With over 20 years as a doting dog devotee with over 20 years of experience caring for furry friends, I often get asked “My Old English Sheepdog Won’t Eat, what should I do?” It’s a prevalent puzzle for people whose furry friends when their pooch seems disinterested in mealtime. As an ardent animal authority, permit me to offer my best strategies 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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Common Reasons Your Old English Sheepdog Won’t Eat
1. Dental Problems and Oral Pain
Dental disease like gum disease, dental abscesses, and fractured teeth are very common in dogs and can cause severe oral pain that prevents them from wanting to chew their food. Signs that your Old English Sheepdog has dental issues include bad breath, reddened gums, pawing at 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 full 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 Old English Sheepdog appetite should bounce back within a few days once the mouth pain subsides.
2. Nausea from Gastrointestinal Upset
Old English Sheepdogs often refrain from eating when they suffer from symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or other gastrointestinal problems. Possible GI problems range from dog food allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, parasitic infections, and viral enteritis. can be the cause a Old English Sheepdog 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 Old English Sheepdogs. These stressful or anxiety-provoking situations commonly cause a decreased appetite or outright refusal to eat.
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. Old English Sheepdog Decreased Sense of Smell
A dulled sense of smell is a common issue for elderly dogs and those with chronic nasal/respiratory diseases. When the dog food appears tasteless or not inviting, the dogs lack the drive or desire to consume it.
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.
If an upper respiratory infection is causing the smell loss, antibiotics and nasal decongestants from your vet can help restore their appetite.
5. Picky Eating Habits
A handful of Old English Sheepdogs 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.
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.
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 Old English Sheepdogs.
6. Underlying Medical Issue
Many internal health challenges, not limited to dental and gastrointestinal conditions, can result in a lack of appetite in Old English Sheepdogs. These include kidney disease, cancer, hypothyroidism, urinary tract infections, and organ failure.
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.
Administering the appropriate treatment typically restores a dog’s appetite swiftly, especially when they begin to recover. Yet, failing to address health conditions can be perilous.
7. A Change in Eating Routine
thrive on routines, and any disruption can often lead them to become finicky eaters. 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.
Help your Old English Sheepdog adjust to routine changes gradually over 2-3 weeks. For example, when changing foods, transition over 7-10 days by slowly increasing the new food while decreasing the old.
Maintaining a consistent and foreseeable approach can reestablish their typical hunger.
8. Old English Sheepdog Feeling Overheated
On hot summer days, panting and trying to stay cool actually suppresses appetite signals in a dog’s brain. Make sure your Old English Sheepdog has constant access to shade, cool floors, and fresh water in warmer months.
Consider feeding larger meals in the cooler morning/evening hours. 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
A number of Old English Sheepdogs 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.
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. Adapting in this manner, most nervous eaters start feeling at ease with their meals again.
10. A New Adoption or Move
Adopting a rescue Old English Sheepdog or relocating with your canine companion signifies significant shifts in their lives. It’s completely normal for newly adopted Old English Sheepdogs 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. Their eating habits and comfort levels should improve within 1-2 weeks as they get used to all the new changes.
When to See the Vet About Appetite Loss
Contact your vet promptly if your adult Old English Sheepdog goes 24-48 hours without eating anything substantial. Procrastinating could result in critical outcomes like liver impairment from excessive toxins in the blood.
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. Be ready to describe any symptoms you’ve observed in your dog, like vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or signs of pain.
The vet will carry out diagnostic procedures to identify if there’s a medical reason behind your dog’s reduced appetite.
Treatment of the condition often gets them feeling hungry again quickly and can encourage your dog to eat once more.
Instead of an expensive vet trip, consider use our Ask A Vet online service to obtain prompt answers prior to a physical consultation. An online vet consultation can provide you with immediate insights, potentially bypassing an expensive clinic visit.
How to Get Your Old English Sheepdog 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.
- 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.
- Warm the food: Microwaving kibble for 10 seconds releases aroma and makes food more appealing.
- 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.
- 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 Old English Sheepdog or a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever won’t eat, the Vet you will talk to will provide the information you need.
FAQs About a Old English Sheepdog Not Eating
What can you do if your Old English Sheepdog stops eating?
Should your dog abruptly cease eating, there are several strategies you can try at home first before seeing the veterinarian:
- Consider changing their food – maybe offer wet food in lieu of 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 one bite at a time and give lots of praise
- Exercise prior to feeding to increase hunger
- Eliminate competition with other pets by feeding anxious eaters separately
Consistency and innovative approaches 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 Old English Sheepdogs 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. Delaying for too long can lead to dangerous complications like liver damage due to toxins circulating in their system. Puppies with appetite issues should see the vet within 12 hours, as they can deteriorate rapidly from not eating enough. Be ready to describe any symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or pain you’ve noticed alongside their appetite issues.
How many days can a Old English Sheepdog generally go without food?
An adult Old English Sheepdog 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 because they are still growing. Lack of proper nutrition can swiftly lead to conditions such as hypoglycemia, dehydration, and liver dysfunction. You should always contact your vet if the loss of appetite lasts beyond 24 hours.
Why might a Old English Sheepdog 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 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 Old English Sheepdogisn’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
Tempting them with special toppings, maintaining a regular feeding schedule, and engaging them in activity before meals can often persuade such dogs to eat. But should their refusal to eat continues for more than a day, it’s best to consult with your vet.