What to Do When a Dog Refuses to Eat

dog appetite

Just like humans, when a dog refuses to eat you need to consider the causes and determine if there are other alarming symptoms. A change in a dog’s eating habits is a clue that something is wrong with your dog, either physically, mentally, or emotionally. Using the best cbd oil for dogs can help you to boost your dog’s appetite. Some things that affect a dog’s appetite are; stress, anxiety, upset stomach, infectious diseases, undiagnosed pain, etc.

Changing the Feeding Situation

Sometimes a dog’s refusal to eat might be a result of behavior issues. Dogs can be very picky and their refusal to eat may be caused by feeding them in situations where they aren’t comfortable such as around a particular bowl, uncomfortable height, or aggressiveness.

If you feed your dog with other animals try feeding them alone. Use different bowls or plates at different heights to see what your dog likes. Make sure you feed your pet on a regular schedule at least twice a day. Hand-feeding your dog is a way of encouraging them to eat. It might take a while but your dog will go back to eating out of its bowl.

Give a Treat

A treat always saves the day, it breaks the boredom of eating the normal food. Foods like chicken and baby food are so irresistible for a dog not to eat. You can start by giving small amounts of human food to see if you will eat. Mix the treats with their normal food to encourage your dog to eat along with the treat.

Consider a treat as a reward or special treatment for your dog. Regulate the number of treats you feed your dog, if he gets used to it, it might be difficult to go back to eating normal food. Overindulging the treats can also negatively affect the dog’s health. Add dressing to kibble treats and mix it up.

Give Appetite Stimulants

In addition to trying different kinds of foods and changing the dog’s diet, it is advisable to give appetite stimulants. Your vet knows what medication to prescribe and the specific dosage for both small and large dogs. The appetite stimulants are supposed to reduce nausea and mimic hormones that make your dog hungry.

There are several options that your Vet can suggest like natural, pharmaceutical, and holistic options. Some of the pharmaceutical interventions to improve appetite are; mirtazapine, meclizine, and ghrelin receptor agonist. The ghrelin medication binds ghrelin receptors and signals the brain to cause the dog to feel hungry.

dog not eating

Visiting a Vet

A dog refusing to eat for days is an indication that he is sick. Refusing to eat even after trying other means to feed the dog may be accompanied by symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, gagging, coughing, weight loss, and wheezing. Your vet should be the person to consult to help you figure out the cause.

A vet will be able to prescribe any medication to stimulate appetite or treat other underlying conditions. Do not wait for the refusal to eat to take long, it might be difficult for your dog to recover the lost weight especially it was caused by illnesses or infections. You will be recommended some behavioral changes that will help your dog’s feeding situation.