As a doting dog devotee with over 20 years of experience caring for canine companions, I often get asked “My American Bulldog Won’t Eat, what should I do?” It’s a common concern for pet parents when their canine companion seems disinterested in mealtime. As a dedicated pet pro, permit me to offer my best tricks 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 veterinarian online directly.
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Why Your American Bulldog Won’t Eat
1. Dental Problems and Oral Pain
Dental disease like gum infections, 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 American Bulldog has dental issues include halitosis, reddened gums, pawing at the mouth, and dropping food. Dogs may start eating only soft food or refuse to eat their meals.
See your vet as soon as possible if you notice these signs of dental disease, as untreated infections can spread bacteria to the circulatory system. Your vet will likely recommend a complete dental cleaning and removal of diseased teeth under anesthesia to relieve your dog’s oral pain. They may also prescribe antibiotics and analgesics. With treatment, your American Bulldog 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. The list of potential GI challenges includes allergies to dog food, inflammatory bowel disorders, pancreatitis, infections from parasites, and viral enteritis, can be the cause an American Bulldog 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.
Always stick to the treatment plan set out by your veterinarian and provide the advised dosages to your dog.
3. Anxiety and Stress
Routine alterations, trips, new settings, intense sounds, and encountering unknown dogs or humans can be stressful for American Bulldogs. Such anxiety-filled or distressing scenarios frequently lead to reduced food intake or even complete avoidance of meals by dogs.
To keep your dog’s anxiety at bay, stick to regular schedules as much as you can and opt for anti-anxiety treatments or supplements if the vet suggests. Also, stimulate their appetite by hand feeding delicious foods like cooked chicken, canned puppy food, or dry food such as kibble soaked in broth.
Once your dog begins to acclimate to the alterations causing anxiety, you’ll likely notice an uptick in their appetite.
4. American Bulldog Decreased Sense of Smell
A dulled sense of smell is a common issue for elderly dogs and those with chronic nasal/respiratory diseases. If dog food seems bland or unappetizing, dogs simply aren’t motivated to eat it or have no want to eat.
Consider heating wet or canned food to intensify its scent.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.
If an upper respiratory infection is causing the smell loss, antibiotics and nasal decongestants from your vet can help restore their appetite.
5. Picky Eating Habits
Certain American Bulldogs have innate fussy eating tendencies, stemming either from monotony with their meals or a penchant for people’s food. 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. You can also add irresistible mix-ins like diced ham, scrambled eggs, plain yogurt, or cottage cheese to their normal kibble.
Avoid catering to picky behavior by never feeding human table scraps. By being patient and imaginative, discovering foods that your selective dog adores becomes feasible.
Consider these products as suitable options for American Bulldogs 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 American Bulldogs. Conditions such as kidney ailments, tumors, hypothyroidism, infections of the urinary tract, and organ malfunction are among these.
Make an appointment with your vet right away if your adult dog goes 24+ hours without eating or seems lethargic. Tests such as blood examinations, urine analysis, and radiographic imaging can reveal if a hidden health issue affects your dog’s appetite.
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
thrive on routines, and any disruption can often lead them to become finicky eaters. 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.
Assist your canine companion in adapting to these changes by taking a steady approach over a period of 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. American Bulldog Feeling Overheated
On hot summer days, panting and trying to stay cool actually suppresses appetite 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.
This helps encourage eating on those hot days.
9. Competition with Other Pets
A number of American Bulldogs can experience anxiety when eating near other animals, leading them to decline their food. The presence of other dogs or cats can create tension over resources like food, toys, and human attention.
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. By implementing these adjustments, American Bulldogs 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.
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 American Bulldog 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.
If a puppy isn’t eating or has appetite problems, it’s urgent to visit the vet within a 12-hour window due to their fast deterioration rate. Ensure you can detail observed symptoms in your pet, from vomiting and diarrhea to fatigue or apparent distress.
Diagnostic tests will be conducted by your veterinarian to determine if there’s a hidden health concern causing your dog’s lack of hunger.
Treatment of the condition often gets them feeling hungry again quickly and can encourage your dog to eat once more.
Before visiting the vet you might want to use our Ask A Vet service to get answers quickly instead of spending a lot of money on a vet visit. An online vet consultation can provide you with immediate insights, potentially bypassing an expensive clinic visit.
How to Get Your American Bulldog to Eat Home Remedies
In cases of slight, short-lived appetite loss in a generally healthy dog, certain home strategies might prove effective:
- Change the food: Opt for a novel brand or a different taste and consistency. Such changes might allure choosy dogs.
- 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.
- Warm the food: Microwaving kibble for 10 seconds releases aroma and makes food more appealing.
- 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:
- Ensure your veterinarian conducts bi-annual health inspections to detect potential problems in their initial stages.
- Ensure your dog receives a premium, well-balanced feed that satisfies all their nutritional requisites.
- Engage their cognitive faculties each day through playthings, instructional sessions, and other enriching tasks.
- Prioritize a stable routine for feeding, focusing on uniformity in timing and the feeding spot.
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 American Bulldog or an American Blue Gascon Hound won’t eat, the Vet you will talk to will provide the information you need.
FAQs About an American Bulldog Not Eating
What can you do if your American Bulldog stops eating?
When your canine companion refuses to eat, there are several strategies you can experiment with initially before resorting to a vet visit:
- Switch to a different type of food – maybe offer wet food in lieu of kibble to stimulate their appetite
- Add mix-ins like chicken broth, canned fish, shredded cheese to heighten the food’s appeal
- Hand feed them piece by piece and offer lots of praise
- Exercise prior to feeding to increase 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, consider taking them to the vet to identify any underlying medical issue causing loss of appetite.
At what point should an American Bulldogs refusal to eat become a concern?
It’s important to quickly get in touch with your vet if an adult dog goes 24-48 hours without consuming much. Delaying for too long can result in 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 a lack of nutrition. Be prepared to describe any symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or pain you’ve noticed alongside their appetite issues.
How many days can an American Bulldog generally go without food?
An adult American Bulldog in good health can typically go 1-2 days without eating before it becomes a serious issue. Puppies under 6 months old should never try to go more than 12-24 hours without food as they are still growing. Lack of adequate food 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 extends beyond 24 hours.
Why might an American Bulldog refuse to eat?
For repeated loss of appetite, potential reasons include:
- Issues with oral health like gum disease or broken teeth
- Ongoing gastrointestinal issues like IBD or food allergies
- Kidney disease or cancers affecting organ functionality
- Emotional disturbances like stress or anxiety
- Finicky eating tendencies
- An underperforming thyroid gland
Procedures like dental check-ups, bloodwork, and imaging can shed light on 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 American Bulldogseems to avoid food but otherwise seems content and lively, potential causes might be:
- Situations such as stress or a change in routine
- Disliking a new food’s taste or texture
- Warm weather 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. But should their refusal to eat continues for more than a day, a visit to the vet is advisable.