Dogs are famous for their voracious appetite, and it's a joy for you to see your dog's tail wagging as you're preparing their next meal. So it can be nerve-wracking when your dog doesn't feel like eating. Unlike the human term defining a mental health disorder, canine anorexia refers only to symptoms describing your dog's lack of interest in food, loss of appetite or refusal to eat. Do you know what to do when your dog has canine anorexia?
While canine anorexia is worrisome, it’s important to focus on what's causing the problem. There are many reasons why your dog’s appetite may diminish or disappear. Some are more straightforward and simpler to remedy, and others are more complex and tougher to solve. However, once you've pinpointed possible causes, you can start finding solutions.
Common causes of canine anorexia include:
Environmental: Have there been any recent changes in your dog's life? A home move, a different food or routine, a household member's death or departure or the hire of a new dog walker or pet sitter can make your dog very anxious, depressed or stressed.
Gastrointestinal: Has your dog exhibited pica, the deliberate ingestion of non-food items, including plastics and trash, or eaten rotten food off the ground they weren't supposed to? These items can block, damage or unsettle your dog's digestive system.
Dental: Does your dog have any abscesses or cavities, broken, loose or misaligned teeth, mouth trauma or bleeding or inflamed gums due to periodontal disease? Dental difficulties make it especially uncomfortable for your dog to chew.
If your dog has canine anorexia, it’s first key to know whether they show any interest in eating or don't want to eat at all. Do they make attempts to eat their meal and then slink away, or do they seem repelled by it? Try making the food you feed your dog more tempting by adding fresh meat or filtered water to it, warming it up in the microwave for 10 seconds, hand feeding it to them or feeding them a different dog food.
Get your dog to the vet at that same time you're trying to understand what's causing their canine anorexia. Ordering blood work, an X-ray or an ultrasound for your dog may lead to their best treatment by revealing what's truly happening.
It's definitely troubling when your dog has canine anorexia. However, by observing them and working together with your vet, you can get your dog eating normally again soon.
Thank you for reading!