My dog has lost his appetite, seems fine all other ways...

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.


I understand that vet bills are often expensive and usually the need to see a vet is unexpected (except for yearly check-ups which I hope are planned for). Still, if your pet’s off behavior lasts more than two days I’d get to the vet asap. Best case, you spent some money but you find out it’s no big deal. Second best - there’s a problem but you caught it early enough to stem further complications/expense. If he’s seriously ill you’ll have to deal with it sooner or later.
Good luck.

Take a look at his mouth. He might have a toothache, or a sore or blister. Is he drinking?

Other than that, I got nuthin’. Except not to wait too long to have him checked out. I don’t know how long is “too long” though.

Good luck. I hope it’s nothing serious.

Macadamia nuts are toxic to dogs.

Yeah, I got that news. Fortunately he didn’t eat any.

His energy is great, we had a perfect play session, all systems go. I guess I’ll just keep an eye…

Is it really hot there? I notice my cats get a little off their feed when it’s hot outside and in the house (we don’t have air conditioning).

I’d take him for a long walk and watch for evidence of an upset stomach. I’d also crate him or keep him in my room so I could response quickly to evidence of distress.

Keep in mind that dogs do not like hot food, prefer nice fatty human food to healthy carboard biscuits, and sometimes are smart enough to not eat poison. It might just be coincidence.

Vet soon if no change.

Patrol the house and look to see if he’s gotten into something, eaten it, and spoiled his appetite.

Also, watch him like a hawk for other symptoms.

How old is his kibble? My cats won’t eat stale kibble (which can happen if you buy too big a bag). They are also terribly picky about which kibble they like. Have you tried him on any treat that he normally goes nuts for, whether he’s full or not? If either of my cats ever turns down tuna, I’ll know there’s definitely something wrong besides normal finickyness.

Is he drinking water normally?

Well, look slike maybe he was just having a little off moment in life. By late this afternoon everything was back to normal. Once he knew we were having fried chicken, he got over himself. Then he cleaned out his treat toys. Just an aberration I guess, or maybe the play session helped loosen something up inside him! In any case, my Handsome Black Boyfriend ™ is back in perfect working order…

Glad to hear he’s back to his old self. Now that the concern is over, you do know the rule about posting pictures, don’t you? :wink:

But only if you want to. What’s his name, by the way?

My dog does it all the time. Usually, she eats breakfast between 7am and 8am, but sometimes she’ll leave the kibble until the afternoon.

If you are like me, back in the 70’s the advice was dogs should only eat one meal a day. I thought it was strange that dogs should eat twice a day and that it would lead to overeating. However, my dog has done a great job managing her own diet. She eats when she needs to, and it’s not always twice a day.

Glad he’s back to behaving the way you’d normally expect Stoid - a relief, no doubt!

But jeeeez! “…kibble mixed with some animal fat, maybe a little peanut butter”? “…a *hun of pork crackling…”??

And offering him a macadamia??

I’m no vet, and aside from the near nut misadventure (that I get is the news you ‘got’) what you proffer as (what I can only assume is) his regular diet, sounds like a recipe for pancreatitis.

Might be useful to reconsider his diet - even if all he had today was a stomach ache.

*as a measurement, I have no idea what this is, but it sounds big 'n chunky

This happens all the time for my dogs and it’s never been an indication of a serious issue.

Yep. Usually it’s a combination: not eating AND puking, not eating AND limping, etc.

Yay! Glad to hear.

Well, I don’t leave food down because that would undermine the usefulness of food for training purposes. But that
once a day" thing is a recipe for bloat and death, so no thanks! That’s part of why I use the treat dispensers, to make sure there’s no chance that wolfing down a big meal will sneak up and kill him.

I read up on the pancreatitis, and he’s not much of a candidate, being a biggish, insanely fit and healthy dog of mixed DNA (Really: slim and solid from stem to stern, crazy fast and agile as a cat, able to leap tall rosebushes in a single bound to snatch fast moving toys at the end of bullwhips.) My vet, whom I just about worship for a bunch of reasons, told me years ago not to buy into the idea that dogs need “dog food” - absolutely not. He recommended a diet of people food, leaving out the trashy stuff, and fat is fine.

I use the fat to make the kibble interesting. I put on rubber gloves and dump a big spoonful of bacon fat on top, or toss the kibble in the pan I cooked with, then plunge my hands in to rub the fat on the kibble bits before I stuff the toys.

The peanut butter is again, a spoonful. I slather that on the lining of the toys. Dogs love peanut butter.

I love the fact that he can eat anything: my purebred Golden, Maggie was highly allergic, and I had to feed her the most hypoallergenic food, at some ungodly price. If I didn’t her paws would turn blood red with inflamation, and she’d get 50-cent piece scabs all over.

And because she couldn’t have anything but that, neither could my other Golden, Tucker, who for some reason had a tendency to fat. He wasn’t very overweight, but more than he should have been, given his diet.

Then I got Preston after Tucker died (suddenly from complications of his epilepsy medication…if you have a dog with epilepsy and hes’ on the liquid med I can’t recall the name of, STOP if he develops anything that looks like a cough. STOP IMMEDIATELY.) and he was Mr. Cast Iron Stomach.

His name is Preston, which is an homage to my boy Tucker (Preston Tucker, automobile inventor). His full name is Mr. Preston Digitation. Yuk.

And he’s very handsome. VERY. I will post some pics…

Okay Stoid - I’m confused.

That diet of ‘people food’ - am I missing out on my kibble and bacon fat?

I agree with Stoid that it doesn’t seem reasonable to expect a carnivore to be happy on a diet soley are cardboard. I watch the salt, though.