As an enthusiastic passionate dog lover with over 20 years of experience caring for four-legged family members, I often get asked “My Bernese Mountain Dog Won’t Eat, what should I do?” It’s a prevalent puzzle for folks with four-legged family members when their canine companion seems disinterested in mealtime. As an ardent animal authority, I’m here to offer my best tricks 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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Why Your Bernese Mountain Dog Won’t Eat
1. Dental Disease and Oral Pain
Oral health conditions like gum disease, dental 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 Bernese Mountain Dog 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 Bernese Mountain Dog appetite should bounce back within a few days once the mouth pain subsides.
2. Nausea from Gastrointestinal Upset
Bernese Mountain 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 a Bernese Mountain 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. The appetite usually returns quickly after the nausea reduces, especially with treatments involving anti-nausea medications, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, and tailored diets.
Make sure to follow your vet’s treatment plan closely and only give your Bernese Mountain Dog the recommended dosages.
3. Anxiety and Stress
Routine alterations, trips, new settings, intense sounds, and encountering unknown dogs or humans can be stressful for Bernese Mountain Dogs. Such anxiety-filled or distressing scenarios frequently lead to reduced food intake or even complete avoidance of meals by dogs.
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. 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. Bernese Mountain Dog Decreased Sense of Smell
A dulled sense of smell is a common issue for elderly 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.
You could heat canned or moistened food to enhance its smell.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 Bernese Mountain 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.
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. To their usual kibble, you might introduce enticing ingredients like cubed ham, stirred eggs, flavorless yogurt, or cottage cheese.
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 suggest looking into these items specifically designed for choosy Bernese Mountain Dogs.
6. Underlying Medical Issue
Many internal health challenges, not limited to dental and gastrointestinal conditions, can result in a lack of appetite in Bernese Mountain Dogs. Among the problems are diseases of the kidney, cancerous growths, hypothyroidism, infections in the urinary system, and failure of vital organs.
Make an appointment with your vet right away if your adult dog goes 24+ hours without eating or seems lethargic. Tests such as blood examinations, urine analysis, and radiographic imaging can reveal if a hidden health issue affects your dog’s 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
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.
Help your Bernese Mountain Dog adjust to routine changes gradually over 2-3 weeks. Take the case of altering their diet: carry out the transition across 7-10 days, methodically adding more of the new food and reducing the old.
Maintaining a consistent and foreseeable approach can reestablish their typical hunger.
8. Bernese Mountain Dog Feeling Overheated
When the summer heat strikes, the act of panting and cooling off tends to hinder hunger signals in a dog’s brain. Make sure your Bernese Mountain Dog 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.
Such measures can promote feeding during the heated days.
9. Competition with Other Pets
Some Bernese Mountain Dogs feel anxious eating around other pets and may refuse to eat as a result. Other dogs or felines in the vicinity can induce strain due to shared resources, such as meals, playthings, and human interactions.
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 Bernese Mountain Dog or relocating with your canine companion signifies significant shifts in their lives. It’s a standard reaction for fresh adoptions or pets getting acquainted with a novel environment to momentarily lose appetite and feel stressed.
Exercise patience, ensure a constant food supply, maintain their usual schedule, and consider tranquility supplements when necessary. Their eating habits and comfort levels should improve within 1-2 weeks as they get used to all the new changes.
When to Contact a Vet About Appetite Loss
If your mature Bernese Mountain Dog 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.
Puppies that refuse to eat their food or have appetite issues should see the vet within 12 hours, as they can deteriorate rapidly. Ensure you can detail observed symptoms in your pet, from vomiting and diarrhea to fatigue or apparent distress.
Diagnostic tests will be conducted by your veterinarian to determine if there’s a hidden health concern causing your dog’s lack of hunger.
After treating the underlying issue, it’s common for the dog to quickly regain their hunger and be prompted to consume food 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 Bernese Mountain Dog to Eat Home Remedies
In cases of slight, short-lived appetite loss in a generally healthy dog, certain home strategies might prove effective:
- Switch up the food: Introduce a different brand, taste, or form. The change could attract particular eaters.
- Incorporate additions: Drizzle the regular kibble with strong-smelling and palatable items, be it fish from a can, chicken soup, or soft food.
- Hand-feeding: Offering food by hand, bit by bit, might encourage certain dogs more. The personal touch often helps.
- Heat the meal: A quick 10-second zap in the microwave can enhance the food’s aroma, making it more inviting.
- 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
Even though unpredictable eating habits can be an occasional issue, here are steps to diminish the chances of extended meal rejection:
- Ensure your veterinarian conducts bi-annual health inspections to detect potential problems in their initial stages.
- Feed your dog a high quality, balanced diet that meets their nutritional 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 a Bernese Mountain Dog or a Bernedoodle won’t eat, the Vet you will talk to will provide the information you need.
FAQs About a Bernese Mountain Dog Not Eating
What can you do if your Bernese Mountain Dog stops eating?
When your canine companion refuses to eat, there are several strategies you can test out before resorting to a vet visit:
- Switch to a different type of 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 prior to feeding 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 still refuse to eat after 24 hours, consider taking them to the vet to identify any underlying medical issue causing loss of appetite.
At what point should a Bernese Mountain Dogs refusal to eat become a concern?
It’s important to quickly get in touch with your vet 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 visit the vet within 12 hours, as they can deteriorate rapidly from a lack of nutrition. Be prepared to describe any symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or pain you’ve noticed alongside their appetite issues.
How many days can a Bernese Mountain Dog generally go without food?
An adult Bernese Mountain Dog in good health 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 proper nutrition can quickly lead to conditions such as hypoglycemia, dehydration, and liver dysfunction. You should always contact your vet if the loss of appetite lasts beyond 24 hours.
Why might a Bernese Mountain Dog refuse to eat?
For repeated loss of appetite, potential reasons include:
- Oral health complications like gum disease or broken teeth
- Ongoing gastrointestinal issues 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
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 Bernese Mountain Dogseems to avoid food but otherwise acts content and lively, potential causes might be:
- Environmental factors like 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, it’s best to consult with your vet.