Why is My Dog Not Eating? The Top 6 Reasons!

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By: Rita Cunha Updated: April 17, 2020

dog looking at food and dog not drinking water or eatingIs your dog not eating? If you’ve ever had a dog who won’t eat the food you give them, you’ll know how frustrating this can be. Since they can’t put into words why they’re not eating, it’s natural for pet owners to feel frustrated and worried. There will be so many things going through their head.

Maybe their dog isn’t eating because they’re sick, maybe it’s one of the signs that your dog’s health deteriorating. Maybe they’re just a fussy eater!

In this article, we’ll be going over some of the most common reasons dog won’t eat. Hopefully, after reading it, you’ll know the answer to the question Why is my dog not eating?

Is Your Dog Not Eating? Loss of Appetite in Dogs

Most dogs love eating. In fact, they’ll eat anything they can get their paws on. Whether it’s dry kibble, wet food, dog treats, or human food, it’s not easy to find a dog who is a picky eater. But sometimes, a dog will go through a lack of appetite, worrying their owners.

There are many explanations as to why your puppy isn’t eating. But eating small amounts or refusing to eat altogether isn’t always a sign of a deadly condition.

dog not eating food needing appetite stimulant for dogs

Stress, an upset stomach, or other environmental factors could be one of the possible explanations. But if your dog refuses to eat for more than 24 hours, it could be one of the telltale symptoms that your puppy is sick.

In any way, you should be attentive to any changes in your dog’s diet. If they’re not eating as much as they used to, you should call your vet and ask for their opinion. In doing so, you could be preventing your doggo from becoming even sicker.

There Are Many Reasons Why A Dog Won’t Eat! Here Are Just 3 Common Reasons Why!

Is your dog not eating? Well, there are a lot of reasons why dogs won’t eat. They range from not severe to concerning, depending on how severe their lack of appetite is.

Change of Surroundings

If you’re just moved with your puppy, it’s not uncommon for them to skip one or two meals. They aren’t used to their new home and may feel stressed about the change.

This is especially true if you drove your dog to the new home. Some dogs get motion sickness, which affects their appetite for some hours. Recently adopted dogs may also go through this appetite problem. They’ve left their shelter or previous home to start their life in a new one.

pug puppy not eating, how long can a dog go without eating

Behavior Issues

Another reason could be that you’re feeding your pup during inopportune times. If you’re placing their bowl on an aggressive dog’s territory, your pup might be too anxious to eat. To prevent this, make sure you leave the dog food in designated places. Each dog should have their own little space to enjoy a fulfilling meal.

Recent Vaccination

If you’ve just taken your puppy to the vet to get vaccinated, this could be why they’re not eating. Vaccines save thousands of puppies each year, but they can have negative side effects on some dogs. One of the less severe ones is a lack of appetite. It usually goes away some hours after the vaccine, but it’s not uncommon for the dog to skip a meal or two.

CBD Oil for Dogs Not Eating Treatment

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Is Your Puppy Not Eating? Here’s What It Could Be!

But a puppy who doesn’t eat could be the cause of health problems. In these cases, it’s more urgent that you figure out what is causing the lack of appetite.

my dog won't eat, man trying to find golden retriever dog food

Dental Disease

Dog not eating? Did you know one of the more common explanations is a dental disease. If your dog’s mouth has a problem — it could be a rotten tooth, a cut, or even infected gums, eating would cause pain. You should get them checked out at the vet. Otherwise, it’s quite possible that your puppy will stay away even from canned food until their problem is solved.

Upset Stomach

Dogs are just as curious as cats and will try to eat everything that’s put in front of them. Sometimes, this means eating socks, underwear, wood, or even bugs! This will upset their stomach and their intestines, causing pain and discomfort. They won’t want to eat until whatever they ate that was bad has passed through their system.

If you see your puppy vomit or diarrhea, it could be a sign that they’re coming down with a gastrointestinal illness.

Other Illnesses

A dog not eating could be a sign of other underlying diseases. Illnesses such as kidney failure, cancer, liver disease, or even infections cause a loss of appetite. If they’re sick, refusing to eat is one of the telltale signs of their discomfort. This is especially true of older dogs. If they continue to not eat for long periods of time, it could be very dangerous for your pet. Going to a veterinarian is recommended.

My Dog Won’t Eat! Should I Take them to the Vet?

A dog not eating for quite a while, then it could be a sign that something is particularly wrong. If you see your pupper skipping more than two meals, definitely take them to the veterinarian.

Since dogs don’t diet like we humans do, dogs don’t stop eating because they want to lose weight. It’s almost always a sign that something is wrong. If you haven’t changed up their food and turned it into a bland diet, it might be best to take them to the vet.

Appetite Stimulant for Dog Not Eating: Make Fido’s Food Taste Yummy Again

Sometimes, puppies will stop eating their food not because they’re sick but because they’re sick of it. If you were always given bland, tasteless food you don’t like, you’d most likely not want to eat it. The same thing happens with dogs! They can be just as picky as us.

my dog wont eat, dog eating nothing

If you suspect this, and not some illness such as kidney disease, is the cause, try switching up his diet. We recommend that you start feeding them tasty — yet healthy! — dog food. Start out by buying small packages and giving your dog some of the kibbles to start. If they don’t like the flavor, try a new one. It may seem tiring and frustrating, but once you find what your dog likes, you can stick to it.

In addition to trying out new foods, you can also try supplements. This is great for dogs who have pre-existing conditions and who need a little help in getting better. There are thousands of traditional medicine options out there, but you can go down the natural path as well.


We highly, highly recommend Honest Paws and all their products. They are all manufactured in the United States, are recommended by several veterinarians and pet parents, and the company has an awesome philosophy.

In short, just like children, having a dog who is a picky eater can be nerve-wracking. Because they can’t communicate through words what they’re feeling and why they’re not eating, it’s up to you to find out. Put on your detective hat and start piecing the clues together. With the tips we’ve given you throughout this article, it shouldn’t be too difficult to get to the bottom of this mystery!


If your dog is skipping more than two meals and they used to be avid eaters, then something is probably wrong with them. It could anything from environmental, such as changing their surroundings, or something more serious that could be causing them pain.

In any case, watch their diet habits closely and, if they skip too many meals and start to develop lethargy, take them to the vet. They’ll be your best bet in getting to the bottom of everything and potentially saving your furry best friend.

why won't my dog eat, pug puppy not hungry

Common Questions on Why A Dog Isn’t Eating

1. Is it normal for my dog to skip meals?

2. What could be the cause of it?

3. Should I take them to the vet?

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