Is your dog a picky eater or just wondering why your pet refuses to eat his kibble? This can be very distressing especially if your pet is an enthusiastic eater. A sudden loss of appetite can be caused by several factors. A good place to start is to recall what was his previous meals. It is also important to understand what may have triggered this condition.
A dog’s lack of appetite is commonly referred to by experts as anorexia or inappetence. However, unlike anorexia nervosa an eating disorder in humans, dog anorexia means they have simply lost interest in eating and have no appetite.
Dog Food Quality
Another major cause of a dog’s sudden loss of appetite is the quality of food given to them. Cheap dog foods or those with low-quality ingredients often cause dogs to be bored with their food. Low-quality dog food contains meat by-products and grains. High-quality dog food on the other is made from higher protein sources like chicken and lamb.
When shopping, pet parents should first check their dog food for harmful ingredients or other content that can cause allergy in your dog. Symptoms of food allergies include itchy skin, obsessive licking, diarrhea or vomiting. Some dog foods may also contain artificial preservatives like Ethoxyquin, and BHA which can cause cancer and other health problems. Make it a habit to always check the label.
This can be another cause why your dog is turning his nose up on food. The first thing you need to do is to check your dog’s mouth. If there are any signs of dental problems or teeth growing, then it this might be the cause. Food or objects stuck in their throat, gums, and teeth are physical obstacles that prevent our dogs from properly ingesting their food.
One way of preventing this is by proper feeding and avoiding soft food. Dry food helps in cleaning their teeth of chewy treats for dental care. A simple way of preventing this is by brushing your dog’s teeth regularly.
Some pet parents are also guilty of overfeeding their pets from time to time. Just like us, we can’t expect our pets to eat if they are full. Pets might even translate eating as a negative experience making feeding time difficult.
Medication or Vaccine
Medications or an illness can also have a negative effect on your pet’s appetite. When your dog is under medication or recently have been taken to a vet for the vaccine, a common side effect would be the loss of appetite. This reaction usually takes place within 1 to 2 days of vaccination. This is nothing you should be worried about because effects are temporary.
The problem can be psychological. Just like their pet parents, dogs also get bored when fed with the same dog food for long periods of time. A good idea is to mix it up to keep them on their toes. Just bringing in some spice to keep them excited during feeding time.
Your dog might be rejecting their food because they have eaten something they shouldn’t have. Oftentimes, dogs steal food where they have access and whenever they get the chance. Changing their dog food can also be a cause of an upset stomach. In extreme cases, some dogs especially pups may even eat their poop or anything appealing to them. This can cause Gastrointestinal Issues which takes time and attention for your dog to recover. In times when your pet needs serious medical attention, pet insurance can be very helpful. This ensures you get the best care for your pet without the hefty bills.
For dogs who experience vomiting or diarrhea, this their body’s attempt to get rid of what they have eaten. It is recommended that dogs who show these symptoms not be fed for 12 to 24 hours. However, when blood is noticed on stools, immediately bring your dog to a veterinarian.
Signs of an Upset Stomach
- Sudden loss of appetite
- Depression and other behavior changes
- Loud gurgling sound coming from your dog’s tummy
- Foul smelling breath
- Excessive gas, firm stomach
- Episodes of thirst and constant burping
- Dehydration due to vomiting and diarrhea
Remedies for an Upset Stomach
If you believe that your dog is suffering from an upset stomach, try not feeding them for 12 to 24 hours. However, make sure that they have access to water and check if they are drinking regularly. This would also be a good time to check their previous food intake which suddenly caused an upset stomach.
Check the environment for hazards such as undisposed garbage, spoiled food or plants. The sudden introduction of a new brand of food can also be a likely culprit. For older dogs, an upset stomach and other digestive conditions can be traced to the aging process.
Make sure to feed your dog a bland diet after withholding food for a long time. Food that is personally prepared is most ideal. Baby food with meat or rice with unseasoned chicken is a good place to start. Avoid giving food with onion or garlic.
Give your dog oatmeal. Rich in fiber, minerals, and nutrients; oatmeal helps clean your dog’s digestive tract while giving nutrients to help them recover. Plain unsweetened yogurt helps keep your dog’s digestive system healthy by balancing the levels of natural flora and bacteria in the digestive tract.
Ice chips or ice cubes. If your dog is suffering from diarrhea or constantly vomiting, giving ice cubes or ice chips keeps them hydrated. Give them ice cubes every three to four hours. Keep constant tabs on their water intake by removing his water bowl. Drinking too much water may only make the condition worse.
Give bone broth. Just like us, a soothing bowl of broth can help ease the pain of an upset stomach. To prepare a bone broth, simmer chicken meat in a crackpot. Wait until the meat falls off the bone and let the minerals and marrow seep into the water. Preparing bone broth is a lengthy process but if you’re in a hurry a boxed bone broth is available.
If the symptoms of an upset stomach last longer than 24-hours or become severe, consult a veterinarian immediately. Symptoms that go beyond 24-hours can lead to further complications or a sign that your dog might be suffering from a more serious medical condition.