Dog Nutrition: What to Do When Your Dog Refuses to Eat

What to Do When Your Dog Refuses to Eat

Do you remember when you were a child and you refused to eat vegetables? Well, every now and then, dogs – like their human child counterparts – will refuse to eat. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the doggy is sick; nine times out of ten he or she is just tired of his or her dog food.

Before visiting the vet, I keep a checklist with me. I read down the list and check my dog for the following symptoms. If I notice a loss in my dog’s appetite, I know that something is seriously wrong. Dogs are not generally picky about what they eat, so be on the lookout for these symptoms.

Changing Food Abruptly

My first thought upon switching food brands is will my dogs like it? Well sometimes this can be a common error; you dog simply don’t like the brand. No biggie, I get around this by mixing small amounts of the current brand with my previous one, this helps doggy slowly adjust to the changes. Dog foods are not always the best tasting, let your dog experiment will different brands until you find one she likes.

Mouth Problems

Have you ever been unable to eat due to a tooth ache? Well this can happen with canines also. See a dog uses her mouth for a lot of stuff, so it is not uncommon to encounter a sore gum or tooth ache. These problems will dissipate in a few days, but I due recommend visiting the vet to toughly check for cavities or a chipped tooth.

Loss of Appetite during the Heat cycle

Female dogs tend to loss their appetite during heat cycles, as do male dogs when a female in heat is nearby. The important thing to remember is that if your female dog stops eating after the hear cycle you will need to see the vet; this could be a sign of illness. Dogs are great at hiding signs of illness, like a male human.


Have you dog been prescribed any medications? Like a human, doggy medications have side effects. If doggy is nauseous queasy you will need to give her lots of water, and stop use of the medicine immediately. Over the counter medications can have the same impact, remember that quality is important, so don’t buy any medications unless you have read user generated reviews. Doing the proper research could save your dog some agony and loss of her appetite.


These are just some of the problems I look out for; your first resource should always be a veterinarian. Sound like a lot of work? Well you dog could have an unknown illness, if the illness is found in time your vet will be able to prescribe appetite simulating foods which can aid you dog in eating. Overall the most common problem will just be a picky eater; with the right food you should have a happily eating dog once again.

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