Dogs are known for eating almost anything, so if your dog is suddenly not eating, you may be understandably concerned. Here’s what to do.

A dog lays next to its bowl


Dog not eating because of illness

A reason why your dog is not eating could be that they simply have a temporary gastrointestinal upset from a change in their diet, or it could be from something rotten that they’ve eaten. It is always recommended to make contact with your Greencross Vet if you are concerned about your pet’s health. Sudden and sustained loss of appetite may be a sign of illness or dental issues so visit your vet for a checkup as soon as possible. Once medical causes are eliminated, here are some other reasons why your dog is not eating.

Dog not eating because of change

Dogs are creatures of habit. Changes like the introduction or loss of a family member, moving house or travel may put them off their food for a few days. Even changing their diet too quickly can lead to a stomach upset. Try to find a wet or dry food product your dog likes and stick to it. Now you’ve decided to change, do so gradually over the course of 14 days by mixing the old with the new. Follow the below transition guide.

Gradually transition your dog to new food over 14 days.

Gradually transition your dog to new food over 14 days.

Dog not eating because they’re a fussy eater

If your dog is not eating because they’re a picky eater, here are some tips on making their dinner more enticing:

  • Feed your dog at the same time every day.
  • Limit food treats in between mealtimes. If you’re training your dog consider rewards like toys, a scratch or praise rather than treats so that they’re hungry come meal time
  • Place your dog’s food on the ground for 15 minutes. If they haven’t eaten by then, take it away. Hopefully this will encourage your dog to eat when food is available, rather than waiting for something better to come along.
  • Make sure you’re providing appropriate food for your dog’s age, size and specific dietary needs. There are specific diets available for dogs with sensitive stomachs, sensitive skin, senior dogs, puppies, dogs with dental issues and more. Use our Dog Food Finder Tool to understand which is the right product for your unique pet.
  • Experiment with texture and temperature. Try mixing wet and dry dog food, or add some warm chicken broth to entice your dog to eat.
  • Take your dog for a big walk before dinner to help them work up an appetite.

If you are still having trouble convincing your dog to eat, take your pet to a consultation with your local Greencross Vets who will provide you with a professional diagnosis.

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