A lack of appetite in a dog always make my blood run cold.
My dog is a vibrantly healthy, muscular mutt, mostly lab I think, about 65 pounds. He normally has a robust appetite and a very keen interest in food. All the time, even after having a full meal. He normally does not steal any kind of food or trash unless it is left pretty much on the ground, exposed.
I feed him kibble mixed with some animal fat, maybe a little peanut butter. I feed him via treat dispensers to give him something to do and slow down his eating.
He’s a little over 4 years old.
This morning I gave him a hun of pork crackling and while he took it, he seemed a little indifferent. I thought maybe it was too hard. I haven’t checked to see if he actually ended up eating it or not.
Just now he was hovering around while I fixed lunch, so I filled a couple of treat dispensers with his kibble and put them down…and he ignored them.
Then I sat at my computer with some macadamia nuts. I dropped one, so I picked it up to give to him, and he took it, then spit it out.
Aside from the appetite, he seems perfectly fine. He’s alert, attentive, tail-waggy. I haven’t tried taking him out to play to see if he’s interested in that yet.
Here’s the thing: the only time in my experience that any of MY dogs (who have all been food-motivated) has ever lost their appetite, it was a Very Bad Thing. But they also usually displayed some other symptoms as well.
So far he’s not. Are there any relatively benign reasons an otherwise food-driven dog would suddenly be disinterested in food? A little tummy upset that will go away? Something else?
I’m feeling a little panicky. Primarily because I want him to be well, but also because I don’t want to have to come up with a lot of money for the vet.