Why does my dog refuse to eat? – Preventing Appetite Loss

by: Two Dog Zoo

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Once a caring parent, always a concerned parent, says a worried pet owner like you is upset from a dog’s appetite loss. Yes! Whether you are old parents or you just adopted a furry friend, you will be concerned even if you notice slight changes in the dog’s routine. There could be numerous reasons why your dog stopped eating or accepting the food he once used to love.

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The main role you can play here is diagnosing the cause and treating it as soon as you notice it to avoid any further inconvenience or health effects on your pup.

You are obviously on this page because you have noticed already that your pup is not Eating Enough. Not According to the details of the food packaging or a total refusal of any kind of food.

Firstly, knowing what this Condition is and how you can diagnose the actual cause out of so many.


Loss of Appetite in dogs is called anorexia. It’s of two types:

  • Pseudo Anorexia: It is the Condition when dogs want to eat but cannot. Even if he tries to have it, either he vomits or plays instead of eating. True Anorexia: It’s a genuine refusal of food and can indicate a serious underlying cause of the disease.

There are certain different causes of these two conditions, and they can lead to serious health effects if untreated for long enough.


  • Firstly, you should know that you can only notice the pup’s eating habits and not the underlying cause, as it can only be done by a legally qualified and professionally competent Vet. 
  • Only the vet will identify using different methods to recognize the actual cause of appetite loss.


Environmental Changes:

Environmental changes can be the first reason for the loss of your pup’s Appetite. Our furry friends are way more sensitive than we think, and small changes like changing the place of their whelping box or crates or the business where they eat can make them a bit upset or grumpy. They often react so that they leave eating for some time and stay in a single place for some time.

There is no need to go to a vet if you experience this for two days. If it exceeds two days, there might be any different and un-noticed condition deteriorating their Appetite.   You can try placing their boxes at previous places or make them used to new by giving additional treats with the food in a new area.

Psychological Reasons:

Just like humans, they get emotional as well and can be stressed. Stress comes with the loss of appetite and sleep. The Causes of stress can be

  • Change of place
  • Change in their eating habit
  • They are missing their partner
  • They are missing their parent
  • Change of parents as well.
  • If they are not getting enough playtime.
  • They are not getting enough physical or mental stimulation

There is nothing to be worried about here if it’s not for the long term. Instead, try to change their eating and sleeping habits by changing times. Taking the to walk and tiring them enough so they can eat and sleep well is the best way to overcome this situation.

Take your furry friend to the vet if the stress seems consistent for a week or two, and nothing, not even treats, and walks, is working.

Adverse Reaction to Medication:

If your pup is taking any course of medication due to illness, there could be a possibility of them not eating enough. Medicine has certain side effects that can alter their habits, including sleeping, eating, activeness, and related activities.

It’s better to talk about the side effects and adverse reactions of the medication before starting any medication to understand the side effects better and deal with them.

Your pup is ill:

Medications come after the diagnosis. Loss of Appetite can indicate underlying diseases like cancer, kidney and liver problems.

You can get a hint of these diseases by noticing the frequency of your pup not eating enough if it’s just for a couple of days. If this habit is getting more frequent, you need to book an appointment as soon as possible.

The best way to diagnose early and prevent further issues is to keep a good eye on your pup’s activities and routine.

Dental Problems:

Dental issues can lead to total refusal of food. Bleeding or Infection in gums or new teeth in younger dogs can be part of dental problems for pups, and it can change their mood to deterioration of Appetite. You can check the insides of your pup’s mouth when you notice the change in eating habits to make sure it’s not any dental issue. If you see any inflammation or pain on touching, it’s the right time to visit your vet as soon as possible.

Your pup is not Eating but Drinking:

If your dog is refusing food totally and is only focusing on drinking water more, it can be a clear indication of diabetes, liver disease, or Infection. This Condition is called “Polydipsia,” where your pup will only be focusing on drinking water.

Whenever you notice these symptoms in your pup, it’s better to book an appointment with your vet at your earliest Leisure because these conditions, if left untreated, increase with time to affect your pup’s overall health.

Traveling can cause Loss of Appetite:

Traveling with your pup can be an exciting and beautiful journey for you and your dog as well, but sometimes, it can also affect the mood of your grumpy pet and cause nausea, vomiting, or even them stopping eating anything. You can say it’s “homesickness” that’s causing it, and there is nothing that you should be worried about.

They will be Okay soon and will enjoy themselves with you.

Changing the Eating Routine of your Dog:

Sometimes we are the cause of them being picky about our food. When in our lovey-dovey mood, we often give them treats when it’s not their time for eating anything. Due to this behavior, their small stomach gets full, and they can’t eat food when it’s time to eat.

It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t give them treats, but it’s more about:

  • Giving them a specific amount of treat.
  • Avoiding any treat right before dinner or lunchtime.
  • They give the treats before going for a walk because they will get digested. They will get hungry again after playing and won’t be picky at the right time.


 They say that “PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE,” and they say it right. We can prevent this Condition to some extent by doing some preventive measures:

  • Taking care of the routine and keeping an eye on their eating habits can help you big time.
  • Feeding your pet regularly on time and not giving them treats at the wrong time can prevent this loss.
  • Adding a bit of warm water to their food before giving them can increase their interest in that food if they are being picky.
  • Trying different kinds of food can also help you get rid of the situation because if your pup is picky, changing food can make their interest in new nice smelling food. 

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