As an enthusiastic passionate dog lover with over 20 years of experience caring for canine companions, I often get asked “My Basenji Won’t Eat, what should I do?” It’s an understandable worry for people whose furry friends when their furry friend seems disinterested in mealtime. As an enthusiastic pet expert, permit 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 dog vet directly.
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Common Reasons Your Basenji Won’t Eat
1. Dental Disease and Oral Pain
Oral health conditions like gum disease, infected teeth, 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 Basenji has dental issues include halitosis, 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 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 removal of diseased teeth under anesthesia to relieve your dog’s oral pain. They may also prescribe antimicrobials and analgesics. With treatment, your Basenji appetite should bounce back within a few days once the mouth pain subsides.
2. Nausea from Gastrointestinal Upset
Basenjis often refrain from eating when they suffer from symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or other gastrointestinal problems. 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 a Basenji wont eat.
By conducting blood tests, analyzing fecal samples, and getting abdominal imaging, the primary reason for appetite loss can be detected. Once nausea wanes, administering treatments like anti-nausea medications, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, and specific diets can rapidly restore appetite.
Make sure to follow your vet’s treatment plan closely and only give your Basenji the recommended dosages.
3. Anxiety and Stress
Routine alterations, trips, new settings, intense sounds, and encountering unknown dogs or humans can be stressful for Basenjis. Such anxiety-filled or distressing scenarios frequently lead to reduced food intake or even complete avoidance of meals by dogs.
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.
When your dog starts adjusting to the new or stressful changes, it’s probable their hunger will bounce back.
4. Basenji Decreased Sense of Smell
Older as and those suffering from ongoing nasal or respiratory conditions frequently experience a weakened sense of smell. Should the dog food come off as flavorless or uninviting, it doesn’t inspire them to eat or kindle their appetite.
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.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
Some Basenjis 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.
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.
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 suggest looking into these items specifically designed for choosy Basenjis.
6. Underlying Medical Issue
Besides dental and gastrointestinal troubles, several internal health concerns can cause Basenjis to lose their appetite. Conditions such as kidney ailments, tumors, hypothyroidism, infections of the urinary tract, and organ malfunction are among these.
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.
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. This selective eating can stem from factors like a change in food brand, feeding schedule alterations, trips, staying in a boarding facility, house guests, relocating, or even a new addition to the family like a newborn or a new puppy.
Help your Basenji 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. Basenji Feeling Overheated
On hot summer days, panting and trying to stay cool actually suppresses appetite 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.
You might want to serve bigger portions during the more refreshing parts of the day, like mornings or evenings. You can also try freezing their food or water bowls to keep the area around their food as cool as possible.
This tactic can foster eating even on sweltering days.
9. Competition with Other Pets
A number of Basenjis 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.
To mitigate this, feed your dogs in isolated spaces and employ baby barriers during mealtimes. Also, provide multiple food bowls spread widely apart to minimize competition. With these changes, anxious eaters usually become comfortable eating 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. 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. You’ll likely notice an uptick in their eating and comfort levels in around 1-2 weeks as they adapt to the alterations.
When to Speak With a Vet About Appetite Loss
Contact your vet promptly if your adult Basenji goes 24-48 hours without eating anything substantial. Delaying action may result in severe issues, including liver injuries due to an accumulation of toxins.
If a puppy isn’t eating or has appetite problems, it’s urgent to visit the vet within a 12-hour window due to their fast deterioration rate. 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.
Treatment of the condition often gets them feeling hungry again quickly and can encourage your dog to eat once more.
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 Basenji 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.
- 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.
- Warm the food: Microwaving kibble for 10 seconds releases aroma and makes food more appealing.
- 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.
- 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 a Basenji or a Barbet won’t eat, the Vet you will talk to will provide the information you need.
FAQs About a Basenji Not Eating
What can you do if your Basenji stops eating?
If your dog suddenly stops eating, there are several strategies you can test out before seeing the veterinarian:
- Consider changing their food – try wet food instead of dry kibble to stimulate their appetite
- Add mix-ins like chicken broth, canned fish, shredded cheese to heighten the food’s appeal
- Hand feed them one bite at a time and offer lots of praise
- Exercise before meals 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 underlying medical issue causing loss of appetite.
At what point should a Basenjis refusal to eat become a concern?
Contact your vet promptly 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 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 a Basenji 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 adequate food can quickly 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 a Basenji refuse to eat?
For intermittent loss of appetite, potential causes include:
- Issues with oral health like gum disease or broken teeth
- Ongoing gastrointestinal issues like IBD or food allergies
- Kidney disease or cancers affecting organ functionality
- Emotional factors 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 Basenjiisn’t eating but otherwise seems content and lively, 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.