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What to do if your dog won’t eat?

Updated on October 10, 2009

It is said that humans and dog have about 90% similarities in genetics. There are times when we don’t feel like eating. Even our favorite foods fail to tempt us to eat. Dogs are very similar to their human friends.  Every dog owner would want the pet to be healthy but there are times when feeding the dog become a challenge. Dogs are voracious eaters but for some reasons the dog would suddenly lose the appetite and would go on for days without eating.

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Reasons why dogs won’t eat

Some dogs have insatiable appetites while others are dogs are fussy eaters. Some dogs would wolf down the food while some would act like little ladies and daintily eat. But when a dog with a hearty appetite suddenly turns away from the food and skips several meals, owners would certainly be concerned. The dog’s refusal to eat can be due to a medical problem. Allergies, sore gums, aching teeth and other medical concerns may cause the dog to lose its appetite. Dogs on medication may also shun food. A new brand of dog food or food supplements can be the cause of the non-eating problem. Does you pet have access to the garbage cans? Dogs are less discriminating in what they put in their mouth. Dogs won’t eat when they have upset stomach. So what would you do if your dog won’t eat?

Make sure it is not a medical problem

The pet’s refusal to eat can be a sign of an underlying medical condition. Take the dog to a medical facility. Blood test and other examinations will be necessary to rule out medical reasons for the dog’s poor appetite.

Eating habits of the dog/feeding habits of the family

Does the dog have a habit of filching food from the table…from the garbage cans?  Do the kids and other indulgent family members slip table scraps to the dog waiting under the dining table? Do you give the pet treats and human food every time it snubs the doggie bowl? The pet may have developed a predilection to eating human food. The dog that is refusing to eat the dog food may just be “acting up” and holding out for the tastier human food. Ask the family to refrain from giving the dog human food. Dog food not only contains the necessary vitamins and minerals needed by the dog but it is also adapted to the digestive system of the dog. It would be a good idea to remove the dog from the dining room whenever the family is eating. Provide the dog with its own “dining room” one that is quiet and free from distractions.

Dog not eating

Dog won't finnish food

Dog not eating large pieces of food


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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      My dog has developed habit of feeding himself by spoon . Now I want him to eat himself . Kindly help

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      My dog, malty doesn't want to eat... I am really worried.. He starts losing his appetite last sunday and until now he doesn't want to afraid that he will die...i really love him, i considered him as my little baby boy...please help me....

    • profile image

      jay monrow 

      6 years ago

      my dog buddy hasn't eaten for 2 days i am really worried... please help

    • profile image

      rantem shah 

      6 years ago

      i have a japanese spiltz .he is just 9 months old .he was not eating anything so i bought pedgree for him.he ate it very nicely on the 1st day .but next day he wasnot eating even a single piece.he is not eating anything neither human food nor dogs food.he and i am getting a huge problem.please help me !!

    • profile image

      tony manzano 

      6 years ago

      i force my dog to drink milk with sugar and oral dextrose (for dogs) whenever they skip two meals in a row or if they suddenly become less active. i do this every 2-3 hours until they get stronger and their appetite would be back to normal.

      milk is full of nutrients. sugar will bring back their energy as it contains carbohydrates and the oral dextrose will fix the depletion of body water.

    • profile image

      Jeanne Urban 

      6 years ago

      I have a Pomeranian that is around 14 or 15 years old his teeth are so bad they are rotting and falling out all he can eat is soft pedigree His breath stinks now he's refusing to eat his dog food he is shaking and just wants to lie around he drinks water all day and up's his nose at his food what's going on I'm afraid that he is dying

    • profile image

      Selena Gomez 

      6 years ago

      my dog scunchy doesn't want to eat??

    • profile image

      cymphonique miller 

      7 years ago

      i don't know what to do im so confused if caramel doesn't want to eat then one thing ? ???? ?? ???? ??? ?? ??? ???!

    • profile image

      liliana moore 

      7 years ago

      my carrier terrier doesn't want to eat his name is caramel

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      my dog wont eat her food but wants everybody elses what shall i do?


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