As an enthusiastic doting dog devotee with over 20 years of experience caring for furry friends, I often get asked “My American Mastiff 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, permit me to offer my best tricks to get your pup excited about eating again.
There are many possible reasons why your dog 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.
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Common Reasons Your American Mastiff Won’t Eat
1. Oral Health Issues and Oral Pain
Dental disease like periodontal disease, dental abscesses, and fractured 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 Mastiff has dental issues include bad breath, 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 circulatory system. Your vet will likely recommend a full 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 Mastiff 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 Mastiff 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.
Always stick to the treatment plan set out by your veterinarian and provide the advised dosages to your dog.
3. Anxiety and Stress
American Mastiffs 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.
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 American Mastiff begins to acclimate to the alterations causing anxiety, you’ll likely notice an uptick in their appetite.
4. American Mastiff Decreased Sense of Smell
For elderly dogs and those with persistent nasal or respiratory ailments, a reduced sense of smell often becomes a challenge. If dog food seems bland or unappetizing, dogs simply aren’t motivated to eat it or have no want to eat.
Try warming up canned food or wet foods to release a stronger aroma.On their daily kibble, you might sprinkle richly scented toppings like chicken stock, cheese shreds, bacon fragments, or preserved fish.Such additions render the meal more attractive.
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
A handful of American Mastiffs inherently have selective eating habits, possibly because they’re tired of their regular food or have a liking for human dishes. It’s not uncommon for particular eaters to start bypassing meals or being very discerning with their food choices.
To satisfy a picky pup’s preferences, try regularly rotating between 3-4 different high-value foods like air-dried, raw, or wet foods. 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.
We recommend trying these products for picky American Mastiffs.
6. Underlying Medical Issue
Many internal health challenges, not limited to dental and gastrointestinal conditions, can result in a lack of appetite in American Mastiffs. These include kidney disease, cancer, hypothyroidism, urinary tract infections, and organ failure.
Make an appointment with your vet right away if your adult dog goes 24+ hours without eating or seems lethargic. Diagnostic testing like bloodwork, urinalysis, and imaging will uncover if your dog has an underlying medical problem sabotaging their appetite.
Treatment of the condition often brings back normal hunger very quickly once your dog starts feeling better. However, neglecting to treat health problems poses risks.
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 American Mastiff 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.
Consistency and predictability will help bring back their regular appetite.
8. American Mastiff 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. 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
Some American Mastiffs feel anxious eating around other pets and may refuse to eat as a result. Competing resources, especially when other dogs or cats are around—like food, toys, and human companionship—can create stress.
Consider feeding them in a different room and employing baby gates to alleviate the mealtime tension. Also, provide multiple food bowls spread widely apart to minimize competition. Adapting in this manner, most nervous eaters start feeling at ease with their meals again.
10. A New Adoption or Move
Adopting a rescue American Mastiff or relocating with your canine companion signifies significant shifts in their lives. It’s completely normal for newly adopted American Mastiffs or dogs adjusting to a new home environment to experience temporary appetite loss and 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.
When to Speak With a Vet About Appetite Loss
If your mature American Mastiff hasn’t consumed anything significant in 24-48 hours, it’s vital to get in touch with your veterinarian immediately. Delaying action may result in severe issues, including liver injuries due to an accumulation of toxins.
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.
The vet will carry out diagnostic procedures to identify if there’s a medical reason behind your dog’s reduced appetite.
After treating the underlying issue, it’s common for the dog to quickly regain their hunger and be prompted to consume food again.
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. Using an online ask a vet service can get you answers right away instead of having a costly vet visit.
How to Get Your American Mastiff 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.
- Elevate the food’s temperature: Giving the kibble a brief microwave heat-up can intensify its smell, rendering it more enticing.
- Exercise first: A long walk before meals triggers hunger hormones in the body and brain can help get your pet to eat.
Preventing Appetite Issues in Dogs
While finicky appetites will always crop up occasionally, here’s how to minimize risks of long-term food refusal:
- Have your vet perform twice yearly wellness checks to catch health issues early.
- 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 Mastiff or an American Leopard Hound won’t eat, the Vet you will talk to will provide the information you need.
FAQs About an American Mastiff Not Eating
What can you do if your American Mastiff 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 shredded cheese, chicken broth, or canned fish to make the food more enticing
- Hand feed them one bite at a time and give lots of praise
- Exercise before meals to boost hunger
- Eliminate competition with other 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, you should take them to the vet to identify any potential medical concerns causing loss of appetite.
At what point should an American Mastiffs refusal to eat become a concern?
Contact your vet promptly if an adult dog goes 24-48 hours without eating anything substantial. Delaying for too long can lead to dangerous complications like liver damage from toxins in the bloodstream. 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 such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or pain you’ve noticed alongside their appetite issues.
How many days can an American Mastiff generally go without food?
An adult American Mastiff in good health can typically go 1-2 days without eating before it turns into a critical concern. Puppies under 6 months old should avoid 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. You should always contact your vet if the loss of appetite lasts beyond 24 hours.
Why might an American Mastiff refuse to eat?
For repeated 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
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 American Mastiffseems to avoid food but otherwise seems happy and normal, potential causes might be:
- Environmental factors like 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
Tempting them with special toppings, maintaining a regular feeding schedule, and engaging them in activity before meals can often persuade such dogs to eat. However, if their refusal to eat continues for more than a day, a visit to the vet is advisable.