Health Topics  >  Digestive  >  Eating Less

When do dogs (ever) not want to eat?

A change in your dog’s eating habits or appetite usually indicates they are feeling unwell. It is important to consider this in the context of their overall behavior:

  • Is their energy low? 
  • Are they sleeping more than usual? 
  • Are they experiencing vomiting or diarrhea
  • Do they seem restless? 
  • Are they drinking (more or less) water?
A picky eater is one thing, but a change in your dog's diet is a sign that they are unwell.

These observations can all help you and your veterinarian to better understand what is wrong, and if your dog requires treatment.

Dogs can go on without food for a 1-2 days without significant harm if there are no other major symptoms present; however, a dog that is also displaying any of the following symptoms is a cause for concern:

  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy or weakness
  • Drinking more or less water

Pro Tip: A rule of thumb to differentiate between occasional dietary boredom and dietary changes is the length of time that your dog has been eating less or refusing food, along with any other presenting symptoms.

References for Decreased Appetite