Top 6 Possible Reasons Your Dog Isn’t Eating

Is your dog or puppy all of a sudden refusing to eat their food? Do you have no idea why this is happening?

It can be very distressing to have a dog who is not eating and to have no idea what to do about it.

Dogs are normally voracious eaters, so a drastic change in appetite should not be taken lightly. If your dog is not getting the proper amount of nutrition, they could face a number of health issues down the road.

In order to solve the problem, you first need to understand why your dog isn’t eating. Read on to learn the top 6 possible reasons.

1. Food Quality

Yes, just like humans, dogs can be quality snobs too.

Cheaper foods may be saving you money, but these foods often skimp on vital ingredients for your dog’s health and taste preferences.

For example, the food you buy may not have enough protein the dog needs, therefore making it unappetizing to them.

One way you can make sure your dog enjoys their food is by buying dog food that’s specifically formulated for their breed. You can check out DogFood.Guide to learn which food is best for your dog.

2. A New Schedule


Another way in which dogs are similar to humans is in the fact that dogs are also creatures of habit.

Once you’ve established a daily schedule of eating time, play time and walking time, dogs prefer to stick to it.

Suddenly changing your dog’s schedule can leave them feeling anxious, which in turn can cause a loss of appetite.

If you must change your dog’s schedule, try to do it as gradually as possible.

3. Serious Illness

Although it’s tough to think about, there is always a chance that your dog is getting sick due to a serious illness.

There are many illnesses, such as organ failure and cancer that can cause your dog to lose its appetite. We are mentioning a few below:

1. Kidney disease

the dog may be suffering from renal failure or simple kidney pain, causing him to lose his appetite. Some prominent symptoms for renal failure are loss of appetite, increased thirst and vomiting, diarrhea etc. this means that the kidney isn’t performing the tasks properly and hence the toxins are damaging his digestive system. You may see him feeling nauseous while trying to eat and hence he will try to avoid eating. If that’s the case, rush to the vet immediately!

2. Liver diseases

if the dog is suffering from liver diseases it is possible that he will lose his appetite. One of the main symptom is lethargy! Your dog will stop taking interest in physical activities and will spend most of his day just lying at one place. If the dog belongs to an active and playful breed then you should be worried if he stops taking any interest in all his favorite activities. Liver supplements for dogs may be warranted.

3. Heart failure

if your pet is already suffering from heart diseases, or is prone to heart issues then he may lose his appetite. If that happens, it is alarming! Take him to the vet ASAP because this could be due to heart failure. Pets with heart diseases should be monitored regularly to avoid any emergency situation.

4. Post-surgery weakness

If your dog has just been through a major a surgery then it is highly possible for him to lose appetite. You need to consult your doctor and see if the food needs to be changed. Sometimes, after surgeries doctors recommend changing the diet therefore you should consult the vet.

5. Broken or loose tooth

this is the most underrated problem in dogs. If the dog has a loose tooth he may lose his appetite but there’s nothing to worry about. You may take him to the vet for tooth extraction if he feels pain. Otherwise let the teeth come out on its own. This is a very natural process hence don’t worry about it and let the dog handle it.

6. Viral infection

lastly, check the dog for any signs of viral infections if he stops eating suddenly. Some infections aren’t much severe but others are. Therefore, if you feel that the dog has caught some virus from his fellows, take him to the vet and start his medication as soon as possible to avoid risk. Also, if the neighbor dogs are having some viral infection, ask your doctor if there’s any way this could be avoided. You may even ask vet for vaccines against infections. When keeping the distance between the dogs isn’t possible, then it is best to administer some vaccine to avoid catching the infection.

If you are worried that an illness may be the reason for their loss in appetite, schedule an appointment with your vet ASAP.

4. Dental Problems

This is one of the most common reasons dogs stop eating.

Dental issues, while sometimes severe and also quite common, often go unnoticed in dogs. This is due to the fact that they don’t have a clear way of expressing their pain.

Check your dog to see if it has swollen or bleeding gums. Oftentimes, this is a sign that there is a more serious issue at hand.

An oral tumor, a broken tooth, or gingivitis all may be reasons your dog is not eating.

5. Medications or Vaccinations

Is your dog on any sort of medication? Or, did they recently receive a vaccination?

Oftentimes, medications and vaccinations come with some unwanted side effects, one of which is a loss in appetite.

Typically, these side effects will wear off after a day or two, so you don’t need to worry too much. However, if the issue persists, it may be time to talk to your vet about changing their medication.

6. Overfeeding

When your dog is giving you those big puppy eyes and begging for a treat, it can sometimes be tough to say no to them.

But, if you’re giving them a treat for every single instance of good behavior, you may be overfeeding them.

Dog treats should account for no more than 10 percent of a dog’s daily diet. So make sure you are using them sparingly and finding other ways to give them rewards. 

There are the top 6 possible reasons your dog is not eating!