As a long-time canine caretaker who adores all dogs with over 20 years of experience caring for four-legged family members, I often get asked “My Boston Terrier Won’t Eat, what should I do?” It’s an understandable worry 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 Boston Terrier Won’t Eat
1. Dental Problems and Oral Pain
Oral health conditions like periodontal disease, dental abscesses, and cracked teeth is very common in dogs and can cause severe oral pain that prevents them from wanting to chew their food. Signs that your Boston Terrier has dental issues include bad breath, inflamed gums, rubbing 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 bloodstream. Your vet will likely recommend a thorough dental cleaning and removal of diseased teeth under anesthesia to relieve your dog’s oral pain. They may also prescribe antibiotics and analgesics. With treatment, your Boston Terrier appetite should bounce back within a few days once the mouth pain subsides.
2. Nausea from Gastrointestinal Upset
Boston Terriers 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 Boston Terrier 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.
It’s crucial to adhere strictly to the vet’s prescribed treatment regimen and ensure your Boston Terrier gets the suggested doses.
3. Anxiety and Stress
Boston Terriers are sensitive to changes in routine, travel, new environments, loud noises, and meeting unfamiliar dogs or people. Often, these situations filled with tension or anxiety result in a dog’s diminished appetite or total rejection of food.
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 Boston Terrier begins to acclimate to the alterations causing anxiety, you’ll likely notice an uptick in their appetite.
4. Boston Terrier Decreased Sense of Smell
A dulled sense of smell is a common issue for aging 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.
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
Some Boston Terriers 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.
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 Boston Terriers with selective tastes.
6. Underlying Medical Issue
Besides dental and gastrointestinal troubles, several internal health concerns can cause Boston Terriers to lose their appetite. Among the problems are diseases of the kidney, cancerous growths, hypothyroidism, infections in the urinary system, and failure of vital organs.
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.
Administering the appropriate treatment typically restores a dog’s appetite swiftly, especially when they begin to recover. But leaving health issues untreated can be dangerous.
7. A Change in Eating Routine
thrive on routines, and any disruption can often lead them to become finicky eaters. Scenarios where this occurs include switching food brands, feeding at different times, travel, boarding, guests in the home, moving houses, or a new family member like a baby or puppy.
Aim to acclimate your Boston Terrier to these shifts in routine over a span of 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.
Consistency and predictability will help bring back their regular appetite.
8. Boston Terrier Feeling Overheated
On hot summer days, panting and trying to stay cool actually suppresses appetite signals in a dog’s brain. Make sure your Boston Terrier 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. A helpful tip is to chill their food and water containers, which helps to cool the vicinity around their meal.
This helps encourage eating on those hot days.
9. Competition with Other Pets
A number of Boston Terriers 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.
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. By implementing these adjustments, Boston Terriers 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 Boston Terriers or dogs adjusting to a new home environment to experience temporary appetite loss and 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 See the Vet About Appetite Loss
Should your adult Boston Terrier abstain from eating for a period of 24-48 hours, immediately reach out to your vet. Delaying action may result in severe issues, including liver injuries due to an accumulation of toxins.
Puppies that refuse to eat their food or have appetite issues should see the vet within 12 hours, as they can deteriorate rapidly. 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.
Typically, once the ailment is treated, your dog’s appetite swiftly returns and they are encouraged to eat again.
Instead of an expensive vet trip, consider use our Ask A Vet online service to obtain prompt answers prior to a physical consultation. An online vet consultation can provide you with immediate insights, potentially bypassing an expensive clinic visit.
How to Get Your Boston Terrier 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.
- Serve by hand: Manually feeding the dog in small portions can often lead to better consumption. This direct interaction can boost their interest.
- 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
Though sporadic appetite fluctuations are inevitable, the following measures can mitigate the likelihood of prolonged food avoidance:
- Have your vet perform twice yearly wellness checks to catch health issues early.
- Provide your pet with a top-tier, nutritionally comprehensive diet tailored to their needs.
- Engage their cognitive faculties each day through playthings, instructional sessions, and other enriching tasks.
- Maintain a regular feeding schedule, emphasizing consistent times and places.
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 Boston Terrier or a Boston Boxer won’t eat, the Vet you will talk to will provide the information you need.
FAQs About a Boston Terrier Not Eating
What can you do if your Boston Terrier stops eating?
If your dog suddenly stops eating, there are several strategies you can try at home first before going to the vet:
- Switch to a different type of food – maybe offer wet food in lieu of kibble to stimulate their appetite
- Add mix-ins like chicken broth, canned fish, shredded cheese to make the food more enticing
- Hand feed them piece by piece and offer lots of praise
- Exercise before meals 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 still refuse to eat after 24 hours, consider taking them to the vet to identify any potential medical concerns causing loss of appetite.
At what point should a Boston Terriers refusal to eat become a concern?
Contact your vet promptly if an adult dog goes 24-48 hours without consuming much. Delaying for too long can result in 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 not eating enough. 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 Boston Terrier 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 avoid go more than 12-24 hours without food because they are still growing. Lack of proper nutrition can swiftly lead to issues like hypoglycemia, dehydration, and liver dysfunction. You should always contact your vet if the loss of appetite lasts beyond 24 hours.
Why might a Boston Terrier refuse to eat?
For repeated loss of appetite, potential causes include:
- Issues with oral health like gum disease or broken teeth
- Chronic GI problems 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 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 Boston Terrierisn’t eating but otherwise acts happy and normal, 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. However, if their refusal to eat continues for more than a day, a visit to the vet is advisable.