Even a dog may occasionally refuse to eat. It is hard to believe for some dog owners, but this can happen suddenly, even after years of your dog always emptying the bowl without hesitation.
If the dog refuses to eat, the worries increase and many questions come up. Is my dog sick or is it perhaps the food? Or does my dog want more variety? Many causes can be determined relatively quickly, but sometimes it is necessary to consult a vet.
Reasons for restricted eating
Besides dental problems, puberty, or fussy eating behaviour the following reasons can also be the cause of why the dog refuses to eat:
- Lack of freshness or quality of the food
- Hormones (females during a phantom pregnancy or in heat, males who detect their scent)
- High temperatures can also cause the dog not to eat.
- After being put off food, food intake could be associated with pain or shock in the past, such as a loud noise.
- Stressful situations or unfamiliar noises
- Changes in the daily routine (addition or loss of human/animal family member), a change of location (holiday or moving to a new home) or certain competitive situations
- An Oversupply of food or if there are other (unknown) sources of food, such as a well-meaning neighbours or generous day care, can lead to refusing the usual dog food.
When puppies stop eating
Due to the different stages of development, it is not uncommon for puppies to eat less or stop eating at some point. This is often the case during the teething and puberty. During the teething, your puppy may experience slight pain when eating. During puberty, dogs often want extra attention or play power games, to try to become the leader. Even food refusal is a possibility. If you change food every time the young dog stops eating, it may become fussy eater.
Why is my dog a fussy eater?
Sometimes, generally healthy and lively dogs keep refusing their food, although it was eaten initially. Dog owners often think the food is not appealing for their dog anymore and so they change it. Humans like to have variety in their diet. Applying this and other human eating habits to dogs, can lead to fussy eating. As soon as a dog gets used to variety of food over a longer period, it will ask for it and refuse eating.
If you give in and buy a different food, the dog learns that refusing food eventually leads to alternatives. To avoid searching for new dog food brands it is recommended to implement routines into feeding. If the dog starts to beg for treats, do not give in. It is not useful to reward the dog for a behaviour, which you do not want to support. Solving this problem is not only important for educational reasons but also should your dog ever need a regular medication.
Find the right dog food
If a dog only eats as much as it really needs, it may also be due to the dog food. It is always useful to take a critical look at the declaration. Don’t be fooled by promising advertising claims, but look for an open declaration that lists all ingredients in detail. This is the only way you can be sure that your dog is getting the right food.
You can find further information on the reasons why your dog does not eat and useful tips in the advice article “My dog is not eating“.
For more information, please visit the website www.platinum.co.uk