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Why is my dog not eating?

Your dog won’t eat or is eating poorly and you are worried. When your dog is not eating it could be really concerning, especially if they usually watch the food on your plate like a hawk. To provide you with some possible answers to the question “Why is my dog not eating” we have listed a few possible reasons why your dog won’t eat. We have also included guidance on when you should visit your vet if your dog is not eating.

My dog is not eating, should I intervene?

A healthy dog can normally go without food for about two days. So if your dog won’t eat you don't have to worry right away. There are many reasons why a dog is not eating and usually their appetite will return to normal without any intervention from your side.

Has your dog not eaten for longer than two days? There are a number of possibilities you could consider to find an answer to your question “Why is my dog not eating?” The most common reasons are discussed below.

Your dog is not eating well because of dental problems

Just like in humans, your dog could lose their appetite because of dental problems. When dogs feel pain and discomfort they often lose interest in their food. Your dog won't eat because the pain is worse than their hunger.

You can easily check your dog's teeth without being concerned about hurting them. Hold your dog's head with one hand and use the other hand to expose their teeth. If you spot any rotten or broken teeth, swollen gums, or other injuries make an appointment with your vet right away.

Your dog won’t eat because of stress

You may find it strange, but dogs could also suffer from stress. This usually happens when there has been a major change. For example, when you are at home more or less often than usual or if your partner has been away for a while. Dogs are also known to lose their appetite when their owner goes away on holiday and they are left in someone else’s care.

Even something as small as an interior change in the home could be the cause of your dog not eating. Give your dog a day or two to get used to the new circumstances and their appetite is bound to return to normal.

Your dog is not eating due to pain

Once you've checked your dog's teeth and haven’t found a problem there, one can't necessarily rule out pain as the reason for their loss of appetite. He might be suffering from other aches and pains. For example, he might have a sore stomach or be suffering from some other illness.

If you can’t put your finger on any particular health issue, you can watch whether your dog starts eating again within two days. However, if you do notice any signs of a possible health problem visit your vet right away.

Your dog won't eat because they are full

Even the most observant owner is often not aware of what their dog has eaten throughout the day. Your dog could have found something to eat while you were out walking or received some extra treats from a passer-by. Your child may even have secretly shared their lunch with your dog or the pup might have licked left-overs from an unattended plate. A dog that has already eaten too much will usually not want to eat any more.

Your dog is not eating because you are feeding too much

New dog owners, in particular, often make the mistake of feeding their dogs too much and then the dog won’t eat any more food. Many dogs will carry on eating as long as there is food in the bowl. Particularly when they are fast eaters they don’t realise when they’ve had enough. The dog might empty their bowl in the morning but then eat poorly in the evening.

You can avoid feeding your dog too much by calculating how much food your dog needs per day and then portioning it accordingly. Yarrah’s food packaging states the size of dog the food is suitable for and provides guidelines on how much to feed according to the dog’s weight. In particular, avoid feeding medium-sized dogs too much. Also make sure that the size of kibble isn’t too big for them to chew comfortably.

Your dog is not eating their food because they are spoiled

Dog owners are increasingly paying more attention to providing their dogs with the best possible nutrition. While we at Yarrah can’t complain about this, your dog could become spoiled. For example, if you usually feed your dog wet food in the evening but now only have kibble available it could happen that your dog pulls up their nose and won’t eat.

So always make sure that you have enough food on hand. Yarrah dry food is available in 10 Kg bags and you can also buy wet food in a multi pack. Stock up on enough food to avoid running out.

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