With over 20 years as a passionate dog lover with over 20 years of experience caring for canine companions, I often get asked “My Flat-Coated Retriever Won’t Eat, what should I do?” It’s a common concern for folks with four-legged family members when their pooch seems disinterested in mealtime. As an ardent animal authority, I’m here 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 get free vet advice directly.
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Common Reasons Your Flat-Coated Retriever Won’t Eat
1. Oral Health Issues and Oral Pain
Oral health conditions like periodontal disease, dental abscesses, and broken teeth is very common in dogs and can cause severe oral pain that prevents them from wanting to chew their food. Signs that your Flat-Coated Retriever has dental issues include bad breath, 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 as soon as possible 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 antimicrobials and analgesics. With treatment, your Flat-Coated Retriever 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. Possible GI problems range from dog food allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, parasitic infections, and viral enteritis. can be the cause a Flat-Coated Retriever wont eat.
By conducting blood tests, analyzing fecal samples, and getting abdominal imaging, the primary reason for appetite loss can be detected. Once nausea wanes, administering treatments like anti-nausea medications, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, and specific diets can rapidly restore appetite.
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. Often, these situations filled with tension or anxiety result in a dog’s diminished appetite or total rejection of food.
Try to minimize your dog’s stress levels by maintaining normal routines when possible and using anti-anxiety medications/supplements if recommended by your vet. Also, stimulate their appetite by hand feeding delicious foods like cooked chicken, canned puppy food, or dry food such as kibble soaked in broth.
When your dog starts adjusting to the new or stressful changes, it’s probable their hunger will bounce back.
4. Flat-Coated Retriever Decreased Sense of Smell
Older as and those suffering from ongoing nasal or respiratory conditions frequently experience a weakened sense of smell. 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.
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 Flat-Coated Retrievers 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.
In addressing a discerning dog’s inclinations, it could be beneficial to cyclically swap between 3-4 quality food options like air-dried, raw, or canned varieties. 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 Flat-Coated Retrievers.
6. Underlying Medical Issue
Various internal health problems beyond just dental and GI issues can lead to inappetence in Flat-Coated Retrievers. Among the problems are diseases of the kidney, cancerous growths, hypothyroidism, infections in the urinary system, and failure of vital organs.
Should your mature dog abstain from food for a day or more or appear listless, promptly arrange a visit to the vet. 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
are creatures of habit and can react to disruptions in their normal routine with picky eating. Situations causing this behavior encompass changing their food type, altering meal times, traveling, staying at kennels, having visitors, relocating, or introducing a new household member such as an infant or another pup.
Help your Flat-Coated Retriever 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. Flat-Coated Retriever 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.
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 tactic can foster eating even on sweltering days.
9. Competition with Other Pets
A number of Flat-Coated Retrievers 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.
Feed them separately in another room and use baby gates to reduce this mealtime stress. 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
Introducing a rescued dog to your home or shifting to a new dwelling with your pet represents major life changes. It’s completely normal for newly adopted Flat-Coated Retrievers 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. Expect an enhancement in their dietary patterns and overall comfort in about a week or two as they acclimate to the shifts.
When to Speak With a Vet About Appetite Loss
Should your adult Flat-Coated Retriever abstain from eating for a period of 24-48 hours, immediately reach out to your vet. Procrastinating could result in critical outcomes like liver impairment from excessive toxins in the blood.
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. 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 visiting the vet you might want to use our Ask A Vet service to get answers quickly instead of spending a lot of money on a vet visit. An online vet consultation can provide you with immediate insights, potentially bypassing an expensive clinic visit.
How to Get Your Flat-Coated Retriever to Eat Home Remedies
For transient appetite declines in an otherwise fit dog, a few home solutions could be beneficial:
- Switch up the food: Introduce a different brand, taste, or form. The change could attract particular eaters.
- Add mix-ins: Top kibble with something super smelly and tasty like canned fish, chicken broth, or wet food.
- Hand feed: Some dogs eat better when hand fed piece by piece. The extra attention can be encouraging.
- 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
Even though unpredictable eating habits can be an occasional issue, here are steps to diminish the chances of extended meal rejection:
- 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.
- 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 Flat-Coated Retriever or a Finnish Spitz won’t eat, the Vet you will talk to will provide the information you need.
FAQs About a Flat-Coated Retriever Not Eating
What can you do if your Flat-Coated Retriever stops eating?
When your canine companion refuses to eat, there are several strategies you can try at home first before resorting to a vet visit:
- Consider changing their 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 offer lots of praise
- Exercise prior to feeding to increase hunger
- Reduce mealtime competition among pets by feeding anxious eaters separately
Persistence and creativity 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 Flat-Coated Retrievers 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 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 prepared to describe any symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or pain you’ve noticed alongside their appetite issues.
How many days can a Flat-Coated Retriever generally go without food?
An adult Flat-Coated Retriever in good health can usually 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 adequate food can quickly lead to issues like hypoglycemia, dehydration, and liver dysfunction. You should always contact your vet if the loss of appetite extends beyond 24 hours.
Why might a Flat-Coated Retriever refuse to eat?
For intermittent loss of appetite, potential causes include:
- Oral health complications like gum disease or broken teeth
- Ongoing gastrointestinal issues like IBD or food allergies
- Kidney disease or cancers affecting organ functionality
- Emotional factors like stress or anxiety
- Picky 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 Flat-Coated Retrieverisn’t eating 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
Using appealing food additions, 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, it’s best to consult with your vet.