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11 Reasons Your Dog is a Picky Eater and What To Do

Lack of appetite must not be taken lightly. Learn about some of the reasons your dog isn't eating and what you can do about it.

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It's important to consult your pet's veterinarian with any medical concerns, and before making any changes or adding supplements to your pet's health plan.

Dogs are voracious eaters who would often enjoy any food put in front of them, so a lack of appetite could be worrisome for owners used to seeing their pets chow down just about anything.

Also called inappetence, lack of appetite in dogs must not be taken lightly because it can cause problems down the road. Learn about some of the reasons your dog isn't eating and what you can do about it.

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1. Your Dog Could Be Sick


If your dog is a regular eater and you suddenly notice a drastic change in his eating habits, get to the bottom of the problem as soon as possible. It could be a sign of illness that may cause issues if left untreated.

Dogs are just like humans; they don't feel like eating when they are sick. If it's just a common virus, it should go away in a couple of days. However, if your dog is also vomiting or having diarrhea, it's best to contact your vet ASAP.

2. You May Be Feeding Your Dog With Bad Food

Dogs have a stronger sense of smell, much stronger than that of humans. When they don't eat, the issue might be in the food you're giving them. Consider giving your dog a bowl of fresh food and see if their eating habits improve. Be careful of what you feed them; always check expiration dates and see to it that you only provide them fresh and clean food daily.

3. Your Dog is in Pain

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Pain could be another reason why your pup isn't eating. They might be feeling pain when they try to get up, walk, or eat. If you notice your dog flinching when you pet him, he could be experiencing some pain. Internal obstructions, dental issues, and other health problems could be causing the pain that may stop your pup from eating.

4. Your Dog May Be Adjusting to a New Routine or Environment

Dogs are sensitive and emotional creatures. Changes in routine or the environment such as traveling, absence of a family member, moving to another home, change in the feeding schedule, or even weather changes can cause them to stop eating for a while. Whenever they are exposed to unfamiliar routines or surroundings, their appetite may be affected.

5. Your Dog is Aging

Dogs' bodies change as they grow older. Along with it, their food preference and sense of taste and smell could also change. Older dogs tend to be less energetic and move around less. As a result, they no longer need to feed as much as they used to.

6. Your Dog is Stressed or Anxious


Dogs may feel stressed or anxious whenever their humans leave them, which can affect their appetite. Any change, big or small, such as getting a new bowl or moving to a new environment, may also cause them stress and anxiety. It may take more time for some dogs to adjust to changes, so in these cases, just remember to be patient and shower them with as much love as you can. If the situation doesn't get better, take them to see a veterinarian.

7. You Feed Your Dog Too Much

Don't rule out the possibility that your dog just isn't hungry. It's the most straightforward reason why they may not want to eat. If you frequently feed your pet snacks throughout the day, he might not feel as hungry when it's time for their actual meal. Set a fixed, controlled amount of food and treats to give your dog every day to make sure you are not overfeeding him.

8. It Could be a Side Effect of Medication or a Vaccination

Medications and vaccinations can also affect dogs' desire to eat. Some can cause loss of appetite. So if your dog just started on a new medicine or recently got vaccinated, it might just be a side effect of that. They should start to feel better and eat normally again in a couple of days, and if they don't, it's best to consult your vet.

9. Another Pet in the House? Your Dog Could Be Afraid of It

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A submissive dog could be afraid of a dominant dog in your house. They could also be scared of the other animals, even when it's not necessarily a dog. The trick is to separate them during feeding time. Your dog should have a peaceful place to eat, away from other animals they may be feeling afraid of.

10. Your Dog Has an Upset Stomach

Indigestion is common in dogs. This could cause a sudden disinterest in food, although they should start eating again after a day. Loss of appetite for more than two days could be a sign of an emergency that you need to address immediately.

11. Your Dog is Just a Picky Eater

Sometimes, dogs reject certain kinds of food even when nothing is wrong. Puppies, especially, are very picky eaters, so refusing to eat doesn't necessarily mean they are sick. You may need to experiment with their food for a while. Just like humans, dogs can have their own food preference — some types they might just not enjoy. Your dog may be snubbing his food because you've changed brands or flavors, or perhaps he's just not feeling it.

You can try switching to more nutrient-based dog food that is close to the taste of human food. Your dogs are going to love these delicious treats from Activedawg. They offer two main products — the USDA All-Natural Chicken Bone Broth and the USDA All-Natural Peanut Butter Powder.

Active Dawg All-Natural Chicken Bone Broth

Active Dawg All-Natural Chicken Bone Broth

This product is made from all-natural, organic, and 100% real chicken. It is rich in Type II collagen and glucosamine, protein, healthy fats, vitamins B, vitamin E, and essential and non-essential amino acids. Free from dairy, by-products, gluten, soy, preservatives, antibiotics, and artificial dyes, it's best for your pets' rehydration and recovery.

The Active Dawg All-Natural Chicken Bone Broth is excellent for sick dogs experiencing diarrhea or having trouble digesting solid food. It's also great even if your dog is not ill; it's an excellent source of vitamins and minerals that can help strengthen your pet's immune system.

Active Dawg Peanut Butter Powder

Active Dawg All-Natural Peanut Butter Powder

Made from farm-grown peanuts, this Active Dawg All-Natural Peanut Butter Powder contains 90% less fat and 70% fewer calories than ordinary peanut butter powder. It is a rich source of vitamins and minerals, including protein, niacin, vitamin B, vitamin E, and healthy fats that are good for your dog. It also contains high levels of antioxidants that help boost energy, perfect for lethargic and aging dogs.

While severe symptoms demand immediate medical attention, your dog refusing to eat can usually be addressed by simple and healthy mealtime changes. Feeding them the right food also helps, allowing them to grow and stay nurtured and active throughout their lives.

Keep your dogs healthy and happy — ensure they have all the nutrition they need with these meals from Active Dawg!

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