Is your pup turning his or her face and nose away from the sight of their favorite food? Are you trying to get them to eat through different ways and means but are not successful? Well, loss of appetite or anorexia is common in growing dogs. This type of anorexia is different from the human condition of anorexia nervosa.
In humans, it is more of a psychiatric problem as the person has a false notion of being overweight. In dogs, it is a simple refusal of eating any food and chances are that it is just a problem of your pup being a picky eater!
Most vets would agree with the fact that as long as your pet is not underweight and showing signs of pain, fever, diarrhea or vomiting it is a natural process of dogs going off food for a short period. The best thing for you to do is to provide them a well balanced meal and not force them to eat. They will eat when they are hungry. If you forcibly try to make your pet eat then you will push them to become a picky eater apart from making them obese. This will pose a whole new set of health problems for your pet.
If you feel that your pet’s appetite has not improved after a couple of days then it is best for them to be professionally checked by the vet.
Here are the causes for anorexia in dogs:
The most serious causes for lack of appetite in your pet are:
- Organ failure (in liver or kidneys)
The other less worrisome causes for anorexia in your pet are:
- Separation anxiety
- Change in their environment
- Teething problem in puppies
You need to find out which of the above applies to your dog and a vet may be the best person to help you figure the problem and arrive at the best solution.
What can I do?
Here are a few ways that you can tempt your picky eater to eat their food:
- Try giving them small bits of meat to eat. If they eat them with relish then you will know that the problem is not the food but the fact that your pet has turned into a picky eater.
- Warm up the food before serving them as it would release an appetizing aroma which will make your pet interested to eat.
- Completely cut down on serving tidbits of your meal and snacks to your pet and reduce the amount of treats you handout to them. This way they will be compelled to eat their meals.
- Your pup is a creature of routine. They may be used to eating a particular meal everyday and introducing them to new food will make them uninterested in eating it. So, the best thing for you to do is to mix a bit of the old food with the new one.
It is always a good idea to contact your vet for further professional advice.