It can be a worrying time for any pet owner when their dog is not eating right. It can mean a number of different problems and above all, it usually means their beloved pet is not well and potentially could be very ill. Of course, as with any concern to do with your dog, you should consult a vet, especially if they cease to eat properly. The following is an overview of some of the potential causes that put a dog off his food.
Nausea / belly pain.
Any type of sick feeling or even gassy pain will cause a dog to not eat, just as in a human. They may feel bloated, or they may have eaten something outside that has not agreed with them. This may pass with time, as usual nausea, thus regaining their appetite for the next meal. However sometimes it does not pass and that may be the time to call a vet. It could be a number of internal problems, from kidney or liver problems or an ulcer that causes them pain. A vet will be able to tell you.
A sore throat can be caused from a sharp piece of food that they have swallowed and therefore cut the lining of their esophagus. Even a minor cut can cause pain when swallowing thereafter, and so your dog may be off his food temporarily because of that. If you have reason to suspect this, give him access to plenty of water to drink.
Your dog might be suffering from a blockage, either from food or from a foreign object such as a ball or other small object that he may have swallowed. While these things often get down the throat easily enough, they can become lodged in the intestines and may even need surgery to remove. You will begin to notice that not only does your dog stop eating, but he stops going to the bathroom as well. This may be a good indicator as to the fact he has something lodged. He will most probably show signs of stomach ache as well because of this and will certainly need veterinary assistance.
Finding other food.
Your dog may also be off his food because he has found another source of food. It might be that he is rummaging through garbage and eating scraps, or it may be that he is running off and someone who has come across him has begun to feed him. If your suspect this, then you can attach a note to his collar and tag, requesting that no one feed him because he is leaving he dinner at home. If your dog is rummaging and scavenging, you might want to consider restraining him or keeping him enclosed in your yard thus avoiding his dining out!
While these are some reasons that your dog could be off his food, there are many other potential causes too. If you are unsure you should always consult a vet and have your dog seen in case it is anything serious. Never ignore any changes in your dogs eating behaviors.
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