What are the main reasons that a dog stops eating?
• Boredom: If you feed your dog dried kibble, sometimes all it takes is mixing some canned food into dry. There are also canned mix-ins available that you gradually ease off of to get them back to eating strictly dry. Many vets feel that combining both dry and canned is the ideal diet.
NOTE: You can also make mealtime a little more exciting by giving her a food puzzle—a toy-like object with an opening in which you place the food. Then she has to work at it for at least 20 to 30 minutes to get the food out.
• Distraction: If her meals are served in a highly trafficked area, try moving her place setting to quieter, more peaceful place.
• Dental problems: Tooth decay or gum problems can cause pain that makes it harder for her to eat. It’s also common for puppies, when teething, to refuse food.
• Eating too many snacks and treats: She just may not be hungry. Check the amount you feed her and make sure the neighbors or other family members aren’t feeding her.
• Old age: As dogs get older, their senses of smell diminish. This, in turn, causes them to lose their appetites. If that’s the case, pop the canned food in the microwave for a few seconds to warm it and bring out enticing odors.
• Stale food: Check expiration dates to be sure the food isn’t spoiled or stale.
• Stress. A new family member, new home—or just anything that disrupts the routine, such as a new feeding time—can upset the dog to the point she won’t eat.
• Health: It can range from a simple respiratory ailment to a more serious one such as kidney or liver failure, or even cancer, so take her to the veterinarian for a thorough checkup.
• Pickiness: Consistently feed your dog one type of dog food. Constantly changing foods or feeding human food or table scraps may cause your dog to hold out for something tastier.
• Anorexia: The longer she goes without eating, the less interested she’ll be.