As a doting dog devotee with over 20 years of experience caring for furry friends, I often get asked “My Great Dane Won’t Eat, what should I do?” It’s a common concern for people whose furry friends when their canine companion seems disinterested in mealtime. As an enthusiastic pet expert, permit me to offer my best tips 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 ask a veterinarian directly.
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Why Your Great Dane Won’t Eat
1. Dental Problems and Oral Pain
Dental disease like periodontal 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 Great Dane has dental issues include halitosis, bleeding gums, pawing at the mouth, and dropping 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 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 antibiotics and pain medication. With treatment, your Great Dane 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. 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 Great Dane 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 Great Dane gets the suggested doses.
3. Anxiety and Stress
Changes in routine, travel experiences, unfamiliar surroundings, loud sounds, and interactions with unknown canines or individuals often affect dogs deeply. Often, these situations filled with tension or anxiety result in a dog’s diminished appetite or total rejection of food.
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. Great Dane Decreased Sense of Smell
A dulled sense of smell is a common issue for senior dogs and those with chronic nasal/respiratory diseases. If dog food seems bland or unappetizing, dogs simply aren’t motivated to eat it or have no want to eat.
Consider heating wet or canned food to intensify its scent.On their daily kibble, you might sprinkle richly scented toppings like chicken stock, cheese shreds, bacon fragments, or preserved fish.This makes the food more enticing.
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
Some Great Danes are just naturally picky, whether due to boredom with their food or preference for human foods. 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. To their usual kibble, you might introduce enticing ingredients like cubed ham, stirred eggs, flavorless 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 recommend trying these products for picky Great Danes.
6. Underlying Medical Issue
Various internal health problems beyond just dental and GI issues can lead to inappetence in Great Danes. Among the problems are diseases of the kidney, cancerous growths, hypothyroidism, infections in the urinary system, and failure of vital organs.
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.
Administering the appropriate treatment typically restores a dog’s appetite swiftly, especially when they begin to recover. However, neglecting to treat health problems poses risks.
7. A Change in Eating Routine
are creatures of habit and can react to disruptions in their normal routine with picky eating. 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.
Aim to acclimate your Great Dane 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.
To regain their usual appetite, it’s essential to remain consistent and predictable in your actions.
8. Great Dane Feeling Overheated
On hot summer days, panting and trying to stay cool actually suppresses appetite 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. 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 Great Danes 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.
Consider feeding them in a different room and employing baby gates to alleviate the mealtime tension. Also, provide multiple food bowls spread widely apart to minimize competition. By implementing these adjustments, Great Danes that eat anxiously typically regain their eating confidence.
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. It’s a standard reaction for fresh adoptions or pets getting acquainted with a novel environment to momentarily lose appetite and feel stressed.
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. 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 Contact a Vet About Appetite Loss
Should your adult Great Dane abstain from eating for a period of 24-48 hours, immediately reach out to your vet. Waiting too long can lead to dangerous complications like liver damage from a buildup of toxins in the bloodstream.
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. 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.
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. Instead of a pricier in-person consultation, leveraging an online vet service can furnish you with fast responses.
How to Get Your Great Dane to Eat Home Remedies
For mild, temporary appetite suppression in an otherwise healthy dog, home remedies can sometimes do the trick:
- Switch foods: Transition to a new brand, flavor, or texture of food. The novelty may entice picky pups to eat.
- Include toppings: Enhance dry food with aromatic and flavorful additives such as canned seafood, chicken stock, or moistened 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:
- Ensure your veterinarian conducts bi-annual health inspections to detect potential problems in their initial stages.
- 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.
- 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 Great Dane or a Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen won’t eat, the Vet you will talk to will provide the information you need.
FAQs About a Great Dane Not Eating
What can you do if your Great Dane stops eating?
If your dog suddenly stops eating, there are several strategies you can experiment with initially 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 heighten the food’s appeal
- Hand feed them piece by piece and offer lots of praise
- Exercise before meals 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 potential medical concerns causing loss of appetite.
At what point should a Great Danes refusal to eat become a concern?
Contact your vet promptly if an adult dog goes 24-48 hours without eating anything substantial. Delaying for too long can result in 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 not eating enough. 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 Great Dane generally go without food?
An adult Great Dane in good health can typically go 1-2 days without eating before it becomes a serious issue. 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 swiftly lead to issues like 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 a Great Dane refuse to eat?
For repeated loss of appetite, potential reasons include:
- Issues with oral health like gum disease or broken teeth
- Chronic GI problems 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 Great Daneseems to avoid food 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
Tempting them with special toppings, maintaining a regular feeding schedule, and exercising before meals can often persuade such dogs to eat. But should their refusal to eat continues for more than a day, a visit to the vet is advisable.