As a passionate dog lover with over 20 years of experience caring for furry friends, I often get asked “My French Bulldog Won’t Eat, what should I do?” It’s a prevalent puzzle for folks with four-legged family members when their canine companion seems disinterested in mealtime. As a dedicated pet pro, permit me to offer my best tips to get your pup excited about eating again.
There are many possible reasons why your pup 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 French Bulldog Won’t Eat
1. Dental Problems and Oral Pain
Oral health conditions like gum disease, tooth abscesses, 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 French Bulldog has dental issues include bad breath, bleeding gums, rubbing the mouth, and spitting out food. Dogs may start eating only soft food or refuse to eat their meals.
See your vet right away if you notice these signs of dental disease, as untreated infections can spread bacteria to the circulatory system. 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 pain medication. With treatment, your French Bulldog 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 French Bulldog 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 French Bulldog 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. To entice them, consider hand-feeding tasty options like grilled chicken, moist puppy chow, or kibble drenched in a savory broth.
When your dog starts adjusting to the new or stressful changes, it’s probable their hunger will bounce back.
4. French Bulldog Decreased Sense of Smell
For older dogs and those with persistent nasal or respiratory ailments, a reduced sense of smell often becomes a challenge. If dog food seems bland or unappetizing, dogs simply aren’t motivated to eat it or have no want to eat.
Try warming up canned food or wet foods to release a stronger aroma.On their daily kibble, you might sprinkle richly scented toppings like chicken stock, cheese shreds, bacon fragments, or preserved 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 French Bulldogs 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. Consider enhancing their regular kibble with tempting additives such as chopped ham, whisked eggs, unsweetened yogurt, or cottage cheese.
Avoid catering to picky behavior by never feeding human table scraps. Given enough patience and some inventive ideas, you can pinpoint the meals your fussy dog relishes.
We suggest looking into these items specifically designed for choosy French Bulldogs.
6. Underlying Medical Issue
Many internal health challenges, not limited to dental and gastrointestinal conditions, can result in a lack of appetite in French Bulldogs. 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. Diagnostic testing like bloodwork, urinalysis, and imaging will uncover if your dog has an underlying medical problem sabotaging their 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
thrive on routines, and any disruption can often lead them to become finicky eaters. 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. As an instance, if you’re switching their diet, make the shift over a week to ten days, introducing the new food progressively while phasing out the previous one.
Consistency and predictability will help bring back their regular appetite.
8. French Bulldog Feeling Overheated
During warm summer days, a dog’s attempt to remain cool through panting can diminish their appetite cues. 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. A helpful tip is to chill their food and water containers, which helps to cool the vicinity around their meal.
Such measures can promote feeding during the heated days.
9. Competition with Other Pets
A number of French Bulldogs 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.
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. With these changes, anxious eaters usually become comfortable eating 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 French Bulldogs 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. 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 See the Vet About Appetite Loss
Should your adult French Bulldog abstain from eating for a period of 24-48 hours, immediately reach out to your vet. Delaying action may result in severe issues, including liver injuries due to an accumulation of toxins.
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.
The vet will carry out diagnostic procedures to identify if there’s a medical reason behind your dog’s reduced appetite.
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. Instead of a pricier in-person consultation, leveraging an online vet service can furnish you with fast responses.
How to Get Your French Bulldog 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.
- Include toppings: Enhance dry food with aromatic and flavorful additives such as canned seafood, chicken stock, or moistened 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
Though sporadic appetite fluctuations are inevitable, the following measures can mitigate the likelihood of prolonged food avoidance:
- 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.
- Daily mental stimulation is essential, using toys, educational exercises, and various enrichment pursuits.
- Stick to a consistent feeding routine in terms of timing and location.
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 French Bulldog or a Flat-Coated Retriever won’t eat, the Vet you will talk to will provide the information you need.
FAQs About a French Bulldog Not Eating
What can you do if your French Bulldog stops eating?
When your canine companion refuses to eat, there are several strategies you can experiment with initially before resorting to a vet visit:
- Consider changing their 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 give lots of praise
- Exercise prior to feeding to augment hunger
- Reduce mealtime competition among pets by feeding anxious eaters separately
Persistence and creativity in getting your dog to eat is key. If they still refuse to eat after 24 hours, you should take them to the vet to identify any potential medical concerns causing loss of appetite.
At what point should a French Bulldogs 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 due to toxins circulating in their system. 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 French Bulldog generally go without food?
Healthy adult dogs 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 as they are still growing. Lack of proper nutrition can swiftly lead to issues like hypoglycemia, dehydration, and liver dysfunction. You should always contact your vet if the loss of appetite lasts beyond 24 hours.
Why might a French Bulldog refuse to eat?
For repeated loss of appetite, potential causes include:
- Oral health complications 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 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 French Bulldogisn’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
Tempting them with special toppings, maintaining a regular feeding schedule, and exercising before meals can often encourage such dogs to eat. But should their refusal to eat continues for more than a day, it’s best to consult with your vet.