As an enthusiastic long-time canine caretaker who adores all dogs with over 20 years of experience caring for four-legged family members, I often get asked “My Shar-Pei Won’t Eat, what should I do?” It’s a common concern for folks with four-legged family members 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 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 Shar-Pei 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 Shar-Pei has dental issues include bad breath, 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 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 extraction of diseased teeth under anesthesia to relieve your dog’s oral pain. They may also prescribe antimicrobials and pain medication. With treatment, your Shar-Pei 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. Issues like dog food allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, infections from parasites, and viral enteritis can cause GI disturbances, can be the cause a Shar-Pei 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.
It’s crucial to adhere strictly to the vet’s prescribed treatment regimen and ensure your Shar-Pei gets the suggested doses.
3. Anxiety and Stress
Pups are sensitive to changes in routine, travel, new environments, loud noises, and meeting unfamiliar dogs or people. These stressful or anxiety-provoking situations commonly cause a decreased appetite or outright refusal to eat.
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 Shar-Pei begins to acclimate to the alterations causing anxiety, you’ll likely notice an uptick in their appetite.
4. Shar-Pei Decreased Sense of Smell
A dulled sense of smell is a common issue for elderly dogs and those with chronic nasal/respiratory diseases. 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.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
Certain Shar-Peis have innate fussy eating tendencies, stemming either from monotony with their meals or a penchant for people’s food. 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. Consider enhancing their regular kibble with tempting additives such as chopped ham, whisked eggs, unsweetened yogurt, or cottage cheese.
It’s essential not to feed them human leftovers, so you don’t reinforce choosy behavior. By being patient and imaginative, discovering foods that your selective dog adores becomes feasible.
Consider these products as suitable options for Shar-Peis with selective tastes.
6. Underlying Medical Issue
Besides dental and gastrointestinal troubles, several internal health concerns can cause Shar-Peis to lose their appetite. 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. 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. But leaving health issues untreated can be dangerous.
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 Shar-Pei 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.
To regain their usual appetite, it’s essential to remain consistent and predictable in your actions.
8. Shar-Pei 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 Shar-Pei 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. You can also try freezing their food or water bowls to keep the area around their food as cool as possible.
Such measures can promote feeding during the heated days.
9. Competition with Other Pets
Certain Shar-Peis 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.
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. By implementing these adjustments, Shar-Peis that eat anxiously typically regain their eating confidence.
10. A New Adoption or Move
Bringing home a rescue dog or moving with your dog to a new house are very disruptive life events. 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. 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
If your mature Shar-Pei 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.
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. 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.
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 Shar-Pei 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.
- Incorporate additions: Drizzle the regular kibble with strong-smelling and palatable items, be it fish from a can, chicken soup, or soft 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.
- 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.
- 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 Shar-Pei or a Sealyham Terrier won’t eat, the Vet you will talk to will provide the information you need.
FAQs About a Shar-Pei Not Eating
What can you do if your Shar-Pei stops eating?
If your dog suddenly stops eating, there are several strategies you can experiment with initially before seeing the veterinarian:
- Switch to a different type of 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 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 Shar-Peis 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 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 not eating enough. Be prepared to describe any symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or pain you’ve noticed alongside their appetite issues.
How many days can a Shar-Pei generally go without food?
An adult Shar-Pei in good health can typically 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 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 extends beyond 24 hours.
Why might a Shar-Pei 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 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 Shar-Peiseems to avoid food 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
- 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 exercising before meals can often encourage such dogs to eat. However, if their refusal to eat continues for more than a day, a visit to the vet is advisable.