Dogs are like humans too, as they get older and do not care for their diet – they experience health problems. Therefore, it is common for a senior dog to experience problems like lack of appetite. However, you need to address it as soon as you can. At this stage, it is upon you as a dog parent to take care of your senior dog. It all boils down to your care and love that will get your pet through old age and raging health problems.
There are many reasons for the lack of appetite, research about them properly and consult a vet too (research does not mean you avoid vets).
Why My Dog Has Stopped Eating
As mentioned before, there are several reasons why a 10-year-old dog stops eating. You need to dissect the problem at hand and find out whether the senior dog has stopped eating completely or is going through a lack of appetite.
If your dog is eating less but retaining the weight without any other problems such as fatigue and excess sleeping – then there is no need to worry, just check with some other food options and treat your god with some treats. However, if your dog refuses to take any food or supplement and is shedding weight on the side with other signs as decreased movements then you are dealing with a serious issue.
We have listed some problems as to why your dog might have stopped eating.
Get Their Teeth Checked
Yes, just as humans – dogs can also get dental issues. Your senior dog will be more prone to such problems than older people. therefore, before fretting about any other cause, make sure that you get their teeth checked. They might have a sore mouth which is why they are not eating properly. Once this gets resolved, they will revert to their normal eating routine.
Another problem at hand can be digestive which is common in senior dogs. Therefore, when your dog is not eating well, monitor when they pass feces so you can check whether they are digesting the food or not. If you sense a problem, then consult a vet as soon as you can. Senior dogs can get malnourished quickly. Therefore, it is important to solve the problem sooner than later.
Lack Of Sense of Smell and Taste
Senior dogs often face a lack of smell and taste. It is not a big issue but mostly happens due to old age (yes 10 years is old age for a dog). You can try a different set of food so that the dog feels a change of taste and eats the food. You can treat the dog with its favorite food so that it at least begin with something. Try changing the bowl that they eat in, maybe a change of sight trick the dog into having something.
Can My Dog Starve Itself?
Dogs do not necessarily decide to starve themselves. There is always an underlying issue that is stopping them from eating properly. As a dog parent/owner you need to find out the underlying issue and fix it before it transforms into a bigger problem.
Decreased appetite is not a problem, it is more likely a sign of another problem that needs some attention.
How You Can Help Your Dog
The best resort in situations where your dog has stopped eating and you cannot seem to figure out the problem is to find the reason why it has happened. And the best way to find out is to talk to your vet.
A doctor is far more qualified for such situations and as we have mentioned earlier, senior dogs are fragile like older people, and they cannot bear NOT eating for a longer period.
Do Not Force Your Dog to Eat Certain Foods
If your god is already sick and the vet has prescribed some supplements and foods, chances are your dog is not reacting well to it. Therefore, do NOT force the dog to eat that food. Talk to the vet and ask him to prescribe anything else. Because you do not want your dog to get sicker from not eating.
If the problem persists, the vet can prescribe certain medicines that stimulate appetite. And foods that can be fed through a syringe. In this case, be there for your god just like you would for any other family member.
Make sure that if your dog has not started eating properly, there is at least an intake of fluids to keep the system going. Lack of appetite coupled with dehydration can be a bigger problem than you realize. If you notice that the dog is not having any fluid, it on you to feed it to them with a dropper.
Finally, if you fail with every technique then you may be in for some serious decisions. In case of your dog’s systems shutting down – there is a lot of pain involved that the dog might be going through.
Your vet (as the last resort) may suggest euthanasia. It is upon you to decide whether you want to go along with Euthanasia. Think it through and if there are no chances of survival for your dog then go along with it.
Saying goodbye to your pet is a difficult decision that is subjective to each human being. Take your time with it before jumping the gun. Make sure you try everything that is in your hands before going along with euthanasia. In case nothing works, then so be it.
Senior dogs go through many health problems that can come as they age. One of them is lack of appetite or complete shutdown of any food intake. The problem can be both serious and mild. Therefore, do not take any chances and visit a vet as soon as you can to investigate the matter.
Once you find out the reason, dedicate your time and attention to your dog. In old age, you are their only resort so act like one and be there for your dog.