Pets are great and make life a lot more fun. They create a happy and vibrant vibe around the house. And the best part? They give so much love that everything feels blissful.
However, sometimes they can get playful and stop eating their food. If this happens very rarely, then it is not a matter of concern. But, if they are doing it very often, it might be something serious.
Whether it is your first time adopting a pet or you have been a pet parent for a long time, you must learn about the reasons for loss of appetite and address this issue as soon as possible.
Why isn’t your pet eating?
There can be numerous reasons why your pet isn’t eating properly or not eating at all. Sometimes, the reason is very simple: they are bored of the food and want to eat something tasty and different. However, there could be medical reasons behind it as well. If you notice any change in their eating habit or weight, it can be a sign of a health issue. Here are some common reasons other than boredom:
Did your pet get vaccinated recently? If yes, then it could be one of the causes for not eating. Vaccination is essential to keep your little buddy protected from diseases like Rabies, Lyme disease, Feline Leukemia Virus, etc. But sometimes they can have side-effects also. Loss of appetite is one of such side effects. It is a temporary problem, so you don’t have to worry about it a lot. After a while, your buddy will start eating well again.
Not eating well is one of the primary signs that something is wrong with your pets. If they are denying their favourite food, it can be because they are ill. Numerous health conditions such as kidney failure, cancer, liver infection, and pancreatitis can be responsible for this. Nonetheless, It is not always something severe. Sometimes the reason could also be that they are having dental problems like broken teeth or toothache.
Change in surroundings
Animals love to surround themselves in a familiar environment. However, when there is a change in their surroundings, they take time to settle in. So, if you recently went out on a trip or shifted your house location, it can cause a loss of appetite. Moreover, some animals also experience motion sickness while travelling, which can impact their eating habits. So, maybe you should give them some time to get familiar with the surroundings, and they’ll start eating again.
Another reason behind refusal to eat can be because your pet is just picky. It has nothing to do with their health and is related to their behaviour. Besides, there are several reasons behind the change in the behaviour of pets. For instance, a new place, a change in the food bowl, or even the presence of a new/unknown person in the house. All these factors have an impact on the eating behaviour of the pet. Nonetheless, you should never assume the cause of change is behaviour. Remember, it is only one of the possible causes
How to treat it?
Now that you are familiar with the several causes, let’s learn about the treatment.
Take them to the vet
First things first, you need to take them to the veterinarian. The doctor can help you find the real cause behind the loss of appetite. Moreover, if the cause is an illness, you’ll be able to take immediate action to prevent the disease. The vet will prescribe you a diet that will help your little buddy get well.
Tip: If your pet is not eating the prescribed diet, you should not starve them. Instead, talk to the vet and come up with more practical solutions. They might recommend appetite-stimulating medications, insert a feeding tube, or syringe-feeding a liquid diet. It will ensure that they are getting proper nutrition and stay healthy.
Change the food
If the reports show no signs of illness but your pet still does not eat properly, you should try changing the food. There are many types of dog and cat food that might look tasty to the pet. If they face a hard time swallowing the food, you can also give wet canned food. Try different flavours, colours, and textures of the food.
Tip: If you are giving canned food, heat it properly. In addition to this, don’t offer the food in large quantities. It can cause an overabundance of vitamins or deficiencies. Instead, always offer small quantities, which are easy to eat. You can also try giving their favourite human food and mix it with dog/cat food to encourage your pet to eat.
Create a schedule
Feeding at irregular times can affect the eating habits of pets. That’s why you should create a fixed feeding schedule (twice a day) for them. It will create a healthy habit in you as well as your pet. Moreover, even if you forget about it someday due to your work, your pet will automatically come and remind you of the same.
Tip: You can also try to play some games with them and give them treats. It will ensure that they are eating well and help create a strong bond between you both.
Increase water intake
Always keep a bowl of water near your little buddy. Sometimes, even healthy animals avoid eating food because they are dehydrated. So, you need to ensure that your buddy is hydrated. Try keeping a water bowl near the food; it might help in encouraging them to eat. Moreover, it will also help them in swallowing the food.
Tip: Try using different heights of food bowls or plates to make it easy for them. It will also ensure that the standing posture is correct, and food will also travel efficiently to the digestive tract.
To sum it all up!
As pets can’t speak, you need to pay attention to the signs given. Do not assume anything or wait for things to get better; take them to the vet immediately and get them treated.