Most dogs will eat anything and everything which is probably why the term “chow hound” was created in the first place. But from time to time, you may notice him not eating like he normally would. This change in habit can be concerning, especially if he has been eating the same diet with enthusiasm. If you see that he walks up to the food, sniffs and retreats, it’s important to investigate the reason, which could lead to an underlying health issue. Ultimately, you’ll want to make sure your dog is getting the nutrition he needs to stay healthy.
Possible Health Reasons
If your dog is in general good health and suddenly develops a loss of appetite, this needs your immediate attention. If he has lost weight recently or is also having diarrhea or vomiting, these are signs to take your pooch to the vet as soon as possible.
Your vet will check your dog’s mouth to see if there are problems with his teeth or other oral issues present such as sores, growths, infected teeth, gum disease or other things causing your dog discomfort when chewing. If oral issues are the problem, they can be treated and your dog’s appetite should return to normal.
If your dog’s stomach is upset, causing your dog to have diarrhea or vomiting, your vet may recommend a bland diet recipe to soothe his digestive tract for a few days until healthy digestion is restored. Your vet will give you guidance as to when you should return your dog to his regular diet.
Dogs that are recovering from surgery and dogs that are experiencing a high level of stress or doggie anxiety may also have a loss of appetite. Your vet may also recommend a bland diet food for your dog until his is further along in his recovery or in a more relaxed state.
Other General Reasons
If health problems are not an issue, you will want to try feeding your dog the same food but from a different production lot to make sure you are not dealing with a spoiled batch or out of date food. It’s also important to not switch your dog’s diet suddenly or too often, which can lead to digestive upset. If you do want to try a new brand or new flavor to stimulate his appetite, be sure to wean him over to the new food gradually.
Whether you have a new puppy trying to adjust to new surroundings, an adult dog with any of the above issues or a senior dog with a waning appetite, it’s important to get your dog the proper nutritional balance for him to maintain good health.
Tips for Proper Nutrition
It can be easy to start increasing the number of treats or table scraps you give to your dog if they are not eating. After all, something’s better than nothing, right? Wrong. This will just encourage your dog to hold out for the “good stuff” and discourage them from eating nutritious food and may also lead to weight gain.
Stick to your regular feeding schedule and wait. If your dog won’t eat the food, try it again the next day. It won’t hurt for a day or two to go by without him eating, as long as he’s in good general health and not a puppy or a diabetic pup.
If he still won’t respond to his food, you can try mixing in a small amount of canned dog food to provide a boost of flavor. Warming the soft food in the microwave for a few seconds and diluting it with a low-sodium broth can also provide the extra aroma needed to jump start his appetite.
Another option would be to supplement his feeding with a high-calorie nutritional supplement, usually found in a gel tube. Under the Weather® just introduced their Ready Cal product which can be fed orally to dogs and cats. This gel is loaded with 9 vitamins, 7 minerals and essential fatty acids to ensure they get the calories and nutrients they require. The highly palatable natural fish flavor from salmon oil makes it easy to feed the gel directly into the pet’s mouth, or you can mix it in with your pet’s food. The dial-a-dose tube makes it easy to feed just the right amount and go over the recommended amount.
This blog is brought to you by Under the Weather®, producer of a wide range of products to support optimal health for pets, including our award-winning bland diet foods and a family of functional supplements for dogs and cats. Check out our new line of products!
Under the Weather is also an avid participant in the pet overpopulation cause. A portion of every sale is channeled to the Ruffy Rescue Transport Fund which finances the transportation of pets from overpopulated kill shelters around the U.S.A. to Vermont for adoption. The fund also covers the cost of spaying and neutering these animals. Get to know more about Ruffy and the inspiration for our company.
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