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Loss of Appetite: 5 Reasons Why Your Dog Won’t Eat

Most of the time, dogs have strong appetites. Anything you put in front of them, they’ll devour without any hesitation. However, if your beloved pup isn’t eating like he used to, this behavior can be an alarming sign.

You shouldn’t take a dog suddenly showing low appetite lightly. Keep in mind that without proper nutrition, your pup may face different health issues. The first step you should take is to identify why your dog isn’t eating.

A Dubai pet food company has helpfully listed the following possible reasons why your canine pal is no longer drawn to food.

1. Upset stomach

If your dog ate something he shouldn’t, that unknown snack may trigger gastrointestinal issues. Even if your pup is well-trained, he can still get tempted to gobble up bugs, trash, and other seemingly appetizing objects. In this case, your dog may experience stomach pains and attempt to eliminate whatever they ate by vomiting or eating grass.

As a result of an upset stomach, your canine may also experience diarrhea. Either way, the feeling in your dog’s stomach will cause him to avoid food until he feels better.

2. Poor food quality

The quality of the food you give your dog can have a crucial effect on his appetite as well as his overall health. Most affordable pet foods will skimp on quality ingredients and may have less protein, making it tasteless for your canine friend. Any abrupt changes in your dog’s quality of food will make him avoid it, especially if he’s used to appetizing, high-quality pet food.

Beware of spoiled food

Even if you gave your dog high-quality food, it still needs to be fresh. Although most pet foods have a long shelf life, once it goes rancid, it can become smelly and unsavory to a dog.

When you buy pet food, particularly wet food that has a shorter shelf life, always check the expiration date. It may not only cause your pup to lose his appetite, but it may also lose the nutritional value that your canine needs to thrive.

3. New environment

Even if you found moving home was an easy process, chances are, your dog may have more issues adapting to his new environment. He may feel uneasy with his new surroundings, causing him to lose his appetite. In some cases, even simply moving food into a new room can cause problems.

Remember that dogs are animals of routine. Once their environment and schedule are established, they’ll thrive by sticking with it. Changing something, even a little bit of your dog’s usual routine, can make him uncomfortable.

When making any changes, do so gradually to ensure your pup’s comfort. Sudden difference in his day-to-day living can cause him to lose his appetite for some time until he gains confidence in his new routine.

4. Vaccinations or medication

New canine vaccines and medications made it possible to combat various dog health concerns as well as keep dangerous diseases at bay. However, even if canine healthcare has improved over the years, it can still cause some unwanted side effects for your dog. Certain medications may cause your pup to lose his appetite for a day or so, but the effects will easily wear off in no time.

5. Boredom

Do you still remember the last time you switched to another type of dog food? If not, your dog may be bored with the food you’re feeding him, causing him to lose his appetite. Consider that what once was appetizing may turn into something your canine pal wants to avoid.

From time to time, mix things up for your dog by adding something extra to ensure he continues to eat. For instance, you could:

  • Add gravy or a topping of wet dog food
  • Mix a can of wet food and dry food

Like you, your dog has certain preferences when it comes to food. There may be pet food flavors you have to stay away from because your pup finds them repulsive. Vegetable flavors or food items that have slight sour taste may be something your picky pal won’t enjoy.

Call the Vet

If you tried changing your dog’s diet but his appetite still isn’t back to normal, call your vet immediately. Your pup’s loss of appetite may be due to a serious health problem and only a professional can evaluate whether that’s indeed the case. Doing so, you help your vet administer the necessary care straight away and save your beloved dog’s life.


Farah Al-Khojai is the Managing Partner of Pet’s Delight. A passionate entrepreneur, Farah holds a Bsc in Government from the London School of Economics. She is always on the lookout for new opportunities to develop and grow the pet and equestrian retail and wholesale market in the UAE and beyond, and is proud to be at the helm of the first and the largest pet care provider in the market representing world-class brands including Orijen, Applaws, Hunter, Savic, Flamingo, Ruffwear and Rogz.

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