As a long-time canine caretaker who adores all dogs with over 20 years of experience caring for four-legged family members, I often get asked “My American Bully Won’t Eat, what should I do?” It’s a common concern for people whose furry friends when their canine companion seems disinterested in mealtime. As an enthusiastic pet expert, I’m here to offer my best tips 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 speak to a vet directly.
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Why Your American Bully Won’t Eat
1. Dental Problems and Oral Pain
Oral health conditions like gum infections, infected teeth, and cracked teeth are very common in dogs and can cause severe oral pain that prevents them from wanting to chew their food. Signs that your American Bully has dental issues include halitosis, bleeding gums, pawing at the mouth, and spitting out food. Dogs may start eating only soft food or refuse to eat their meals.
See your vet right away if you notice these signs of dental disease, as untreated infections can spread bacteria to the circulatory system. Your vet will likely recommend a thorough dental cleaning and extraction of diseased teeth under anesthesia to relieve your dog’s oral pain. They may also prescribe antimicrobials and pain medication. With treatment, your American Bully 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 American Bully wont eat.
By conducting blood tests, analyzing fecal samples, and getting abdominal imaging, the primary reason for appetite loss can be detected. The appetite usually returns quickly after the nausea reduces, especially with treatments involving anti-nausea medications, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, and tailored diets.
Make sure to follow your vet’s treatment plan closely and only give your American Bully the recommended dosages.
3. Anxiety and Stress
Changes in routine, travel experiences, unfamiliar surroundings, loud sounds, and interactions with unknown pups or individuals often affect dogs deeply. These stressful or anxiety-provoking situations commonly cause a decreased appetite or outright refusal to eat.
Try to minimize your dog’s stress levels by maintaining normal routines when possible and using anti-anxiety medications/supplements if recommended by your vet. To entice them, consider hand-feeding tasty options like grilled chicken, moist puppy chow, or kibble drenched in a savory broth.
When your dog starts adjusting to the new or stressful changes, it’s probable their hunger will bounce back.
4. American Bully Decreased Sense of Smell
For older 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.
Try warming up canned food or wet foods to release a stronger aroma.You can also sprinkle potent smelling mix-ins like chicken broth, shredded cheese, bacon bits, or canned fish over their regular kibble.Doing so makes their meal more appealing.
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
Some American Bullys 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. 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. By being patient and imaginative, discovering foods that your selective dog adores becomes feasible.
We recommend trying these products for picky American Bullys.
6. Underlying Medical Issue
Besides dental and gastrointestinal troubles, several internal health concerns can cause American Bullys to lose their appetite. 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. Tests such as blood examinations, urine analysis, and radiographic imaging can reveal if a hidden health issue affects your dog’s appetite.
Treatment of the condition often brings back normal hunger very quickly once your dog starts feeling better. But leaving health issues untreated can be dangerous.
7. A Change in Eating Routine
Being habitual animals, dogs can show selective eating behaviors when there’s an alteration in their regular routine. 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.
Assist your canine companion in adapting to these changes by taking a steady approach over a period 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. American Bully Feeling Overheated
When the summer heat strikes, the act of panting and cooling off tends to hinder hunger signals in a dog’s brain. Make sure your American Bully has constant access to shade, cool floors, and fresh water in warmer months.
Consider feeding larger meals in the cooler morning/evening hours. You can also try freezing their food or water bowls to keep the area around their food as cool as possible.
This helps encourage eating on those hot days.
9. Competition with Other Pets
A number of American Bullys can experience anxiety when eating near other animals, leading them to decline their food. Other dogs or felines in the vicinity can induce strain due to shared resources, such as meals, playthings, and human interactions.
Feed them separately in another room and use baby gates to reduce this mealtime stress. Offer numerous food containers spaced out to diminish competitive behavior. 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. Newly taken-in dogs or those adjusting to new surroundings often face brief periods of diminished appetite and heightened stress.
Exercise patience, ensure a constant food supply, maintain their usual schedule, and consider tranquility supplements when necessary. 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 Bully 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.
For puppies resisting their meals or facing appetite troubles, it’s recommended to consult the vet within 12 hours given their swift health decline potential. Prepare to relay any notable symptoms in your dog, such as vomiting, diarrhea, tiredness, or indications of discomfort.
Your vet will perform diagnostic testing to uncover whether an underlying medical issue is causing your dog’s appetite loss.
Typically, once the ailment is treated, your dog’s appetite swiftly returns and they are encouraged to eat again.
Instead of an expensive vet trip, consider use our Ask A Vet online service to obtain prompt answers prior to a physical consultation. Instead of a pricier in-person consultation, leveraging an online vet service can furnish you with fast responses.
How to Get Your American Bully to Eat Home Remedies
In cases of slight, short-lived appetite loss in a generally healthy dog, certain home strategies might prove effective:
- 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-feeding: Offering food by hand, bit by bit, might encourage certain dogs more. The personal touch often helps.
- Heat the meal: A quick 10-second zap in the microwave can enhance the food’s aroma, making it more inviting.
- 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
While finicky appetites will always crop up occasionally, here’s how to minimize risks of long-term food refusal:
- Ensure your veterinarian conducts bi-annual health inspections to detect potential problems in their initial stages.
- Feed your dog a high quality, balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs.
- 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 Bully or an American Bullnese won’t eat, the Vet you will talk to will provide the information you need.
FAQs About an American Bully Not Eating
What can you do if your American Bully stops eating?
When your canine companion refuses to eat, there are several strategies you can try at home first before seeing the veterinarian:
- Consider changing their food – maybe offer wet food in lieu of kibble to stimulate their appetite
- Add mix-ins like shredded cheese, chicken broth, or canned fish to make the food more enticing
- Hand feed them piece by piece and offer lots of praise
- Exercise before meals to augment hunger
- Eliminate competition with other pets by feeding anxious eaters separately
Consistency and innovative approaches 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 potential medical concerns causing loss of appetite.
At what point should an American Bullys refusal to eat become a concern?
Reach out to your vet without delay if an adult dog goes 24-48 hours without eating anything substantial. Waiting too long can result in dangerous complications like liver damage due to toxins circulating in their system. Puppies with appetite issues should visit the vet within 12 hours, as they can deteriorate rapidly from not eating enough. 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 Bully generally go without food?
Healthy adult dogs 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 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 American Bully refuse to eat?
For repeated 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 disturbances like stress or anxiety
- Finicky 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 American Bullyseems to avoid food but otherwise seems content and lively, potential causes might be:
- Environmental factors like 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.