As an enthusiastic 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 English Setter Won’t Eat, what should I do?” It’s a common concern for pet parents when their furry friend seems disinterested in mealtime. As an ardent animal authority, allow me 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 get free vet advice directly.
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Why Your English Setter Won’t Eat
1. Dental Problems and Oral Pain
Dental disease like gum infections, dental 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 English Setter has dental issues include halitosis, inflamed gums, rubbing 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 circulatory system. 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 analgesics. With treatment, your English Setter appetite should bounce back within a few days once the mouth pain subsides.
2. Nausea from Gastrointestinal Upset
English Setters 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 an English Setter wont eat.
By conducting blood tests, analyzing fecal samples, and getting abdominal imaging, the primary reason for appetite loss can be detected. The appetite usually returns quickly after the nausea reduces, especially with treatments involving anti-nausea medications, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, and tailored diets.
Make sure to follow your vet’s treatment plan closely and only give your English Setter 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.
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. 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. English Setter Decreased Sense of Smell
A dulled sense of smell is a common issue for senior dogs and those with chronic nasal/respiratory diseases. When the dog food appears tasteless or not inviting, the dogs lack the drive or desire to consume it.
Try warming up canned food or wet foods to release a stronger aroma.Over their usual kibble, add aromatic ingredients such as chicken broth, grated cheese, bits of bacon, or tinned 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 Setters 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. Consider enhancing their regular kibble with tempting additives such as chopped ham, whisked eggs, unsweetened yogurt, or cottage cheese.
Refrain from indulging their selective habits by not giving them leftovers from the human table. By being patient and imaginative, discovering foods that your selective dog adores becomes feasible.
We suggest looking into these items specifically designed for choosy English Setters.
6. Underlying Medical Issue
Various internal health problems beyond just dental and GI issues can lead to inappetence in English Setters. 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.
Once your dog starts recuperating, the right medical intervention usually reignites their normal appetite swiftly. But leaving health issues untreated can be dangerous.
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.
Help your English Setter adjust to routine changes gradually over 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. English Setter 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.
Consider feeding larger meals in the cooler morning/evening hours. You can also try freezing their food or water bowls to keep the area around their food as cool as possible.
Such measures can promote feeding during the heated days.
9. Competition with Other Pets
Certain English Setters can become nervous eating in proximity to other pets, causing them to avoid their meals. 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. Offer numerous food containers spaced out to diminish competitive behavior. With these changes, anxious eaters usually become comfortable eating again.
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. 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
Contact your vet promptly if your adult English Setter 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. Be ready to describe any symptoms you’ve observed in your dog, like vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or signs of pain.
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.
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 Setter to Eat Home Remedies
For transient appetite declines in an otherwise fit dog, a few home solutions could be beneficial:
- Switch foods: Transition to a new brand, flavor, or texture of food. The novelty may entice picky pups to eat.
- Add mix-ins: Top kibble with something super smelly and tasty like canned fish, chicken broth, or wet food.
- Hand-feeding: Offering food by hand, bit by bit, might encourage certain dogs more. The personal touch often helps.
- 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
While finicky appetites will always crop up occasionally, here’s how to minimize risks of long-term food refusal:
- 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.
- Prioritize a stable routine for feeding, focusing on uniformity in timing and the feeding spot.
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 Setter or an English Foxhound won’t eat, the Vet you will talk to will provide the information you need.
FAQs About an English Setter Not Eating
What can you do if your English Setter stops eating?
When your canine companion refuses to eat, there are several strategies you can experiment with initially 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 chicken broth, canned fish, shredded cheese to make the food more enticing
- Hand feed them piece by piece and offer lots of praise
- Exercise prior to feeding to increase hunger
- Eliminate competition with other pets by feeding anxious eaters separately
Staying persistent and being creative in getting your dog to eat is key. If they continue to reject food after 24 hours, you should take them to the vet to identify any potential medical concerns causing loss of appetite.
At what point should an English Setters refusal to eat become a concern?
Contact your vet promptly if an adult dog goes 24-48 hours without consuming much. Waiting too long can cause dangerous complications like liver damage from toxins in the bloodstream. Puppies with appetite issues should see the vet within 12 hours, as they can deteriorate rapidly from a lack of nutrition. Be prepared to describe any symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or pain you’ve noticed alongside their appetite issues.
How many days can an English Setter generally go without food?
An adult English Setter 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 as 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 extends beyond 24 hours.
Why might an English Setter refuse to eat?
For repeated loss of appetite, potential reasons 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 disturbances like stress or anxiety
- Picky eating tendencies
- An underperforming thyroid gland
Various diagnostic tests 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 English Setterisn’t eating but otherwise seems 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
Using appealing food additions, maintaining a regular feeding schedule, and engaging them in activity before meals can often encourage such dogs to eat. But should their refusal to eat continues for more than a day, a visit to the vet is advisable.