As a long-time canine caretaker who adores all dogs with over 20 years of experience caring for canine companions, I often get asked “My Irish Wolfhound Won’t Eat, what should I do?” It’s a prevalent puzzle for pet parents when their pooch seems disinterested in mealtime. As an ardent animal authority, allow me to offer my best strategies to get your pup excited about eating again.
There are many possible reasons why your canine 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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Common Reasons Your Irish Wolfhound Won’t Eat
1. Oral Health Issues and Oral Pain
Oral health conditions like periodontal disease, 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 Irish Wolfhound has dental issues include halitosis, 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 immediately if you notice these signs of dental disease, as untreated infections can spread bacteria to the bloodstream. Your vet will likely recommend a full 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 Irish Wolfhound 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 an Irish Wolfhound wont eat.
Diagnostic tests like bloodwork, fecal exams, and abdominal imaging can help identify the underlying condition causing loss of appetite. 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 Irish Wolfhounds. Often, these situations filled with tension or anxiety result in a dog’s diminished appetite or total rejection of food.
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. 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. Irish Wolfhound 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.
You could heat canned or moistened food to enhance its smell.You can also sprinkle potent smelling mix-ins like chicken broth, shredded cheese, bacon bits, or canned fish over their regular kibble.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
A handful of Irish Wolfhounds inherently have selective eating habits, possibly because they’re tired of their regular food or have a liking for human dishes. It’s not uncommon for particular eaters to start bypassing meals or being very discerning with their food choices.
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. To their usual kibble, you might introduce enticing ingredients like cubed ham, stirred eggs, flavorless yogurt, or cottage cheese.
It’s essential not to feed them human leftovers, so you don’t reinforce choosy behavior. With patience and creativity, you can find foods your picky dog loves.
We recommend trying these products for picky Irish Wolfhounds.
6. Underlying Medical Issue
Besides dental and gastrointestinal troubles, several internal health concerns can cause Irish Wolfhounds 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.
Make an appointment with your vet right away if your adult dog goes 24+ hours without eating or seems lethargic. 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. 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. 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.
Aim to acclimate your Irish Wolfhound to these shifts in routine over a span of 2-3 weeks. For example, when changing foods, transition over 7-10 days by slowly increasing the new food while decreasing the old.
Consistency and predictability will help bring back their regular appetite.
8. Irish Wolfhound 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.
You might want to serve bigger portions during the more refreshing parts of the day, like mornings or evenings. Another idea is to freeze the dog’s food or drink bowls, ensuring the surrounding area remains cold.
This tactic can foster eating even on sweltering days.
9. Competition with Other Pets
Certain Irish Wolfhounds can become nervous eating in proximity to other pets, causing them to avoid their meals. 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. Ensure there are several feeding bowls distanced apart adequately to lessen the rivalry. With these changes, anxious eaters usually become comfortable eating again.
10. A New Adoption or Move
Adopting a rescue Irish Wolfhound or relocating with your canine companion signifies significant shifts in their lives. Newly taken-in dogs or those adjusting to new surroundings often face brief periods of diminished appetite and heightened stress.
Exercise patience, ensure a constant food supply, maintain their usual schedule, and consider tranquility supplements when necessary. 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 Speak With a Vet About Appetite Loss
Contact your vet promptly if your adult Irish Wolfhound goes 24-48 hours without eating anything substantial. Delaying action may result in severe issues, including liver injuries due to an accumulation of toxins.
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. Prepare to relay any notable symptoms in your dog, such as vomiting, diarrhea, tiredness, or indications of discomfort.
Your vet will perform diagnostic testing to uncover whether an underlying medical issue is causing your dog’s appetite loss.
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 Irish Wolfhound 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.
- 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.
- Elevate the food’s temperature: Giving the kibble a brief microwave heat-up can intensify its smell, rendering it more enticing.
- Initiate with movement: A prolonged walk prior to eating can stimulate hunger hormones in the system, aiding in your dog’s willingness to consume food.
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.
- 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 an Irish Wolfhound or an Irish Water Spaniel won’t eat, the Vet you will talk to will provide the information you need.
FAQs About an Irish Wolfhound Not Eating
What can you do if your Irish Wolfhound stops eating?
When your canine companion refuses to eat, there are several strategies you can experiment with initially before going to the vet:
- Switch to a different type of 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 give lots of praise
- Exercise before meals to boost hunger
- Reduce mealtime competition among pets by feeding anxious eaters separately
Consistency and innovative approaches in getting your dog to eat is key. If they continue to reject food after 24 hours, you should take them to the vet to identify any underlying medical issue causing loss of appetite.
At what point should an Irish Wolfhounds 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 eating anything substantial. Waiting too long can cause 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 ready to describe any symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or pain you’ve noticed alongside their appetite issues.
How many days can an Irish Wolfhound generally go without food?
An adult Irish Wolfhound 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 as they are still growing. Lack of proper nutrition can quickly lead to issues like hypoglycemia, dehydration, and liver dysfunction. It’s always a good idea to contact your vet if the loss of appetite lasts beyond 24 hours.
Why might an Irish Wolfhound refuse to eat?
For intermittent 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 disturbances 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 Irish Wolfhoundseems to avoid food but otherwise acts happy and normal, potential causes might be:
- Environmental factors like 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 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.