Picky Puppy: My Pet Won’t Eat Their Food

If you have a pet who turns up their nose when it comes to their normal diet, you aren’t alone. Many pets have particular likes and dislikes about what they eat, just like us. Unfortunately, some pets get bored with their normal diet and like a variety, or they only want to eat cooked chicken or something specific.

If your cat or dog is picky about food, you have come to the right place. The team at Beverly Hills Veterinary Associates is here with some recommendations when a pet won’t eat their food.

Help! My Pet Won’t Eat

If your pet is picky, that’s one thing, but a true loss of appetite is a cause for concern. Most pets, after all, lap up whatever is in the bowl regardless of hunger – the number of pets with obesity will attest to this. But there are times when a pet won’t eat or lacks appetite, which should be followed up on.

If your pet refuses to eat, it may signal one of the following problems.

  1. They are ill. Pancreatitis, parasitic infection, bloat, bacterial infection, and some diseases will cause a pet’s appetite to diminish. If they are also vomiting or have diarrhea, this is another clue that they are ill and it is affecting their gastrointestinal tract. If your pet hasn’t eaten for more than 12 hours, please call us for an appointment.
  2. They are on appetite reducing medications. Certain prescription and over the counter medications can cause inappetance in pets. Antibiotics and anti-inflammatoires are known culprits of stomach upset.
  3. They have ingested something poisonous. Toxicity symptoms range in severity, but many pet poisonings first result in a lack of appetite, stomach upset, diarrhea, and vomiting. 
  4. There is a major change at home. Pets become stressed and anxious at any changes in their environment and routine. Has anything changed recently? This includes residential move, birth of a child, new pet, etc.
  5. More exercise is needed. Maybe your pet isn’t as hungry when they are not getting enough daily exercise. When a pet is active and engaged, this usually causes them to be hungrier than they might if they aren’t getting the necessary movement for good health and appetite.
  6. They have food preferences. Believe it or not, many pets are a lot more picky than we might imagine. Your pet may be bored with their food and need a different selection of ingredients in some other nutritious meal. Try gradually changing it up.

What to Do When a Pet Won’t Eat Their Food

If you have a picky puppy or purry friend, you may worry that they won’t get enough nutrients in their limited diet. A well rounded, nutritious food is important for your pet’s health and vitality. Follow some of these suggestions when a pet won’t eat their food.

  1. If your pet hasn’t been eating and there are accompanying signs of illness, contact us for an examination. We can get to the bottom of the problem and start your pet on treatment, when needed.
  2. Try a few food types to see if your pet has a preference.
  3. Add a little wet food to dry kibble or pour some tuna fish water or low sodium broth over their regular food to entice them.
  4. Feed your pet at the same time each day.
  5. Minimize stress in your pet’s life by creating a more secure environment for them and addressing any anxiety or fear with your veterinarian.
  6. Have your pet’s teeth examined, as dental disease, missing teeth, and so on can cause your pet not to eat.
  7. Don’t give your pet too many treats or people food scraps, as this will set them up for obesity, lack of appetite for their normal diet, and increased risk of pancreatitis.
  8. Make sure your pet is getting enough exercise, at least 30 minutes a day.

Do you have a picky pet? We can offer some solutions and ensure your pet is given a clean bill of health. There are many good choices in well balanced diets, so don’t hesitate to ask our team for some recommendations. Simply give us a call!