Why Is My Dog Not Eating But Drinking Water?
Dog owners that notice their dog drinking lots of water and not eating should investigate the possible reasons as soon as possible. Canines are about 80% water like humans, and dogs can go for a few days without eating food but may become seriously dehydrated and sick if they are not getting any fluids. Let's discuss the issue of your dog not eating but drinking water alright.
Why Is My Dog All of a Sudden Not Eating?
There are several reasons why a dog would all of a sudden not be eating, and these causes should quickly be ruled out to determine the cure. Some dogs are picky eaters, other dogs use negative behaviours to get what they want and older or sick dogs may not eat as well as they did when younger or healthier.
Common Reasons Dogs Don’t Eat Food
Let's start with common reasons dogs don't eat food. These reasons include:
- Dental Issues
- Neurological Disorders
- Stomach Upset from Illness
- Poison Exposure
- Severely Dehydrated - Heat Stroke or Syndrome
- Endocrine Problems - Diabetes, Thyroid Disease etc.
- Kidney or Liver Problems - Cirrhosis, Liver Failure, Bladder or Kidney Infection or Stones
- Breathing or Lung Issues
- Autoimmune Diseases
- Mobility Issues - Can't Get to Food Bowl
- Mouth/Throat Sores or Problems Swallowing
- Ingested Something Now Lodged in Throat
- Depression or Anxiety - Separation Anxiety or Behavioural Problem
A dog that is physically sick with an illness will generally show signs of illness like vomiting, dry mouth/eyes, fatigued, glassy eyes, fever, vomiting or diarrhoea to name just a few.
Other common reasons for dogs to stop eating include behavioural problems, food-related issues - too dry, not tasty, spoiled, smells bad, different food than the normal, serious depression or anxiety, wants owner to feed them and recent stressors in the household.
Always rule out flea/tick-related issues and diseases from bacteria, viruses and parasites. Some of these illnesses don't show serious signs and symptoms for a longer period like Lyme disease, tapeworms, flea-borne illnesses and others.
Possible Behavioural Issues
- Spoiled with Too Many Treats or People Foods
- New Environment Reaction
- Separation Anxiety Attempt to Get Owner's Attention
- Picky Eater
When Should I Worry About My Dog Not Eating?
If your dog appears to have swallowed an object or is having difficulty breathing, check the airway and attempt to dislodge the object if seen. Signs of illness should prompt a visit to the vet after two or more days if the dog continues to drink fluids during that time.
Frothy mouth saliva could indicate that the dog has been exposed to something toxic. Call the poison control hotline and/or veterinarian right away and follow their instructions. Look around for medications, household cleaners and other possible toxins that the dog may have gotten into.
Signs of Injuries or Toxic/Poison Exposure
Assess your pet for signs of an injury that could be internal or hidden underfur. Consider carbon monoxide poisoning especially if anyone else in the household is also showing signs like reddened face, bluish lips, headache, stomach upset, extreme lethargy and mental changes that may lead to loss-of-consciousness. Smaller animals are often more prone to carbon monoxide poisoning.
Always keep household plants, cigarettes or other tobacco products, medicines and any toxic substances out of reach from your pets.
Food or Environmental Allergies
Dogs can become ill when ingesting people foods or from being exposed to something in their environment that causes an allergic reaction. Dogs are often poisoned by common chocolate foods, certain kinds of seafood, from ingesting items that contain preservatives, chemicals or toxins.
How Do You Treat a Dog That Is Not Eating?
If you suspect that your dog is ill, has an injury, is experiencing a serious allergic reaction or has been poisoned, contact your vet immediately. Otherwise, closely monitor your pet and try to rule out simpler reasons for your dog failing to eat.
Check for dental and mouth-related issues and seek treatment. Switch to wet dog food and/or smaller kibble/food size. Pour gravy over food, or make dog food using boiled chicken or other ingredients.
Do comfort and monitoring measures and call the vet. Ensure that the dog is getting enough fluids. Try making a broth full of nutrients to maintain nutritional requirements.
Try the above food alterations. Senior dogs are prone to dental issues, certain illnesses like cancer that can affect appetite, diabetes and other ailments. Always have your vet do a thorough examination regularly for senior dogs.
Rule out poisons, allergies and illnesses that should be immediately treated by a trained veterinarian. Otherwise, try broths, soft foods and consider adding All Natural Probiotics & Digestive Enzymes to your pet's routine. This product can support good gut bacteria, remedy loose/hard stool and decrease tummy gas.
Separation Anxiety or New Environment Stressors
Provide treatment for separation anxiety and limit environmental stressors and changes allowing the dog to get used to the new place, people or other animals. Consider giving your pet a natural calming drops for dogs like All Natural Tranquillity that calms nerves/anxieties related to loud noises, travel stress or sickness and might help excessive barking and hyperactivity.
Seek professional dog behavioural training and treatments.
Be on the lookout for a dog not eating but drinking water, and initiate the above treatments. Any observation of a dog drinking lots of water and not eating should be evaluated promptly. Keep food dishes in separate areas if a new dog or alpha dog is in the vicinity, and monitor pets and eating status when around other animals. Your treatment strategy should be based on your assessment findings.
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