Dog Won’t Eat? This Is Why Your Home Could Be The Cause

It’s worrying enough when your dog refuses one meal, but when it’s one meal after another, it’s only natural to think that there’s something seriously wrong. There are currently 1,169,659 purebred dogs residing in the country and The Philippines Animal Welfare Society advises that owners are quick to take their beloved pooch to the vet when they’re ill or not acting normally. This is particularly important if your dog has eaten something he shouldn’t have, but when there’s no medical reason why your hound is refusing to eat, it’s worth looking closer to home.


New home

Moving home is stressful enough for humans, but for dogs it can be a confusing and worrying time, which will leave them with little appetite. The key to getting your dog used to his new surroundings is to create a homely atmosphere packed full of items he loves and recognizes. If you dog is used to sleeping in the kitchen at night, don’t be tempted to change your routine and let him sleep on your bed as this will only confuse him. Ensure you offer your pet’s food and water via his usual water bowls and that he has a quiet, clean and tidy place to sleep in while you get settled in your new home. One option is to temporarily move your pooch into a dog hotel so that he can enjoy a relaxing holiday while you unpack your belongings.


A change to the family dynamic

Dogs thrive off routine, therefore a sudden change in their family dynamic can really throw them and cause them not to eat. A new baby, your child leaving to go to university or a separation can cause stress and will put your dog off his food. Despite the benefits of mixing children and dogs, if your dog is sensitive to sound, he may struggle to adjust to having a screaming baby in the home. Or, he may become jealous as a result of you having to divide your attention between your newborn and your pet. Whatever the scenario, you should help your pooch to adjust to his new family setup. Offer your furry friend’s favorite foods at meal times, give him plenty of love and affection and try to stick to your normal routine as much as possible to ease his discomfort and encourage him to start eating again.


A hostile environment

Screaming teenagers, arguments in the home and tantrum throwing toddlers all create negative emotions which can cause a dog to feel nervous. Due to all their focus being on their emotions, they’ll have no desire to eat. A study conducted by Dr. Kun Guo, from the University of Lincoln’s School of Psychology, found that dogs are able to understand the emotional needs of humans which, in turn, affects their own emotions. Meanwhile, researchers in Vienna discovered that dogs were able to identify whether a human was happy or angry from looking at their face. Therefore, when your dog is declining his meals and your home environment is far from happy, remove your pet from the situation and go on a long, relaxing walk. You should also do your utmost to improve the atmosphere in your home and to boost your pet’s mood. Consider taking him for a luxury grooming session to leave him feeling and looking great or treat him to a new toy and some treats.

While some dogs won’t eat due to a medical issue or fussiness, others will turn their nose up at their meals as a result of their home environment. Owners should do all they can to keep their four legged friend’s routine as close to normal when there’s a change in the family dynamic or when moving home. Keeping the home a happy and pleasant place is key to keeping your dog’s appetite in check, too.

— Contributed by Jackie Phillips

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