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When the dog does not eat - 10 reasons for loss of appetite
发布时间:2021-03-09 15:18:04 | 浏览量:1

Once he happily jumped around you as soon as you came near the food bowl - now his food doesn't interest your dog at all? If the dog has no appetite once, that is no reason to worry. But if the lack of appetite is more frequent, you should get to the bottom of it.

From diet to health to hormonal causes:

We have compiled 10 reasons why your dog may not be eating.


    You don't need to be afraid that your dog will quickly starve to death. Not that you should take the chance, but: healthy adult dogs can go up to 25 days without food.

    If, on the other hand, the dog doesn't drink, it's more problematic: after about six days, it would be dehydrated. Either way, if your dog isn't eating, there are reasons for this, and you shouldn't wait until your dog is already in bad shape to find them - the sooner you get to the bottom of the lack of appetite, the better.

    10 possible reasons why the dog does not eat

    Just like humans, dogs are also sensitive to stress. Have you moved with your four-legged friend? Has something changed in his social environment, for example a new animal or human roommate? Does he miss an attachment figure or a long-time dog buddy? Is there a bitch in heat nearby that attracts his attention? Or has something changed in his everyday life? This could trigger stress in the four-legged friend and subsequently affect his stomach.  

    Even the weather can have an influence on appetite.

    If the dog suddenly refuses food, it may be due to an injury or pain. Check if he has a foreign body in his mouth or if his gums are injured or inflamed.

    Diseases can also manifest themselves in a lack of appetite. Bacterial infections, kidney problems, digestive problems and other illnesses can cause the dog not to eat. Especially if symptoms such as fever or vomiting occur at the same time, you should visit the vet as soon as possible to make sure that there is no serious illness behind the dog's reluctance to eat.

    If the puppy doesn't want to eat, this can also be due to the change of teeth. The pressure from the new teeth can feel quite uncomfortable in the mouth. This usually subsides when the milk tooth has given way to the new tooth. You can speed up the teething process by giving your puppy chew toys and by soaking dry food in lukewarm water while the change is taking place. As a rule, the change of teeth in dogs begins at the age of about 4 months, lasts about three months and is completed by the ninth month of life.  How long it takes for a dog to lose its milk teeth also depends on its size: Large breeds usually finish teething earlier than small breeds.


    During heat or a false pregnancy, bitches sometimes lose their appetite. Male dogs can also be indirectly affected by this: there are reports of dogs that showed little interest in food during the heat phase of a bitch in their environment. During this "hot time", the male dog simply has other things on his mind than food. Since bitches only come into heat once or twice a year, the period of lack of appetite is limited for hormonal reasons and is no cause for concern.

    Old dogs have a lower energy requirement and therefore sometimes less desire for food. However, if the lack of appetite in an old dog is permanent, it may indicate illness, a loss of sense of smell or taste, or stiffness. In the latter case, the dog is no longer as agile and therefore has problems reaching the bowl. You can try to see if it helps your dog if you raise the bowl so that he can reach it more easily. Since some old dogs feel fuller more quickly than their younger counterparts, you can test whether the eating behaviour improves if you divide the food ration into several small meals throughout the day. If in doubt, have your dog examined by a vet to make sure that there is nothing wrong with his health.

    A treat here, a leftover meal there and a chewing stick in between? Add a bit of meat to the dry food and serve a completely different food tomorrow? Not a good idea, because then there will soon be a nuisance alarm! If dogs are given all kinds of other treats in addition to their usual food, or if the daily food ration is "spiced up" with additions, they can become fussy and raise their expectations so high that you have a hard time meeting their taste. In this case, you should refrain from giving snacks in between meals so that the dog gets a taste for them again. You should also avoid frequent food changes.

    Always the same is boring, isn't it? What applies to us humans in terms of nutrition does not apply to dogs. When it comes to food, dogs are creatures of habit, their digestive tract is not designed for frequent changes and reacts with stress, diarrhoea or other complaints. If you change or vary the food regularly, this can also lead to the dog developing strong preferences and refusing certain types of food. See the nuisance alarm!

    If you want to change your dog's food, you should always do it slowly and carefully and stick to one type of food if you have decided on it and it meets your dog's needs. Some dogs take longer to change from wet food to dry food, for example. It can also take time to change from a low quality food with a high sugar content to a better quality food.


    Between the 7th and 11th month of life, some dogs are in the so-called "flailing phase". During this period, the four-legged friends test their limits. If your pelt-nose is clearly less obedient than before or if you have the feeling that he is displaying dominance behaviour, this may be related to the flailing phase. Here the dog is trying out what happens when he (partially) refuses food. In this case, you should not let yourself be softened to offer him other food or treats. Otherwise your adolescent will learn that he can get away with this behaviour and will continue to use it beyond the flailing phase.

    If your dog is not eating, keep a close eye on what he is eating beyond his main meals. Sometimes he may have eaten a lot of treats during the day because he has been rewarded frequently or guests have been kind to him. And is simply full when it comes to the main meal. You should include treats that your four-legged friend gets in addition in your dog's menu. This will give you a better overview and prevent your four-legged friend from always leaving some leftover food.

    Our recommendation for your sensitive four-legged friends:



    Hypoallergen Adult

    with insect protein



    Grainfree Adult

    with potato & pea


    If health causes have been ruled out by the vet, you can also support your dog in case of a lack of appetite. You can help your dog regain his appetite by providing a stress-free environment, little food change and a species-appropriate diet. If your dog doesn't eat, you should not leave the bowl standing around, but take it away and offer him the food again later. Also, try to avoid giving your dog treats between meals. If you feed your dog treats as a reward when you are out and about, include them in your dog's feeding schedule. Stay consistent, keep regular feeding times and keep a close eye on your pet. If in doubt, an additional petting session may help, because the way to a dog's heart is through its stomach.


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