As a long-time canine caretaker who adores all dogs with over 20 years of experience caring for canine companions, I often get asked “My Tosa Won’t Eat, what should I do?” It’s an understandable worry for pet parents when their furry friend seems disinterested in mealtime. As an enthusiastic pet expert, I’m here to offer my best tricks 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 get free vet advice directly.
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Common Reasons Your Tosa Won’t Eat
1. Oral Health Issues and Oral Pain
Oral health conditions 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 Tosa has dental issues include halitosis, 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 right away if you notice these signs of dental disease, as untreated infections can spread bacteria to the circulatory system. Your vet will likely recommend a thorough dental cleaning and removal of diseased teeth under anesthesia to relieve your dog’s oral pain. They may also prescribe antimicrobials and analgesics. With treatment, your Tosa 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 Tosa wont eat.
By conducting blood tests, analyzing fecal samples, and getting abdominal imaging, the primary reason for appetite loss can be detected. 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 Tosa gets the suggested doses.
3. Anxiety and Stress
Dogs 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.
Try to minimize your dog’s stress levels by maintaining normal routines when possible and using anti-anxiety medications/supplements if recommended by your vet. Also, stimulate their appetite by hand feeding delicious foods like cooked chicken, canned puppy food, or dry food such as kibble soaked in broth.
When your dog starts adjusting to the new or stressful changes, it’s probable their hunger will bounce back.
4. Tosa Decreased Sense of Smell
A dulled sense of smell is a common issue for older dogs and those with chronic nasal/respiratory diseases. 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.You can also sprinkle potent smelling mix-ins like chicken broth, shredded cheese, bacon bits, or canned fish over their regular kibble.This makes the food more enticing.
In cases where an upper respiratory ailment is responsible for the loss of smell, your veterinarian’s recommended antibiotics and decongestants can aid in reviving their appetite.
5. Picky Eating Habits
Some Tosas are just naturally picky, whether due to boredom with their food or preference for human foods. 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.
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 Tosas.
6. Underlying Medical Issue
Many internal health challenges, not limited to dental and gastrointestinal conditions, can result in a lack of appetite in Tosas. Conditions such as kidney ailments, tumors, hypothyroidism, infections of the urinary tract, and organ malfunction are among these.
Make an appointment with your vet right away if your adult dog goes 24+ hours without eating or seems lethargic. 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. But leaving health issues untreated can be dangerous.
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.
Assist your canine companion in adapting to these changes by taking a steady approach over a period of 2-3 weeks. For example, when changing foods, transition over 7-10 days by slowly increasing the new food while decreasing the old.
Consistency and predictability will help bring back their regular appetite.
8. Tosa Feeling Overheated
During warm summer days, a dog’s attempt to remain cool through panting can diminish their appetite cues. During the hotter months, ensure your dog always has access to shady spots, cold surfaces, and replenished water.
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 tactic can foster eating even on sweltering days.
9. Competition with Other Pets
A number of Tosas can experience anxiety when eating near other animals, leading them to decline their food. The presence of other dogs or cats can create tension over resources like food, toys, and human attention.
Feed them separately in another room and use baby gates to reduce this mealtime stress. Offer numerous food containers spaced out to diminish competitive behavior. By implementing these adjustments, Tosas that eat anxiously typically regain their eating confidence.
10. A New Adoption or Move
Adopting a rescue Tosa or relocating with your canine companion signifies significant shifts in their lives. Newly taken-in dogs or those adjusting to new surroundings often face brief periods of diminished appetite and heightened stress.
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. 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 Contact a Vet About Appetite Loss
Contact your vet promptly if your adult Tosa goes 24-48 hours without eating anything substantial. Delaying action may result in severe issues, including liver injuries due to an accumulation of toxins.
Puppies that refuse to eat their food or have appetite issues should see the vet within 12 hours, as they can deteriorate rapidly. Ensure you can detail observed symptoms in your pet, from vomiting and diarrhea to fatigue or apparent distress.
Diagnostic tests will be conducted by your veterinarian to determine if there’s a hidden health concern causing your dog’s lack of hunger.
Treatment of the condition often gets them feeling hungry again quickly and can encourage your dog to eat once more.
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. Instead of a pricier in-person consultation, leveraging an online vet service can furnish you with fast responses.
How to Get Your Tosa to Eat Home Remedies
In cases of slight, short-lived appetite loss in a generally healthy dog, certain home strategies might prove effective:
- 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.
- Hand-feeding: Offering food by hand, bit by bit, might encourage certain dogs more. The personal touch often helps.
- 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
Though sporadic appetite fluctuations are inevitable, the following measures can mitigate the likelihood of prolonged food avoidance:
- Ensure your veterinarian conducts bi-annual health inspections to detect potential problems in their initial stages.
- 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 Tosa or a Tibetan Terrier won’t eat, the Vet you will talk to will provide the information you need.
FAQs About a Tosa Not Eating
What can you do if your Tosa stops eating?
If your dog suddenly stops eating, there are several strategies you can try at home first before going to the vet:
- Switch to a different type of food – maybe offer wet food in lieu of kibble to stimulate their appetite
- Add mix-ins like chicken broth, canned fish, shredded cheese to heighten the food’s appeal
- Hand feed them one bite at a time and give 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 still refuse to eat after 24 hours, consider taking them to the vet to identify any potential medical concerns causing loss of appetite.
At what point should a Tosas 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 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 prepared to describe any symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or pain you’ve noticed alongside their appetite issues.
How many days can a Tosa generally go without food?
An adult Tosa 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 swiftly 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 Tosa 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 disturbances like stress or anxiety
- Finicky eating tendencies
- An underperforming thyroid gland
Various diagnostic tests 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 Tosaseems 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
- 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.