Dog Not Eating: Common Reasons And How To Properly Deal With It!

Dog not eating

Why's my dog not eating?!

That’s a question I hear dog owners ask so often. And in my own experience, that is really frustrating, as you don’t know what exactly is going on in your fido's mind. All you see is your dog staring at the yummy food he used to consume voraciously without taking a bite from it.

If that’s something haunting you as well, I am here to help.

This article will tackle the issue of loss of appetite in dogs from different angles. We will go through some of the main causes of the problem, as well as proven strategies to effectively deal with it.

And here is an overview of what this article will be about.

What Causes Your Dog To Lose Appetite?

weary and sad dog

“I am just so freaking hungry but have no appetite! This sucks!”

Before we dive in deep into how to effectively deal with the problem of your dog not eating, let’s first dig in deep and see what exactly are the causes of this problem.

Off to the very first one;

When your dog is not eating, there may be two major sets of causes that give rise the problem. The first set of causes are behavioural. The other set is related to medical problems your dog may be experiencing.

Let’s starts first with some major behavioural causes behind your dog losing his appetite:

Behavioural Causes

Here is a list of behavioral causes that may cause your dog to lose his appetite:

  • Stress
  • Unfamiliar environment
  • Being around strangers
  • Being around other dogs, especially the aggressive ones.
  • The food bowl height
  • Your dog may be just picky

Those are some of the behavioural causes that can cause your dog to ignore his food. Try to address these set of causes first. And if your dog is still not that interested in food, it may be time to look at some health issues your dog might be grappling with.

Let’s now take a look at the causes that are likely the source of the problem:

Medical Causes

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Chronic hepatitis
  • Cirrhosis
  • Severe anemia
  • Viral infections
  • Bacterial infections
  • Kennel cough
  • Asthma
  • Periodontal disease
  • Dental disease
  • Kidney failure
  • Constipation
  • Pancreatitis
  • Inflammatory bowel syndrome
  • Severe worm infestation
  • Pain due to injury

That’s a list of some of the main medical issues that may be responsible for your dog's loss of appetite. The only way to find out which one of these is the actual cause of the problem is to simply get in touch with his vet.

And now that you have a good grasp of the causes behind your dog ignoring food, let’s see what to do about it.

How To Properly Deal With Your Dog Not Eating?

Dog eating

“And now we are back together again huh!”

If loss of appetite lasts more than 24 hours, you should do something about it. I don’t at all suggest you tackle it all by yourself without any professional help. This is serious and you need to treat the situation with veterinarian urgency.

Talk To His Vet

The the first thing you need to think about when your dog ignores food for more than 24h is to talk to his vet.

It is obvious, I know. But believe me so many dog owners just postpone this or simply ignore their dogs, thinking that it is a normal thing. Again, make this a priority and immediately contact the vet.

Get Proper Diagnosis

Once you are at the vet’s office, he will do a detailed and thorough check up of your dog to see what’s going on. The vet may run several blood tests to accurately determine the exact reason behind the problem.

Go For A Suitable Treatment Plan

Once the vet finds out the real reason behind the problem, he will then assign the most suitable treatment plan to better manage the situation and get your dog to his normal self again.

Treatment plans vary, depending on the situation and its complexity.

But generally, the vet will prescribe an antibiotic if the situation is caused by an infection. And in the case of a dental problem, your vet will simply ask for a dental clean up.

And if the problem has to do with behavioural issues, you can spread the meals throughout the day and feed him in intervals, at fixed times. Pick up the right amount and type of food. Don’t overfill the bowl. And if your dog doesn't feel comfortable eating in unfamiliar environments or around strangers, don’t force him to.

These are some of the tips that I personally adopt at times when I find myself in such a situation.

And if your puppy persist in avoiding meals after going through all this, have a look at the video below and prepare even more delicious foods that will instantly turn him into a beast!


Next time you notice your dog ignoring the food he wholeheartedly loves, look for the cause and eliminate it. That’s the best way to approach the problem. And of course, you just can't do that all by yourself. You need to have his vet by your side. This way, you will leave no room for mistakes or missteps.

Now, we need to hear from you. How do you approach the problem of your dog not eating? What are some of the strategies that have worked most effectively for you?

Let us know in the comment below. We 'll be more than pleased to hear from you. Cheers!

About the Author Youssef Arezdi

Hey world! Youssef here! I am a writer and a blogger, with keen interest in pets, dogs especially. Writing about those creatures make time melt like an ice cube in a desert! Dogs are just unbelievably amazing!

Leave a Comment: