How To Get A Dog To Eat? (Solution)

12 Tricks That Will Make Your Dog Eat

  1. Mix Foods.
  2. Use Chicken Broth.
  3. Cut the Scraps.
  4. Cut Back the Treats.
  5. Keep Serving The Meal Until Your Dog Eats It.
  6. Buy Higher Quality Foods Rather Than Diet Foods.
  7. Try Adding Dog Food Toppers.
  8. Buy Different Food.


What do you do when your dog won’t eat?

What to do when your dog won’t eat

  1. Cutting back on treats.
  2. Feeding your pet on a regular schedule, usually at least twice a day.
  3. Making mealtime a fun time for your pet, such as by playing with a toy that dispenses food or rewarding your dog with food for doing a trick.
  4. Taking your dog for a walk before mealtime.

How long can a dog go without eating?

Every dog is unique and there is no set number of days that is “safe” for dogs who have gone on hunger strike, however most healthy dogs can contend with 3 days without eating food as long as your pet drinks water.

What should I feed my dog with no appetite?

What To Feed a Sick Dog (With No Appetite)

  • White Rice and Chicken.
  • Shredded Chicken Breasts.
  • Bone Broth.
  • Wet food.
  • Fish.
  • Pumpkin.
  • Baby Food.
  • Sweet Potato.

Will a dog starve itself?

When it comes to fussy eating, remember that dogs will not normally starve themselves just because they are a bit choosy about their food (although if your dog goes 24 hours without eating anything, consult your vet). Just like us, some dogs are naturally thinner than others.

Why is my dog not eating for two days?

Dogs are the same. Often they have a virus, they don’t eat for a couple of days, and then they get better.” However, if your dog is not eating and is either vomiting, having diarrhea, or both, contact your veterinarian within 8-12 hours.

When should I worry about my dog not eating?

If your dog is quiet, not themselves, or displaying any other symptoms like vomiting, diarrhoea, weakness or lethargy; or has not eaten at all for 2 days then you should seek veterinary attention.

Is Scrambled Egg good for sick dogs?

Scrambled eggs are a good option for dogs with diarrhea because they are easy to digest and packed full of protein. Dogs who have been vomiting or eating stool may not be able to handle the high-fat content but scrambled egg is one of the best options out there.

What are the signs of a dog dying?

6 Signs a Dog May Be Dying

  • The Dog is in Pain and Discomfort.
  • The Dog Has a Loss of Appetite.
  • The Dog is Showing Lack of Interest in Favorite Activities.
  • Incontinence and Decreased Grooming.
  • The Dog Has a Loss of Mobility.
  • There are More Bad Days Than Good Days.

What happens if a dog doesn’t eat for 3 days?

Anorexia in dogs is a life-threatening condition. Untreated for several days, it can lead to malnourishment and dehydration. You should contact your vet straight away if your dog or puppy is refusing to eat, even if they’re acting normally.

What is a natural appetite stimulant for dogs?

Herbs are another natural stimulant that can work well when added to dog food. Choices such as chamomile, ginger, celery seed, and peppermint are among the herbs that tend to work best.

Should I force feed my dog?

Use a Syringe Force-feeding via a syringe is a more drastic measure, so you should do this only if other methods haven’t worked. If your dog hasn’t eaten in two days, you can try using a syringe to feed your dog liquids like broth or watered down wet food.

How do vets force feed dogs?

If you must force-feed a dog to stimulate their appetite, take some baby food, and smear it on the dog’s lips. Some people force-feed their pets using a syringe without a needle. Be careful and only inject small portions of food at a time into your dog’s mouth.

Will a picky dog eventually eat?

He’ll refuse to eat no matter what you do. Eventually hunger will win over and your dog will eat his food. If not, there’s probably a deeper problem than just a picky pup, and you should head to the vet.

Dog Not Eating? Possible Causes and Appetite Solutions

The inability of your dog to eat may be quite stressful, regardless of how long you’ve had pets or how recently you’ve taken a new puppy into your family. Dogs’ loss of appetite can be caused by a number of different factors. It is critical to identify the underlying reason in order to develop the most effective treatment strategy. What you should bear in mind while gauging your dog’s hunger is that there are several factors to consider. If you’re concerned that your dog isn’t eating as much as the suggestions on the food you’ve purchased indicate, keep in mind that these are simply averages and that your dog might be eating more.

Dogs’ loss of appetite is indicative of disease, so if you detect a change in your dog’s eating habits, it is crucial to seek veterinarian assistance right once.

Despite the fact that most dogs can survive for a number of days without food without suffering any serious consequences, it is important to address the situation as soon as possible.

Reasons your dog won’t eat

There are a multitude of reasons why dogs could refuse to eat, just as there are in humans. These are some examples:

  • Illness. A reduction in appetite in dogs is sometimes a signal of illness, particularly if your dog is experiencing additional symptoms at the same time as the decreased hunger. It is crucial to seek quick veterinary assistance since loss of appetite in dogs can be an indication of serious illness, including cancer, numerous systemic infections, discomfort, liver difficulties, and renal failure. Dental disease is another condition that should be evaluated by a veterinarian. It’s possible that your dog is refusing to eat because something in its mouth is giving it discomfort. Consult a dentist to see if they have a damaged or loose tooth, severe gingivitis, or possibly an oral tumor. Vaccination that has just occurred. Dog infections that are dangerous and infectious, like as parvovirus and distemper, can be prevented through immunization. Despite the fact that these injections have saved the lives of millions of pets over the past century, they can occasionally have negative side effects. The majority of them are small and transient in nature, such as a momentary decrease of appetite in dogs
  • And Traveling and being in unknown territory. If your dog’s appetite was good until you took them on a trip or moved to a new place, it’s possible that your dog is refusing to eat as a result of the travel or the unusual environment. Some animals may experience motion sickness, while others may feel apprehensive or uncomfortable in unfamiliar environments
  • Pickiness or behavioral difficulties may also occur. Some dogs are just finicky eaters, and their unwillingness to eat may be exacerbated by feeding them in settings where they aren’t comfortable, such as around an aggressive dog or from a dish that is at an inconvenient height for them to reach it. It is important to remember that a decreased appetite in dogs might be caused by disease, so never assume that your dog is fussy without ruling out other options first.

What to do when your dog won’t eat

It will depend on what you and your doctor conclude is the root reason of your dog’s inability to eat as to what you can do to assist him in getting better. It is possible that your dog’s loss of appetite is caused by sickness, in which case your veterinarian may suggest a prescription diet to suit your pet’s nutritional needs while the underlying ailment is being treated. If your dog is accustomed to eating ordinary treats or people food, you may find that these diets are not particularly appetizing in some cases.

Instead, consult with your veterinarian to learn about other options.

For additional information, contact your local veterinarian.

There are a number of things you can do to encourage your dog to eat.

  • Reducing the amount of goodies you give your pet
  • Feeding your pet on a regular schedule, which is normally at least twice a day
  • Meal time may be made more enjoyable by using toys that dispense food or awarding your dog with food for doing a trick
  • Making mealtime a fun time for your pet A short walk with your dog before dinner
  • Changing the way your dog is fed is a good idea. It’s a good idea to feed your pet alone if you regularly feed them with other animals. Alternatively, experiment with different bowls or plates at various heights to determine what your dog enjoys. For extra convenience, you could also place a few pieces of food on the floor close to the feeding bowl. A different type of food, such as canned food if you generally feed your dog dry food
  • A different type of exercise
  • Make your dog’s kibble more appetizing by mixing it with a little amount of warm water.

Why Won’t My Dog Eat? Learn About Reasons Why Your Dog Isn’t Eating

  • If your dog isn’t eating and there is any concomitant vomiting or diarrhea, take him to the veterinarian as soon as possible. In the absence of these signs, there are a number of possible reasons why your dog isn’t eating, including emotional concerns
  • While it is worrying, a dog not eating is a problem that usually resolves itself, but it is wise to keep a careful eye on things.

When your dog isn’t eating on a consistent basis, it may be quite frightening. After all, a well-balanced, nutritious diet is essential to living a happy life. So, what precisely is going on when your dog refuses to eat is unclear. Learn about some of the most frequent, as well as some lesser-known, causes of your dog’s lack of appetite.

1. Illness

The most likely explanation for your dog’s lack of appetite is the same as the most common reason for humans’ lack of appetite at times. In the words of Ann Hohenhaus, staff veterinarian at The Animal Medical Center in New York, “they’re ill.” With a fever, you don’t have the appetite to consume food. Laying down and having a sleep is something you’d want to do. Dogs behave in the same way. Frequently, they are sick with a virus, and after a few of days of not eating, they begin to feel better.” If, on the other hand, your dog isn’t eating and is vomiting, has diarrhea, or both, you should contact your veterinarian as soon as possible (8-12 hours).

In the meanwhile, you might attempt the following to whet their appetites while you wait:

  • Microwave your dog’s food to a warm temperature
  • Put some chicken broth, beef broth, clam juice, or tuna water on top of the cuisine to make it more appetizing Warm water should be poured over dry food to make it softer. The practice of feeding your dog dry food if they normally only consume liquid food, or vice versa
  • Hand-feeding may be an option, since sociable eaters may need attention at times. In severe circumstances, your veterinarian may recommend a medicine that may cause you to eat more.

Use the microwave to reheat your dog’s food. Put some chicken broth, beef broth, clam juice, or tuna water on the dish to make it more appetizing. Wet the meal to make it softer by pouring warm water over it The practice of feeding your dog dry food if they normally only consume liquid food, or vice versa. As social eaters are often only interested in receiving attention, try hand-feeding them; Your veterinarian may prescribe a prescription to help you eat more if your condition is severe;

2. Medications

Is your dog currently being treated with medication? It’s possible that the medication and/or regimen modification is causing them discomfort. “Medical treatment for a condition might cause you to become unable to eat,” explains Hohenhaus. “Antibiotics can cause stomachaches in some people. Some medications cause nausea and vomiting.” She goes on to say that chemotherapy and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) such as Rimadyl are potential reasons.

3. SocialEmotional Issues

A recent medication change has been administered to your dog. It’s possible that the medication and/or regimen modification is causing their stomaches to upset. In Hohenhaus’ opinion, “disease treatment might cause you to lose your appetite.” A stomachache might occur after taking antibiotics. There are several medications that make you feel sick.” Cancer treatment and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines, such as Rimadyl, are two potential causes, according to Dr. Chen.

4. Owner Absence

If it appears that your dog isn’t eating or drinking while you’re away, but is devouring their food when you return home, it’s likely that it’s not just your imagination. “Dogs are pack creatures,” says the author. When you’re not around, their pack isn’t around either. “They’re waiting for the rest of the group to arrive before eating,” Hohenhaus explains.

5. Time of Day

There are certain dogs who only eat at specified times of the day. You could notice that your dog only eats at certain times of the day, such as around midday or after the sun goes down. No matter what your dog’s mealtime preferences are, feeding him at the same time every day is standard practice. If they only eat at certain times of the day, there is really nothing to be concerned about. “I have a favored time to eat, and my dogs do as well,” Hohenhaus explains.

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6. Food Preferences

In addition, it’s possible that the recipe of your pup’s usual dog food has changed recently, resulting in a shift in feeding habits. In order to avoid this possible problem, Hohenhaus recommends that you should not always feed your dog the same sort of food. Hohenhaus warns that if you look at a package of dog food and see the words ‘new and better,’ it does not always reflect your dog’s view of the food. It signifies the producer has made some changes to the food, and your dog may not enjoy the new version.

Another possible explanation for your dog’s lack of appetite?

Check the bag for a use-by or expiration date, or simply follow your nose if you’re not sure.

A decent rule of thumb is to choose bags of dog food that are around the same size as your dog.

Purchasing a 50-pound bag of dog food for a 5-pound dog is not recommended, according to Hohenhaus, because the food will be rancid by the time you get to the bottom of the bag, he adds. The dog food might not smell pleasant, so you might want to start over from the beginning.

When To Seek Help If Your Dog Isn’t Eating

When your dog stops eating for a few days and then starting eating again, it is possible that there is nothing to be concerned about. However, if the infection does not clear up within a few days and you observe any of the symptoms listed above, it may be necessary to seek expert assistance. According to Hohenhaus, “if your dog goes two or three days without eating and nothing else is wrong with him — there isn’t any vomiting or diarrhea or coughing, and there aren’t any accidents — then I’m not very concerned.” To avoid this situation, as previously said, if your dog isn’t eating and is vomiting or has diarrhea (or both), you should contact your veterinarian within 8-12 hours.

You should also consult your veterinarian if you detect a significant change in your dog’s feeding habits.

It is a live, 24-hour service manned by veterinarians and other pet specialists that are licensed and certified by the American Kennel Club.

How to Make A Sick Dog Eat Food

If you’re feeling ill, it’s likely that you don’t have the greatest appetite. In this way, dogs and humans are nearly identical. Nausea, discomfort, and an overall sense of unwellness might cause ill dogs to turn away from the food that they normally devour in 60 seconds or less on a regular basis. However, if your dog refuses to eat for more than two days, you should consult your veterinarian since they might be suffering from a serious, life-threatening disease. Don’t be concerned if your dog refuses to eat for only a day or two.

True anorexia, in which your dog has entirely lost her appetite, and pseudo-anorexia, in which your dog is hungry but has difficulties chewing, swallowing, or picking up food, are the two types of anorexia that can affect your dog.

True anorexia is a greater reason for concern since it suggests the presence of a systemic illness, exposure to toxins, and even the development of malignancy.

You can entice a sick dog to eat while you wait for a visit from your veterinarian if your dog is refusing to eat.

Tempt your dog with treats

Sometimes the quickest and most effective method of getting your pet to eat is to offer him something that is so tasty that he cannot resist it. Consider including a little amount of peanut butter into your dog’s diet. If your dog is still refusing to eat, try licking some peanut butter off your finger to see if it would help. No? Using a tiny bit of peanut butter, dab it on his nose, which will practically compel him to swallow some as he licks the peanut butter off his nose. Blocks of cheese, boiled chicken (which is particularly kind on a pup’s stomach), little portions of cat food, lunch meats, and meat-flavored baby meals are among the other canine favorites.

Feed your dog numerous little meals throughout the day rather than one huge meal at the beginning or end of the day.

Warm up dinner with chicken broth

Warming your dog’s food is one of the most straightforward home cures for a sick dog that isn’t eating. When this happens, the meal releases more odoriferous molecules, which helps it appear more attractive to the taste buds. This may be accomplished in two ways: either by using a microwave or by utilizing broth. In the event that you feed your dog canned food, you may heat some of it in the microwave for around one minute. Make sure you don’t serve him anything that is overly hot by being cautious.

  1. Before feeding your dog, swirl any microwaved food to ensure there are no hot pockets in the meal.
  2. If you feed your dog dry kibble, you may warm it up by pouring warm chicken broth or bone broth over it before feeding it to him.
  3. It is healthy while still being gentle on a pup’s tummy.
  4. If your dog is refusing to eat, you may be concerned; nevertheless, it is critical that they do not get anxious as a result of your concern.
  5. If you try to coerce your dog into eating, he may become defiant, which will only exacerbate the situation.
  6. You must, however, get to know your pet and customize your technique to his needs, as some dogs will only eat when they are near their owner.
  7. Because your pet obtains a portion of his daily water intake through his food, it is critical to keep an eye out for indications of dehydration in anorexic dogs.

Pay attention to how well-hydrated your pet’s gums are, which should be moist and pink in healthy animals.

Skin that glides back swiftly and smoothly suggests that the dog is well-hydrated; skin that slides back slowly shows that the dog is dehydrated.

If the dog is not willing to drink on his own, try offering broth or broth-soaked meals, and let the dog to gnaw on ice cubes while you wait.

When a dog is nauseous, it will not eat.

One of the most effective home cures for a sick dog who isn’t eating is to provide him food that is soft on his digestive system.

Pumpkin, in particular, has been shown to help regulate the digestive tract of dogs, which can alleviate diarrhea and nausea. Only cooked and peeled vegetables should be used; they should not be salted or seasoned.

Visit the vet for medication

Home treatments for a sick dog that isn’t eating might be ineffective in certain cases. If your dog refuses to eat, you’ll have to take him to the veterinarian anyway. They may decide to administer your dog a short-term appetite-stimulating medicine to help him eat more. A drug like as cyproheptadine or mirtazapine, for example, might be prescribed by the Veterinary Associations of America. In addition, if your dog has a potassium shortage, your veterinarian may prescribe a potassium supplement, which can help to promote appetite.

Prior to making any dietary, pharmaceutical, or physical activity changes for your pet, consult with your veterinarian.

How to Get a Dog to Eat

Documentation Download Documentation Download Documentation Even while most dogs are capable of going for at least 2-3 days without eating and not suffering any severe health consequences, it can be annoying and worrying when your dog refuses to eat. In other circumstances, health concerns are to blame, and you should consult with your veterinarian to determine the best course of action to take. Creating a more comfortable feeding environment based on the dog’s personality may frequently alleviate discomfort when disease is not the source of the problem.

  1. 1 Provide them with a feeding setting that is appropriate for their personality. Your anxious or reserved dog may not be comfortable eating in a group with other animals or even people if you have a nervous or reserved dog. Dogs who are extremely energetic or gregarious, on the other hand, may dislike being fed in a quiet, isolated spot. So, experiment with different feeding locations to see if changing them makes your dog more anxious to eat.
  • To check if feeding your nervous dog in a quiet part of your kitchen helps them to remain calm and focused on their meal, try it out for yourself. Using a food-dispensing toy that requires them to work (or, more appropriately, play) for their meal may be a good option for a hyperactive dog.
  • 2 If you suspect that they are becoming too hot, feed them in a cooler spot. When it’s hot outside, dogs, like us, tend to have a diminished desire to consume food. Check to see if relocating your dog’s feeding location to a cooler and more comfortable location would assist to increase their willingness to eat.
  • For example, instead of feeding them near a sunny window, shift their feeding area to a cooler section of the room to keep them cooler. If you are able to boost air circulation by using a ceiling fan or opening a window, this may be even more beneficial. Provide a shaded and breezy area for your dog to consume his or her meal if he or she is eating outside.
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  • s3 Increase, decrease, or alter out their food dishes to accommodate the dog’s weight. Eating from a large dish might be painful for a short dog, while eating from a small bowl can be uncomfortable for a tall dog. Moving your dog’s food to a dish that is more appropriate for his or her size can make it much easier for him or her to actually get at their meal.
  • The majority of dogs like to eat with their heads dipped down and their bodies straight while standing. Using metal or ceramic feeding bowls if feasible would help to alleviate any discomfort if the child has to squat, lie down or crane their neck forward to eat their food. As a result, plastic bowls are prone to cracking and chipping, resulting in fragments of plastic being mixed in with the dog’s food.
  • 4 Take a walk together before dinner to get their appetites going. For hyperactive dogs, a lovely stroll may be beneficial in calming them down and allowing them to become more focused on eating. It’s possible that getting some activity may only make them feel more hungry. Walking may help elderly dogs feel less sluggish and provide them with an extra burst of energy to use for eating.
  • Although some dogs may benefit from a stroll, others may get overexcited or exhausted prior to their dinner. Taking a stroll with them after they eat may be preferable in this situation.
  • 5 Maintain the consistency of the regimen that works best for you. Numerous canines are absolutely satisfied to take the very same meal at the exact same time in the exact same location on a consistent basis. Your objective, then, should be to identify the unique meal regimen that works best for your individual dog and to adhere to it on a constant basis.
  • Dogs’ appetites are frequently affected when they are exposed to unfamiliar environments or undergo other changes in their routine, such as traveling or moving to a new house. Recognize that this will occur and make every effort to build a new or temporary routine for them
  • It’s conceivable that a dog will become bored with a certain diet or habit and will want a change in order to regain their appetite
  • In that case, you should experiment with different foods and routines. In most cases, though, once you’ve discovered the “Goldilocks” (just-right) meal regimen for your dog, they’ll want to continue with it indefinitely.
  1. 1 After 1-2 days of not eating, consult a veterinarian for a diagnosis. Some dogs may go through episodes when they don’t eat much or anything at all for 2-3 days at a time, and this is usually not a cause for concern in terms of health. It is, nevertheless, a good idea to contact your veterinarian if your dog has gone a full day without eating and ask if they recommend that you bring him in for a visit. This is especially true if your dog exhibits any possible indicators of disease, such as lethargy, weakness, pain, vomiting, diarrhea, or other symptoms of illness.
  • Always take your dog to the veterinarian if he or she goes more than three days without eating, even if there are no indications of disease. Canine anorexia, often known as loss of appetite in dogs, can be caused by a variety of disorders, including cancer, infections, liver or kidney disease, dental difficulties, and other conditions. Make an effort to gather as many clues as you can about what could be wrong. Observe the dog outside in the yard to see whether or not they are experiencing stomach problems. Keep an eye out for indicators of dehydration, such as increased thirst, fatigue, coughing, or sneezing. Giving the veterinarian the complete picture in this manner will aid them in making a diagnosis
  • 2 If a prescription diet is advised, feed them that diet. If your veterinarian determines that your dog is suffering from a specific ailment that is causing him to lose his appetite, he or she may prescribe a special prescription diet for him or her. This diet will assist you in ensuring that your dog receives the required nutrients, even if they aren’t eating as much as you would want.
  • In most cases, a prescription diet will consist of a specially prepared dog food that you may obtain either directly from your veterinarian or from a pet supply store. To persuade your dog to consume the prescription dog food, your veterinarian may recommend that you combine some of the prescription dog food with the dog’s usual diet. Inform your veterinarian if your dog refuses to consume the prescription diet.
  • 3 Inquire as to whether or not appetite-stimulating drugs should be taken. In rare situations, it may be necessary to administer medicine to your dog in order to increase their appetite. Your veterinarian will make this assessment based on the severity of the illness, the general health of the patient, and other criteria.
  • If feasible, ask the veterinarian to show the drug administration method so that you are confident in your knowledge of the procedure. It can be administered orally by a syringe or in tablet form. Also, make sure you are aware of any potential adverse effects and if you should call your veterinarian if you see any of them.
  • 4 If syringe feeding or a feeding tube are required, use them. If your dog is completely unwilling to eat on his or her own, you may have to resort to administering liquids or liquefied meals using an oral syringe to keep them satisfied. Consult with your veterinarian to identify the optimum diet to provide by syringe, and ask them to demonstrate how to properly administer this food to your dog.
  • Most dogs will not be enthusiastic about eating in this manner, so you will need to offer them a lot of sympathy and encouragement, as well as heaps of praise, both during and after feedings. As a final option, it may be necessary to attach your dog to a feeding tube in order for him to get nourishment. A situation like this will almost always take place at an animal hospital or comparable institution, though.
  1. 1 Check to see that their food hasn’t gone bad if they are refusing to eat it. If your dog suddenly stops eating a meal that he or she usually devours, take a whiff of it and check the expiration date on the packaging. It is possible that dry foods will begin to grow rancid. It takes around 3 days in the refrigerator for wet foods to go bad (after they have been opened)
  • If you take a good scent of their dog food while it’s new, you can get a sense of what it should smell like, and you can use that as a benchmark to determine when it’s gone bad.
  • 2 Add around 10% of table food or cat food to their normal diet to give them a little something extra. It may be beneficial to “spice up” your dog’s daily routine without really altering the food he eats on sometimes. Try including a little amount of cooked egg, boneless chicken, or other table food that they enjoy into their normal diet. Alternatively, try mixing in some cat food—some dogs seem to enjoy it.
  • Blend in the additional food well so that they can’t merely pick out the extras and ignore the rest of their meal. The additional food should not account for more than roughly 10% of the overall meal intake. If you are successful in encouraging your dog to eat, you can continue to do so on a daily basis. Table dishes containing bones (which can cause choking) or other indigestible components should never be given to dogs
  • 3 Alternate foods for 1-2 weeks to see whether they would eat a different brand or type of food. Do not move your dog’s food from one brand or type to another in a single day if you have made the decision to switch brands or types. As an alternative, gradually incorporate the new diet into the old one over the course of several days to assist with the transition. A dog’s habit will not be disrupted in this manner, and any gastrointestinal problems that may arise as a result of a change in food will be avoided.
  • For example, on Day 1, you may feed them 90 percent old food and 10 percent new food, and over the next nine days, you might keep increasing 10 percent to the new food quantity (while decreasing the old food amount by the same percentage)
  • If your dog exhibits signs of vomiting or diarrhea during the changeover, see your veterinarian for guidance.
  • 4 For elderly dogs, senior-specific diets should be used. Older dogs are more prone to losing their appetites, therefore they may require additional encouragement, such as lots of praise and pre-meal walks, to maintain their appetites. Often, though, it is the loss of their sense of smell that causes individuals to be less enthusiastic about eating meals that are now bland. Generally speaking, foods designed for senior dogs have greater fragrance and flavor characteristics in order to compensate for a diminished sense of smell.
  • Dog feeds formulated for senior dogs have nutritional profiles that are more adapted to the nutritional needs of older canines. Consult your veterinarian for advice on the best dog food for your senior dog.
  1. 1 Provide only one meal option for the dog in order to make the selection process easier. If you find yourself becoming annoyed because you have to put out different varieties of dog food each time in the hopes that your canine companion would choose one to eat, you could benefit from taking a more straightforward approach to feeding your dog. Invest in a single can of high-quality, nutritious dog food that is age- and breed-appropriate, and place the prescribed quantity in the dog bowl at mealtime. There should be no alternatives, nor should it appear that alternatives are even feasible.
  • At first, your dog may be resistant to this new method, and he or she may even refuse to eat altogether. But persevere
  • This “tough love” method may work better on some dogs than others, and it may not be appropriate for all dog owners. Consult with your veterinarian to determine whether this appears to be an appropriate option for your particular scenario.
  • 2 Get out of the room while the dog is eating. If you remain in the room, the dog will pick up on your concern about their hunger. Instead, take a 10-minute break from the room. Ignore the dog if he hasn’t eaten when you get back in the house, but compliment him if he has.
  • 3 Take the food out of the oven after 30 minutes at each mealtime. Remove the food dish from the table after half an hour, regardless of whether they consume two-thirds of the meal or simply two bites of it. Please do not provide any additional food or snacks. Teaching your dog that dinner is 30 minutes long and that the food in their bowl is their only option can help them to understand mealtime.
  • 30 minutes is an excellent beginning point, but depending on your dog’s feeding habits, you might want to utilize 20-minute or 40-minute time limitations. The most important thing is to keep the schedule constant every day. After a few days, the majority of dogs will get the message and will eat their full within 30 minutes of being fed. During the first week or two, if they consistently consume two-thirds of the food, you can lower the amount of food you give them to that level as well. Providing they maintain a healthy weight, that is most likely the appropriate amount of food for them.
  • 4 Reduce the amount of table leftovers and sweets consumed between meals. Dedicate a specific period of time each day for eating, and a different portion of the day for other activities, such as playing or exercising or resting, among others. Only use snacks sparingly, and only as instant incentives for specific positive behavior or for teaching
  • Treats should not be shared with others.
  • This will further motivate the dog to eat their food at mealtime in a timely manner
  • If this “tough love” approach isn’t working for you, or if your dog is losing too much weight or seems less healthy overall, get in touch with your vet for guidance
  • Keep in mind that treats are more filling for small dogs
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  • You should always have your dog checked out by a veterinarian in case there is an underlying health issue at play
  • Otherwise, your dog will become dehydrated and die.


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For pet parents, seeing their dog’s appetite decrease (hyporexia) or disappear completely (anoxemia) can be distressing. It might also signal the presence of an underlying medical ailment. A person who has been suffering from anorexia for more than 24 hours should not be dismissed since it is typically a sign that something else is going on. Here’s some insight into why your dog isn’t eating, as well as a questionnaire that will assist you in getting to the bottom of the problem and some suggestions for what you can do to help your dog.

Reasons Why Dogs Won’t Eat

There might be a variety of reasons why a dog refuses to eat, but the most common are divided into three categories:


The list of probable medical reasons for canine anorexia or hyporexia is extensive, and it includes everything that might induce discomfort, nausea, lethargy, or stress, among other symptoms:

  • Oral pain
  • Dental disease
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Intestinal parasites
  • Pancreatitis
  • Stomach upset (eating table scraps or something else they shouldn’t have
  • Rapid change in diet or snacks)
  • Oral discomfort Infection, fever, cancer, liver disease, kidney disease, inflammatory bowel disease, congestive heart failure, lung disease, and other diseases are all possibilities.

The medical conditions listed above are only a few instances of what might cause a dog to lose his or her appetite; there are several other possibilities.


Anxiety, worry, and anxiety may all lead to decreased appetite in certain dogs, just as they might in people, according to research. Keep in mind that what you consider stressful may be quite different from what your dog considers stressful, and even seemingly insignificant events can induce anxiety and lead them to refuse to eat. Changes in a dog’s habit or surroundings, such as the introduction of new people or pets into the home, travel, or loud sounds such as construction, thunderstorms, or fireworks, can cause anxiety.

It is also possible for a dog to avoid his or her food dish due to intimidation from another creature in the family.

In order to reduce any resource guarding or intimidation, it is advised that dogs be separated during feedings.

Generally speaking, if the problem is caused by stress or worry, dogs will resume eating within a day or two, once they have been acclimated to the new situation. If your dog experiences stress and anxiety on a regular basis, you may need to consider behavioral modification or medical therapy.

Issues With the Food

It’s possible that the problem is with the meal itself; it might be old, expired, stale, or otherwise ruined. While some dogs, such as happy-go-lucky Labrador Retrievers, will eat everything and everything that comes their way, others, such as Yorkshire Terriers, may be a bit more picky when it comes to what they eat. If a dog has been eating the same food for a long time and has always eaten well, check the expiration date on the bag or can and make sure the food is stored in an airtight container before changing foods.

  1. Cans of open canned food can be covered with plastic wrap or a lid designed specifically for dog food cans and stored in the refrigerator for up to two to three days at room temperature.
  2. While some dogs may be fussy eaters, a healthy, hungry dog should not be discouraged from eating a certain meal merely because they have been eating it for a period of time.
  3. Dogs are intelligent creatures that soon understand that if they don’t eat their kibble immediately away, they may be rewarded with some yummy goodies in their place.
  4. Switching foods abruptly frequently results in stomach trouble (including decreased appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea), making it a very unproductive practice.

Why Won’t My Dog Eat? Questionnaire

If your dog is losing his appetite, fill out this questionnaire to help you figure out what could be going on.

Will Your Dog Drink Water?

Your dog may be refusing to eat but will drink water if he or she is suffering from nausea, stress, or mouth discomfort. If they are able to keep the water levels down, this is a positive indicator. But if they vomit after drinking water, they should be sent to the veterinarian straight away since this might suggest acute nausea or a blockage in the digestive tract. It is recommended that they be inspected by their veterinarian if they go more than 24 hours without eating, even if they are still drinking, to establish the underlying reason of their inappetence.

They will be checked and treated for possible dehydration, as well as investigated to determine the underlying reason of their refusal to eat or drink.

It can also be caused by intestinal parasites, liver disease, cancer, infection, intestinal blockage, and many other conditions. Dogs, like people, cannot survive without water for more than a few days at a time, thus this situation should be taken seriously.

Does Your Dog Eat Treats But Not Food?

The fact that your dog is avoiding supper but accepting treats or table scraps suggests that he or she is filling up on “junk food” rather than their own dog food. A medical issue, on the other hand, might be to blame for your dog’s decreased appetite if they are exhibiting other signs of being unwell as well. Suppose your dog seems happy and lively, drinking water and playing with no vomiting or diarrhea. It is possible that they are just consuming too many calories in treats every day and are thus not hungry for their dinner.

However, if your dog appears sluggish, has any vomiting or diarrhea, begins to eat for a short period of time before stopping, or is drooling or licking their lips, they may not be feeling well.

Consider a time when you had an upset stomach but managed to get through it long enough to indulge in your favorite delicacy while skipping the salad bar.

Is Your Dog Not Eating Dry Food?

When it comes to dry food, does your dog turn up their nose at it only to gobble up canned food the moment you put it down? When pet parents complain about their pets, there are many various reasons why they could be complaining. It’s possible that your dog is experiencing dental or oral discomfort. It is common for pet parents to feel that if their pet is eating, it must not be experiencing oral pain, but this is not always the case. It is necessary for them to eat, which means that many dogs suffer in silence with oral discomfort for months or years until a dental operation is performed to remove any decaying or diseased teeth.

If your dog is no longer interested in eating dry food but is willing to consume canned food, he or she should be examined by a veterinarian for an oral examination.

Some dogs just refuse to eat kibble in favor of canned food, and this is understandable.

Consult with your veterinarian to determine whether or not feeding your dog an entirely canned food is the best option for them.

Is Your Dog a Senior?

As a result, while elderly dogs may have fewer caloric requirements than younger dogs and may eat less than they used to, significant weight loss or an unwillingness to eat is not normal and may suggest serious underlying health problems. These can include, but are not limited to, the following items:

  • Stomach discomfort (from eating something they shouldn’t have or from an abrupt change in diet)
  • Cancer
  • Dental disease
  • Pancreatitis
  • Liver illness
  • Kidney disease

If a dog is unable to locate or reach his or her food dish due to cognitive decline, movement challenges, or visual loss, he or she will not eat. The importance of having a feeding routine for senior dogs, keeping the food bowl in the same area of the house so that they know where to find it, and providing them with a rug or yoga mat to stand on while eating are all important considerations. Senior dogs are more likely to slip or have difficulty standing on hard floors. Veterinary care should be sought if your senior dog has gone more than 24 hours without eating.

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Is Your Dog a Puppy?

Young, healthy puppies should not be allowed to go more than a few hours without food. Particularly vulnerable to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), small breed puppies should be continuously monitored for indications of lethargy or collapse if they are not feeding regularly. Though this occurs, they should be handled as if they were in an emergency situation. Some pups may not enjoy bigger kibble since it can be difficult for their puppy teeth to chew it, especially if they are just beginning to eat solid food for the first time.

If your puppy continues to refuse to eat, you should take him or her to the veterinarian as soon as possible.

Did You Just Adopt Your Dog Recently?

It might take many days or weeks for a newly acquired dog to become comfortable in their new environment. Anxiety is a typical cause of temporary inappetence, and it’s not uncommon for a new member of the family to refuse meals for the first few days after arriving at the house. It is critical to provide them with a peaceful spot to dine where they will not be disturbed by other pets or youngsters who may interfere with their meal. As long as they are otherwise lively and are not experiencing vomiting or diarrhea, it is OK to let them a day or two to become used to their new environment before becoming concerned about their lack of appetite.

Did Anything Change in Your Household?

Some dogs may be sensitive to the point where a change in their surroundings might lead them to become unappetizing. For example, a new member of the family (whether a new pet or a new baby), construction, having guests over, or simply a change in the position of the food and water bowls are all examples of situations that may occur.

Despite the fact that noise phobias are not limited to your household, things like thunderstorms and fireworks might generate enough fear to prevent your dog from eating properly.

Could Your Dog Have Separation Anxiety?

Many dogs suffering from separation anxiety may refuse to eat when their pet parent is not there. In certain cases, dogs suffering from separation anxiety even anticipate their human companion to be there in the room while they eat, and they will stop eating if their human leaves the room. While this is not always an indication of a health problem, it is a clue that your dog may be suffering from acute anxiety, which should be treated. Calming chews, such as Composure or Solliquin, may be effective, and calming pheromone collars or diffusers, such as Adaptil, may also be helpful.

Did You Switch Dog Foods?

When you switch from one dog food to another too rapidly, your dog’s stomach may become upset, which may result in him not wanting to eat. Transitioning meals gradually over a period of 7-10 days is critical in order to minimize gastrointestinal discomfort. This also helps your dog to become used to the new food over time, rather than having to adjust to it all at once.

Is Your Dog Pregnant or in Heat?

During the first trimester of pregnancy, your dog’s appetite may be diminished or nonexistent. In the middle or late stages of pregnancy, your dog may eat less since her stomach has less area to grow as a result of the puppies’ presence, but she should make up for this by eating a lesser quantity more often. Regardless matter what stage of pregnancy your dog is in, if she has not eaten for more than 24 hours, she should be sent to the veterinarian straight soon to make sure everything is okay.

However, if she spends more than 48 hours without eating, she should be sent to the veterinarian for evaluation.

She should be examined by her veterinarian immediately if she exhibits any of these symptoms, which could suggest an infection of the uterus.

Is Your Dog Diabetic?

If your dog has diabetes and is refusing to eat, this might be a sign that something is terribly wrong with him. Inquire with your veterinarian about what you should do if your dog is refusing to eat at the time of your dog’s diagnosis. Generally speaking, dogs should not be administered insulin if they are not eating, since this might result in dangerously low blood sugar levels in the dog. You should follow your veterinarian’s advice to provide a half dosage of insulin if your dog misses one meal, but you should contact him or her right away if your dog misses any more meals.

If your diabetic dog skips a meal, is sluggish, nonresponsive, vomiting, or has diarrhea, they should be sent to the veterinarian immediately.

Did Your Dog Just Have Surgery?

Following surgery, it is not uncommon for your dog to forgo a meal or two in order to recover. The drugs used during sedation and anesthesia frequently produce nausea and a decreased appetite, and the medications that they may take home with them, such as pain relievers and antibiotics, can also cause a decrease in appetite and appetite suppression. You might try putting a scoop of canned food or boneless, skinless boiling chicken on top of your dog’s kibble to entice him to eat. Better still, ask your veterinarian for a few cans of a prescription gastrointestinal diet to use as a substitute for regular food during the first couple of days following surgery.

If your dog has undergone oral or face surgery, your veterinarian may recommend that you give him only canned food for two to three weeks after the procedure is completed.

If your dog is refusing to eat the canned food that has been prescribed for him, contact your veterinarian immediately in case there are any post-operative issues.

What to Do When Your Dog Won’t Eat

As soon as your dog shows signs of illness such as lethargy, vomiting, or diarrhea, you should take him to the veterinarian immediately away. You may also attempt the following methods to urge your dog to eat if none of the above methods work.

  • Adding water or low-sodium chicken broth to the dog food and allowing it to soak for a few minutes may soften it. Microwave canned food for a few seconds at a time to reheat it (make sure to take it out of the metal can and put it into a microwave-safe bowl). Canned food may get quite hot very quickly, so feel the food before eating it to avoid getting your tongue burned. To encourage them to eat more, try combining some basic, boneless, skinless cooked chicken and rice with their kibble. On top of the food, sprinkle a probiotic supplement such as Purina Fortiflora or Advita. Not only may this improve the taste of the meal, but it can also aid in the healing of any inflamed or irritated intestines by re-establishing a healthy gastrointestinal flora in the body.

Attempting these methods and your dog still refuses to eat should result in him being examined by a veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical concerns. Your dog should not be given any over-the-counter gastrointestinal drugs like Imodium orPepto Bismol unless specifically recommended by your veterinarian. These treatments may have significant adverse effects or even interfere with medications that your veterinarian may wish to provide. The recommended course of action is to check with your veterinarian before attempting to treat symptoms at home.

Lake Mills Veterinary Clinic – Veterinarian in Lake Mills, WI US : Encouraging a sick pet to eat

How to get a sick pet to eat by bribing him with food Was it ever brought to your attention that cats and dogs might get life-threatening diseases if they go without food for a day or two? Healthier dogs that miss more than a few of meals may be at risk of developing liver and renal issues, as well as other major health concerns – particularly in cats! Patients who are sick are at considerably greater danger, especially if the pet is on medicine that must be administered with food. If your pet suddenly stops eating or drastically lowers the amount of food he or she is consuming, call your veterinarian right away for help.

  1. Dogs and cats use their sense of smell to decide whether or not food is appealing.
  2. Cats and dogs suffering from head colds, just like people, have difficulty smelling and tasting their food, which is especially true in the case of respiratory infections in pets.
  3. A moist, warm, soft towel should be used to wipe his face if he is experiencing a lot of discharge from his nose and/or eyes.
  4. Increase the odour quotient.
  1. Microwave moist food for 10-30 seconds to bring it up to temperature (check the temperature before offering it to your pet). Add a teaspoon or two of warm water at a time until the consistency and temperature are smoothed out
  2. Make your dog or cat’s food more palatable by including a couple of spoonfuls of tuna, salmon, mackerel, anchovies, or similar fish product. It is best not to provide too much canned fish since the salt and other preservatives might be damaging to the child. A modest quantity to persuade a sick pet to eat is normally OK
  3. However, excessive amounts are not. Warm baby food, especially meat tastes such as turkey or beef, before serving. Purchase tiny jars to ensure that the food does not become moldy before it is consumed. In addition, fruit scents such as apple or peach may appeal to dogs. Pets can either test the food in your hand or a tiny quantity of it smeared on their lips and into their mouths. It is possible that she will begin eating from the dish once she realizes that it is in fact food.

Please consult with your veterinarian if your pet is on a special or restricted diet before introducing any of the items mentioned above to their diet. Do you know how to force-feed if the situation calls for it? Occasionally, after being force-fed a tiny amount of wet food, pets will begin to eat on their own. Consult with your veterinarian to determine whether force-feeding is appropriate in your situation, as well as how to properly force-feed your pet. Incorrect force-feeding can cause pets to choke or aspirate food into their lungs, resulting in death.

Antibiotics and other medications have the potential to upset the stomach.

Provide food 10-15 minutes before administering the medication to ensure that your pet’s stomach is coated before the medication is administered.

Is it just a matter of soothing her? Some sick pets will only eat if someone is present and/or caressing them; otherwise, they will refuse to eat. If your pet appears to be in need of comfort and attention, try snuggling or holding him for a few minutes.

Encouraging Your Dog to Eat When Sick

Being forced to see your dog suffer from an illness or sickness, or even knowing that they are not feeling well, is difficult. When your dog is sick, he or she may experience a loss of appetite. However, not eating for more than a day or two might result in the development of additional ailments that can be life-threatening. When your dog is unwell, there are several strategies you may use to urge him or her to consume food, even in tiny amounts, to ensure that their body receives the nourishment and calories it needs to aid in the healing process.

How can I encourage my sick dog to eat?

You may customize your pup’s usual dog food by including flavors and fragrances that he or she will recognize as delicious and intriguing. If your dog appears to be interested in his kibble, try adding some chicken or beef broth to it to enhance the flavor and fragrance. If your dog is sick, on the other hand, it is unlikely that they will be interested in their normal meal. Make canned wet food the first option for your dog to try instead of the usual dry foods. You may make this meal more appetizing to your dog by heating it and adding additional water to boost his level of hydration, as described above.

Offer your dog variety

For dogs who aren’t interested in canned food, consider boiling chicken with broth as an alternative. While your dog is not feeling well, hand feeding them tiny bits of boiling chicken may assist to increase their hunger as well as offer them with the comfort they want while they are sick. Soft fruits and vegetables, as well as bland foods such as rice cooked in broth, may be appealing to your dog. Just be cautious not to overfeed them if they are not accustomed to eating human food. In order to keep your dog’s food choices healthy, provide table items and engage them in your meals to keep them interested.

It is possible that offering your dog a little taste of fish or meat or chicken from your kitchen, together with some fruits or vegetables, can peak their attention more than conventional dog food.

Refusal to eat might be an indication of a more serious medical problem.

Try baby food

While in the hospital, veterinarians may use baby food to entice a canine patient to consume a tiny meal to keep them from becoming dehydrated. This moderate and nutritious meal is readily digested by dogs and is well-liked by them. Give your ill dog a tiny piece of anything to eat to help increase his or her appetite. Chicken, beef, sweet potato, banana, and carrot are some of the flavors to explore. However, while it is not a good idea to overfeed your dog’s baby food, using it as a means of motivating them to eat is OK.

Sometimes all you need is a little taste. To get your dog interested in eating again, mix a spoonful of baby food into his kibble or top a meal of canned dog food with a dollop of baby food.

Consult the veterinarian

It is possible to offer liquids and calories to your dog by giving him broth, wet food with extra water, or even ice chips to lick or chew on (be sure the ice chips are the suitable size for your dog’s breed to avoid choking). If your dog has stopped eating completely and you have been unable to entice them into tasting anything, contact your veterinarian immediately for assistance. If your dog stops drinking water and does not urinate for more than 12 hours, it is vital that you take him to the vet.

Make every effort to urge your dog to eat, but never allow him to go for an extended period of time without eating.

If you are experiencing a loss of appetite, it might be a sign of a serious medical issue.

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