While most of the canine population will eat anything and everything, some dogs are fussy and getting them to eat can be a major headache. If your dog isn’t eating, the first thing you need to rule out is illness. If your dog usually eats without any hesitation and very suddenly develops a lack of appetite, this could mean they’re sick – especially if other symptoms are present (lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.). If this is the case, make an appointment to see your veterinarian as soon as possible.

If your dog shows no symptoms other than lack of appetite, there could be a number of things going on:

1) Some dogs are fussy eaters and kibble simply isn’t enticing enough. Adding some warm water to the kibble can help bring out the smell and taste. If that’s not enough, adding a few teaspoons of canned food can also make a dry meal more appetizing.

Keep in mind that there are plenty of food options available for dogs – not just kibble! Raw, dehydrated, or freeze-dried foods tend to be much tastier and a more natural way of feeding your dog. These options often work with the even the pickiest of eaters.

2) Sometimes owners create finicky dogs by giving them too many food options. Whether it be delicious treats throughout the day or yummy table scraps, a dog is likely to hold out for the goodies and pass on their food. Avoid feeding your dog too many treats and avoid table scraps altogether to ensure your dog has a healthy appetite for their food.

3) A dog that is in a new or unfamiliar surrounding will often not eat due to stress and confusion. Once the dog feels comfortable he/she should start eating again.

4) During the blazing hot months of summer, you are likely to see a decrease in your dog’s appetite. This is very normal. Just as we humans tend to eat lighter in the summer months, so do our dogs! Also keep in mind that if it’s too hot to exercise properly, your dog will require less food overall.

Because loss of appetite could be an indication of illness, seek veterinary care if your dog still won’t eat after 24 hours – especially if he/she usually has a good appetite!

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Tonia has owned her own dog walking company and been a full-time professional dogwalker for over 4 years. She is a member of Pet Sitters International and the Pet Professional Guild (the Association for Force-Free Pet Professionals). She volunteers weekly at a local dog shelter where she gets to feed and spend time with many furry friends.
She started Dogwalker World to share her knowledge and passion about dogs and their natural instinct to walk and explore. She believes (and knows) that walking your dog can be a fun activity that will only strengthen your bond with them. This website is her dedication to you to ensure that you find the tools and advice necessary to make walking your dog a success!

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