As an enthusiastic passionate dog lover with over 20 years of experience caring for four-legged family members, I often get asked “My Border Sheepdog Won’t Eat, what should I do?” It’s a common concern for pet parents when their pooch seems disinterested in mealtime. As an enthusiastic pet expert, I’m here to offer my best strategies to get your pup excited about eating again.
There are many possible reasons why your canine 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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Why Your Border Sheepdog Won’t Eat
1. Oral Health Issues and Oral Pain
Dental disease like gum disease, infected teeth, 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 Border Sheepdog has dental issues include halitosis, reddened gums, rubbing the mouth, and dropping 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 Border Sheepdog 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. Issues like dog food allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, infections from parasites, and viral enteritis can cause GI disturbances, can be the cause a Border Sheepdog wont eat.
Through diagnostic procedures such as blood tests, fecal examinations, and abdominal scans, one can pinpoint the root cause of the appetite loss. 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 Border Sheepdog the recommended dosages.
3. Anxiety and Stress
Changes in routine, travel experiences, unfamiliar surroundings, loud sounds, and interactions with unknown dogs or individuals often affect dogs deeply. 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. You can also hand-feed them enticing meals such as baked chicken, wet puppy food, or kibble immersed in tasty broth.
When your dog starts adjusting to the new or stressful changes, it’s probable their hunger will bounce back.
4. Border Sheepdog Decreased Sense of Smell
Older as and those suffering from ongoing nasal or respiratory conditions frequently experience a weakened sense of smell. If dog food seems bland or unappetizing, dogs simply aren’t motivated to eat it or have no want to eat.
Consider heating wet or canned food to intensify its scent.You can also sprinkle potent smelling mix-ins like chicken broth, shredded cheese, bacon bits, or canned fish over their regular kibble.Doing so makes their meal more appealing.
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
A handful of Border Sheepdogs inherently have selective eating habits, possibly because they’re tired of their regular food or have a liking for human dishes. It’s not uncommon for particular eaters to start bypassing meals or being very discerning with their food choices.
To satisfy a picky pup’s preferences, try regularly rotating between 3-4 different high-value foods like air-dried, raw, or wet foods. 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. With patience and creativity, you can find foods your picky dog loves.
Consider these products as suitable options for Border Sheepdogs with selective tastes.
6. Underlying Medical Issue
Many internal health challenges, not limited to dental and gastrointestinal conditions, can result in a lack of appetite in Border Sheepdogs. These include kidney disease, cancer, hypothyroidism, urinary tract infections, and organ failure.
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
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.
To regain their usual appetite, it’s essential to remain consistent and predictable in your actions.
8. Border Sheepdog Feeling Overheated
On hot summer days, panting and trying to stay cool actually suppresses appetite signals in a dog’s brain. During the hotter months, ensure your dog always has access to shady spots, cold surfaces, and replenished water.
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 helps encourage eating on those hot days.
9. Competition with Other Pets
Some Border Sheepdogs feel anxious eating around other pets and may refuse to eat as a result. 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. Ensure there are several feeding bowls distanced apart adequately to lessen the rivalry. By implementing these adjustments, Border Sheepdogs that eat anxiously typically regain their eating confidence.
10. A New Adoption or Move
Adopting a rescue Border Sheepdog or relocating with your canine companion signifies significant shifts in their lives. 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
Should your adult Border Sheepdog abstain from eating for a period of 24-48 hours, immediately reach out to your vet. Waiting too long can lead to dangerous complications like liver damage from a buildup of toxins in the bloodstream.
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. Prepare to relay any notable symptoms in your dog, such as vomiting, diarrhea, tiredness, or indications of discomfort.
Your vet will perform diagnostic testing to uncover whether an underlying medical issue is causing your dog’s appetite loss.
After treating the underlying issue, it’s common for the dog to quickly regain their hunger and be prompted to consume food 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 Border Sheepdog to Eat Home Remedies
For mild, temporary appetite suppression in an otherwise healthy dog, home remedies can sometimes do the trick:
- 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.
- 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
Though sporadic appetite fluctuations are inevitable, the following measures can mitigate the likelihood of prolonged food avoidance:
- 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.
- 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 Border Sheepdog or a Border Collie won’t eat, the Vet you will talk to will provide the information you need.
FAQs About a Border Sheepdog Not Eating
What can you do if your Border Sheepdog 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 chicken broth, canned fish, shredded cheese to heighten the food’s appeal
- Hand feed them piece by piece and give lots of praise
- Exercise before meals 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 Border Sheepdogs refusal to eat become a concern?
Contact your vet promptly if an adult dog goes 24-48 hours without eating anything substantial. Delaying for too long can lead to dangerous complications like liver damage from toxins in the bloodstream. 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 Border Sheepdog generally go without food?
An adult Border Sheepdog 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 because they are still growing. Lack of adequate food can swiftly lead to issues like hypoglycemia, dehydration, and liver dysfunction. It’s always a good idea to contact your vet if the loss of appetite extends beyond 24 hours.
Why might a Border Sheepdog refuse to eat?
For repeated 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
- Picky 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 Border Sheepdogisn’t eating 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
- Warm weather suppressing their appetite
- Being overly selective about their food
- A mild stomach upset
Using appealing food additions, maintaining a regular feeding schedule, and exercising before meals can often encourage such dogs to eat. However, if their refusal to eat continues for more than a day, it’s best to consult with your vet.