10 Reasons Why My Dog Is Not Eating

No matter if you’ve just adopted a puppy or if you’ve been taking care of them for years now, nothing makes your heart beat faster than when your dog won’t eat properly. 

Especially since dogs love to devour their meals and treats, it can be outright unsettling when they suddenly don’t want to eat anything. Wondering why your dog is refusing his favorite treat? Are you worried about what’s bothering them?

Well, then you’ve come to the right place! To help you tackle the problem head-on and get your dog back to chowing down on their meals, we’ve compiled ten reasons as to why they won’t eat. Ready? Let’s dive right in!

The reasons behind your dog’s loss of appetite can vary greatly. That’s why we’ve added the main ones below: 

They’re Feeling Stressed 

Just like humans start losing their appetite when they suffer from stress, your dogs may not feel like eating if they experience stress. 

As for what’s stressing them out? This may be because they’re in a new environment or if they feel something is changing. Moreover, they may even experience stress because your behavior is out of the ordinary.

You’ll know if your dog is stressing out if you notice them growling, shaking, yawning, drooling, shedding, or hiding.

To help your dog feel better, it’s best to keep your schedule as familiar as possible. Overpampering may lead your dog to feel even stressed, so keep that to the normal amount. However, if you feel it’s persistent and your dog isn’t feeling any better, be sure to go to a vet. 

Tooth Or Oral Problems

It’s no secret: a toothache or mouth sore destroys the meal. And it’s no different for your dog. If they eat little to no food, it may mean your dog needs a checkup.  

Since dogs can’t exactly walk up to you and say ‘hey, my tooth is hurting,’ it’s comparatively harder to spot these problems. However, swollen or bleeding gums can easily turn into worse problems if they aren’t treated.

Moreover, oral tumors, gingivitis, or periodontal disease may be causing them pain while they eat. Broken or loose teeth ache with every bite, obviously, but this makes it hard for them to enjoy food or chew their toys.

If you think your dog has any dental issues, clear up some time in your schedule to visit a vet right away. Your vet may then put your dog on a planned diet.


Another possible reason behind your dog’s low level of eating can be because of sickness.

This is especially true if your dog shows signs and symptoms of sickness at the same time, like weight loss, loose stools, or other physical changed behavior. 

If your dog doesn’t eat after a couple of days, be sure to take them to the vet to avoid being unaware of underlying issues like cancer, systemic infections, pain, liver problems, and kidney failure. 

Vaccines Or Medicines

There’s a wide array of vaccines used to cure your dog of a variety of different diseases. And despite being perfect for your pets, they may have certain adverse effects. 

Most of these are minor and don’t last that long, so you don’t have much to worry about for the most part. 

On the flip side, if your dog has been taking some new medications, the drug may be upsetting their stomachs. If your dog doesn’t feel better in a few days, be sure to reach out to a vet. 

The Quality Of The Food

Just like you don’t appreciate weeks old food, your dog may be smelling the fact that the food you’re giving isn’t exactly ‘fresh.’

The easiest and obvious way to avoid this is by reading the labels and expiry dates on cans before taking the food out. This way, your dog and you won’t have to deal with vomiting, diarrhea, or fever. 

Separation Anxiety

Dogs often need their home pack to be there when eating. That’s why if you or someone in the household is gone during dinner or lunch, your dog might want to wait until everyone is at the table.  

And if someone from your family is leaving for a long time, you might have to give your dog some time to adjust to it. The best way to help your dog get better is by offering them their favorite food and lots of love! 

Bad Feeding Habits

While there’s nothing cuter than the wide, charming smile your dog gives you as you feed them scraps and treats every now and then, this can greatly affect their appetite. 

If you overfeed your dog or give them more than the recommended portion, they won’t want to eat dinner and lunch. To combat this, create a strict routine for your dog to monitor their eating habits. This will get them right back on track in no time!

Your Dog Is Finicky 

We know what you’re thinking; really now? Yes, just like you prefer some food over others, your dog ends up developing a taste for some foods as well. 

This leads to them enjoying certain flavors while staying far away from others. This may even go as far as to them just disliking certain flavors. Just try to find out what flavors they like. 

Traveling Or Unfamiliar Surroundings

If you’re traveling with your dog and/or going to a new place, be ready for your dog’s decreased appetite. 

Since your dog is basically dealing with sensory overload with countless smells, sounds, new people, and sights attacking him from all sides, it can be hard for him to detect familiar scents. 

Your dog may eat only once or twice a day while spending most of their time sniffing their new world. But don’t worry, their appetite will return after a while. 


It may not come off as a surprise to you, but dogs mostly follow a routine. Once you establish a schedule for them, they’ll want to stick with it. 

A little change here and there, and they might start feeling uncomfortable. Making changes to feeding time, exercise, or introducing someone new may have them experience anxiety. 

That’s why you need to ensure changes are slow and gradual, giving your dog enough time to be comfortable with the change. This also makes sure your dog doesn’t completely lose their appetite. 

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