As an enthusiastic doting dog devotee with over 20 years of experience caring for canine companions, I often get asked “My Bullmastiff Won’t Eat, what should I do?” It’s an understandable worry for pet parents when their pooch seems disinterested in mealtime. As an enthusiastic pet expert, I’m here to offer my best tricks 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 vet directly.
Quick Solution Alert!
To save you time, this might be the quick solution you need.
Common Reasons Your Bullmastiff Won’t Eat
1. Dental Disease and Oral Pain
Oral health conditions like gum disease, 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 Bullmastiff 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 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 Bullmastiff appetite should bounce back within a few days once the mouth pain subsides.
2. Nausea from Gastrointestinal Upset
Bullmastiffs 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 Bullmastiff wont eat.
By conducting blood tests, analyzing fecal samples, and getting abdominal imaging, the primary reason for appetite loss can be detected. Treatment with medications like anti-nausea drugs, antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, and special diets often brings back the appetite quickly once nausea subsides.
Always stick to the treatment plan set out by your veterinarian and provide the advised dosages to your dog.
3. Anxiety and Stress
Dogs are sensitive to changes in routine, travel, new environments, loud noises, and meeting unfamiliar dogs or people. 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.
As your dog starts to relax and become more comfortable with the change causing their stress, their appetite should improve.
4. Bullmastiff Decreased Sense of Smell
For aging dogs and those with persistent nasal or respiratory ailments, a reduced sense of smell often becomes a challenge. 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.
If an upper respiratory infection is causing the smell loss, antibiotics and nasal decongestants from your vet can help restore their appetite.
5. Picky Eating Habits
A handful of Bullmastiffs inherently have selective eating habits, possibly because they’re tired of their regular food or have a liking for human dishes. 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. You can also add irresistible mix-ins like diced ham, scrambled eggs, plain yogurt, or cottage cheese to their normal kibble.
Avoid catering to picky behavior by never feeding human table scraps. By being patient and imaginative, discovering foods that your selective dog adores becomes feasible.
We suggest looking into these items specifically designed for choosy Bullmastiffs.
6. Underlying Medical Issue
Various internal health problems beyond just dental and GI issues can lead to inappetence in Bullmastiffs. Conditions such as kidney ailments, tumors, hypothyroidism, infections of the urinary tract, and organ malfunction are among these.
It’s urgent to consult your vet if your grown dog abstains from food for over 24 hours or displays fatigue. 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. 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 Bullmastiff to these shifts in routine over a span 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. Bullmastiff Feeling Overheated
During warm summer days, a dog’s attempt to remain cool through panting can diminish their appetite cues. During the hotter months, ensure your dog always has access to shady spots, cold surfaces, and replenished water.
Consider feeding larger meals in the cooler morning/evening hours. Another idea is to freeze the dog’s food or drink bowls, ensuring the surrounding area remains cold.
This tactic can foster eating even on sweltering days.
9. Competition with Other Pets
Some Bullmastiffs 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. Also, provide multiple food bowls spread widely apart to minimize competition. By implementing these adjustments, Bullmastiffs that eat anxiously typically regain their eating confidence.
10. A New Adoption or Move
Introducing a rescued dog to your home or shifting to a new dwelling with your pet represents major life changes. Newly taken-in dogs or those adjusting to new surroundings often face brief periods of diminished appetite and heightened 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. 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 Bullmastiff hasn’t consumed anything significant in 24-48 hours, it’s vital to get in touch with your veterinarian immediately. 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 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 Bullmastiff to Eat Home Remedies
For transient appetite declines in an otherwise fit dog, a few home solutions could be beneficial:
- 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.
- 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.
- Physical activity beforehand: Engaging in a lengthy stroll prior to feeding activates appetite-inducing hormones, potentially urging your dog to eat.
Preventing Appetite Issues in Dogs
While finicky appetites will always crop up occasionally, here’s how to minimize risks of long-term food refusal:
- 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.
- Stimulate their mind daily with toys, training, and enrichment activities.
- 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 Bullmastiff or a Bulldog won’t eat, the Vet you will talk to will provide the information you need.
FAQs About a Bullmastiff Not Eating
What can you do if your Bullmastiff stops eating?
If your dog suddenly stops eating, there are several strategies you can experiment with initially 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 shredded cheese, chicken broth, or canned fish to make the food more enticing
- 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
Consistency and innovative approaches in getting your dog to eat is key. If they continue to reject food after 24 hours, consider taking them to the vet to identify any potential medical concerns causing loss of appetite.
At what point should a Bullmastiffs refusal to eat become a concern?
Reach out to your vet without delay if an adult dog goes 24-48 hours without consuming much. 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 such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or pain you’ve noticed alongside their appetite issues.
How many days can a Bullmastiff generally go without food?
An adult Bullmastiff 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 swiftly lead to conditions such as 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 Bullmastiff refuse to eat?
For intermittent 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 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 Bullmastiffseems to avoid food 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
- 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 persuade such dogs to eat. But should their refusal to eat continues for more than a day, it’s best to consult with your vet.