With over 20 years as a doting dog devotee with over 20 years of experience caring for canine companions, I often get asked “My American Water Spaniel Won’t Eat, what should I do?” It’s an understandable worry for people whose furry friends when their pooch seems disinterested in mealtime. As an enthusiastic pet expert, allow me to offer my best strategies to get your pup excited about eating again.
There are many possible reasons why your doggy 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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Common Reasons Your American Water Spaniel Won’t Eat
1. Dental Problems and Oral Pain
Oral health conditions like gum disease, tooth abscesses, and broken 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 Water Spaniel has dental issues include bad breath, 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 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 thorough dental cleaning and extraction of diseased teeth under anesthesia to relieve your dog’s oral pain. They may also prescribe antibiotics and pain medication. With treatment, your American Water Spaniel appetite should bounce back within a few days once the mouth pain subsides.
2. Nausea from Gastrointestinal Upset
American Water Spaniels often refrain from eating when they suffer from symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or other gastrointestinal problems. 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 Water Spaniel wont eat.
Through diagnostic procedures such as blood tests, fecal examinations, and abdominal scans, one can pinpoint the root cause of the appetite loss. 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 American Water Spaniel gets the suggested doses.
3. Anxiety and Stress
Changes in routine, travel experiences, unfamiliar surroundings, loud sounds, and interactions with unknown doggos or individuals often affect dogs deeply. These stressful or anxiety-provoking situations commonly cause a decreased appetite or outright refusal to eat.
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. To entice them, consider hand-feeding tasty options like grilled chicken, moist puppy chow, or kibble drenched in a savory broth.
Once your American Water Spaniel begins to acclimate to the alterations causing anxiety, you’ll likely notice an uptick in their appetite.
4. American Water Spaniel Decreased Sense of Smell
Older ans and those suffering from ongoing nasal or respiratory conditions frequently experience a weakened sense of smell. If dog food seems bland or unappetizing, dogs simply aren’t motivated to eat it or have no want to eat.
You could heat canned or moistened food to enhance its smell.Over their usual kibble, add aromatic ingredients such as chicken broth, grated cheese, bits of bacon, or tinned fish.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
Certain American Water Spaniels have innate fussy eating tendencies, stemming either from monotony with their meals or a penchant for people’s food. 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. You can also add irresistible mix-ins like diced ham, scrambled eggs, plain yogurt, or cottage cheese to their normal kibble.
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 Water Spaniels.
6. Underlying Medical Issue
Besides dental and gastrointestinal troubles, several internal health concerns can cause American Water Spaniels 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. Diagnostic testing like bloodwork, urinalysis, and imaging will uncover if your dog has an underlying medical problem sabotaging their appetite.
Once your dog starts recuperating, the right medical intervention usually reignites their normal appetite swiftly. 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. As an instance, if you’re switching their diet, make the shift over a week to ten days, introducing the new food progressively while phasing out the previous one.
Consistency and predictability will help bring back their regular appetite.
8. American Water Spaniel Feeling Overheated
When the summer heat strikes, the act of panting and cooling off tends to hinder hunger signals in a dog’s brain. It’s essential to provide uninterrupted access to shaded areas, chilly floors, and clean water for your dog during the hot seasons.
Think about offering more substantial meals when it’s cooler, such as in the early morning or late evening. 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 American Water Spaniels can become nervous eating in proximity to other pets, causing them to avoid their meals. The presence of other dogs or cats can create tension over resources like food, toys, and human attention.
Consider feeding them in a different room and employing baby gates to alleviate the mealtime tension. Offer numerous food containers spaced out to diminish competitive behavior. Adapting in this manner, most nervous eaters start feeling at ease with their meals again.
10. A New Adoption or Move
Bringing home a rescue dog or moving with your dog to a new house are very disruptive life events. It’s completely normal for newly adopted American Water Spaniels 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.
When to See the Vet About Appetite Loss
Contact your vet promptly if your adult American Water Spaniel goes 24-48 hours without eating anything substantial. 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. 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.
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. Instead of a pricier in-person consultation, leveraging an online vet service can furnish you with fast responses.
How to Get Your American Water Spaniel 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.
- Include toppings: Enhance dry food with aromatic and flavorful additives such as canned seafood, chicken stock, or moistened food.
- Hand-feeding: Offering food by hand, bit by bit, might encourage certain dogs more. The personal touch often helps.
- 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
Even though unpredictable eating habits can be an occasional issue, here are steps to diminish the chances of extended meal rejection:
- It’s advisable to have biannual health examinations by the vet to identify and address any emerging health concerns promptly.
- Ensure your dog receives a premium, well-balanced feed that satisfies all their nutritional requisites.
- Daily mental stimulation is essential, using toys, educational exercises, and various enrichment pursuits.
- Maintain a regular feeding schedule, emphasizing consistent times and places.
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 Water Spaniel or an American Staffordshire Terrier won’t eat, the Vet you will talk to will provide the information you need.
FAQs About an American Water Spaniel Not Eating
What can you do if your American Water Spaniel stops eating?
Should your dog abruptly cease eating, there are several strategies you can try at home first before resorting to a vet visit:
- 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 make the food more enticing
- Hand feed them one bite at a time and give lots of praise
- Exercise prior to feeding to increase 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 American Water Spaniels 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. Delaying for too long can lead to 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 a lack of nutrition. Be ready to describe any symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or pain you’ve noticed alongside their appetite issues.
How many days can an American Water Spaniel generally go without food?
Healthy adult dogs can usually 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 as they are still growing. Lack of adequate food can swiftly lead to conditions such as 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 Water Spaniel refuse to eat?
For repeated loss of appetite, potential causes include:
- Oral health complications 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 Water Spanielseems to avoid food but otherwise acts 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 persuade such dogs to eat. However, if their refusal to eat continues for more than a day, a visit to the vet is advisable.