Health Topics  >  Digestive  >  Eating Less

What can I do if my dog is not eating?

If your dog is not eating for one meal, you can try waiting it out to see if it’s a behavioral issue rather than a medical one. 

If your dog is not eating for more than one meal, it’s time to contact your veterinary clinic. Many causes of loss of appetite are caused by a serious illness, and require medical treatment. Unless you are advised otherwise by your veterinary team, you can try offering your dog a treat at their mealtime if they are refusing their regular food to see if they are more interested in this.

Other options to try include:

  • Feeding your dog tasty and easy to digest foods, such as plain cooked rice and chicken
  • Adding some bland bone brother to their food 
  • Taking them for a walk before mealtime 

The situation becomes more of a concern when a dog with a typically good appetite refuses treats and home cooked food, or if a dog is also drinking more or less water than usual.

Offering a treat or hand feeding your dog are some options to try if your dog is refusing food. Not eating for more than one meal usually indicates an underlying illness.

References for Decreased Appetite