Dog Refuses to Eat: Causes and Treatment

Why doesn’t the dog eat? Why does a dog that can’t pass by food suddenly refuse to feed? Is the dog sick or just complaining?

Try to deal with the following:

  • Did the dog miss feeding sessions? Lack of appetite in a dog that is ready to eat constantly can serve as a sign of the disease, and therefore in this case it is advisable to visit a veterinarian.
  • What has changed in the dog’s behavior other than not eating?
  • Has it become more sluggish, shortness of breath, vomiting, diarrhea, or jaundice?
  • Are there any signs of pain? If the dog has at least one of these signs, stop searching for answers on the Internet and immediately contact the veterinary clinic! Otherwise, you may just lose your pet.
  • Has anything happened that could affect the dog’s behavior? For example, a dog may refuse to eat if a new animal appears in the house or a banal change of food.
  • Has your dog lost weight? Maybe the animal does not eat simply because it often gets something delicious and it is simply not able to eat more.

    When you can not pay attention to the lack of appetite?

    In fact, refusing to eat doesn’t always mean problems. And the following can affect a good appetite: • Heat. During estrus, most bitches completely forget about food, and therefore the lack of appetite in the estrus bitch should not worry its owner. Lack of appetite after the end of estrus may indicate purulent inflammation of the uterus, and therefore the dog needs to be shown to the veterinarian.
  • Puppy age. In large breed pups that have emerged from infancy, the feeling of hunger alternates with a complete lack of appetite, and this is quite normal. Very small puppies may refuse to eat because of teething.
  • Heat. Many dogs refuse to eat in the hot time of day, preferring the coolness of the night.
  • Introduction of various food and vitamin supplements or vegetables.
  • Change of food preferences. Animals that get too much “yummy” can eventually become very picky about food.

What diseases can be caused by refusal to eat?

The dog may not eat because of: • dental problems that are accompanied by pain, such as broken teeth or problematic gums; • a variety of pain; • diseases of the gastrointestinal tract; • diseases of the liver; • poisoning; • viral and infectious diseases. Each of the above reasons requires immediate contact with a veterinarian.

What else can affect what a dog doesn’t eat?

In addition to behavioral and medical problems, there are others. These include: • poor-quality food; • taking medications. As you can see, refusing to eat can say a lot. Watch your dog, listen to your heart, contact a veterinarian if necessary, and your dog will live a long and happy life!

Diagnostics in a veterinary clinic

The veterinarian will examine the dog, prescribe blood, urine and feces tests, and send it for ultrasound and x-rays. But in some cases, for example, with intestinal obstruction, it is impossible to detect the disease in this way. Therefore, if you continue to refuse food and the dog’s condition worsens, you need to conduct an examination using a radiopaque substance – barium. Where it will not be able to move along the digestive tract, and the cause of the disease is located – a foreign body, a tumor or metastases, an inversion that covers the lumen of the intestine.


Methods and methods of treatment depend on the established cause of the disease. In most severe cases, surgical intervention is used, which can only be performed in a specialized veterinary clinic with the necessary equipment. After treatment, the dog is at home, and the owner continues therapy as prescribed by the veterinarian. Periodically, the PSA should be taken for examination to assess the results of surgery and treatment. It is dangerous to cancel or change therapy on your own. the animal may not survive. In order to protect the pet from diseases or injuries, the owner needs to carefully monitor the behavior and state of its health, responding in time to changes and long-term refusal of food.