Dogs will occasionally forego food due to a number of factors. Limited, short-term fasting is a tool used by all animals for many different reasons. A minor illness, anxiety, and a bad meal are a few situations that might cause your dog to skip a meal or two. Short periods of fasting in dogs are an evolutionary behavior handed down from wolves, their direct ancestors. Wolves and other wild animals, if they’re not feeling well, will fast without thinking about it. Short-term fasting has beneficial cleansing processes, which can rid the body of unwanted disease, virus and other harmful substances.
But extended appetite loss in dogs is more troubling. If your pet hasn’t eaten food for more than two days, you should take it to the vet immediately.
Primary Causes of Loss of Appetite in Dogs
The true cause of your dog’s appetite loss can be determined by your veterinarian. Before finding a canine appetite stimulant, it helps to pinpoint the exact cause. Any of these conditions can cause dogs to stop eating for extended periods of time:
- Serious illness – cancer, diabetes, intestinal worms, renal failure
- Viral infections
- Bacterial infections
- Excessive stress
- Digestive issues or IBD
- And many more
My Dog Has a Loss of Appetite. What’s Next?
A loss of appetite in dogs can signal serious underlying issues. But before overreacting, you must get a solid estimate of your pet’s daily food intake. If it seems your dog isn’t eating enough, don’t hit the panic button just yet. Many pets routinely take in anywhere from 60% – 90% of the recommended caloric guidelines. And remember, your dog may have simply skipped a meal or two – that doesn’t qualify as appetite loss, according to the strict definition.
So before figuring out a cure for a loss of appetite in your dog, you must confirm that your dog is indeed suffering lethargic or disinterested eating habits. Many wasted trips to the vet could’ve been avoided by simply establishing a solid baseline of canine eating habits. Numerous veterinarian visits have ended with the realization that a dog has been eating enough all along!
A canine appetite stimulant can be a valuable tool if your dog experiences a sudden or gradual loss of appetite. A healthy, robust appetite is not only essential for your dog’s well-being – it’s also a sure-fire indicator that your pet is in the best possible health. Nothing gives an owner greater confidence in their dog’s health than a regular, established, healthy eating plan.
Appetite is partially controlled by your dog’s ability to harness key antioxidants and phytochemicals from certain foods. This “sub-level” of nutrition is layered underneath the obvious benefits of getting enough vitamins, minerals, fats, proteins and other macronutrients.
What we cannot see in our dog’s nutritional habits and regular eating regimen often have the most long-lasting impact. That’s why it is imperative to ensure your dog is getting the best possible nutrition, day in and day out.