Let’s be honest: if a dog loses his appetite, we all can agree on something, and that is the fact that there must be something wrong happening. Dogs are natural eaters. Even when they are not that hungry, as long as there’s food nearby which they enjoy or can eat, they will eat it. There are two reasons for this: they do it because their instincts tell them to eat whenever it is possible, and they love doing it as well.
I mean, they are not like us who have a solid idea of when we are going to eat something. Although they can get accustomed to the idea of a schedule, they are not 100% sure that they are always going to find sustenance. That’s why they usually live under the idea that eating whenever is possible will grant them a higher chance of survival. Of course, the fact that they enjoy eating is also there.
Let’s Talk About the Possible Reasons
There are a lot of reasons why a dog may not be eating. Some of them can be mental, physical, and a consequence of external influences, such as the environment they are in, and how much attention is being delivered towards them compared to how much attention they need.
Believe it or not, dogs are very emotional creatures that require a certain level of attention to be healthy. They also need exercise, company, playing times, among other things. The main info we have about it has given us many hints on how to properly determine what might be the problem.
Most of the time, though, a dog might stop eating because of loneliness or sadness. There are many occasions where a dog is too sad to just eat. They enter a state of depression where they lose their appetite and may require special attention, or even time, to heal.
For example, when a dog loses a regular presence in their lives, such as a person or animal that was regularly in their company, they will experience a similar emotional pain we humans suffer when we lose a significant other! In short: they will get depressed out of missing that person or animal.
In these cases, giving them a great deal of love and attention, as well as time to heal their wounds, might be the best course of action. You can also try to cheer them up with the company of another animal. There are many stories online of doggy moms who lost their babies and were mended by taking care of other animals, some of them being kittens, others being wild animals such as raccoons, and even ducks!
Another reason is being uncomfortable and anxious about being in an unknown environment. If you are traveling with your pet, don’t worry if your dog starts eating less. Once it gets used to it, it’ll go back to normal in no time.
Of course, before you decide that sadness, anxiety or depression is the main source of the problem, you might want to check other possible reasons. As mentioned in this article, there are several physical-related reasons a dog might not want to eat. Some of them may disable them from eating even when they want to, so be sure to pay attention to their behavior.
First of all, you should check their teeth. That’s one of the things you can check by yourself to know whether the problem is dental disease or not. If you see something wrong, you know you’ll have to take your pet to the vet.
If you don’t see anything wrong, you might as well take it to the vet to avoid dangerous situations anyways. The faster you deal with the problem, the better, so having a professional deal with the situation will always be better.
Of course, there are some things you can try out before that happens, and that is making some changes to your dog’s lifestyle.
How to Improve a Dog’s Appetite
Besides having a schedule for them, making sure that they eat at the same time every day, you should try a couple of extra things to improve your pet’s appetite. First of all, you should cut the dog treats as much as possible, since they will fill their belly instead of the food they should be eating.
After that, depending on the breed of your dog, you might want them to do some exercise. Exercise is an important part of the metabolism of a dog since they can accumulate way too much energy in their bodies, which might cause some side-effects, one of them being a loss of appetite. If they exercise, they will burn calories faster, requiring more calories, which will lead to a healthy eating routine.
Other things to do, as mentioned in this guide: https://www.wikihow.com/Increase-Appetite-in-Dogs, include having variations of food for them to enjoy, as well as making the food tastier by adding some flavor or broth. If you read the guide, you’ll know even more about what you can do to help your buddy during these times!