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A brown dog with a blue collar lies on the floor looking forward. To its left, there is an illustration of a dog bowl with a green bone on it and three purple question marks above, suggesting the dog's curiosity or confusion about the food.
Pet Blog

Why Won't My Dog Eat & What Should I Do

This post is written by holistic veterinarian at "I and love and you", Dr. Angie Krause, DVM, CVA, CCRT.

Food is love! How and what we feed our pets is a huge part of how we show our love. When our dogs won’t eat, it can be really distressing. In this article, I am going to outline why your dog might not be eating and what you can do it to help them finish their dinner.

The most common reasons for your dog not eating include:

  1. Medical problem
  2. Food preference
  3. Stomach upset
  4. They are practicing intermittent fasting
  5. Not hungry

Medical problem

It’s important to first rule out a medical problem that needs immediate attention. Serious health conditions that cause dogs not to eat, will only become worse if not treated. It can be tricky to know when to rush your pup to the vet. Here are a few guidelines:

It’s time to visit the vet when:

  • Your dog has NEVER missed a meal. This a giant red flag and a vet visit with blood work is in order. Make sure your vet knows that your dog has never missed a meal and request blood work to rule out kidney or liver disease.
  • Your dog has not had anything to eat in 36 hours. No matter if you have a picky dog or not, this is as long as your dog should go without eating.
  • Your dog has not had water in 24 hours. At this point, your pup is dehydrated and could benefit from fluids.
  • Your dog is vomiting or having diarrhea. When combined with not eating, vomiting and diarrhea can cause dehydration quickly.
  • Your dog is lethargic in addition to not eating. If your pup is not acting like themselves or they don’t want to take their usual walk for more than a day, head to the vet.