What do I do if My Dog Isn’t Eating?

Our pets become a part of the family and dogs have so much personality and character; it is easy to notice when they are not feeling themselves. It can be worrying if you have noticed that your dog isn’t eating or has lost its appetite, it is important to be aware of the possible causes and seek professional advice as soon as possible.

My Dog Isn’t Eating
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Spotting the Signs

Firstly, it is essential to establish that your dog is experiencing a loss of appetite or refusing to eat. Spotting the signs should be easy as it will usually involve your dog showing little to no interest in food, which continues throughout the day and night.

Understanding the Causes and Finding a Solution

There may be several reasons why your dog is not eating its dinner, and it is vital to assess the situation and decipher what the cause may be. If necessary, once you have sought the advice of a medical professional, you may want to try and encourage your dog to eat. Below are the common causes that stop a dog from eating and basic tips on what you can do.

Health Problems

If your pooch has lost his appetite due to an underlying medical issue, then the first point of call would be to visit a veterinarian. Other signs of a medical problem may be vomiting and diarrhoea.

Your vet will be able to do a check-up and, if necessary, perform tests to help identify the problem and suggest treatment. Sometimes, it may be a problem with teeth or gums. In this case, teeth can be checked, and foreign objects that may be lodged can be removed.

If a health problem is the cause of your dog’s discomfort, the recommended treatment should likely see their appetite return once they feel better.


If it seems that your furry friend has not lost their appetite or has anything preventing it from eating, it may be that there is a problem with the food that you are providing. The first thing to check is that the food is in good condition and in date, as pet food can go off.

Dogs can have a preferred taste just like humans, so it’s worth trying a different brand or flavour, as it may simply be a case of dislike. To encourage eating, you can also try warming tinned food or adding a little water to dry biscuits to change the texture. Make sure what you are feeding is providing your pet with the sustenance, vitamins and nutrients it needs.

My Dog Isn’t Eating
by Glenn Han (@sageforest)

Bad Habits

Make sure you are not spoiling your dog and allowing bad habits to develop. Feeding lots of treats or table scraps can cause your dog to fill up on food that doesn’t contain enough nutrients and could be detrimental to their health in the long run.

If you suspect this to be the cause of the problem, the first step is to cut out treats and snacks immediately.

Secondly, establish a regular feeding routine. It is likely that after a day or two, once your dog has realised they will not be getting treats or leftovers, they will resume their regular eating habits.

My Dog Isn’t Eating
Photo by Sarah Brown on Unsplash

Try Using a Supplement

There is evidence to suggest that certain supplements such as hemp for dogs may encourage appetite. There are several reasons other than those listed above that could cause your little friend to lose their appetite, such as anxiety and inflammation. It has been observed that CBD oil derived from the hemp plant can have significant effects in reducing such problems in animals.

We hope you find the solution to your doggy appetite problem! Take a look at our other blogs for pet care tips and advice.