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Steps To Take When Your Dog Stops Eating

Photo by Engin Akyurt from Pexels

Dogs rarely turn down a bowl of food so it can become worrying when they suddenly start to lose their appetite. There are many reasons why this can become the case, and as the pet owner, there are steps you can take to get to the bottom of things. 

So, if your dog is no longer interested in the food you have been giving him, consider the following. The sooner you find out what the problem is the better, as for the health of your dog, you do need to return him to his regular eating habits. 

#1: Keep an eye on your dog’s behavior

What does your dog do when you serve him his food? Does he shy away from his food bowl? If so, it could be because he doesn’t like the look or the smell of the food. It might be that it has gone off or your dog might be bored of the food you are serving him. 

On the other hand, it might be that your dog is full. If you have been feeding him tidbits throughout the day, this could be why his appetite has seemingly disappeared. On the other hand, your dog could be depressed. A loss of appetite is one sign related to the doggy blues, so look out for other signs, including low activity levels and a tendency to sleep more. 

Another problem could be separation anxiety. If your dog eats when you’re around but doesn’t touch his food when you’re out, this could be the reason why. There are tips in the linked article for more advice on this matter. 

These are some of the things you can look out for but be alert to any other types of behavior.

#2: Check for signs of ill-health

A number of medical conditions can lead to a loss of appetite in dogs. These can be related to stomach disorders, food allergies, dental issues, and problems within the internal organs. You will be able to spot the signs of some of these yourself. 

By carefully checking the insides of your dog’s mouth, you will be able to see if they have any loose or decayed teeth, or if their gums are sore and inflamed. By checking your dog’s coat and skin, you will be able to look for signs of an infection or any type of injury. And if your dog vomits regularly, this could be a sign of a food allergy or poisoning. Such problems will result in a reduced appetite, so you need to consider the next step and take the appropriate actions. 

#3: Support the needs of your dog

The most obvious thing to do when you think your dog has health problems is to visit your vet. This should be something you do even if you think the problem is minor, as there could be underlying conditions that pose bigger health risks to your dog. 

You might also need to change your dog’s diet. This could be something you do if you suspect your dog is bored of the food you are giving him, but it’s also something your vet will advise when the problem is a food allergy. Check the advice at for more tips on your dog’s diet.

And if your dog is depressed, you should take the necessary next steps to help him out of his slump. This includes taking him on longer, more rewarding walks, and providing more opportunities for play and companionship. Your vet will offer you more advice on this too. 


Dogs love to eat so don’t become complacent if your dog suddenly stops eating. There will be a reason why, and we might have touched on it in this article. See your vet for further advice and take the necessary next steps to return your dog to his usual eating habits. 


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