Anorexia is defined as a condition where the animal has a decrease or loss of appetite for food. When the hunger is physically driven, then the appetite will also be mentally driven.
Anorexia could be a serious problem as it may indicate potentially life-threatening underlying conditions. One of the effects of anorexia is weight loss. Get to know the other causes of sudden weight loss in cats. That’s why it should be underestimated.
There are two types of anorexia in dogs called true anorexia and pseudo-anorexia. Both of them cause decreased food intake, however, a dog with pseudo-anorexia is still willing to eat and feel hungry but is unable to because of difficulty in picking up, chewing, or swallowing food.
Anorexia in dogs can be cause by several factors. Your vet will conduct an examination to determine the exact cause of anorexia.
There are some possible reasons of anorexia in dogs, such as stomatitis, gingivitis, esophagitis, loose teeth, an abscess behind the eye, pain in the mastication muscles, salivary gland disease, nervous system disease, tumors or cancers of the mouth, tongue, tonsils or any other structures, and pain anywhere in the body.
Here are the signs of loss of appetite or anorexia in dogs:
- Refusing to eat food
- Refusing to eat treats
- Eating less food than normal
- Lack of interest in food
- Trying to eat but unable to
- Weight loss
- Lethargy – lethargy in cats will tell you more about it
- Vomiting – there are also some causes of cats vomiting the undigested food you need to know
Anorexia can also be a sign of any underlying illness, and because of that, symptoms will vary from dog to dog.
However, it is a rule of thumb if your dog is not eating or drinking and is showing other symptoms of being unwell, then you should contact your vet immediately.
If your dog is just not eating, but still drinking water and does not have any other symptoms, then you could just try offering him some chicken or boiled fish with rice.
This is done to check whether your dog finds that more appetising. Sometimes, some pets experience anxiety, and you could help them to hand feed them to stimulate their appetite.
You also have to be aware of any environmental or dietary changes have occurred that may be causing loss of appetite. There are some possible stressors, such as moving to a new home, having house guest, a family member leaving for a period of time, getting a new pet, loud noise such as fireworks, gunshots or thunder or even change in diet.
There are also some tips you can do to treat anorexia in dogs. Here are some examples:
- Make the food more palatable – you can do this by making sure that the food smells good. Put some dressing or canned food on the dry food. If you want to change the brand, try the premium or gourmet brand. If you wish to give homemade food, you can also try home-cooked or raw food with high protein. Also make sure the food heated up. These homemade diets to feed your sick dog may give you an idea what to feed him.
- Exercise – when your dog exercises, he may start to get hungry. You can just take your dog for a walk, work, or play. You can do these simple exercises for your dog to maintain its health.
- Change the environment and situation – avoid plastic container as it may exude its own scent. Make sure to find a location where your dog. You could also conduct experiment about the time your dog is most likely like to consume food.