Why is My Dog Not Eating His Food Anymore?

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Author: Jeanette Hampton

As a dog owner, you might be knowing that your dog needs the right amount of nutrition to release its energy for daily activities, and obviously, how can you skip giving your furry friend Treats?!

What if your dog suddenly refuses to eat? This might confuse you, and it is your responsibility to find out the reasons for such behaviour. In this article, we will discuss the possible reasons why your dog might not eat and how to avoid this in the future.

Possible Reasons Your Dog Is Not Eating

Dog avoiding food
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One of the biggest fear of dog owners is when their dog avoids food for a long period of time. This can be very stressful for them as it can be caused due to many reasons. Loss of appetite also known as Anorexia, in dogs is when a dog starts to avoid food, it can be due to an alarming issue.

Thus, it is important to determine the cause for the best possible treatment. Even though your furry friend can go without any food for more than a day, it is best not to avoid this problem, and rather address the issue as soon as possible. There are many reasons for this behaviour, hence these reasons are divided into the following three categories:

Medical Reasons:

“Why is my dog not eating his food anymore” is usually answered through underlying medical causes. Medical concerns are one of the most common reasons why a dog won’t eat. Anorexia encompasses any illness that leads to dogs not eating. Following are some of the common medical issues that a dog might face:

  • General fever
  • Viral Infection
  • Nausea
  • Pancreatitis
  • Diarrhoea
  • Dental pain/Disease
  • Intestinal Parasites
  • Pancreatic or Liver Disease

Diet/Food Issues:

A common reason dogs tend to avoid eating may be caused by the food itself. Many dog breeds are usually very choosy in eating food and may avoid pale, old, or cold food.

A sudden change in diet may also lead to your dog refusing to eat, as it may take time for your dog to change their appetite pattern. This sudden change can also lead to an upset stomach causing vomiting and diarrhoea.

All dog food bags should be sealed, and the food should be strictly not given if the expiration date has passed. Open food can be sealed with a lid that’s made to fit dog food cans, and it can be rather kept in the refrigerator for some days.

Behaviour Issues

Some dogs refuse to eat due to situations that they are not comfortable with, this is a very common issue among dogs and can eventually lead to loss of appetite for dogs. Changes in a dog’s routine or environment, such as new people, or travelling. Changing the time or location of a meal can cause sensitive dogs to feel stressed, thereby avoiding food.

If there is a new dog in the house, it can also cause your dog to avoid food or water. As they may feel intimated by the other dog, dogs tend to be very territorial and may not like the presence of another dog in the same house.

Such behavioural issues tend to be resolved within a few days when your dog adjusts to the changes in surroundings.

Some pet owners consider about giving their puppy adult dog food. Be sure to check our guide on, "can a puppy eat adult dog food" before feeding your puppy adukt dog food.

How to Get Your Dog to Start Eating Again?

Vet examining dog
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This will depend upon the reason why your dog is not eating food, you can take advice from your vet to find the reason behind it.

  • If your dog is avoiding food because of some medical illness, you must visit your vet and take the following medicinal prescription to cure the illness.
  • If your dog is avoiding food because of the food itself, then start by feeding them their favourite dog food for some time to gain their attention back. If it is canned food, try heating it up, which can release the food’s odour. If it is dry food, try adding a small amount of water or chicken broth to make it more appealing.
  • If your dog is avoiding food due to behaviour, then you can follow these steps:
  • Take your dog for regular walks, generally before meal-time
  • Avoid stressful surroundings around your dog; avoid bringing other dogs into your household.
  • Doing fun activities before mealtime causes tiredness, and thereby your dog might eat.
If your dog is avoiding food because of the food itself, try offering some of the best dry dog food UK options that contain all-natural ingredients and textures they may find more appetizing. 

How to Stop This From Happening in the Future?

To avoid such situations always monitor your dog’s diet and avoid the above-mentioned underlying causes. For example, if your dog is not eating due to an upset stomach after having chicken, then avoid serving chicken to your dog.

Another example is if your dog is not comfortable eating in your presence, then avoid standing too close to your dog while eating, and give your dog enough space to be comfortable whilst eating.

Additionally, be mindful of proper raw food handling and storage. Raw dog food should not be kept in the refrigerator for more than 2-3 days. See our guide on how long can raw dog food stay in fridge for more details


1. Why won’t my dog eat but take treats instead?

If this is happening without any medical condition, i.e. vomiting or diarrhoea, then your dog is now habitual to having junk food and avoiding his nutritious food. You might have to reduce the number of treats you give to change this habit.

2. Should I feed my dog forcefully?

Generally, it is not advisable to force-feed your dog. However, if it has been more than 48 hours since your dog ate anything, then you can force-feed your dog with a syringe without a needle. This should only be done after a recommendation by your veterinarian.

3. Can dogs suffer from Anorexia?

Dogs are known for being highly food motivated, and excited about feeding time. As such, dogs are not usually associated with having trouble eating, however, anorexia or decreased appetite occurs in dogs as well.

4. Why is my dog acting normally but not eating anything?

This loss of appetite may be due to behavioural or environmental problems, as such an issue may not make the dog act abnormally but will still avoid food.

5. How long can a dog go without eating?

Usually, dogs can survive without food for up to three to five days. However, if your dog has not eaten anything for two days, you might want to consult your vet.


I hope your doubts regarding “Why is my dog not eating his food anymore” have been cleared through this article. It is always best to monitor your dog’s wellness on a regular basis, as dogs can communicate their emotions only through such behavioural changes. In such cases, you should also consult your vet to gain more information on why your dog is avoiding food.


  1. Malmanger, E. D. (2022, August 11). Why Is My Dog Not Eating? Retrieved January 25, 2023, from
  2. Parker, H. (2009, June 26). Dog Not Eating? Possible Causes and Appetite Solutions. WebMD. Retrieved January 25, 2023, from
  3. Refusal to eat prescription food. (2022, July 25). Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. Retrieved January 25, 2023, from
  4. Freeman, L. D. M., PhD. (2019, August 28). Picky pet prescription: What to do when your pet won’t eat her prescribed therapeutic diet. Clinical Nutrition Service at Cummings School. Retrieved January 25, 2023, from
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Jeanette Hampton
Jeanette Hampton is a content writer at WWD and an expert on all things pets. She’s been writing pet blogs for over 5 years and knows everything there is to know about dogs. Jeanette enjoys writing about pet-related topics because she enjoys helping people learn more about their furry friends.

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