It can be scary when your dog stops eating.
The first thing many owners do is panic and think that their dog might be sick but besides illness, they are many different reasons why a dog could all of a sudden stop eating.
Besides being ill or in pain other reasons that a dog may not be eating could be due to stress, hormonal changes, fussiness, changes in the environment, they don’t like the food in their bowl or because they simply need more stimulation.
The first thing you should if your dog stops eating is to speak with your vet to rule out any medical conditions that may be causing your dog to not want to eat.
Puppies and senior dogs that abruptly stop eating should see a vet as soon as possible.
If your dog passes all their exam and tests with flying colors then you can move on trying a variety of ways to get them back to eating their food.
Medical Conditions That Cause A Dog To Not Eat
There are many medical conditions that can cause a dog not to want to eat.
Some of the more common problems are nausea, pain, toothache, infections, toxins, kidney or liver problems, and some canine cancers.
Most dogs that aren’t eating their food will also show other signs of not feeling well such as lack of energy, refusing treats, vomiting and diarrhea.
If your dog is experiencing any of those conditions it should be seen by a veterinarian.
If a puppy or senior dog is not eating, it should also be seen by a vet.
If medical conditions have been ruled out and your dog is acting fine then it’s time to take a look at some other things that could be going on.
You’re Feeding Too Much Dog Food
Due to their big size, Newfies are often overfed and the suggested feeding amounts on the bag of food are generous to say the least.
Most adult Newfies only eat 3-4 cups of dog food a day.
This will depend on what type of diet that you’re feeding but Newfie’s don’t eat a ton of food a day.
Most eat the same or less than a large breed dog.
A Newfie may not have much of an appetite in hot weather due to their decreased activity so consider the temperature outside if your Newf slows down on eating and adjust their meals accordingly.
Your Newfie Is Growing Up
My Brown Newfies is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. As an affiliate, this website earns from qualifying purchases.
As Newfies mature their bodies regulate and their appetite may slow down.
Try decreasing the amount that you’re feeding slowly and see if that helps.
Male Newfs that are intact may go off their food when they sense an intact female nearby also.
Your Dog Is Bored With Their Food
Eating the same food over and over again can get boring for some dogs.
You could try implementing a rotation diet or adding in low-calorie, dog-safe foods to your dog’s meal.
You could try feeding your dog in a dog puzzle or treat-dispensing toy.
Tips For a Picky Dog That Is Not Sick
Don’t give in.
Feed them their regular food and that’s it.
You’ll start a vicious cycle if you keep adding new things to their food and you risk giving them an upset stomach.
I’ve been there and all I did was make things worse.
Pick it up.
If a dog has food at its disposable all the time he’s just going to pick at it throughout the day and you’ll never know how much they’re eating.
Not to mention, who wants to eat food that’s been sitting in a bowl all day?
Allow your dog a time frame of when they can eat and if they don’t eat it, pick it up. Give them a parameter.
Some Dogs Don’t Want To Eat From A Bowl
Some dogs simply find eating their food out of a bowl is boring and they need something more.
This is referred to as contrafreeloading.
Contrafreeloading is when a dog would prefer to work for their food and earn it rather than just be given it for free.
This type of behavior is seen among zoo animals a lot but it’s also seen in dogs, especially working breeds.
Nowadays there are plenty of options for dogs that don’t want to eat their meals from the traditional dog dish.
You can also use canine enrichment toys such as Kongs, Toppls or Lick Mats to feed complete meals to your dogs and you can increase the difficulty by freezing these overnight.
If you feed kibble you can soak the kibble in water or bone broth and then stuff it into the Toppl and freeze.
We have both the Kong and Toppl but the West Paw Toppl is easier to stuff with the wide design and a lot easier to clean!
Tips For Stuffing Your Dog Enrichment Toys
The fun thing about canine enrichment toys is that you can customize them any way that you want for your dog.
If you prefer to use just dry kibble you can do that by just soaking the kibble in water or bone broth until it’s soft and then stuff into the Kong or Toppl and freeze overnight.
If you want to add other dog-safe foods to your Toppl, it’s so easy to layer them!
I like to use low-fat veggies and fruit but you can do whatever is your dog’s typical diet.
Some ideas are, broccoli, green beans, bananas, strawberries, non-fat plain greek yogurt, canned or homemade pumpkin puree, sardines, dehydrated food, sardines, sweet potatoes…..etc.
Just make sure that your dog can tolerate any new foods and introduce them slowly over time.
DIY Enrichment Dog Feeder
If you would prefer to create a DIY enrichment feeder for your dog that’s fun too!
You can make a DIY snuffle map, roll up a towel, use old boxes or even create your own DIY treat-dispensing toy using an old plastic coffee can or plastic container from the Dollar Store, use muffin tins and even egg cartons.