Health Topics  >  Digestive

Eating Less or Decreased Appetite

Most dogs are fed the same food every day, in the same amount, at generally the same time. Because of this, it can be immediately obvious if your dog is eating less than usual, or refusing their food completely. Along with this, a dog turning down their favorite treat can be concerning. It is especially important to monitor water intake if your dog has a decreased appetite. 

Depending on the cause of them feeling unwell, your dog may also be drinking more or less water, or a regular amount. A dog who is not drinking can quickly become dehydrated, and this becomes a situation where you need to contact your veterinarian.  Dogs should be eating every day. If your dog skips more than one meal, use this as a rule of thumb for when to contact your veterinary clinic. 

Pro tips for visiting the veterinarian:

  • A change in your dog’s eating habits usually indicates that they are feeling unwell, so try to pay attention to their overall behavior including: energy level, sleeping patterns, changes in water intake and any vomiting or diarrhea.
  • Sometimes dogs will be disinterested in their food due to dietary boredom, stress or nausea, but it’s important to rule out any underlying illnesses or conditions first with the help of your veterinary team.
  • Refusing to eat for more than a meal or two is usually an indication that your dog is not feeling well. Providing specific details including anything you’ve tried at home will be helpful for your veterinary team.

References for Decreased Appetite