For those of us who have labradors, a dog who doesn’t eat can sound impossible. In fact, for many dog guardians, a dog who refuses to eat can seem like a joke. Most dogs will eat whatever is put in front of them. They usually eat any time food is available. It begs the question, “Why isn’t my dog hungry?” But for some pups, food just isn’t a priority. How can we address the problems and challenges of an unhungry canine companion? Read on …
First, Do a Quick Health Check
When we observe a gradual or sudden decrease in interest in food and a general loss of appetite, it’s time to visit the vet. There are countless illnesses that list loss of appetite as a symptom. Some of them come on strong, while others can change behaviors over time.
It’s especially important that we look for other symptoms that may increase the likelihood that there is something medical going on. For example, What are their stools like? Are they too skinny? Are they lethargic? Gradual or sudden, loss of appetite or absence of appetite – checking in with the vet to make sure the cause isn’t something unseen, is the best first course of action.
Are There Other Food Sources?
This can be one of the most common culprits. Dogs can catch the scraps we “accidentally” drop in the direction of our pups while at the dinner table. They can get into the trash without guardians being completely aware. They may be getting snacks from neighbors or schoolchildren through (or over) the fence. Does Fido ‘critter?’ If we notice a decrease in the squirrel population, it might be that our little hunter is gett her food elsewhere.
Possible solutions. WCheck with neighbors and look for scraps near the fence. STOP feeding him table scraps. hen asking, “Why isn’t my dog hungry?” we often forget just how many snacks we give them. It can seem like a little, but that stuff adds up without guardians realizing we are giving them so much. Check stools and the yard for tell-tale remains. Put a nose-proof lid on the trash. If all of these are in place, it’s likely there’s a different culprit for the food diss.
Maybe It’s The Amount of Food?
Commercial dog food manufacturers are part of a large business with a bottom line to manage. That doesn’t mean they can’t be trusted, but they do have competing priorities when it comes to the health of our dogs. That means we need to check, double check, and fact-check the recommendations on dog food packaging. One thing to check is the recommended serving size. Manufacturers recommend an amount for the average dog. And most veterinarians will verify that the recommended serving is inflated to help cycle people through more bags of dog food over the life of their dog.
Possible Solutions? Double check whether the indicated serving size is over-inflated or just generalized to fit their version of the ‘average’ dog. Ask a trusted dog nutritionist and the vet about the proper serving size for the breed, age, and activity level of the family fur-baby. Some vets and nutritionists will even have a food scoop that will measure the best food serving – better than the one provided in the bag of food. Sometimes our pups can be self-regulating, which is unusual, but does answer the question, “Why isn’t my dog hungry?”
Could It Be The Type of Food?
Just like humans have preferences for culinary styles, ethnic food, textures, and flavors, dogs can have preferences too. Some dogs are more firm on their preferences than others. Are there additional flavors or add-ons we are putting on their food that they may not like? Is the food itself something our pup isn’t excited about?
For more information on how dogs taste and possible solutions, take a look at this resource:
Possible solutions? Get back to basics. Just serve food free from sauces, toppings, and other add-ons. If our pup eats more frequently, that may be the answer. Find different toppings that are more to Fido’s liking. Add toppings one at a time to discover the one that isn’t working our fur-baby. If this doesn’t work, try switching food. We have to introduce new food carefully because we don’t want to stress our pup’s digestive system.
Something like EcoEats is not only as close as one can get to whole foods without the frequent grocery store visits. It’s inexpensive, vet-approved, and formulated to taste amazing to dogs. Given the benefits, this dog food choice is sure to answer the question, “Why isn’t my dog hungry?”