As an enthusiastic long-time canine caretaker who adores all dogs with over 20 years of experience caring for furry friends, I often get asked “My Portuguese Water Dog Won’t Eat, what should I do?” It’s a prevalent puzzle for people whose furry friends when their canine companion seems disinterested in mealtime. As an ardent animal authority, 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 veterinarian directly.
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Common Reasons Your Portuguese Water Dog Won’t Eat
1. Dental Disease and Oral Pain
Dental disease like gum disease, tooth abscesses, and cracked teeth are very common in dogs and can cause severe oral pain that prevents them from wanting to chew their food. Signs that your Portuguese Water Dog has dental issues include bad breath, inflamed 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 as soon as possible 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 Portuguese Water Dog appetite should bounce back within a few days once the mouth pain subsides.
2. Nausea from Gastrointestinal Upset
Given the nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or other gastrointestinal issues, dogs tend to avoid eating. 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 Portuguese Water Dog wont eat.
Through diagnostic procedures such as blood tests, fecal examinations, and abdominal scans, one can pinpoint the root cause of the appetite loss. Treatment with medications like anti-nausea drugs, antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, and special diets often brings back the appetite quickly once nausea subsides.
Make sure to follow your vet’s treatment plan closely and only give your Portuguese Water Dog the recommended dosages.
3. Anxiety and Stress
Routine alterations, trips, new settings, intense sounds, and encountering unknown dogs or humans can be stressful for Portuguese Water Dogs. Such anxiety-filled or distressing scenarios frequently lead to reduced food intake or even complete avoidance of meals by dogs.
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. To entice them, consider hand-feeding tasty options like grilled chicken, moist puppy chow, or kibble drenched in a savory broth.
Once your dog begins to acclimate to the alterations causing anxiety, you’ll likely notice an uptick in their appetite.
4. Portuguese Water Dog Decreased Sense of Smell
Older as and those suffering from ongoing nasal or respiratory conditions frequently experience a weakened sense of smell. 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.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.
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
Certain Portuguese Water Dogs have innate fussy eating tendencies, stemming either from monotony with their meals or a penchant for people’s food. Finicky eaters may start refusing meals or eating very selectively.
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. With patience and creativity, you can find foods your picky dog loves.
Consider these products as suitable options for Portuguese Water Dogs with selective tastes.
6. Underlying Medical Issue
Besides dental and gastrointestinal troubles, several internal health concerns can cause Portuguese Water Dogs to lose their appetite. Conditions such as kidney ailments, tumors, hypothyroidism, infections of the urinary tract, and organ malfunction are among these.
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.
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 Portuguese Water Dog to these shifts in routine over a span of 2-3 weeks. As an instance, if you’re switching their diet, make the shift over a week to ten days, introducing the new food progressively while phasing out the previous one.
Consistency and predictability will help bring back their regular appetite.
8. Portuguese Water Dog Feeling Overheated
On hot summer days, panting and trying to stay cool actually suppresses appetite signals in a dog’s brain. Make sure your Portuguese Water Dog has constant access to shade, cool floors, and fresh water in warmer months.
Think about offering more substantial meals when it’s cooler, such as in the early morning or late evening. A helpful tip is to chill their food and water containers, which helps to cool the vicinity around their meal.
Such measures can promote feeding during the heated days.
9. Competition with Other Pets
Certain Portuguese Water Dogs 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.
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. By implementing these adjustments, Portuguese Water Dogs that eat anxiously typically regain their eating confidence.
10. A New Adoption or Move
Adopting a rescue Portuguese Water Dog 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.
Be patient, consistently offer food, adhere to their routine, and think about employing soothing aids if essential. You’ll likely notice an uptick in their eating and comfort levels in around 1-2 weeks as they adapt to the alterations.
Chat Live With a Vet About Appetite Loss
If your mature Portuguese Water Dog hasn’t consumed anything significant in 24-48 hours, it’s vital to get in touch with your veterinarian immediately. Waiting too long can lead to dangerous complications like liver damage from a buildup of toxins in the bloodstream.
Puppies that refuse to eat their food or have appetite issues should see the vet within 12 hours, as they can deteriorate rapidly. 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.
Typically, once the ailment is treated, your dog’s appetite swiftly returns and they are encouraged to eat 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. Instead of a pricier in-person consultation, leveraging an online vet service can furnish you with fast responses.
How to Get Your Portuguese Water Dog 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.
- 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.
- 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
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 Portuguese Water Dog or a Portuguese Pointer won’t eat, the Vet you will talk to will provide the information you need.
FAQs About a Portuguese Water Dog Not Eating
What can you do if your Portuguese Water Dog stops eating?
Should your dog abruptly cease eating, there are several strategies you can experiment with initially before seeing the veterinarian:
- Consider changing their 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 give lots of praise
- Exercise before meals to increase hunger
- Eliminate competition with other pets by feeding anxious eaters separately
Staying persistent and being creative 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 underlying medical issue causing loss of appetite.
At what point should a Portuguese Water Dogs 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 cause dangerous complications like liver damage from toxins in the bloodstream. Puppies with appetite issues should visit the vet within 12 hours, as they can deteriorate rapidly from a lack of nutrition. 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 Portuguese Water Dog generally go without food?
An adult Portuguese Water Dog in good health can usually go 1-2 days without eating before it turns into a critical concern. 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 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 Portuguese Water Dog refuse to eat?
For repeated loss of appetite, potential reasons include:
- Oral health complications 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
- 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 Portuguese Water Dogisn’t eating but otherwise seems 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
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.