Why is my dog lethargic and refusing to eat: reasons, how to handle

Signs of a dog’s ill health can be many, they depend on the disease. They can be pronounced or appear in the late stages of the development of the disease. The sooner an attentive owner notices that the dog is behaving differently and goes to the veterinarian, the more likely it is to keep the pet healthy. But what if the dog is not eating and is sluggish? What other signs should be paid attention to?

Reasons for Lack of appetite of a Dog that are less serious

A healthy dog ​​has a moist nose, clear eyes and good appetite. It is playful and active. It runs for a walk with pleasure and meets its owner at the door. But if the dog does not is not excited to see the owner, while on walks seeks to get home as soon as possible, refuses his favorite delicacies – this cab be a cause of serious concern. Refusal to eat and drink water are the first symptom that accompanies most diseases.

Sometimes the cause can be trivial and easily eliminated, but in some cases, delay in contacting a veterinarian can have irreparable consequences.

And a healthy dog ​​may refuse to eat. In hot weather, neither people nor animals want to eat. Therefore, the pet can eat an incomplete portion or even refuse food, only drink. 

There are other physiological reasons why animals lose their appetite. At the same time, there are no other warning signs such as increase in body temperature, vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, etc. , the changes in animal behavior can be caused by:

Loss of apatite of dog due to Tiredness.

  •  Excessive physical activity during training sessions, on a walk can lead to the dog becoming lethargic and not wanting to eat. However, there is nothing to worry about in this case. After resting, the the dog will again be cheerful and active. Just let him sleep and recuperate his strength.

Loss of apatite of dog due to Stress:

  • Dogs are a vulnerable soul. Many different types to stress can cause the dog to not want to eat – a change of residence, a long absence of the owner, long trips, visits to the veterinarian, the appearance of new animals or people in the house. Sometimes even changes in the weather can cause pet’s mood swings. Then even his favorite treats don’t work.

Loss of apatite of dog due to The quality of the feed. :

  • Stale or low-grade food can cause digestive upset accompanied by vomiting and diarrhea. The animal understands the relationship between its state and the reasons that caused it, therefore, refuses to eat. 

Loss of apatite of dog due to Failure to comply with the feeding regime:

  • handouts from the table, frequent “snacks” can also cause a loss of interest in ordinary food;

Loss of apatite of dog due to weather:

  • Most often, hot weather affects small puppies who do not feel satiated with food, so they often suffer from gluttony. This makes them lazy, lethargic. Lack of physical activity, in turn, increases the risk of obesity.

Note: For dogs, refusal to eat for 3-5 days is not dangerous, puppies should not be hungry for more than 1 day. At the same time, it is important that the same amount of water consumed is maintained.

Loss of apatite of dog due to depression:

Dogs, like humans, can be sad. When left alone for a long time, the dog can become depressed. This is also manifested by a decrease in appetite or a complete refusal to eat. 

Some breeds themselves find something to do alone. For example, huskies are looking for a new use for interior items or playing “renovation”, carefully tearing wallpaper from the walls; While some, especially small dogs (Chihuahuas, Toy Terriers) can become deeply depressed.

Loss of apatite of dog due to old age:

With age, the dog’s physical activity decreases and behavior changes. The pet sleeps more, which affects the appetite. The body uses fewer calories, therefore, does not require a large amount of food to restore energy. The age that a dog is considered to be elderly depends on the breed: in large dogs, old age begins earlier, small ones remain active much longer.

Loss of apatite of dog due pregnancy:

Physiological reasons for the decreased activity of the dog, he may eat less than usual, but lie more, include estrus, pregnancy and the puerperium. Additional symptoms will indicate this condition. With the onset of pregnancy, the dog becomes lethargic, its nipples swell, and the belly grows. In the postpartum period, the female may be lethargic, eat little or refuse to eat.

A dangerous condition is the refusal of a dog to drink water. Dehydration can be fatal, so if the dog does not drink, you should immediately contact your veterinarian.

Loss of apatite of dog due to lack of physical activity:

Lack of physical activity can lead to the fact that the dog consumes fewer calories than they are supplied with food. The body does not have time to burn them, therefore the dog does not want to eat, but only drinks. Low physical activity leads to apathy, lethargy.

All these factors do not require medical attention. By eliminating the causes of depression and decreased appetite, you will have a healthy, agile dog, characterized by excellent appetite.

Reasons for Lack of appetite of a Dog due to an illness:

Refusal to eat, lethargy can signs of many diseases. On hot summer days, dogs often overheat in the sun and get heatstroke. Hypothermia is no less dangerous. It usually affects dogs of small breeds and animals that do not have a coat. In the cold, in a draft, you can see that the dog is shaking. 

Loss of apatite of dog due to Other signs of hypothermia:

  • body temperature is below +37.5 ° C;
  • shiver;
  • slow breathing;
  • convulsions;
  • slowing down of heart rate.

Loss of apatite of dog due to Gastrointestinal pathologies

The dog can be lethargic with various diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. They are often accompanied by abdominal pain and cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea. Eating food aggravates the painful condition, provokes a new attack of pain, so the dog tries to move less and refuses to eat. Only a veterinarian can make a diagnosis after examination and a series of examinations. Depression and loss of appetite is a reason to go to a veterinary clinic.

Poisoning can have the same symptoms as in diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. Intoxication can be caused by poor-quality food, drugs and poisonous substances (rat poison, for example), household chemicals, etc. Yellowing of the eyeballs, dry skin should cause alarm. Poisoning is usually accompanied by an increase in body temperature. Refusal to eat is the first sign of intoxication, which requires contacting a veterinarian.

Loss of apatite of dog due to Viral infections

Another reason why you can’t ignore the behavior of a dog that refuses food and lies on the bed all day is the danger of contracting viral infections. Plague, viral enteritis and other diseases that can be fatal should be treated immediately. Puppies die in 90% of cases without qualified medical assistance.

Other signs by which a viral infectious disease can be suspected are:

  • with distemper – photophobia, fever, ulceration of the mucous membranes, purulent discharge from the eyes, shortness of breath;
  • with parvovirus enteritis – vomiting, loose stools with blood impurities, increased thirst;
  • with adenovirus – redness of the mucous membranes, dry cough and wheezing, runny nose, vomiting;
  • with viral hepatitis – fever, severe thirst, diarrhea and vomiting, yellowing of the skin and mucous membranes, keratitis and conjunctivitis.

Note: With infectious diseases, if the pet refuses food and water, dehydration quickly sets in. It can be very dangerous for the pet.

Other reasons

Refusal to eat and depressed state of the pet are characteristic of other diseases. 

Diseases of muscles, bones, joints, blood diseases are accompanied by pain. When moving, pain occurs, hence the uncertain gait and lethargy.

Internal organs can be damaged in case of injury. Internal bleeding is life threatening, but it is impossible to visually detect it. If the animal has a fever, he is trembling, he is nauseous, and there is blood in the vomit, immediately contact the veterinary clinic. And the best thing is to call a doctor at home, because during transportation there is a risk of further aggravating the problem.

With helminthiasis, a dog may experience bloating, bloody clots in the stool. The weakness and lethargy of the dog is explained by the intoxication of the body – the worms poison it with the products of their vital activity. Therefore, the pet is not happy, refuses favorite games and treats.

If the pet does not just eat and tries to lie down more, but at the same time it is losing weight dramatically, it is worth checking it for cancer. In recent years, cancer has often been diagnosed not only in older animals, but also in young ones. The prognosis of the development of the disease and the quality of life of the animal depends on how quickly the diagnosis is made.

How can you help the dog

Decreased appetite, refusal to eat – this is the first signal, which indicates that some pathological changes are taking place in the dog’s body. You cannot ignore them – you should carefully observe a puppy or an adult dog during the day. 

If the symptoms only increase with time, and the appearance, behavior of the animal leaves no doubt that it is painful, then you cannot hesitate. In some cases, getting medial help is important, so self-medication can only exacerbate the problem.

If there is no reason to believe that the dog is tired, it is better to play it safe, check the health of the pet. It is better to consult a veterinarian if physiological factors are ruled out. 

Examination by the vet, blood and urine tests, if necessary – ultrasound of the abdominal organs, x-rays will help establish the cause of the disease.

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