With over 20 years as a passionate dog lover with over 20 years of experience caring for four-legged family members, I often get asked “My Field Spaniel 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, permit me to offer my best strategies to get your pup excited about eating again.
There are many possible reasons why your doggy 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 talk to a vet directly.
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Why Your Field Spaniel Won’t Eat
1. Dental Problems and Oral Pain
Oral health conditions like gum infections, 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 Field Spaniel has dental issues include bad breath, reddened 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 complete 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 Field 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 a Field Spaniel wont eat.
Diagnostic tests like bloodwork, fecal exams, and abdominal imaging can help identify the underlying condition causing loss of appetite. Once nausea wanes, administering treatments like anti-nausea medications, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, and specific diets can rapidly restore appetite.
It’s crucial to adhere strictly to the vet’s prescribed treatment regimen and ensure your Field Spaniel gets the suggested doses.
3. Anxiety and Stress
Field 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. You can also hand-feed them enticing meals such as baked chicken, wet puppy food, or kibble immersed in tasty broth.
As your Field Spaniel starts to relax and become more comfortable with the change causing their stress, their appetite should improve.
4. Field 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.
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.This makes the food more enticing.
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 Field 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.
To satisfy a picky pup’s preferences, try regularly rotating between 3-4 different high-value foods like air-dried, raw, or wet foods. You can also add irresistible mix-ins like diced ham, scrambled eggs, plain yogurt, or cottage cheese to their normal kibble.
Refrain from indulging their selective habits by not giving them leftovers from the human table. With patience and creativity, you can find foods your picky dog loves.
We suggest looking into these items specifically designed for choosy Field Spaniels.
6. Underlying Medical Issue
Many internal health challenges, not limited to dental and gastrointestinal conditions, can result in a lack of appetite in Field Spaniels. Conditions such as kidney ailments, tumors, hypothyroidism, infections of the urinary tract, and organ malfunction are among these.
Make an appointment with your vet right away if your adult dog goes 24+ hours without eating or seems lethargic. 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. Yet, failing to address health conditions can be perilous.
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.
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.
Maintaining a consistent and foreseeable approach can reestablish their typical hunger.
8. Field Spaniel 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.
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 Field Spaniels can experience anxiety when eating near other animals, leading them to decline their food. The presence of other dogs or cats can create tension over resources like food, toys, and human attention.
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. With these changes, anxious eaters usually become comfortable eating again.
10. A New Adoption or Move
Adopting a rescue Field Spaniel or relocating with your canine companion signifies significant shifts in their lives. It’s completely normal for newly adopted Field Spaniels or dogs adjusting to a new home environment to experience temporary appetite loss and 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. Expect an enhancement in their dietary patterns and overall comfort in about a week or two as they acclimate to the shifts.
When to See the Vet About Appetite Loss
If your mature Field 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.
Puppies that refuse to eat their food or have appetite issues should see the vet within 12 hours, as they can deteriorate rapidly. Ensure you can detail observed symptoms in your pet, from vomiting and diarrhea to fatigue or apparent distress.
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.
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. An online vet consultation can provide you with immediate insights, potentially bypassing an expensive clinic visit.
How to Get Your Field Spaniel to Eat Home Remedies
For mild, temporary appetite suppression in an otherwise healthy dog, home remedies can sometimes do the trick:
- Switch up the food: Introduce a different brand, taste, or form. The change could attract particular eaters.
- Incorporate additions: Drizzle the regular kibble with strong-smelling and palatable items, be it fish from a can, chicken soup, or soft food.
- Hand-feeding: Offering food by hand, bit by bit, might encourage certain dogs more. The personal touch often helps.
- 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.
- Daily mental stimulation is essential, using toys, educational exercises, and various enrichment pursuits.
- 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 a Field Spaniel or a Eurasier won’t eat, the Vet you will talk to will provide the information you need.
FAQs About a Field Spaniel Not Eating
What can you do if your Field 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 – try wet food instead of dry kibble to stimulate their appetite
- Add mix-ins like shredded cheese, chicken broth, or canned fish to heighten the food’s appeal
- Hand feed them piece by piece and give lots of praise
- Exercise before meals to increase hunger
- Reduce mealtime competition among 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, consider taking them to the vet to identify any underlying medical issue causing loss of appetite.
At what point should a Field Spaniels refusal to eat become a concern?
It’s important to quickly get in touch with your vet if an adult dog goes 24-48 hours without consuming much. Delaying for too long can result in dangerous complications like liver damage due to toxins circulating in their system. Puppies with appetite issues should see the vet within 12 hours, as they can deteriorate rapidly from not eating enough. Be prepared to describe any symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or pain you’ve noticed alongside their appetite issues.
How many days can a Field Spaniel generally go without food?
An adult Field Spaniel in good health can typically go 1-2 days without eating before it turns into a critical concern. Puppies under 6 months old should avoid go more than 12-24 hours without food as they are still growing. Lack of adequate food can quickly 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 a Field Spaniel refuse to eat?
For intermittent 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 disturbances like stress or anxiety
- Finicky eating tendencies
- An underperforming thyroid gland
Procedures like 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 Field Spanielisn’t eating but otherwise acts content and lively, 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 persuade such dogs to eat. However, if their refusal to eat continues for more than a day, a visit to the vet is advisable.