With over 20 years as a long-time canine caretaker who adores all dogs with over 20 years of experience caring for furry friends, I often get asked “My Australian Cattle Dog Won’t Eat, what should I do?” It’s a common concern for folks with four-legged family members when their canine companion seems disinterested in mealtime. As an enthusiastic pet expert, allow me to offer my best tips 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 ask a vet directly.
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Why Your Australian Cattle Dog Won’t Eat
1. Dental Disease and Oral Pain
Oral health conditions like gum disease, tooth abscesses, 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 Australian Cattle Dog has dental issues include bad breath, 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 right away if you notice these signs of dental disease, as untreated infections can spread bacteria to the bloodstream. 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 analgesics. With treatment, your Australian Cattle Dog appetite should bounce back within a few days once the mouth pain subsides.
2. Nausea from Gastrointestinal Upset
Australian Cattle Dogs 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 Australian Cattle Dog 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 Australian Cattle Dog gets the suggested doses.
3. Anxiety and Stress
Changes in routine, travel experiences, unfamiliar surroundings, loud sounds, and interactions with unknown pups or individuals often affect dogs deeply. Often, these situations filled with tension or anxiety result in a dog’s diminished appetite or total rejection of food.
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. Australian Cattle Dog Decreased Sense of Smell
A dulled sense of smell is a common issue for aging 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.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.
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 Australian Cattle Dogs 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.
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.
Refrain from indulging their selective habits by not giving them leftovers from the human table. With patience and creativity, you can find foods your picky dog loves.
We suggest looking into these items specifically designed for choosy Australian Cattle Dogs.
6. Underlying Medical Issue
Various internal health problems beyond just dental and GI issues can lead to inappetence in Australian Cattle Dogs. Conditions such as kidney ailments, tumors, hypothyroidism, infections of the urinary tract, and organ malfunction are among these.
It’s urgent to consult your vet if your grown dog abstains from food for over 24 hours or displays fatigue. Diagnostic testing like bloodwork, urinalysis, and imaging will uncover if your dog has an underlying medical problem sabotaging their appetite.
Administering the appropriate treatment typically restores a dog’s appetite swiftly, especially when they begin to recover. However, neglecting to treat health problems poses risks.
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.
Help your Australian Cattle Dog adjust to routine changes gradually over 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. Australian Cattle Dog Feeling Overheated
During warm summer days, a dog’s attempt to remain cool through panting can diminish their appetite cues. During the hotter months, ensure your dog always has access to shady spots, cold surfaces, and replenished water.
Think about offering more substantial meals when it’s cooler, such as in the early morning or late evening. Another idea is to freeze the dog’s food or drink bowls, ensuring the surrounding area remains cold.
This helps encourage eating on those hot days.
9. Competition with Other Pets
A number of Australian Cattle Dogs can experience anxiety when eating near other animals, leading them to decline their food. 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. Ensure there are several feeding bowls distanced apart adequately to lessen the rivalry. With these changes, anxious eaters usually become comfortable eating again.
10. A New Adoption or Move
Adopting a rescue Australian Cattle Dog or relocating with your canine companion signifies significant shifts in their lives. Newly taken-in dogs or those adjusting to new surroundings often face brief periods of diminished appetite and heightened stress.
Be patient, consistently offer food, adhere to their routine, and think about employing soothing aids if essential. You’ll likely notice an uptick in their eating and comfort levels in around 1-2 weeks as they adapt to the alterations.
Chat Live With a Vet About Appetite Loss
Contact your vet promptly if your adult Australian Cattle Dog goes 24-48 hours without eating anything substantial. Procrastinating could result in critical outcomes like liver impairment from excessive toxins in the blood.
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. 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.
Typically, once the ailment is treated, your dog’s appetite swiftly returns and they are encouraged to eat 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. An online vet consultation can provide you with immediate insights, potentially bypassing an expensive clinic visit.
How to Get Your Australian Cattle Dog to Eat Home Remedies
For transient appetite declines in an otherwise fit dog, a few home solutions could be beneficial:
- Switch foods: Transition to a new brand, flavor, or texture of food. The novelty may entice picky pups to eat.
- 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.
- 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
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.
- Provide your pet with a top-tier, nutritionally comprehensive diet tailored to their needs.
- Stimulate their mind daily with toys, training, and enrichment activities.
- 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 Australian Cattle Dog or an Aussiepom won’t eat, the Vet you will talk to will provide the information you need.
FAQs About an Australian Cattle Dog Not Eating
What can you do if your Australian Cattle Dog stops eating?
Should your dog abruptly cease eating, there are several strategies you can try at home first before seeing the veterinarian:
- 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 piece by piece and offer lots of praise
- Exercise before meals to increase 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 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 Australian Cattle Dogs refusal to eat become a concern?
Contact your vet promptly if an adult dog goes 24-48 hours without consuming much. Waiting too long can cause 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 Australian Cattle Dog generally go without food?
An adult Australian Cattle Dog in good health can usually 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 Australian Cattle Dog refuse to eat?
For intermittent loss of appetite, potential reasons 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 disturbances 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 Australian Cattle Dogisn’t eating 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
- Warm weather 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 encourage such dogs to eat. But should their refusal to eat continues for more than a day, a visit to the vet is advisable.