Most pets are incredibly motivated by food. They’ll do almost anything to get their paws (and jaws) on whatever we’re enjoying, but they won’t snub their own food bowl, either. Known to appreciate midday snacks, or appreciate post-training treats, pets just love to eat.
However, when a pet stops staring dolefully at your pizza crust or requires some loving encouragement to try their food, something is usually awry. If your pet won’t eat, there could be very specific reasons that explain why.
From Good Appetite to Poor
Many pet owners feel like their pet is always hungry. Whether they are truly empty is up for debate, but there is a noticeable link between satisfaction and overall wellness. A reluctance to eat can be caused by any number of things, and none of them should be ignored.
Inappetence in pets can be caused by stress or anxiety, environmental changes (like a new roommate or new pet), or shifts in their routine. It can also occur when their food flavor, texture, or kibble size changes.
Unfortunately, chronic pain or illness may also cause your pet to stop eating.Medication side effects can also cause tummy trouble, but gastrointestinal obstructions can cause a pet to stop eating, too. Dental disease in pets is another common culprit of your pet avoiding their food.
Getting to the bottom of why your pet won’t eat can be as simple as understanding whether they have an interest in food, or they simply cannot chew or digest it. This can be helpful to figure out possible underlying conditions.
Up Close and Personal
If your pet’s disinterest in food reaches a point of concern, a nose-to tail examination will be a necessary part of the process in determining why. We will look closely at your pet’s mouth for any abnormalities, palpate the abdomen, and gather as much information as possible to move ahead.
We will discuss any other changes in their environment or behaviors, such as eating and drinking habits.
Diagnostics, like blood tests or diagnostic imaging may reveal what’s happening beneath the surface.
The Path Forward
Once we know why your pet won’t eat, we can treat their issue. Some owners may be successful with hand feeding their pet until they feel better. Warming food or adding a little broth or baby food can make all the difference to a pet with stomach issues. Also, if the problem is dental-related we can schedule a procedure to help them with pain.