5 Things That Can Cause Loss of Appetite in Dogs

October 11, 2016

appetitite loss in dogs

Most of the time our dogs act like ravenous beasts who devour any food that comes their way, although admittedly there are some dogs who are picky eaters. Puppies eat as if they haven’t been fed in weeks, even not long after they’ve already eaten. Most adult dogs really do look forward to every meal and every treat. There are times though, when a dog can lose his appetite no matter what type of eater he usually is. The reasons vary from dog to dog, but here are 5 things than can cause a loss of appetite.


The most obvious reason a dog can lose his appetite is simply because he doesn’t feel well, the same way we react when we feel ill or are in pain. Illnesses of all kinds can cause loss of appetite in dogs. Bacterial or viral infections, urinary tract infections, kidney failure, cancer and other illnesses or diseases can make your dog pick at their food or lose their appetite altogether.

If they are not eating after a couple days and you notice they are not drinking much water either, you’ll need to take your dog to the vet to find out what is wrong. No matter how much you cater to your dog, some causes of appetite loss are not treatable by you alone and need veterinary care to get your dog well and restore his appetite.

Eating Something They Shouldn’t

Loss of appetite in a dog can be caused by chewing something they found foraging in the garden that upset their stomach. Dogs will often consume anything that smells tempting, including things from the garbage if they can get to it, or bugs and insects, and these things can make them feel sick. Getting into foods that are dangerous for them to eat, such as chocolates left on the coffee table, can make dogs lose their appetite as well. Sometimes what tempts them can make them very sick. They don’t know the difference between something edible and something spoiled or toxic.


Depending on the type of injury, the medications they are taking for pain, or how intense the pain is, injury or disability can affect a dog’s appetite. Even the accompanying depression-like behavior some dogs exhibit when injured or in pain can affect how much they feel like eating, as can the limits in their function because of injury.


If your dog is getting older, you may see a change in their eating habits. Aging can bring physical changes and diseases that affect their appetite. An older dog may get less exercise and burn off less energy. Your dog may get more finicky about their food. They may need a change to a food more suited to older, more sedentary dogs, such as CANIDAE Senior Dog Formula with fresh chicken. Choosing a food appropriate for their age and the changes they are going through can help with appetite issues.


Dogs can react to stressful changes in their surroundings. They like everything in their environment to fit their own sense of order. Being in new surroundings, adding a new human or canine family member to the household, or any kind of unusual stress in the home environment can make your dog agitated. That in turn can lower their appetite until they feel secure or at ease again.

Even though dogs instinctively search out food wherever they are, any dog can lose his normally healthy appetite. Being aware of the different causes can help you solve whatever problem is causing their appetite change and get them back to eating healthy. You know your own dog best, so pay attention when you see any change in his appetite.

Share this: