If my dog skips a meal, will she be ok?

It is fine for your dog to miss a meal or two, but it shouldn’t go on any longer than that.

Many things can cause a lack of appetite from stress, such as a new family member, to health problems to downright pickiness.

Here’s when lack of appetite is normal:

• Female (and sometimes male) dogs in heat: Either frequently lose their appetite, because of hormonal cycles, stress and anxiety. However, if your dog still lacks appetite after the heat cycle can be a sign of pyometra, uterine infection, which requires an immediate vet visit.
• Puppies, especially younger ones, who may be reluctant to eat because of teething pain (soft food and chewing on something cold can help in this case).
• Hot weather: Some dogs prefer eating at certain times of day and may turn down food offered at other times. Yours may want to eat in the morning before it gets too hot.
• Excessive snacks and treats: Dogs who are fed too much may also be picky about their meals If you have a picky dog who is overweight, look at how much you’re feeding, both at mealtime and in between, to see if the problem isn’t related to too many snacks and treats. Try reducing the amount you feed by 10 percent at a time to see if you can get your dog to begin to slowly lose weight, along with being hungrier at mealtime. Also be sure your neighbors or other family members aren’t feeding her.
• A “too empty” stomach: Some dogs have problems with bile if their stomachs are empty for too long. This can lead to vomiting of yellow liquid in the early morning hours, often accompanied by nausea and lack of appetite. In this case, feeding a late-night snack before bed can help.
• Dislike of additives: Supplements and some foods may cause your dog to turn away from his meals. Many dogs refuse to eat vegetables, and so may turn down meals if there are any mixed in.

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