As an enthusiastic doting dog devotee with over 20 years of experience caring for furry friends, I often get asked “My Belgian Sheepdog-groenendael 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 ardent animal authority, 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 veterinarian online directly.
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Common Reasons Your Belgian Sheepdog-groenendael Won’t Eat
1. Dental Disease and Oral Pain
Dental disease like gum disease, tooth abscesses, and fractured teeth is very common in dogs and can cause severe oral pain that prevents them from wanting to chew their food. Signs that your Belgian Sheepdog-groenendael 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 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 pain medication. With treatment, your Belgian Sheepdog-groenendael appetite should bounce back within a few days once the mouth pain subsides.
2. Nausea from Gastrointestinal Upset
Given the nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or other gastrointestinal issues, dogs tend to avoid eating. 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 Belgian Sheepdog-groenendael wont eat.
Diagnostic tests like bloodwork, fecal exams, and abdominal imaging can help identify the underlying condition causing loss of appetite. 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 Belgian Sheepdog-groenendael gets the suggested doses.
3. Anxiety and Stress
Dogs 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.
Once your Belgian Sheepdog-groenendael begins to acclimate to the alterations causing anxiety, you’ll likely notice an uptick in their appetite.
4. Belgian Sheepdog-groenendael Decreased Sense of Smell
A dulled sense of smell is a common issue for aging dogs and those with chronic nasal/respiratory diseases. When the dog food appears tasteless or not inviting, the dogs lack the drive or desire to consume it.
Consider heating wet or canned food to intensify its scent.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.
Should a respiratory infection be the culprit behind the diminished sense of smell, vet-prescribed antibiotics and nasal decongestants might rejuvenate their hunger.
5. Picky Eating Habits
Certain Belgian Sheepdog-groenendaels have innate fussy eating tendencies, stemming either from monotony with their meals or a penchant for people’s food. Finicky eaters may start refusing meals or eating very selectively.
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.
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.
Consider these products as suitable options for Belgian Sheepdog-groenendaels with selective tastes.
6. Underlying Medical Issue
Besides dental and gastrointestinal troubles, several internal health concerns can cause Belgian Sheepdog-groenendaels to lose their appetite. These include kidney disease, cancer, hypothyroidism, urinary tract infections, and organ failure.
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.
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
are creatures of habit and can react to disruptions in their normal routine with picky eating. 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.
Assist your canine companion in adapting to these changes by taking a steady approach over a period of 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. Belgian Sheepdog-groenendael Feeling Overheated
During warm summer days, a dog’s attempt to remain cool through panting can diminish their appetite cues. Make sure your Belgian Sheepdog-groenendael has constant access to shade, cool floors, and fresh water in warmer months.
You might want to serve bigger portions during the more refreshing parts of the day, like mornings or evenings. 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 Belgian Sheepdog-groenendaels can experience anxiety when eating near other animals, leading them to decline their food. 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. By implementing these adjustments, Belgian Sheepdog-groenendaels that eat anxiously typically regain their eating confidence.
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.
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.
When to Contact a Vet About Appetite Loss
If your mature Belgian Sheepdog-groenendael hasn’t consumed anything significant in 24-48 hours, it’s vital to get in touch with your veterinarian immediately. 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 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. Using an online ask a vet service can get you answers right away instead of having a costly vet visit.
How to Get Your Belgian Sheepdog-groenendael to Eat Home Remedies
For mild, temporary appetite suppression in an otherwise healthy dog, home remedies can sometimes do the trick:
- Switch foods: Transition to a new brand, flavor, or texture of food. The novelty may entice picky pups to eat.
- Add mix-ins: Top kibble with something super smelly and tasty like canned fish, chicken broth, or wet food.
- Serve by hand: Manually feeding the dog in small portions can often lead to better consumption. This direct interaction can boost their interest.
- Elevate the food’s temperature: Giving the kibble a brief microwave heat-up can intensify its smell, rendering it more enticing.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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 a Belgian Sheepdog-groenendael or a Belgian Sheepdog won’t eat, the Vet you will talk to will provide the information you need.
FAQs About a Belgian Sheepdog-groenendael Not Eating
What can you do if your Belgian Sheepdog-groenendael stops eating?
When your canine companion refuses to eat, there are several strategies you can test out before seeing the veterinarian:
- 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 heighten the food’s appeal
- Hand feed them piece by piece and offer lots of praise
- Exercise prior to feeding to boost hunger
- Reduce mealtime competition among pets by feeding anxious eaters separately
Persistence and creativity 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 a Belgian Sheepdog-groenendaels 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 result in 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 such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or pain you’ve noticed alongside their appetite issues.
How many days can a Belgian Sheepdog-groenendael generally go without food?
An adult Belgian Sheepdog-groenendael in good health 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 because they are still growing. Lack of adequate food can quickly lead to conditions such as hypoglycemia, dehydration, and liver dysfunction. You should always contact your vet if the loss of appetite extends beyond 24 hours.
Why might a Belgian Sheepdog-groenendael 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
- 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 Belgian Sheepdog-groenendaelisn’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 encourage such dogs to eat. But should their refusal to eat continues for more than a day, a visit to the vet is advisable.