If you’re the type of pet parent who googles your dog’s symptoms, then the termanorexia might be a scary one. Anorexia - not to be confused with anorexia nervosa, an eating disorder associated with humans - describes a loss in appetite in your dog. But before jumping to conclusions, read on to find out what could be causing it.
Underlying health issues
Dogs tend to hide their pain when they’re unwell which means that it is our duty to watch out for any telling signs. Refusal to eat is a common sign exhibited by dogs when they’re experiencing any form of pain. If you’ve ruled out everything (such as palatability of food, etc), then it’s time to take your dog for a check up. However, that is not to say that you should let this drag on for too long - especially if it’s a complete refusal of food and a decreased water intake.
Stress is a huge factor affecting your pup’s appetite. Many things - unfamiliar environments, a new family member, separation anxiety - can contribute to stress and impact their eating habits. Give them some time to adjust to their surroundings, but if the decreased in appetite is persistent, you should talk to your vet about it.
It is said that dogs are not born to be picky eaters, but rather, they learn to be picky. This stems from a couple of reasons - the most obvious, and common reason being that they’ve have had their fill of better tasting food. I.e. table scraps or yummy treats right before their meals. Consider adding some appetite stimulants such as the meal mixers by Stella & Chewy’s to make their meals more appealing and palatable. However, when making any changes to their food, it’s important to transition slowly to avoid an upset stomach.
Dogs are able to tell when the food they are fed has gone stale or even rancid. What is not noticeable to the naked eye is picked up by their sense of smell. Food with higher-fat content tend to go bad faster especially if it’s stored poorly or has been around for a while. Place opened food (in its original packaging) in food containers, or airtight containers to preserve the quality and condition of the food for a longer period. Consider food containers like Stefanplast Cat & Dog Food Container.
If you have a senior dog, chances are you’ll see a change in their eating habits. This is natural - as dogs age, their metabolism slows down and they become less active which in turns affects their appetite. You may want to consider switching to food more suited for older dogs - Wellness has some great options or consider PetCubes Senior Range! If you do, however, notice other worrying signs accompanying the loss of appetite, a trip to the vet might be necessary.
Kim is an avid dog lover, serial guac and chips eater, and thrill seeker - all in one body. Currently chillin’ with her dogs.