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 German Wirehaired Pointer 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 enthusiastic pet expert, I’m here to offer my best strategies 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 ask a vet online directly.
Quick Solution Alert!
To save you time, this might be the quick solution you need.
Why Your German Wirehaired Pointer Won’t Eat
1. Dental Problems and Oral Pain
Dental disease like gum infections, 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 German Wirehaired Pointer has dental issues include halitosis, 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 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 German Wirehaired Pointer appetite should bounce back within a few days once the mouth pain subsides.
2. Nausea from Gastrointestinal Upset
German Wirehaired Pointers often refrain from eating when they suffer from symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or other gastrointestinal problems. The list of potential GI challenges includes allergies to dog food, inflammatory bowel disorders, pancreatitis, infections from parasites, and viral enteritis, can be the cause a German Wirehaired Pointer 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.
Always stick to the treatment plan set out by your veterinarian and provide the advised dosages to your dog.
3. Anxiety and Stress
Routine alterations, trips, new settings, intense sounds, and encountering unknown dogs or humans can be stressful for German Wirehaired Pointers. These stressful or anxiety-provoking situations commonly cause a decreased appetite or outright refusal to eat.
To keep your dog’s anxiety at bay, stick to regular schedules as much as you can and opt for anti-anxiety treatments or supplements if the vet suggests. 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. German Wirehaired Pointer Decreased Sense of Smell
For senior 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.
You could heat canned or moistened food to enhance its smell.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.
Should a respiratory infection be the culprit behind the diminished sense of smell, vet-prescribed antibiotics and nasal decongestants might rejuvenate their hunger.
5. Picky Eating Habits
A handful of German Wirehaired Pointers 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. By being patient and imaginative, discovering foods that your selective dog adores becomes feasible.
We suggest looking into these items specifically designed for choosy German Wirehaired Pointers.
6. Underlying Medical Issue
Besides dental and gastrointestinal troubles, several internal health concerns can cause German Wirehaired Pointers to lose their appetite. Among the problems are diseases of the kidney, cancerous growths, hypothyroidism, infections in the urinary system, and failure of vital organs.
It’s urgent to consult your vet if your grown dog abstains from food for over 24 hours or displays fatigue. Procedures including blood tests, analyses of urine, and imaging techniques can identify if there’s a concealed health concern impeding your dog’s hunger.
Treatment of the condition often brings back normal hunger very quickly once your dog starts feeling better. 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. 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.
Aim to acclimate your German Wirehaired Pointer to these shifts in routine over a span of 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. German Wirehaired Pointer Feeling Overheated
On hot summer days, panting and trying to stay cool actually suppresses appetite signals in a dog’s brain. Make sure your German Wirehaired Pointer has constant access to shade, cool floors, and fresh water in warmer months.
Consider feeding larger meals in the cooler morning/evening hours. A helpful tip is to chill their food and water containers, which helps to cool the vicinity around their meal.
This helps encourage eating on those hot days.
9. Competition with Other Pets
Certain German Wirehaired Pointers can become nervous eating in proximity to other pets, causing them to avoid their meals. 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. 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 German Wirehaired Pointers 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.
Chat Live With a Vet About Appetite Loss
Should your adult German Wirehaired Pointer 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.
Diagnostic tests will be conducted by your veterinarian to determine if there’s a hidden health concern causing your dog’s lack of hunger.
After treating the underlying issue, it’s common for the dog to quickly regain their hunger and be prompted to consume food 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 German Wirehaired Pointer 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.
- Elevate the food’s temperature: Giving the kibble a brief microwave heat-up can intensify its smell, rendering it more enticing.
- Physical activity beforehand: Engaging in a lengthy stroll prior to feeding activates appetite-inducing hormones, potentially urging your dog 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.
- Feed your dog a high quality, balanced diet that meets their nutritional 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 a German Wirehaired Pointer or a German Spitz won’t eat, the Vet you will talk to will provide the information you need.
FAQs About a German Wirehaired Pointer Not Eating
What can you do if your German Wirehaired Pointer stops eating?
Should your dog abruptly cease eating, there are several strategies you can try at home first before going to the vet:
- 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
Staying persistent and being creative in getting your dog to eat is key. If they still refuse to eat after 24 hours, consider taking them to the vet to identify any underlying medical issue causing loss of appetite.
At what point should a German Wirehaired Pointers 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. Waiting too long can lead to 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 such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or pain you’ve noticed alongside their appetite issues.
How many days can a German Wirehaired Pointer generally go without food?
Healthy adult dogs 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 quickly 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 German Wirehaired Pointer 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 factors like stress or anxiety
- Finicky 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 German Wirehaired Pointerisn’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
- 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 encourage such dogs to eat. However, if their refusal to eat continues for more than a day, a visit to the vet is advisable.