Last Updated on November 24, 2023
Suppose your Aussie has been refusing to eat whatever food you give them or even outright stopped eating. In that case, it might be time to check out why they are not eating anything, as lack of nutrition may introduce problems related to malnutrition.
Why isn’t my Australian shepherd eating? There could be a variety of reasons as to why an Australian shepherd is not eating their food; it could range from different eating conditions to medical disorders or simply an upset stomach. Keep reading below to know more!
Understanding Why Isn’t My Australian Shepherd Eating
As a pet parent, it can be worrying when your furry friend, an Australian Shepherd, is not eating as they usually would. This is because losing appetite can be a symptom of various health issues or even emotional distress. As such, it is essential to understand the possible reasons for your dog’s decreased appetite and take appropriate steps to ensure its health and well-being.
Several factors could cause your dog to lose their appetite. One possible reason your Australian Shepherd is not eating is due to health issues. For example, your dog may be experiencing an upset stomach due to eating something it shouldn’t have or having a food allergy.
If your dog has liver disease or kidney disease, it may experience a loss of appetite as a symptom. It is also possible that your dog is not eating due to a viral infection. These can be severe and require immediate medical attention.
Besides health issues, emotional distress could also be why your Australian Shepherd is not eating. Feeling stressed or anxious, they may not feel like eating. Some common causes of emotional distress in dogs include changes to their environment, separation anxiety, or the loss of a companion.
For example, if your dog has recently moved to a new home or there have been changes to their environment, this can cause them to feel stressed and lose their appetite. Similarly, dogs that suffer from separation anxiety may become so upset when left alone that they refuse to eat.
Why Isn’t My Australian Shepherd Eating? If your Australian Shepherd is not eating, it is essential to first rule out any health issues, as they can often contribute the greatest to a dog’s loss of appetite and overall energy.
The Most Common Health Conditions That effect Your Aussie to Stop Eating
While Australian shepherds are usually healthy, some common health conditions may badly affect your Aussie and cause them to stop eating. Some of the conditions may be:
- Dental problems: Dental problems such as periodontal disease or tooth decay can cause pain and discomfort when a dog eats. As a result, the dog may stop eating or only eat small amounts. Regular dental check-ups and cleanings can help prevent these issues.
- Gastrointestinal problems: Gastrointestinal issues such as inflammatory bowel disease, gastritis, or gastroenteritis can cause dogs to experience abdominal pain, nausea, and diarrhoea, leading to a loss of appetite. Various factors, including infections, stress, and dietary intolerances, can cause these conditions.
- Liver disease: Liver disease can cause various symptoms, including loss of appetite, vomiting, and weight loss. The liver is responsible for filtering toxins from the blood, so a dog’s appetite may be affected if it is not functioning correctly.
- Kidney disease: Kidney disease is common in dogs, particularly as they age. It can cause various symptoms, including loss of appetite, vomiting, and increased thirst and urination. Early detection and management of kidney disease can help prevent further damage and improve a dog’s quality of life.
- Cancer: Cancer can affect dogs just as it can affect humans. Cancer can cause various symptoms, including loss of appetite, vomiting, and weight loss. If a dog has cancer, treatment options may include surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy.
- Infections: Infections such as parvovirus, kennel cough, or leptospirosis can cause dogs to experience symptoms such as loss of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhoea. If left untreated, these infections can cause more severe health problems.
Why Isn’t My Australian Shepherd Eating? It is important to note that if a dog stops eating, it can signify a serious health condition. If your dog has stopped eating, it is essential to take them to a veterinarian as soon as possible for an evaluation.
What To Do When Your Australian Shepherd Refuses To Eat
If your Aussie is being extremely rigid in not eating, then you may try out the following steps below to both rule out the causes of your Australian shepherd not eating while also treating the condition:
- Rule out medical issues: The first step in addressing your dog’s refusal to eat is to rule out any underlying medical issues that may be causing the problem. Loss of appetite can be a symptom of many conditions, including dental problems, digestive issues, or infections.
- Check the food quality: Ensure that you feed your dog high-quality, nutritionally balanced food that meets their needs. Check the ingredients list, ensure that the food contains adequate protein, fats, and carbohydrates, and avoid fillers and artificial preservatives.
- Offer a variety of foods: Dogs can be picky eaters and may become bored with the same food daily. Offer a variety of foods, such as dry kibble, wet food, or raw food, to entice your dog to eat.
- Feed smaller meals more frequently: Feeding your dog smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day can help entice them to eat. This can be especially useful if your dog has a smaller appetite or is prone to digestive issues. However, ensure that you do not overfeed your dog, as obesity can lead to health problems in Australian Shepherds.
- Add flavourings: Adding flavourings to your dog’s food can help to make it more appealing. Add low-sodium chicken or beef broth, plain yogurt, or a small amount of cooked chicken or beef to the food. However, avoid adding salt, sugar, or other harmful ingredients that can harm your dog’s health.
Why Isn’t My Australian Shepherd Eating? Generally, if your Australian Shepherd refuses to eat, the first step is to rule out any medical issues. Once you have confirmed that your dog is healthy, try the steps listed above to try and feed your Aussie.
The Importance of Early Detection and Treatment
Early detection can be crucial for an Australian shepherd; this is especially true if they have not been eating, as starvation can cause an Aussie to develop symptoms related to dehydration and malnutrition, which, if not treated, will cause certain death.
A treatment plan, given explicitly by a professional animal vet or a behaviourist, can help ensure that your Aussie successfully starts eating its food and becomes hale and hearty. You may, however, need to focus on your Aussie if you intend to make them eat.
Generally, making an Aussie eat can involve various factors, including changing flavours, using a medication, or even stimulating them mentally to distract them from anxiety-causing situations.
Why Isn’t My Australian Shepherd Eating? As long as you prudently find out what is causing your Aussie’s loss of appetite and get treatment for it, your Aussie will probably be able to regain its appetite.
When To Visit Your Vet When You Are Not Australian Shepherd Eating
While the loss of appetite for an Aussie may result from either having an upset stomach or feeling depressed, it can also signify something much more. In simple terms, if your Aussie displays lethargy, diarrhoea or involuntary tremors, it is time to visit your vet.
You may also first assess your Aussie’s overall health by yourself. If you feel like it, you may check their temperature, examine their gums and teeth or feel their abdomen for any signs of pain or discomfort. If your dog appears to be in pain or discomfort or showing any other signs of illness, then an animal vet will have to take care of your Aussie.
Why Isn’t My Australian Shepherd Eating? It is important to remember that if your Aussie has not eaten for more than 24 hours, then getting them cared for will be extremely important, as such behaviour can be indicative of either gum disease or a more significant illness such as cancer.
Why Isn’t My Australian Shepherd Eating? If your dog is stubborn or does not accept a meal, you will have to mentally stimulate them by giving them challenging tasks or making them exercise. Otherwise, a trip to the animal vet is the next step in your cards.