My Labrador Won’t Eat his Food Anymore

Are you worried about your dog’s lack of appetite? Is your Labrador trying to live a lifestyle of a model?

Well, there is always a reason behind everything, and there can be various reasons behind your Lab’s sudden or gradual disinterest in food. It could be a physical illness or a mental problem bothering your Labrador. Hence, as a consequence of which it has no interest in food.

Labradors love their food. They are active and athletic dogs and love to run around in fields. Due to their active lifestyle, they get hungry often and hence, consume food like beasts. So, it is very unlikely for them to disassociate themselves from food. If your Labrador is refusing to eat, then it means there is something serious going on. Keep reading to find out what is wrong with your Labrador.

Lab testing is required

 A dog going completely off food could be a sign of illness. If your Labrador seems fit otherwise but refuses to eat, then it is time that you take it to the vet. It is pertinent to note that puppies need food more frequently as compared to adult dogs. Hence, if your puppy does not eat anything for 24 hours, then you need to hurry to the vet. It is very unusual for a puppy to lack appetite. An adult dog who used to be happy, and active, then he can be given over 24 hours to recover. However, if it exceeds a day without food, then you should consider consulting a vet. 

If the lack of appetite of your Labrador is accompanied by other health issues, such as diarrhea and vomiting, then the problem could be a lot more grave.

No appetite accompanied with other health problems?

Moreover, if the lack of appetite is accompanied by stomach problems, such as the straining of bowel or absence of bowel movements, then it could result in bowel obstruction. It is always better to get your healthy dog checked unnecessarily than rushing to the vet with your extremely sick one.

Your Lab may be a diva

There is a good enough chance that nothing is wrong with your Labrador except that it is a fussy eater. If your dog refuses to eat what you have given but happily snags the treats or other food, then the chances are that it is not impressed by the food that you have chosen for it.

Dogs are just like kids and have their specific preferences, especially regarding food. Some dogs only eat wet food. The solution to it is to pour gravy on their food. Moreover, it is common for Labradors to consume all sorts of food and then become fussy eaters as they age.

Moment of Truth!

So, if your Labrador is a fussy eater, then there is good news and bad news for you. The good news is that there is nothing wrong with your Labrador per se. However, the bad news is that you need to replace your dog’s food; otherwise, this stubborn creature will lose weight and its health.

Should I change the brand? If so, which one should I switch to?

Changing the brand of dog food is a great idea if your Labrador is being a diva with their food options. However, it is hard for me to advise a specific brand as each dog is different, but I suggest that you consult a vet. Moreover, there are some factors that you may need to consider before choosing a brand of dog food, such as;

  • Your Labrador’s overall health
  • What is your Labrador’s preference?
  • Your budget

The brand of the food does not matter if it is not healthy for your dog or if your dog refuses to eat it. Moreover, always choose what seems like you can always afford. I know you love your dog, but there is no need for going broke.

How to deal with a fussy eater?

You can’t keep changing the brand just because your dog is a fussy eater. Hence, you need to ensure that your Lab does not take your love for granted and turns into a brat. You need to keep your pet disciplined while making sure that they are well fed.

It is never a good idea to cure an old fussy eater. This change is not only hard, but also unfair to your Labrador. Moreover, I would recommend that you do not try to cure Labradors who are either:

a. very young

b. very old

c. has health issues

d. extremely underweight

e. undergoing a medical treatment

How to cure a fussy eater?

Labradors are like children, such as, they need to be disciplined in a clever and loving manner. You cannot scold them and expect them to obey. Its time for some politics.

Here’s what you need to do:

Pour your Labrador food just how you normally do and wait. It seems easy, right? Well, the hard part starts now. The main rule of this plan is that your Labrador is not allowed ANY treats or snacks throughout the day if he does not eat his meals. Keep repeating this process until he stops being a fussy eater. Don’t forget to feed him extra treats on days he eats his meals like a good boy.

Do not deprive it of drinks. That is where you draw the line between discipline and cruelty. Moreover, you have to be strong during this training and avoid the puppy dog eyes at all costs.

There is a chance that your Lab will try raiding the fridge or hijacking the food bowl of your cat, if you have any. Your dog will hold up for a couple of days but will give up soon. If he does not, then get him checked by a vet because no healthy pet does that.

He may have Gastrointestinal issues!

Dogs will remain dogs. It does not matter how fancy you treat them and how well you feed them. The majority of the pet dogs are notorious for stealing food off the counter, hunting, and eating random small animals and bugs. Moreover, they will also not shy away from eating poop. These slightly weird hobbies could result in a temporary gastrointestinal upset.

How do I know if my Labrador has incurred a temporary gastrointestinal upset?

To check, if your Labrador has incurred a temporary gastrointestinal upset from its accidental eating adventures, you must look for symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting. This is how your Labrador’s body gets rid of things that do not belong in it. However, if the vomiting and diarrhea exceed beyond the limit of 24 hours, or if find blood in any of it, then consult a vet ASAP! Apart from this, you must make sure that your Labrador remains hydrated throughout the process.

Shaken up routine

Have you changed your Labrador’s routine recently? It is common for a dog to lose its appetite for days upon a change in routine. It upsets their whole day. For instance, if their walk time is changed, then they will naturally eat at a different time. This means that their bowel time changes as well. Moreover, a serious change in the household could make your Labrador upset and cause them to lose appetite until they are somewhat used to the change. Some of these changes include:

  • moving to a new place
  • going on a holiday
  • addition or subtraction of a family member

How to cure this issue?

Dogs in general, are fond of routines because it provides them with stability and makes them feel secure. The best thing you can do to help your dog is to make it feel secure again. Make sure that the changes are not sudden, but gradual. Moreover, make it a priority to keep your Lab secure with its surroundings.

Issues with other pets

There is a chance that your Labrador is not eating because of behavioral issues. If you have another pet in your household, then there is a chance that your pet could be reacting to that pet. For example, your Labrador not eating food could be due to another pet stealing it or is bullying your dog while eating.

The solution to this is to feed your pets in separate rooms, so each of them can eat in peace. Normally, pets start eating and regain their appetite when they are left alone with their food.

Maybe its time to say goodbye…

It is common for senior dogs to disassociate themselves with food and activities during their last days. Moreover, old dogs have various issues like dental problems due to which they can’t eat. Your dog could be hungry, but could not eat because of his toothache. The solution to this is to get an appointment with the vet. Apart from this, senior dogs lose their senses, which is why the smell and taste of the food do not appeal to them. You can try feeding some extra tasty food like stew or something of a similar nature.

Other Related Questions

Here are some FAQs related to the topic.

How many times should I feed my Labrador?

Puppies should be fed 4 times a day and twice a day for adult dogs.

How much should I feed my Labrador?

1 to 1/2 cup of dog food is recommended per 10 Kg for dogs.

What foods should I avoid feeding my dog?

Avoid chocolate, raisins, grapes, garlic, onion, potatoes, lactose, acidic and sugary fruits.

Leave a Comment