As an enthusiastic passionate dog lover with over 20 years of experience caring for furry friends, I often get asked “My Australian Shepherd Lab Mix Won’t Eat, what should I do?” It’s an understandable worry for people whose furry friends when their canine companion seems disinterested in mealtime. As an ardent animal authority, permit 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 live chat with a vet directly.
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Common Reasons Your Australian Shepherd Lab Mix Won’t Eat
1. Oral Health Issues and Oral Pain
Oral health conditions like periodontal disease, tooth abscesses, and broken teeth is very common in dogs and can cause severe oral pain that prevents them from wanting to chew their food. Signs that your Australian Shepherd Lab Mix has dental issues include halitosis, reddened 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 complete dental cleaning and removal of diseased teeth under anesthesia to relieve your dog’s oral pain. They may also prescribe antibiotics and pain medication. With treatment, your Australian Shepherd Lab Mix 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 Australian Shepherd Lab Mix wont eat.
Through diagnostic procedures such as blood tests, fecal examinations, and abdominal scans, one can pinpoint the root cause of the appetite loss. Treatment with medications like anti-nausea drugs, antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, and special diets often brings back the appetite quickly once nausea subsides.
Always stick to the treatment plan set out by your veterinarian and provide the advised dosages to your dog.
3. Anxiety and Stress
Australian Shepherd Lab Mixs are sensitive to changes in routine, travel, new environments, loud noises, and meeting unfamiliar dogs or people. These stressful or anxiety-provoking situations commonly cause a decreased appetite or outright refusal to eat.
It’s advisable to keep your dog’s stress in check by sticking to usual routines and considering anti-anxiety drugs or supplements upon your vet’s recommendation. Also, stimulate their appetite by hand feeding delicious foods like cooked chicken, canned puppy food, or dry food such as kibble soaked in broth.
As your dog starts to relax and become more comfortable with the change causing their stress, their appetite should improve.
4. Australian Shepherd Lab Mix Decreased Sense of Smell
Older ans and those suffering from ongoing nasal or respiratory conditions frequently experience a weakened sense of smell. When the dog food appears tasteless or not inviting, the dogs lack the drive or desire to consume it.
You could heat canned or moistened food to enhance its smell.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.
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
Certain Australian Shepherd Lab Mixs 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.
For catering to a choosy dog’s tastes, consider switching among 3-4 varied premium food types, such as air-dried, uncooked, or moist foods frequently. 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. Given enough patience and some inventive ideas, you can pinpoint the meals your fussy dog relishes.
Consider these products as suitable options for Australian Shepherd Lab Mixs with selective tastes.
6. Underlying Medical Issue
Various internal health problems beyond just dental and GI issues can lead to inappetence in Australian Shepherd Lab Mixs. 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.
Once your dog starts recuperating, the right medical intervention usually reignites their normal appetite swiftly. 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.
Aim to acclimate your Australian Shepherd Lab Mix to these shifts in routine over a span of 2-3 weeks. For example, when changing foods, transition over 7-10 days by slowly increasing the new food while decreasing the old.
Maintaining a consistent and foreseeable approach can reestablish their typical hunger.
8. Australian Shepherd Lab Mix Feeling Overheated
During warm summer days, a dog’s attempt to remain cool through panting can diminish their appetite cues. It’s essential to provide uninterrupted access to shaded areas, chilly floors, and clean water for your dog during the hot seasons.
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
Certain Australian Shepherd Lab Mixs 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.
To mitigate this, feed your dogs in isolated spaces and employ baby barriers during mealtimes. Offer numerous food containers spaced out to diminish competitive behavior. By implementing these adjustments, Australian Shepherd Lab Mixs 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 completely normal for newly adopted Australian Shepherd Lab Mixs or dogs adjusting to a new home environment to experience temporary appetite loss and stress.
Be patient, consistently offer food, adhere to their routine, and think about employing soothing aids if essential. 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 Australian Shepherd Lab Mix abstain from eating for a period of 24-48 hours, immediately reach out to your vet. 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. Ensure you can detail observed symptoms in your pet, from vomiting and diarrhea to fatigue or apparent distress.
The vet will carry out diagnostic procedures to identify if there’s a medical reason behind your dog’s reduced appetite.
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 Australian Shepherd Lab Mix to Eat Home Remedies
For transient appetite declines in an otherwise fit dog, a few home solutions could be beneficial:
- Change the food: Opt for a novel brand or a different taste and consistency. Such changes might allure choosy dogs.
- Add mix-ins: Top kibble with something super smelly and tasty like canned fish, chicken broth, or wet 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
While finicky appetites will always crop up occasionally, here’s how to minimize risks of long-term food refusal:
- 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.
- 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 Australian Shepherd Lab Mix or an Australian Shepherd Husky won’t eat, the Vet you will talk to will provide the information you need.
FAQs About an Australian Shepherd Lab Mix Not Eating
What can you do if your Australian Shepherd Lab Mix stops eating?
When your canine companion refuses to eat, there are several strategies you can try at home first before going to the vet:
- 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 give lots of praise
- Exercise prior to feeding to increase hunger
- Eliminate competition with other 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, you should take them to the vet to identify any potential medical concerns causing loss of appetite.
At what point should an Australian Shepherd Lab Mixs refusal to eat become a concern?
Contact your vet promptly if an adult dog goes 24-48 hours without consuming much. Delaying for too long can cause 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 not eating enough. Be ready to describe any symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or pain you’ve noticed alongside their appetite issues.
How many days can an Australian Shepherd Lab Mix generally go without food?
Healthy adult dogs can usually go 1-2 days without eating before it becomes a serious issue. Puppies under 6 months old should avoid 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 lasts beyond 24 hours.
Why might an Australian Shepherd Lab Mix refuse to eat?
For intermittent 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 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 Shepherd Lab Mixseems 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
Tempting them with special toppings, maintaining a regular feeding schedule, and engaging them in activity before meals can often persuade such dogs to eat. But should their refusal to eat continues for more than a day, it’s best to consult with your vet.