Photo: PxFuel

When your dog loses its appetite, it’s only natural to worry and wonder why. Many times, it is due to underlying health reasons that need medical attention immediately.

Pooches, although picky at times, love to eat. If they’ve been eyeing that french fry or chowing down their dinner, it appetite usually means that Fido is in good health.

A temporary loss of appetite (around one to two days) is nothing to worry about, as a variety of factors can contribute to this. Just like humans, stress or a change in the environment may cause Fido to lose his appetite.

Canines are hardy by nature and can stay healthy and active for 48 hours, even without food! They are in tune with their bodies, so when they’re not feeling well or feel that there is a need for internal cleansing (such as detoxification), they fast on their own.

However, if your pup loses his appetite and refuses to eat after two days, you should take him to your vet for an immediate checkup.

Possible Causes Of Appetite Loss
* Viral infections

Viral infections may cause a fever, which may result in a loss of appetite. In such situations, it’s natural and beneficial for Fido to fast, as temporarily going without food allows the body to use less energy for digestion and focus on fighting the nasty bugs that have made him sick.

To help whet Fido's appetite, try giving him warm foods that are flavourful and rich in aroma as this would entice him to take a bite.

* Breathing Problems
Certain respiratory problems, like kennel cough or doggy asthma, could sometimes cause a loss of appetite. If you observe that Fido has been coughing and hasn’t eaten for 48 hours, do take him to the vet for a check-up as it’s important to determine the exact cause of the problem before attempting any home remedies.

* Digestive Problems
Digestive problems could cause diarrhoea, vomiting, and constipation in your pooch if they had eaten something wrong. Should this be a reason why Fido loses his appetite, do not force any food into his system as his body would need time to cleanse out the impurities.

Do remember to provide him with lots of water to prevent dehydration!


* The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified pet health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. Always make a pet health care decision in partnership with a qualified veterinary or pet health care professional.

*This article was updated on 20 Sept 2020. It first appeared in PetsMagazine.com.sg on 26 Jul 2016.