Loss of Appetite in Dogs

Dogs are quick in digesting food, and they tend to ravenously eat any food given. It will be very surprising for the pet owners to find that their pets suddenly lose interest in eating their favourite food. Dogs tend to avoid foods because of loss of appetite. Loss of appetite is one of the most common problems experienced by humans, which is also invariably applicable to dogs as well. Loss of appetite in dogs is not actually a severe health illness to be concerned about and it is not actually an illness or disorder. Loss of appetite is found to be the symptom as well the warning sign of several health condition developed in dogs.

Causes of loss of appetite in dogs

Loss of appetite in dogs is not caused due to single reason and can associate with several reasons. As stated earlier, loss of appetite is diagnosed as the main or one of the major symptoms of several health complications. Eventually, there are several causes of loss of appetite in dogs and it has been classified as follows.

Health conditions

  • Diseases – Infectious diseases, respiratory problems, neurological disease, metabolic disorder, bone disease, immunity problems, Urinary tract infection, diabetes mellitus, cancer in particular stomach cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, diarrhea and vomiting, canine cold and fever, etc.
  • Digestive disorders – Bacterial infections or viral infections, hepatitis infection, disease or improper functioning of kidneys, liver and renal, insufficiency in pancreas, etc.

Psychological causes

  • Stress
  • Change in atmosphere or owner
  • Arrival of new dog or new puppy
  • Death of the owner or the family member
  • Separation from the family like family moved for vacation, etc
  • Introduction of new member in a family


  • Complete Change in diet
  • Poor diet
  • Introduction of new food in diet
  • Elimination of a food from diet
  • Dogs hate the smell or taste of the food
  • Change in temperature or climate
  • Long travel

Other causes of loss of appetite in dogs with no association of any illness, where it act as symptom of a developing disease.

  • Problems in teeth like gum infection
  • Bloated stomach or stomach upset
  • Constipation
  • Development of hormonal disorders like thyroid problems
  • Any mild dysfunction by internal organs

In addition, certain medications and drugs are also more likely to be the cause of loss of appetite in dogs.

Loss of appetite in dogs is a general condition that is suppressed automatically by dogs in a day or two, where the dogs return back to normal condition and eat adequate amount of food and regular diet. Loss of appetite or inconsistent appetite in dogs is the normal condition in puppies not older than 8 months. In some cases, when the condition is detected for more than four or five days, dogs tend to lose weight, which is found to be sign of some major disease or illness being developed in dogs. Even though it is considered the symptom or sign of several health complications in dogs, it is not the only warning sign of those complications to treat with. Unfortunately, anorexia is one and only serious illness in dogs caused due to loss of appetite, which should be treated immediately. It can be treated by getting appropriate diet plan from the veterinarian.

When it comes to treatment of loss of appetite in dogs, it is solely attributed to the causes of the condition, where the pet owners are responsible for the same. However, by feeding proper, healthy and balanced diet, frequency loss of appetite in dogs can be reduced.

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