You and your dog communicate in your own unique way. You might
use hand signals and the tone of your voice. Your dog might paw at
your hand for a scratch behind the ears or wag their tail at turbo
speed when they hear the sound of food hitting their bowl.
The mealtime ritual is one you know well. But did you know that
if your dog picks at their food or walks away, they may be telling
Decreased appetite: a red flag
Decreased eating can be a warning sign or red flag that
something may be wrong. Many times, reduced eating is the first
sign – and may be the only sign – that a dog is sick.
Changes in eating can vary from dog to dog. The most obvious is
when a dog completely refuses to eat. Some dogs, however, may eat
less than normal, take more time to eat or start picking at their
food. To evaluate your dog’s appetite,
answer these 5 simple questions.
What causes changes in eating behavior?
There are many potential causes for changes in eating
- Aging, infection or pain
- Stress or changes in environment, routine or diet
- Medication side effects
- Chronic medical conditions, such as kidney disease, heart
disease, gastrointestinal disease and cancer
Whatever the cause, it’s important to take action since
decreased eating can lead to serious nutritional issues and impact
your dog’s quality of life.
Why is appetite important?
When a dog won’t eat their regular food, it’s only natural
to try coaxing them to eat, offering treats or human foods. After
all, it’s a relief to see your dog eat and know at least
there’s something in their stomach. However, treats and
human food don’t usually provide the balanced nutrition your dog
It’s especially important to watch for eating changes in dogs
who are aging, stressed or living with a medical condition. Even
small changes in food consumption can deprive them of nutrition
that is essential for healing, keeping muscles strong and defending
the body against illness and infection. It also provides energy to
help dogs stay active and enjoy life.
Answer these 5 questions now to rate your dog’s eating
routine. You may wish to share the results with your
veterinarian and refer back periodically to monitor your dog’s
eating changes over time.
Find more information at entyce.aratana.com.
Source: FS – Dogs – MDM
What Could Your Dog’s Eating Changes Be Telling You?