by A. Grano on January 6th, 2011 at 7:00 am
If your normally always-hungry pet begins to turn down food or treats, it can be alarming.
However, loss of appetite does not always mean illness, although many pets do refuse to eat if they are feeling unwell.
If your pet doesn’t eat for 48 hours or starts displaying other symptoms, consult your vet.
Other non-illness-related reasons your dog or cat may not have an appetite:
- Food intolerance. While some pets have stomachs tough enough to eat out of the garbage (sometimes literally, when they are misbehaving!), others may have very delicate digestive systems. Choose high-quality, unprocessed and balanced diets to help avoid digestive upsets like as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
- Sensitive temperaments. Did your pet’s normal environment change? Travel, new pets in the household, or even a new location for your pet’s food dish can cause emotional distress or anxiety in your pet, which can affect appetite. If a new pet was introduced, monitor feeding to ensure your pet isn’t encountering an aggressive situation every time he or she tries to eat.
- Fur balls in cats are usually harmless, causing mild discomfort and digestive disruptions. Dry foods can help reduce the formation of fur balls in the stomach and “sweep” the fur along the intestines in the right direction.
- Note: In severe, rare cases an obstruction in the gastrointestinal tract may be caused if a fur ball cannot be passed. Closely monitor your pet and seek medical care if necessary.