With over 20 years as a doting dog devotee with over 20 years of experience caring for furry friends, I often get asked “My Papillon Won’t Eat, what should I do?” It’s a prevalent puzzle for pet parents when their pooch seems disinterested in mealtime. As an enthusiastic pet expert, permit me 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 dog veterinarian online directly.
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Common Reasons Your Papillon Won’t Eat
1. Dental Disease and Oral Pain
Dental disease like gum infections, dental abscesses, and broken teeth is very common in dogs and can cause severe oral pain that prevents them from wanting to chew their food. Signs that your Papillon has dental issues include bad breath, bleeding gums, rubbing 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 extraction of diseased teeth under anesthesia to relieve your dog’s oral pain. They may also prescribe antimicrobials and analgesics. With treatment, your Papillon 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 Papillon 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.
Always stick to the treatment plan set out by your veterinarian and provide the advised dosages to your dog.
3. Anxiety and Stress
Papillons are sensitive to changes in routine, travel, new environments, loud noises, and meeting unfamiliar dogs or people. 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. 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. Papillon Decreased Sense of Smell
Older as and those suffering from ongoing nasal or respiratory conditions frequently experience a weakened sense of smell. 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.You can also sprinkle potent smelling mix-ins like chicken broth, shredded cheese, bacon bits, or canned fish over their regular kibble.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 Papillons 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.
To satisfy a picky pup’s preferences, try regularly rotating between 3-4 different high-value foods like air-dried, raw, or wet foods. You can also add irresistible mix-ins like diced ham, scrambled eggs, plain yogurt, or cottage cheese to their normal kibble.
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 Papillons.
6. Underlying Medical Issue
Many internal health challenges, not limited to dental and gastrointestinal conditions, can result in a lack of appetite in Papillons. 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. 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. 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 Papillon 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. Papillon Feeling Overheated
When the summer heat strikes, the act of panting and cooling off tends to hinder hunger signals in a dog’s brain. Make sure your Papillon has constant access to shade, cool floors, and fresh water in warmer months.
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 Papillons 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.
Feed them separately in another room and use baby gates to reduce this mealtime stress. Ensure there are several feeding bowls distanced apart adequately to lessen the rivalry. Adapting in this manner, most nervous eaters start feeling at ease with their meals again.
10. A New Adoption or Move
Adopting a rescue Papillon or relocating with your canine companion signifies significant shifts in their lives. 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. Their eating habits and comfort levels should improve within 1-2 weeks as they get used to all the new changes.
When to Contact a Vet About Appetite Loss
If your mature Papillon hasn’t consumed anything significant in 24-48 hours, it’s vital to get in touch with your veterinarian immediately. 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.
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 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. Using an online ask a vet service can get you answers right away instead of having a costly vet visit.
How to Get Your Papillon 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.
- Serve by hand: Manually feeding the dog in small portions can often lead to better consumption. This direct interaction can boost their interest.
- 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 a Papillon or a Otterhound won’t eat, the Vet you will talk to will provide the information you need.
FAQs About a Papillon Not Eating
What can you do if your Papillon stops eating?
Should your dog abruptly cease eating, there are several strategies you can try at home first before seeing the veterinarian:
- Switch to a different type of food – try wet food instead of dry 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 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, consider taking them to the vet to identify any underlying medical issue causing loss of appetite.
At what point should a Papillons 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 result in 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 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 Papillon 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 avoid 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 extends beyond 24 hours.
Why might a Papillon 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 disturbances like stress or anxiety
- Picky 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 Papillonisn’t eating 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
Tempting them with special toppings, 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.