Who Says Dogs Can’t Talk?
As a pet owner, you know that meal time is a simple everyday ritual. You may be expecting your dog’s happy dance or the turbo-charged tail fluff when food hits the bowl.
On the other hand, if your dog picks up on his food or walks away, he may be telling you something is wrong.
Decreased appetite: a red flag
Decreased eating can be a warning sign or a red flag that something is wrong. Often times, reduced eating is the first sign – and possibly the only sign – that a dog is sick.
Changes in eating can vary from dog to dog. The most obvious one is when a dog completely refuses to eat. However, some dogs may eat less than normal, take more time to eat, or start picking their food. Answer these 5 simple questions to help gauge your dog’s appetite.
What causes changes in eating behavior?
There are many possible causes for changes in eating behavior:
- Aging, infection, or pain
- Stress or changes in the environment, routine or diet
- Medication side effects
- Chronic conditions such as kidney disease, heart disease, gastrointestinal disease, and cancer
Regardless of the cause, it is important to take action, as poor nutrition can lead to serious nutritional problems and affect your dog’s quality of life.
Why appetite is important
If a dog does not eat its normal food, it is only natural to persuade it to eat, offer treats or human food. After all, it is a relief to see your dog eat and at least know that there is something something in her stomach. However, treats and human foods usually do not provide the balanced nutrition your dog needs.
It is especially important to look out for changes in food in dogs that are aging, stressed, or suffering from an illness. Even small changes in food consumption can deprive them of the nutrition essential to healing, strengthening muscles, and defending the body against disease and infection. It also provides energy to help dogs stay active and enjoy life.
Now answer these 5 questions to help evaluate your dog’s eating routine. You may want to share the results with your veterinarian and use the tool regularly to monitor your dog’s eating changes over time.