As an enthusiastic passionate dog lover with over 20 years of experience caring for four-legged family members, I often get asked “My Akita Won’t Eat, what should I do?” It’s a prevalent puzzle for people whose furry friends when their canine companion seems disinterested in mealtime. As a dedicated pet pro, I’m here to offer my best tricks to get your pup excited about eating again.
There are many possible reasons why your canine 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 live chat with a vet directly.
Quick Solution Alert!
To save you time, this might be the quick solution you need.
Common Reasons Your Akita Won’t Eat
1. Dental Problems and Oral Pain
Oral health conditions like periodontal disease, infected teeth, and cracked 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 has dental issues include halitosis, inflamed gums, pawing at 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 full dental cleaning and removal of diseased teeth under anesthesia to relieve your dog’s oral pain. They may also prescribe antibiotics and pain medication. With treatment, your Akita appetite should bounce back within a few days once the mouth pain subsides.
2. Nausea from Gastrointestinal Upset
When dogs experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or other GI issues, eating is the last thing they want to do. Issues like dog food allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, infections from parasites, and viral enteritis can cause GI disturbances, can be the cause an Akita wont eat.
By conducting blood tests, analyzing fecal samples, and getting abdominal imaging, the primary reason for appetite loss can be detected. Once nausea wanes, administering treatments like anti-nausea medications, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, and specific diets can rapidly restore appetite.
It’s crucial to adhere strictly to the vet’s prescribed treatment regimen and ensure your Akita gets the suggested doses.
3. Anxiety and Stress
Routine alterations, trips, new settings, intense sounds, and encountering unknown dogs or humans can be stressful for Akitas. Such anxiety-filled or distressing scenarios frequently lead to reduced food intake or even complete avoidance of meals by dogs.
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. You can also hand-feed them enticing meals such as baked chicken, wet puppy food, or kibble immersed in tasty broth.
As your Akita starts to relax and become more comfortable with the change causing their stress, their appetite should improve.
4. Akita Decreased Sense of Smell
For senior dogs and those with persistent nasal or respiratory ailments, a reduced sense of smell often becomes a challenge. 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.On their daily kibble, you might sprinkle richly scented toppings like chicken stock, cheese shreds, bacon fragments, or preserved fish.This makes the food more enticing.
In cases where an upper respiratory ailment is responsible for the loss of smell, your veterinarian’s recommended antibiotics and decongestants can aid in reviving their appetite.
5. Picky Eating Habits
Some Akitas are just naturally picky, whether due to boredom with their food or preference for human foods. Dogs with fussy appetites might begin shunning their food or choosing what to eat meticulously.
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. Consider enhancing their regular kibble with tempting additives such as chopped ham, whisked eggs, unsweetened yogurt, or cottage cheese.
It’s essential not to feed them human leftovers, so you don’t reinforce choosy behavior. Given enough patience and some inventive ideas, you can pinpoint the meals your fussy dog relishes.
Consider these products as suitable options for Akitas with selective tastes.
6. Underlying Medical Issue
Many internal health challenges, not limited to dental and gastrointestinal conditions, can result in a lack of appetite in Akitas. Among the problems are diseases of the kidney, cancerous growths, hypothyroidism, infections in the urinary system, and failure of vital organs.
Should your mature dog abstain from food for a day or more or appear listless, promptly arrange a visit to the vet. Procedures including blood tests, analyses of urine, and imaging techniques can identify if there’s a concealed health concern impeding your dog’s hunger.
Administering the appropriate treatment typically restores a dog’s appetite swiftly, especially when they begin to recover. Yet, failing to address health conditions can be perilous.
7. A Change in Eating Routine
Being habitual animals, dogs can show selective eating behaviors when there’s an alteration in their regular routine. Situations causing this behavior encompass changing their food type, altering meal times, traveling, staying at kennels, having visitors, relocating, or introducing a new household member such as an infant or another pup.
Aim to acclimate your Akita to these shifts in routine over a span of 2-3 weeks. For example, when changing foods, transition over 7-10 days by slowly increasing the new food while decreasing the old.
Consistency and predictability will help bring back their regular appetite.
8. Akita Feeling Overheated
When the summer heat strikes, the act of panting and cooling off tends to hinder hunger signals in a dog’s brain. During the hotter months, ensure your dog always has access to shady spots, cold surfaces, and replenished water.
Consider feeding larger meals in the cooler morning/evening hours. A helpful tip is to chill their food and water containers, which helps to cool the vicinity around their meal.
Such measures can promote feeding during the heated days.
9. Competition with Other Pets
Certain Akitas can become nervous eating in proximity to other pets, causing them to avoid their meals. Competing resources, especially when other dogs or cats are around—like food, toys, and human companionship—can create stress.
To mitigate this, feed your dogs in isolated spaces and employ baby barriers during mealtimes. Offer numerous food containers spaced out to diminish competitive behavior. By implementing these adjustments, Akitas that eat anxiously typically regain their eating confidence.
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 a standard reaction for fresh adoptions or pets getting acquainted with a novel environment to momentarily lose appetite and feel stressed.
Be patient, consistently offer food, adhere to their routine, and think about employing soothing aids if essential. 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 abstain from eating for a period of 24-48 hours, immediately reach out to your vet. Procrastinating could result in critical outcomes like liver impairment from excessive toxins in the blood.
Puppies that refuse to eat their food or have appetite issues should see the vet within 12 hours, as they can deteriorate rapidly. Be ready to describe any symptoms you’ve observed in your dog, like vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or signs of pain.
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.
Before heading to a vet clinic, you could opt to consult our Ask A Vet online platform, which might save you from a costly visit while getting immediate feedback. An online vet consultation can provide you with immediate insights, potentially bypassing an expensive clinic visit.
How to Get Your Akita to Eat Home Remedies
For mild, temporary appetite suppression in an otherwise healthy dog, home remedies can sometimes do the trick:
- Switch up the food: Introduce a different brand, taste, or form. The change could attract particular eaters.
- Incorporate additions: Drizzle the regular kibble with strong-smelling and palatable items, be it fish from a can, chicken soup, or soft food.
- Hand feed: Some dogs eat better when hand fed piece by piece. The extra attention can be encouraging.
- Elevate the food’s temperature: Giving the kibble a brief microwave heat-up can intensify its smell, rendering it more enticing.
- Initiate with movement: A prolonged walk prior to eating can stimulate hunger hormones in the system, aiding in your dog’s willingness to consume food.
Preventing Appetite Issues in Dogs
Though sporadic appetite fluctuations are inevitable, the following measures can mitigate the likelihood of prolonged food avoidance:
- It’s advisable to have biannual health examinations by the vet to identify and address any emerging health concerns promptly.
- Provide your pet with a top-tier, nutritionally comprehensive diet tailored to their needs.
- Engage their cognitive faculties each day through playthings, instructional sessions, and other enriching tasks.
- 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 or an Akbash won’t eat, the Vet you will talk to will provide the information you need.
FAQs About an Akita Not Eating
What can you do if your Akita stops eating?
If your dog suddenly stops eating, there are several strategies you can experiment with initially before seeing the veterinarian:
- Consider changing their food – try wet food instead of dry kibble to stimulate their appetite
- Add mix-ins like shredded cheese, chicken broth, or canned fish to heighten the food’s appeal
- Hand feed them one bite at a time and give lots of praise
- Exercise prior to feeding to boost hunger
- Reduce mealtime competition among pets by feeding anxious eaters separately
Staying persistent and being creative in getting your dog to eat is key. If they continue to reject food after 24 hours, consider taking them to the vet to identify any underlying medical issue causing loss of appetite.
At what point should an Akitas refusal to eat become a concern?
Contact your vet promptly if an adult dog goes 24-48 hours without consuming much. Delaying for too long can cause dangerous complications like liver damage from toxins in the bloodstream. Puppies with appetite issues should see the vet within 12 hours, as they can deteriorate rapidly from a lack of nutrition. 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 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 issues like hypoglycemia, dehydration, and liver dysfunction. It’s always a good idea to contact your vet if the loss of appetite lasts beyond 24 hours.
Why might an Akita refuse to eat?
For intermittent loss of appetite, potential causes include:
- Issues with oral health like gum disease or broken teeth
- Chronic GI problems 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
Procedures like 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 Akitaseems to avoid food but otherwise seems happy and normal, 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 engaging them in activity before meals can often encourage such dogs to eat. However, if their refusal to eat continues for more than a day, it’s best to consult with your vet.