With over 20 years as a doting dog devotee with over 20 years of experience caring for four-legged family members, I often get asked “My English Cocker Spaniel Won’t Eat, what should I do?” It’s a common concern for pet parents when their canine companion seems disinterested in mealtime. As an ardent animal authority, permit me to offer my best tips 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 live chat with a vet directly.
Quick Solution Alert!
To save you time, this might be the quick solution you need.
Why Your English Cocker Spaniel Won’t Eat
1. Dental Disease and Oral Pain
Dental disease like gum infections, infected teeth, 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 English Cocker Spaniel has dental issues include halitosis, inflamed 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 bloodstream. Your vet will likely recommend a full dental cleaning and extraction of diseased teeth under anesthesia to relieve your dog’s oral pain. They may also prescribe antibiotics and pain medication. With treatment, your English Cocker Spaniel 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. Issues like dog food allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, infections from parasites, and viral enteritis can cause GI disturbances, can be the cause an English Cocker Spaniel wont eat.
Through diagnostic procedures such as blood tests, fecal examinations, and abdominal scans, one can pinpoint the root cause of the appetite loss. 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
English Cocker Spaniels 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.
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.
As your dog starts to relax and become more comfortable with the change causing their stress, their appetite should improve.
4. English Cocker Spaniel Decreased Sense of Smell
A dulled sense of smell is a common issue for aging dogs and those with chronic nasal/respiratory diseases. Should the dog food come off as flavorless or uninviting, it doesn’t inspire them to eat or kindle their appetite.
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.Such additions render the meal more attractive.
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 English Cocker Spaniels inherently have selective eating habits, possibly because they’re tired of their regular food or have a liking for human dishes. Finicky eaters may start refusing meals or eating very selectively.
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. With patience and creativity, you can find foods your picky dog loves.
We recommend trying these products for picky English Cocker Spaniels.
6. Underlying Medical Issue
Besides dental and gastrointestinal troubles, several internal health concerns can cause English Cocker Spaniels to lose their appetite. 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. Tests such as blood examinations, urine analysis, and radiographic imaging can reveal if a hidden health issue affects your dog’s appetite.
Treatment of the condition often brings back normal hunger very quickly once your dog starts feeling better. 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. 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. English Cocker Spaniel Feeling Overheated
On hot summer days, panting and trying to stay cool actually suppresses appetite 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. 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
A number of English Cocker Spaniels 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. Offer numerous food containers spaced out to diminish competitive behavior. Adapting in this manner, most nervous eaters start feeling at ease with their meals again.
10. A New Adoption or Move
Adopting a rescue English Cocker Spaniel 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.
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.
Speak To A Vet Online About Appetite Loss
If your mature English Cocker Spaniel hasn’t consumed anything significant in 24-48 hours, it’s vital to get in touch with your veterinarian immediately. Delaying action may result in severe issues, including liver injuries due to an accumulation of toxins.
If a puppy isn’t eating or has appetite problems, it’s urgent to visit the vet within a 12-hour window due to their fast deterioration rate. Be ready to describe any symptoms you’ve observed in your dog, like vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or signs of pain.
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.
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 English Cocker Spaniel 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.
- Add mix-ins: Top kibble with something super smelly and tasty like canned fish, chicken broth, or wet food.
- Serve by hand: Manually feeding the dog in small portions can often lead to better consumption. This direct interaction can boost their interest.
- Warm the food: Microwaving kibble for 10 seconds releases aroma and makes food more appealing.
- 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:
- It’s advisable to have biannual health examinations by the vet to identify and address any emerging health concerns promptly.
- Feed your dog a high quality, balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs.
- 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 an English Cocker Spaniel or an Dogue de Bordeaux won’t eat, the Vet you will talk to will provide the information you need.
FAQs About an English Cocker Spaniel Not Eating
What can you do if your English Cocker Spaniel 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 – 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 one bite at a time and offer lots of praise
- Exercise before meals to boost 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 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 an English Cocker Spaniels 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 cause 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 an English Cocker Spaniel generally go without food?
An adult English Cocker Spaniel in good health can usually 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 conditions such as hypoglycemia, dehydration, and liver dysfunction. You should always contact your vet if the loss of appetite extends beyond 24 hours.
Why might an English Cocker Spaniel 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 factors like stress or anxiety
- Finicky 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 English Cocker Spanielisn’t eating but otherwise seems 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 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.