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What’s Behind Your Dog’s Loss of Appetite

May 1, 2015
Your retriever mix Hunter is known as the “Kibbles Monster.” This good-sized four-year-old pooch has an impressive appetite, chowing down on his meals before snarfing the cat’s crunchies. He even trolls the floor and kitchen counters on occasion. Lately, however, your normally ravenous canine has just nosed his bowl around the floor, picking a few bites before turning away. You’re concerned about substandard nutrition and a possible medical problem. Tomorrow, your Ellicott City veterinarian will give Hunter a thorough physical exam and expert nutritional counseling.

Painful Dental Problem

If poor Hunter is suffering from a hidden dental condition, he might not be interested in eating much. You might see obvious clues such as damaged teeth, mouth or facial sores, or a foreign object. Don’t try to open your dog’s mouth, as he won’t cooperate and could become quite testy. Instead, pack your uncomfortable pooch off to the vet, who will safely diagnose and treat his problem. Once his dental malady is resolved, he’ll likely enjoy his food again.

Poor-Quality Food

You’ve always provided your demanding pooch with the best food in town. Lately, however, your crazy schedule has distracted you; and you might have missed the latest bag’s expiration date. It’s even possible the contents might have gotten spoiled or rancid. Your discerning dog refuses to chow down on those substandard kibbles.

Snacks Everywhere

Hunter takes every chance to grab a few extra bites. On his daily walks, he begs for treats from every friend (or stranger) he meets. During mealtimes, he patrols the table, looking for accidental fallout and hounding your family for handouts. He has become so good at his work that he gives lessons to his dog park buddies. Unfortunately for his waistline, however, your dog has gained several pounds from consuming those surplus calories. He’s also not interested in his own boring food.

More Enticing Kibbles

Maybe your dog’s food needs that extra zing, that appealing smell and taste he can’t resist. Spice up his kibbles by sprinkling them with warm water. If your vet approves, mix in some warmed canned contents. Be careful not to burn your companion’s sensitive mouth. Once Hunter resumes eating, let him gobble his meals without disruptions. Give him lots of praise afterward. If your dog has lost interest in his food, contact your Ellicott City veterinarian for expert advice.

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