As an enthusiastic passionate dog lover with over 20 years of experience caring for furry friends, I often get asked “My Akita Shepherd Won’t Eat, what should I do?” It’s a prevalent puzzle for folks with four-legged family members when their canine companion seems disinterested in mealtime. As an ardent animal authority, permit me to offer my best strategies to get your pup excited about eating again.
There are many possible reasons why your pup may have lost their appetite. This article explores the top causes and proven solutions to help get your dog to eat again. Below are 10 of the most common reasons your dog might not be eating. Alternatively if you want to save some time you can ask a dog vet directly.
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Common Reasons Your Akita Shepherd Won’t Eat
1. Dental Disease and Oral Pain
Dental disease like gum disease, dental abscesses, and fractured teeth is very common in dogs and can cause severe oral pain that prevents them from wanting to chew their food. Signs that your Akita Shepherd has dental issues include bad breath, reddened gums, rubbing the mouth, and dropping food. Dogs may start eating only soft food or refuse to eat their meals.
See your vet immediately if you notice these signs of dental disease, as untreated infections can spread bacteria to the bloodstream. Your vet will likely recommend a complete dental cleaning and extraction of diseased teeth under anesthesia to relieve your dog’s oral pain. They may also prescribe antibiotics and analgesics. With treatment, your Akita Shepherd appetite should bounce back within a few days once the mouth pain subsides.
2. Nausea from Gastrointestinal Upset
Akita Shepherds often refrain from eating when they suffer from symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or other gastrointestinal problems. Possible GI problems range from dog food allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, parasitic infections, and viral enteritis. can be the cause an Akita Shepherd wont eat.
Diagnostic tests like bloodwork, fecal exams, and abdominal imaging can help identify the underlying condition causing loss of appetite. The appetite usually returns quickly after the nausea reduces, especially with treatments involving anti-nausea medications, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, and tailored diets.
It’s crucial to adhere strictly to the vet’s prescribed treatment regimen and ensure your Akita Shepherd gets the suggested doses.
3. Anxiety and Stress
Akita Shepherds are sensitive to changes in routine, travel, new environments, loud noises, and meeting unfamiliar dogs or people. Often, these situations filled with tension or anxiety result in a dog’s diminished appetite or total rejection of food.
It’s advisable to keep your dog’s stress in check by sticking to usual routines and considering anti-anxiety drugs or supplements upon your vet’s recommendation. To entice them, consider hand-feeding tasty options like grilled chicken, moist puppy chow, or kibble drenched in a savory broth.
As your Akita Shepherd starts to relax and become more comfortable with the change causing their stress, their appetite should improve.
4. Akita Shepherd Decreased Sense of Smell
Older ans and those suffering from ongoing nasal or respiratory conditions frequently experience a weakened sense of smell. Should the dog food come off as flavorless or uninviting, it doesn’t inspire them to eat or kindle their appetite.
You could heat canned or moistened food to enhance its smell.You can also sprinkle potent smelling mix-ins like chicken broth, shredded cheese, bacon bits, or canned fish over their regular kibble.This makes the food more enticing.
Should a respiratory infection be the culprit behind the diminished sense of smell, vet-prescribed antibiotics and nasal decongestants might rejuvenate their hunger.
5. Picky Eating Habits
Some Akita Shepherds are just naturally picky, whether due to boredom with their food or preference for human foods. Finicky eaters may start refusing meals or eating very selectively.
In addressing a discerning dog’s inclinations, it could be beneficial to cyclically swap between 3-4 quality food options like air-dried, raw, or canned varieties. To their usual kibble, you might introduce enticing ingredients like cubed ham, stirred eggs, flavorless yogurt, or cottage cheese.
It’s essential not to feed them human leftovers, so you don’t reinforce choosy behavior. With patience and creativity, you can find foods your picky dog loves.
We suggest looking into these items specifically designed for choosy Akita Shepherds.
6. Underlying Medical Issue
Many internal health challenges, not limited to dental and gastrointestinal conditions, can result in a lack of appetite in Akita Shepherds. Among the problems are diseases of the kidney, cancerous growths, hypothyroidism, infections in the urinary system, and failure of vital organs.
It’s urgent to consult your vet if your grown dog abstains from food for over 24 hours or displays fatigue. Procedures including blood tests, analyses of urine, and imaging techniques can identify if there’s a concealed health concern impeding your dog’s hunger.
Treatment of the condition often brings back normal hunger very quickly once your dog starts feeling better. Yet, failing to address health conditions can be perilous.
7. A Change in Eating Routine
thrive on routines, and any disruption can often lead them to become finicky eaters. Scenarios where this occurs include switching food brands, feeding at different times, travel, boarding, guests in the home, moving houses, or a new family member like a baby or puppy.
Help your Akita Shepherd adjust to routine changes gradually over 2-3 weeks. Take the case of altering their diet: carry out the transition across 7-10 days, methodically adding more of the new food and reducing the old.
Maintaining a consistent and foreseeable approach can reestablish their typical hunger.
8. Akita Shepherd Feeling Overheated
During warm summer days, a dog’s attempt to remain cool through panting can diminish their appetite cues. It’s essential to provide uninterrupted access to shaded areas, chilly floors, and clean water for your dog during the hot seasons.
You might want to serve bigger portions during the more refreshing parts of the day, like mornings or evenings. Another idea is to freeze the dog’s food or drink bowls, ensuring the surrounding area remains cold.
This tactic can foster eating even on sweltering days.
9. Competition with Other Pets
Some Akita Shepherds feel anxious eating around other pets and may refuse to eat as a result. Other dogs or felines in the vicinity can induce strain due to shared resources, such as meals, playthings, and human interactions.
To mitigate this, feed your dogs in isolated spaces and employ baby barriers during mealtimes. Also, provide multiple food bowls spread widely apart to minimize competition. With these changes, anxious eaters usually become comfortable eating again.
10. A New Adoption or Move
Introducing a rescued dog to your home or shifting to a new dwelling with your pet represents major life changes. It’s completely normal for newly adopted Akita Shepherds or dogs adjusting to a new home environment to experience temporary appetite loss and stress.
Have patience, keep food available at all times, stick to your dog’s normal routine as much as possible, and use calming supplements if needed. Their eating habits and comfort levels should improve within 1-2 weeks as they get used to all the new changes.
Speak To A Vet Online About Appetite Loss
Should your adult Akita Shepherd abstain from eating for a period of 24-48 hours, immediately reach out to your vet. Waiting too long can lead to dangerous complications like liver damage from a buildup of toxins in the bloodstream.
Puppies that refuse to eat their food or have appetite issues should see the vet within 12 hours, as they can deteriorate rapidly. Ensure you can detail observed symptoms in your pet, from vomiting and diarrhea to fatigue or apparent distress.
The vet will carry out diagnostic procedures to identify if there’s a medical reason behind your dog’s reduced appetite.
Treatment of the condition often gets them feeling hungry again quickly and can encourage your dog to eat once more.
Instead of an expensive vet trip, consider use our Ask A Vet online service to obtain prompt answers prior to a physical consultation. An online vet consultation can provide you with immediate insights, potentially bypassing an expensive clinic visit.
How to Get Your Akita Shepherd to Eat Home Remedies
In cases of slight, short-lived appetite loss in a generally healthy dog, certain home strategies might prove effective:
- Switch foods: Transition to a new brand, flavor, or texture of food. The novelty may entice picky pups to eat.
- Add mix-ins: Top kibble with something super smelly and tasty like canned fish, chicken broth, or wet food.
- Serve by hand: Manually feeding the dog in small portions can often lead to better consumption. This direct interaction can boost their interest.
- Elevate the food’s temperature: Giving the kibble a brief microwave heat-up can intensify its smell, rendering it more enticing.
- Physical activity beforehand: Engaging in a lengthy stroll prior to feeding activates appetite-inducing hormones, potentially urging your dog to eat.
Preventing Appetite Issues in Dogs
Though sporadic appetite fluctuations are inevitable, the following measures can mitigate the likelihood of prolonged food avoidance:
- Have your vet perform twice yearly wellness checks to catch health issues early.
- Provide your pet with a top-tier, nutritionally comprehensive diet tailored to their needs.
- Stimulate their mind daily with toys, training, and enrichment activities.
- Stick to a consistent feeding routine in terms of timing and location.
If your dog still wont eat, then talking to a Dog Vet online will get you the help you need, it doesn’t matter if it’s an Akita Shepherd or an Akita Pit won’t eat, the Vet you will talk to will provide the information you need.
FAQs About an Akita Shepherd Not Eating
What can you do if your Akita Shepherd stops eating?
If your dog suddenly stops eating, there are several strategies you can test out before resorting to a vet visit:
- Switch to a different type of food – try wet food instead of dry kibble to stimulate their appetite
- Add mix-ins like chicken broth, canned fish, shredded cheese to make the food more enticing
- Hand feed them piece by piece and offer lots of praise
- Exercise prior to feeding to boost hunger
- Reduce mealtime competition among pets by feeding anxious eaters separately
Persistence and creativity in getting your dog to eat is key. If they still refuse to eat after 24 hours, you should take them to the vet to identify any potential medical concerns causing loss of appetite.
At what point should an Akita Shepherds refusal to eat become a concern?
Reach out to your vet without delay if an adult dog goes 24-48 hours without consuming much. Delaying for too long can cause dangerous complications like liver damage due to toxins circulating in their system. Puppies with appetite issues should see the vet within 12 hours, as they can deteriorate rapidly from not eating enough. Be ready to describe any symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or pain you’ve noticed alongside their appetite issues.
How many days can an Akita Shepherd generally go without food?
Healthy adult dogs can typically go 1-2 days without eating before it turns into a critical concern. Puppies under 6 months old should never try to go more than 12-24 hours without food because they are still growing. Lack of proper nutrition can quickly lead to conditions such as hypoglycemia, dehydration, and liver dysfunction. You should always contact your vet if the loss of appetite lasts beyond 24 hours.
Why might an Akita Shepherd refuse to eat?
For intermittent loss of appetite, potential causes include:
- Oral health complications like gum disease or broken teeth
- Ongoing gastrointestinal issues like IBD or food allergies
- Kidney disease or cancers affecting organ functionality
- Emotional factors like stress or anxiety
- Picky eating tendencies
- An underperforming thyroid gland
Various diagnostic tests dental check-ups, bloodwork, and imaging can reveal the underlying reasons for your dog’s inconsistent appetite patterns. Treatment becomes crucial to rectify the issue.
Why won’t my dog eat but acts normal?
- If your Akita Shepherdisn’t eating but otherwise acts content and lively, potential causes might be:
- Situations such as stress or a change in routine
- Disliking a new food’s taste or texture
- The heat of the summer months suppressing their appetite
- Being overly selective about their food
- A mild stomach upset
Using appealing food additions, maintaining a regular feeding schedule, and exercising before meals can often encourage such dogs to eat. But should their refusal to eat continues for more than a day, a visit to the vet is advisable.