With over 20 years as a doting dog devotee with over 20 years of experience caring for furry friends, I often get asked “My Boerboel Won’t Eat, what should I do?” It’s a common concern for people whose furry friends when their canine companion seems disinterested in mealtime. As an ardent animal authority, allow me to offer my best strategies to get your pup excited about eating again.
There are many possible reasons why your pup 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 veterinarian directly.
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Why Your Boerboel Won’t Eat
1. Oral Health Issues and Oral Pain
Dental disease like gum infections, 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 Boerboel 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 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 antibiotics and analgesics. With treatment, your Boerboel 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 a Boerboel 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.
Make sure to follow your vet’s treatment plan closely and only give your Boerboel the recommended dosages.
3. Anxiety and Stress
Pups 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. 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. Boerboel 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 Boerboels 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. Consider enhancing their regular kibble with tempting additives such as chopped ham, whisked eggs, unsweetened yogurt, or cottage cheese.
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 Boerboels with selective tastes.
6. Underlying Medical Issue
Various internal health problems beyond just dental and GI issues can lead to inappetence in Boerboels. 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. Procedures including blood tests, analyses of urine, and imaging techniques can identify if there’s a concealed health concern impeding your dog’s hunger.
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.
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.
To regain their usual appetite, it’s essential to remain consistent and predictable in your actions.
8. Boerboel Feeling Overheated
When the summer heat strikes, the act of panting and cooling off tends to hinder hunger 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.
Think about offering more substantial meals when it’s cooler, such as in the early morning or late evening. A helpful tip is to chill their food and water containers, which helps to cool the vicinity around their meal.
This tactic can foster eating even on sweltering days.
9. Competition with Other Pets
A number of Boerboels can experience anxiety when eating near other animals, leading them to decline their food. Other dogs or felines in the vicinity can induce strain due to shared resources, such as meals, playthings, and human interactions.
To mitigate this, feed your dogs in isolated spaces and employ baby barriers during mealtimes. Ensure there are several feeding bowls distanced apart adequately to lessen the rivalry. By implementing these adjustments, Boerboels 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. It’s completely normal for newly adopted Boerboels or dogs adjusting to a new home environment to experience temporary appetite loss and stress.
Have patience, keep food available at all times, stick to your dog’s normal routine as much as possible, and use calming supplements if needed. 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
Contact your vet promptly if your adult Boerboel goes 24-48 hours without eating anything substantial. 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.
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 Boerboel to Eat Home Remedies
In cases of slight, short-lived appetite loss in a generally healthy dog, certain home strategies might prove effective:
- Change the food: Opt for a novel brand or a different taste and consistency. Such changes might allure choosy dogs.
- 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.
- Heat the meal: A quick 10-second zap in the microwave can enhance the food’s aroma, making it more inviting.
- 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
Even though unpredictable eating habits can be an occasional issue, here are steps to diminish the chances of extended meal rejection:
- Have your vet perform twice yearly wellness checks to catch health issues early.
- Feed your dog a high quality, balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs.
- Daily mental stimulation is essential, using toys, educational exercises, and various enrichment pursuits.
- 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 Boerboel or a Bocker won’t eat, the Vet you will talk to will provide the information you need.
FAQs About a Boerboel Not Eating
What can you do if your Boerboel stops eating?
Should your dog abruptly cease eating, there are several strategies you can test out before going to the vet:
- Switch to a different type of food – try wet food instead of dry 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 one bite at a time and offer lots of praise
- Exercise before meals to augment hunger
- Reduce mealtime competition among 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, you should take them to the vet to identify any potential medical concerns causing loss of appetite.
At what point should a Boerboels refusal to eat become a concern?
Reach out to your vet without delay if an adult dog goes 24-48 hours without consuming much. Waiting too long can lead to 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 like vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or pain you’ve noticed alongside their appetite issues.
How many days can a Boerboel generally go without food?
An adult Boerboel in good health can typically 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 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 lasts beyond 24 hours.
Why might a Boerboel 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
- Finicky eating tendencies
- An underperforming thyroid gland
Procedures like dental check-ups, bloodwork, and imaging can shed light on 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 Boerboelisn’t eating 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
- 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 persuade such dogs to eat. However, if their refusal to eat continues for more than a day, a visit to the vet is advisable.