As a doting dog devotee with over 20 years of experience caring for canine companions, I often get asked “My Pug Won’t Eat, what should I do?” It’s a common concern for pet parents when their pooch seems disinterested in mealtime. As a dedicated pet pro, I’m here to offer my best tricks 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 live chat with a vet directly.
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Why Your Pug Won’t Eat
1. Dental Problems and Oral Pain
Oral health conditions like periodontal disease, dental 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 Pug has dental issues include bad breath, inflamed gums, rubbing the mouth, and spitting out 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 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 Pug 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. Issues like dog food allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, infections from parasites, and viral enteritis can cause GI disturbances, can be the cause a Pug wont eat.
Through diagnostic procedures such as blood tests, fecal examinations, and abdominal scans, one can pinpoint the root cause of the appetite loss. 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 Pug gets the suggested doses.
3. Anxiety and Stress
Routine alterations, trips, new settings, intense sounds, and encountering unknown dogs or humans can be stressful for Pugs. Such anxiety-filled or distressing scenarios frequently lead to reduced food intake or even complete avoidance of meals by dogs.
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.
Once your Pug begins to acclimate to the alterations causing anxiety, you’ll likely notice an uptick in their appetite.
4. Pug Decreased Sense of Smell
Older as and those suffering from ongoing nasal or respiratory conditions frequently experience a weakened sense of smell. Should the dog food come off as flavorless or uninviting, it doesn’t inspire them to eat or kindle their appetite.
Consider heating wet or canned food to intensify its scent.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.
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
Certain Pugs 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.
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.
Avoid catering to picky behavior by never feeding human table scraps. With patience and creativity, you can find foods your picky dog loves.
We suggest looking into these items specifically designed for choosy Pugs.
6. Underlying Medical Issue
Besides dental and gastrointestinal troubles, several internal health concerns can cause Pugs 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. Tests such as blood examinations, urine analysis, and radiographic imaging can reveal if a hidden health issue affects your dog’s appetite.
Once your dog starts recuperating, the right medical intervention usually reignites their normal appetite swiftly. Yet, failing to address health conditions can be perilous.
7. A Change in Eating Routine
are creatures of habit and can react to disruptions in their normal routine with picky eating. Situations causing this behavior encompass changing their food type, altering meal times, traveling, staying at kennels, having visitors, relocating, or introducing a new household member such as an infant or another pup.
Help your Pug adjust to routine changes gradually over 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. Pug Feeling Overheated
On hot summer days, panting and trying to stay cool actually suppresses appetite signals in a dog’s brain. Make sure your Pug has constant access to shade, cool floors, and fresh water in warmer months.
Consider feeding larger meals in the cooler morning/evening hours. You can also try freezing their food or water bowls to keep the area around their food as cool as possible.
This helps encourage eating on those hot days.
9. Competition with Other Pets
Certain Pugs 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. Ensure there are several feeding bowls distanced apart adequately to lessen the rivalry. By implementing these adjustments, Pugs that eat anxiously typically regain their eating confidence.
10. A New Adoption or Move
Adopting a rescue Pug 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.
Exercise patience, ensure a constant food supply, maintain their usual schedule, and consider tranquility supplements when necessary. 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
Should your adult Pug 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.
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.
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. Using an online ask a vet service can get you answers right away instead of having a costly vet visit.
How to Get Your Pug 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.
- Include toppings: Enhance dry food with aromatic and flavorful additives such as canned seafood, chicken stock, or moistened food.
- Serve by hand: Manually feeding the dog in small portions can often lead to better consumption. This direct interaction can boost their interest.
- Warm the food: Microwaving kibble for 10 seconds releases aroma and makes food more appealing.
- Exercise first: A long walk before meals triggers hunger hormones in the body and brain can help get your pet 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:
- Have your vet perform twice yearly wellness checks to catch health issues early.
- Feed your dog a high quality, balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs.
- Stimulate their mind daily with toys, training, and enrichment activities.
- Prioritize a stable routine for feeding, focusing on uniformity in timing and the feeding spot.
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 Pug or a Portuguese Water Dog won’t eat, the Vet you will talk to will provide the information you need.
FAQs About a Pug Not Eating
What can you do if your Pug stops eating?
If your dog suddenly stops eating, there are several strategies you can experiment with initially before going to the vet:
- 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 before meals to augment 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 a Pugs 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 due to toxins circulating in their system. 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 such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or pain you’ve noticed alongside their appetite issues.
How many days can a Pug generally go without food?
Healthy adult dogs can usually go 1-2 days without eating before it turns into a critical concern. 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 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 Pug refuse to eat?
For intermittent 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
Procedures like 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 Pugseems to avoid food but otherwise seems happy and normal, potential causes might be:
- Environmental factors like 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 exercising 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.