various reasons. It is essential to find out why and take them in for examination as soon as possible by their vet.

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Changes to their diet, moving to a new home or adding a new member can all cause stress that will cause their appetite to temporarily decrease, but should return back to normal within days or two.



If your dog has suddenly stopped eating food and still drinks water, yet seems distressed and disoriented, it may be time for them to visit the vet. They could be suffering from an intestinal obstruction, dental problems (such as broken or inflamed gums) or stomach upset that will need medical attention immediately.

If your pet seems otherwise healthy but is refusing food for one or two days, try offering bland homecooked food like boiled chicken breast and white rice until their stomach can recover before making changes to their diet again. Also this would be an ideal opportunity to test out one of the gastrointestinal diets available from your vet, which contain all the necessary nutrients your pup may require to get back in balance more quickly. It is critical that a drop in appetite be identified early as malnourishment can develop quickly; sooner you identify its source, faster your pet can start feeling better.

Behavioral Issues

If your dog’s appetite suddenly changes, this could be a telltale sign of illness or behavioral problems. Medication may inhibit appetite; consult with your vet regarding adjustments or alternative options that might work better; pain can also prevent eating – whether from dental problems or injuries.

Pica is a disorder in which dogs compulsively ingest non-food items, such as rocks, cloth or dirt. Dogs with pica often become bored or anxious and will chew on non-food objects to reduce stress. It’s essential that any such behavior be brought to the attention of a veterinarian as ingestion could result in blockage or poisoning of the digestive tract and lead to an immediate medical crisis.

If your pet is refusing to eat due to boredom or discomfort, try switching their food brand or making their kibble more tantalizing by mixing in some warm water. Also limit treats and table food intake while using an Adaptil diffuser during meal times to keep him relaxed.


Dogs tend to be highly food-motivated animals, so it can be cause for alarm when your pup suddenly loses his or her appetite. Small Door vets note that there could be multiple factors contributing to it including illness (like gastroenteritis or pancreatitis), dental pain or arthritis symptoms, stressors such as moving house or adopting new pets as well as loud noises or medication (particularly antibiotics).

Anorexia in dogs refers to their insistence of refusing any food at all, while partial anorexia refers to eating only table scraps and treats from time to time. If this is the case with your canine companion, your vet may suggest low-sodium diet along with appetite stimulants or tablets to encourage eating habits.

If your pet is showing any other symptoms such as fever or vomiting, contact a veterinarian immediately as they’ll provide expert advice on what action should be taken. It is never healthy for dogs to go more than 24 hours without eating so get them to the veterinarian right away.


If your pet is showing true anorexia (no appetite at all), a trip to the veterinarian may be in order. Any decline in appetite could be indicative of disease such as kidney, liver or digestive system disorders; diabetes; infections (bacterial or viral); cancer; pyometra or even pain anywhere on their bodies including mouth or back areas.

A veterinarian will carefully examine their patient, conducting both a physical exam and blood work analysis. He or she may then suggest a prescription diet tailored specifically to your pet’s dietary requirements while working to address its root causes.

In some instances, your veterinarian may recommend appetite stimulants, syringe feeding liquid food directly or even inserting a feeding tube as means to stimulate and provide nutrition to your dog. A positive response should be seen within several days after starting therapy and your pet will resume eating normally; otherwise contact them as soon as possible to ensure the problem doesn’t worsen further.