Causes of Dog Appetite Loss

Dog appetite loss can happen for a variety reasons, ranging from illness to the side effects of medication. Lack of appetite is not always cause for alarm, but your attention is required to get your dog a check up or investigate what's causing this behavior. If your dog has no appetite for more than a day, be sure and get to the root of the problem.

Monitor the Weight and Appetite of a Dog

Continually monitor your dog's eating and exercise habits. Any sudden or unexplained weight loss or decreased appetite is abnormal. Find out what's causing it before the weight loss can bring on additional health or behavioral problems. Here's what else your dog may be up against if he has a chronic loss of appetite:

Dog Appetite and Health Disorders

A metabolic disorder such as Addison's disease (or hypoadrenocorticism) can cause a dog to have a decrease in appetite. When a dog has Addison's disease, he has a deficiency in his adrenocortical hormones. Signs of the disease include poor skin and coat, increased drinking, urination and gradual weight loss. This may be accompanied by gastroenteritis, vomiting and dehydration.

Other conditions/health disorders where a dog experiences weight or appetite loss:

  • Hepatitis
  • Kidney or renal disease
  • Pancreatic insufficiency
  • Some forms of cancer
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Gastrointestinal obstruction
  • Bacterial infection
  • Depression/lack of attention

Dietary Issues and Pet's Loss of Appetite

Improper nutrition can affect canines, including their weight and appetite levels. If a dog has a deficient level of protein intake, or the protein-to-calorie ratio is off, he will lose weight. A healthy dog has a strong appetite and needs to be fed the correct amount of food on a regular basis.

While it should not be a problem getting most dogs to eat, some can be stubborn when it comes to meal time. If so, get your dog to eat at the same time each day. Establish a set routine for serving meals. Some dogs may become lethargic and disinterested in eating if they are not routinely walked, played with, and on a well-balanced diet. In addition, dogs less than 6 months of age may have inconsistent appetites and need special attention in this area.

Serving a well-formulated dog food is the best to provide your pet with proper nutrition. If your dog is picky, try feeding him different types of protein and foods to discover what he prefers. Administer a supplement when necessary to keep up his vitamin and mineral levels.

Miscellaneous Reasons for a Dog Appetite Loss

In most cases, weight loss occurs when your dog is burning more calories than he is consuming. However, a dog may experience a loss of appetite because of certain medications. Drugs given for arthritis or allergies such as aspirin, carprofen, deramaxx and naproxen, are in this category.

Other issues that may contribute to dog appetite loss:

  • Dental issues: A dog may not want to eat because of pain from an oral abscess or tooth problem.
  • Diarrhea can cause dehydration and lead to decreased appetite and weight loss.
  • Parasites or parasite-caused diseases such as hookworms and mange.
  • Sudden change in environment, such as a new home.