My Dog Isn't Eating, Should I Be Worried?
There are so many fun activities you can enjoy with your dog. While your furry friend may love playtime, cuddles, and walks, sometimes she might not seem to enjoy one of the most important activities for any canine companion – mealtimes.
Whether you’re a new pet parent or have seen recent changes in your dog's eating habits, it’s essential to ensure she's having a healthy mealtime! Finishing a correctly portioned meal is important for your dog's good health – consistent meals helps ensure that your buddy receives proper nutrition and amino acids daily. There are a variety of reasons why your dog may not be eating as much as she should. We're sharing the top causes of feeding concerns – and solutions – with you to ensure a happy and healthy mealtime for months to come!
Why Isn’t My Dog Eating? – 5 Reasons for a Loss of Appetite
If your best friend once had a healthy appetite and then suddenly lost it, you should investigate further. Any dramatic change in eating should be taken note of and discussed with your veterinarian, to ensure your dog remains happy and healthy.
There are a variety of reasons why your dog may not be eating. Sometimes there may be a health issue that impacts mealtime. Other times, your best friend just isn’t that into what’s in her bowl. Let’s break down some common reasons why your dog isn’t eating and what you can do to help your furry friend regain her appetite.
A change in environment
Dogs, much like some children, may need time to become accustomed to new surroundings. A new house or other unfamiliar surroundings can be an overwhelming experience for your furry friend. Your dog may need some time to smell around and discover the setup of her accommodations. That includes her food and water dishes.
Whether you’ve moved into a new house or have made changes to your current home, these adjustments can make your best friend overly nervous. This anxiety may in turn create a lack of appetite. If the stress of moving, renovations, or other changes has gotten your dog off her food, she may just need some time to settle into her new accommodations.
You’re not there
Sometimes your dog may refuse to eat because her favorite person isn’t around. Dogs are inherently pack animals, so some canine companions may wait for the rest of their family to arrive before they chow down.
Another potential reason why your dog doesn’t eat when you’re gone is that she simply misses you. It’s not uncommon for your best friend to experience separation anxiety when you’re gone. If your dog gets distressed when you leave, check out our blog post on separation anxiety for ways to help your dog overcome excess stress and return to her normal eating habits.
Your dog has a sensitive stomach
One reason why your dog might not eat as much as she should is that she has a hard time digesting her food. If your best friend has a food intolerance to certain ingredients or struggles with dry dog food that’s extruded at extreme temperatures, it’s important to feed her nutrition made to support sensitive stomachs. That’s why Bil-Jac Sensitive Solutions has chicken, whitefish, and a gentle fiber blend to help support healthy digestion and help your dog enjoy mealtime.
It’s hard for your dog to chew her food
Dental discomfort will definitely detract from your furry friend’s appetite. Swollen gums or cracked teeth will make it painful for your dog to chew her food, so you’ll want to examine her mouth for potential injuries if she’s suddenly stopped eating. If you suspect any dental issues, you’ll want to contact your veterinarian right away to make sure your best buddy gets the care she needs.
Sometimes dental discomfort isn’t caused by an injury. As your dog gets older, she may lose some teeth and need softer dog food. Dry dog foods like Bil-Jac Senior Select Formula have easy-to-chew kibble for delicate teeth. Mixing in wet dog food can also make for a soft, delicious treat as well. Regardless of your dog’s age, it’s also important to practice proper doggy dental care measures to keep your best friend’s teeth healthy and strong for years to come.
She’s just not that into her food
Some breeds, such as Maltese and Yorkies, have a greater tendency to be picky during mealtimes. Other dogs are just happy to eat the food you put in front of them. If your dog isn’t eating all her food, she may simply be a picky eater or got bored with what’s being served for dinner.
“How does a dog get bored with her food,” you ask? Simply put, some dog foods don’t offer enough delicious, nutritious ingredients to get your pooch salivating. A lot of dog food brands also spray on fat or flavoring to make their kibble seem more enticing. Unfortunately, a discerning dog can detect these shortcuts and will snub these foods for something that genuinely tastes good.
If the brand of dog food you're feeding now isn't getting the attention of your puppy or dog at mealtimes, it’s time to try something more enticing. A super premium brand that uses more fresh chicken or meat will naturally appeal to your canine companion’s appetite. Bil-Jac Picky No More is made with real chicken liver that not only satisfies the most persnickety dog, but also offers the nutrients your furry friend needs each day.
Puppies and some dog breeds are rambunctious by nature. They want to explore, play, run, and are easily distracted – even during mealtimes. If your puppy likes to run through the house or play during designated feeding times, she may just need to get additional energy out before she calms herself down enough to eat.
How Much Should My Dog Eat?
Even if your dog starts to eat a bit more, it’s important to know if she’s eating enough (or too much). Fortunately, all dog foods are required to provide recommended feeding amounts. These can help give you a rough idea of how much your buddy should eat.
It’s also important to remember that these are only recommended feeding amounts based on averages. If your dog is very active, you may need to feed slightly more food than recommended. If your dog is happier on the couch than on the leash, you may need to feed slightly less food. The important part is to make sure you measure your dog's food at every feeding, to help your dog maintain a weight, adjusting the feeding amount as needed.
Check with Your Veterinarian
If your best friend once had a healthy appetite and then suddenly lost it, you should investigate further. Any dramatic change in eating should be taken note of and discussed with your veterinarian, to ensure there are no underlying issues and your dog remains happy and healthy.
Give Your Dog the Support She Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy Life
Mealtime should be more than just a means for survival – it should be a joyous occasion. A nutritious and delicious dog food can help your dog live her life to the fullest, and with a full belly as well.
Want to learn more about how you can support your favorite fur baby? Sign up for the Best Friends Club to receive our exclusive monthly email newsletter filled with dog care tips, nutritional info, training help, fun facts, and more. The newsletter also gives you access to special members-only discounts on Bil-Jac Dog Food, Treats, and other products so that you can keep your best friend well fed.