This is is the primary complaint I receive in my clinic “Doctor my Bruno is not eating for last few days”. In most of the cases, I find that dog is active, devoid of any dental problem, not feverish, still, dog not eating. Therefore, I discuss this issue here, so that you may know what to look for, so that you may tell the correct history to guide your vet for an accurate diagnosis.
Causes of dog not eating
Scientists have grouped the causes of dog not eating food into two categories.
A. Those dogs who want to eat but cannot eat- These dogs will approach food bowl, but go away just by smelling. This group is called pseudo-anorectic dogs
B. Dogs who have lost their appetite or interest to eat food. these dogs are known as anorectic dogs.
A. Causes of pseudo anorexia
- Inflammation or pain in mouth or gums
- dental or throat problems
- the pain of the joint where jaw attaches to head
- salivary gland disease
- Nerve disorders affecting chewing or swallowing
- a tumour or cancer in mouth, tonsil
- Severe Pain anywhere in the body.
- Change in food
- Separation anxiety
B. Anorectic dog – Dogs really really do not want to eat.
- Some internal disease or infection
- Have eaten, touched or drank some poisonous substance
- Immune system imbalance
- Have eaten some non-food substances and so stomach or intestine have become blocked and so can’t eat
- Stomach or intestinal ulcer
- Nausea or tendency to vomit
- High environmental temperature- very common in Asia.
- Side effect of some medicine
- Hormonal imbalance
- Vitamin B12 deficiency
What you can do
Dogs can go several days without showing any signs of weakness. Therefore, even if your dog is not showing any signs of weakness but is not eating more than 24 hours take her to a vet. If your dog is a puppy you should take him to a vet sooner.
If you are away from vet help here are certain things you may try yourself:
Take the temperature of your pet to see whether if she is having a fever or not. If you see that your dog is not suffering from fever, you may change his diet. Garlic is known as an appetite stimulant, finely chopped garlic can be added to food to increase appetite. You try giving boiled chicken or processed human grade dog food. Try hand feeding some delicious food for dogs or simply homemade food for dogs.