Food is important in the survival of living things. Although a man can survive up to three weeks without food, it is not the same for a dog. In fact, if your dog suddenly stops eating, it should worry you enough, to take him to see his vet. Below, we will describe the reasons why a dog might stop eating.
Dogs Love Food
Pets respond to food. That is particularly true of a dog, which will learn new tricks, just to get the treat you are promising in return. Having him skip a meal, here and there, might even be a good idea for your relationship with your dog. Hungry, he will listen more to your commands and it will be easier to teach him lessons, as he will hope that you will feed him in return.
This goes to show that a dog which doesn’t eat usually reflects a serious issue. A loss of appetite for your furry friend can signal that he is sick. Whenever you notice it, don’t wait to take him to his doctor, so he doesn’t dehydrate.
Why is it Difficult to tell when Your Dog is not Eating?
Dogs are good at hiding the fact that they are sick. It is part of the evolution they went through. In the wild a sick animal is a weak one, and he will either be banished from the group, or be preyed upon. Therefore, dogs usually hide to their master the symptoms of their sickness, and it can be really late in the progress of his condition before you even realize there is an issue with him.
You will normally notice that he is unhealthy when he stops drinking water and eating. That is why it is so important to react very quickly, as it might already be late for you to get him the treatment he needs, in order to get better. If the issue is food and not water, check his teeth before anything else. Dogs suffering from toothaches can sometimes stop eating, as it becomes too painful for them to do so.
Why is Your Dog Refusing to Eat?
Your dog is sick
The most probable reason why your dog is not eating is that he is sick. If you start wondering if he has been feeding himself, try to recall the last time you saw him eat. If that it is over 48 hours ago, take him to the vet now. If not, monitor him by placing the food in a place where you can see him eat, and in a quantity you will be able to calculate easily.
Of course, there are other factors that can indicate that your dig is sick. If he vomits or has diarrhoea, and he doesn’t eat, you need to get him to the vet as fast as possible. If you are not sure of his condition, one way to check is by pressing on his belly. If it is hard, or he squeals when you press it, that means there is a problem that needs to be solved, and you should take him to the vet. Another thing to do is to check his gums. If they aren’t moist and pink, take him to his doctor.
He doesn’t like his food
Just like us, a dog can refuse to eat because he doesn’t like his food. If he stops eating and you’ve just changed his diet, then you need to go back to the old one, to see if that will solve the problem. Maybe the food isn’t good for some reason. If it is the one that you serve him regularly, try throwing it away and cleaning his bowl, before giving him a new portion, from a fresh bag or can.
He is allergic to his food
Sometimes dogs eat the same food all the time, and suddenly they don’t want it anymore. That may be caused by new allergy symptoms. Dogs sense these things and they can decide to stop eating their food in such cases. Try giving him a formula for sensitive stomachs, and see if that solves the problem.
He has behavioural problems
If your dog tends to have behavioural problems, this just might be another one of them. However it may be difficult to identify, so don’t wait too long to bring him to the vet.
In closing, here are a few other reasons your dog might not be eating:
His bowl needs to be cleaned
Your dog is stressed by something in his environment (for example: A new aggressive dog)
He has issues getting to the food
You give him too many treats
Something in his routine has changed, and it is a source of stress for him
A healthy dog can survive without eating for three to five days. That is why, after 48 hours, you need to bring him to the clinic immediately to have him treated, before it is too late.