How to Treat Dogs That Don’t Want to Eat

Dog Food

Dog Food

Dogs generally like to eat, even they will consume any food offered to them. But, when our dog suddenly lose appetite, it would make us worry because it’s such an unusual behavior for him. Moreover, it also make the dog lose weight, became lethargic, and anorexic.

Yess, dog anorexia. Sounds weird? But it’s true. It is different with that commonly experienced by humans being. This disorder is really need attentions because it could threat the dog’s life.

Firstly, we have to investigate the cause of the disorder. Losing appetite temporarly is normal. No need to panic if there are foods leftover in the bowl due to some natural factors that make the dog not eat for a while. However, if the dog refuses to eat for more than 48 hours, now we can take it seriously. It might be something wrong with the dog.

A. Causes

Psychological Factors

Stress is the main cause that make the dog losing appetite. The trigger can vary, usually it is due to a change in environment. For example, the dog have just moved into a new place, new owner, new dog enters its territory, or one of the dogs died in the new surroundings.

There are many ways to reduce the stress, for instance, set daily routines for him and let him adapt to the schedule, always give him much attention and affection, take a walk, and ask him to play. Thing that should always be remember is make the dog feels relaxed and comfortable. When the stress is gone, surely the dog appetite will return to normal.

Health Problems

Health problems such as infections, autoimmune diseases, respiratory, digestive, bone, endocrine, and neurological disorders could trigger dog’s loosing appetite.

Indigestion disorders, such as inflammation in the stomach lead to the limited amount of food that the dogs could eat, because generally there will be pain if he eat too much. Neoplasia (liver tumors) also causes the dog difficult to digest the foods.

Generally, diseases that can lead dog loosing his appetite are as follows::

1. Indigestion
2. Bacterial infections
3. Hepatitis
4. Kidney disease
5. Pancreatic Disorders
6. Cancer
7. Diabetes mellitus
8. Respiratory disease, such as cough and asthma
9. Inflammatory bowel disease
10. Gastrointestinal obstruction
11. Urinary tract infections, and
12. Diseases caused by parasites such as hookworm

Consult the veterinarians so that they can perform various tests to diagnose the dog’s health problem, and we know what makes the dogs loosing his appetite then.


Some medicines may cause loosing appetite on dogs, including drugs that is used to cure arthritis or allergies such as aspirin, deramaxx carprofen and naproxen.

B. Handling

If the cause of appetite disorders dog is not because of health problems, here are some ways to make the dog’s appetite back at his normal level.

1. Re-evaluate his eating habits

Some dog owners like to provide snacks for dogs a lot. Actually, this is wrong (especially snacks that is not exclusivelly produced for dogs) because if the dog was too full to eat the snacks, he would not touch his main food anyway.

Put food waste and trash out of reach of the dog. Make sure that the dogs only eat the food provided from us.

2. Establish a regular eating schedule

Dogs will be easier to be fed at the same time each day. So, we need to set a regular time to eat. Once we put the food in front of him, give him 10 minutes chance to eat. If he do not touch the food, remove the bowl. Gradually, he will get used to eat the meals that we provide at certain time each day, and will understand that he must eat when food is served at that time, otherwise the food was taken away from him.

3. Stir up the appetite

Prepare dog food at the same time as we eat our food. Eat in front of the dog. Make ourself look very excited with our food to stimulate him to eat his food either. This will stimulate them to eat, and build on their natural hunger. Although this process is time-consuming, but it certainly could revive the dog’s appetite. We expect that he will start to enjoy eating again.

4. Ensure interference-free dining area

We should feed him in a quiet place, free from noise and disturbance. This will be helpful, especially if the dog is prone to panic. Make sure no children or other family members around him while he eat, so that his concentration is not disturbed while eating.

If the disorder is caused by health problems and medications, we must give more attention in order to make him recover quickly from his pain and make him able to eat his food normally.



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