If your dog is not eating, then it may be due to any number of reasons, some of which may be no cause for concern at all, while others may be the early symptoms of a potentially lethal virus.
Less worrying reasons might include stress, such as moving to a new home, which nonetheless will need to be addressed, but it can be very dangerous to make such an assumption and consequently ignore other possibilities.
You see, dogs not eating, especially when combined with a lack of energy, lethargy, and a general unwillingness to play, are often the very first signs that they have Canine Parvovirus.
Most people, or at least those that are aware of Parvo at all, may know to look out for the diarrhea (and even the foul stench and the blood) and/or vomiting, but the problem is that, by the time those physical symptoms appear, your dog may already have been sick for hours, a day, or even longer … and with Parvo, the one thing you don’t have is time to waste.
The way this Parvovirus works, for the most part, is that it attacks the intestinal tract, thus preventing the absorption of any foods.
This is why your dog will soon have diarrhea, and when the virus manages to eat through the intestinal wall, that’s when the blood will appear too.
Just like with humans, too, when a dog senses that all is not well within, then it will make him disinclined to eat – it will, in fact, lead to depression too, which is, of course, another symptom of Parvo.
So, what can start off as a dog not eating food can quickly turn into your worst nightmare.
But, unfortunately, there’s even more bad news.
Once a dog stops eating, then he will obviously lose weight and often become noticeably thinner, and this effect is more pronounced with smaller dogs.
This in itself can be quite worrying (although we have had many customers who have sat and watched their dogs not eat for several days before doing anything about it, which is incomprehensible to us, given how keen most dogs are on their food.
But there are more insidious side-effects if your dog is not eating and that is – hypoglycemia.
What this basically means is that your dog will experience a sudden drop in blood sugar levels, and this can be the trigger for a whole heap of additional problems you can do without if he’s already suffering from Parvo.
Symptoms of hypoglycemia can include shaking / tremors, difficulty breathing, heart problems, and one of the ways you can check for this is to feel his paws – if he’s not getting enough nutrients, which he needs just to keep his basic bodily functions working, then his paws will start to feel cold to the touch.
This is a real danger signal, and must not be ignored. Quite the opposite – immediate action must be taken, as once they get too cold, it can be really hard to turn the dog around and save him.
So, if you thought, “my dog is not eating, I wonder why”, then it could be something minor, or it could be the scourge of the doggie world – Parvo.
The best thing to do, in our experience, is to begin treating it for Parvo immediately, using the natural, chemical-free products in our Home Parvo Treatment Kit.
If it turns out to be nothing major, then no harm is done (these products are completely safe, with no side-effects), but if it does turn out to be Parvo, then you will have given your doggie the best possible chance of surviving this horrific virus by taking action as soon as possible.
This is just one reason why we strongly recommend that all dog owners have a Parvo Treatment Kit on hand at all times – because Parvo rarely strikes at a convenient time (e.g. it may be 3:00am on a Sunday morning, no vets are open).
With some dogs dying in as little as five hours after first symptoms appear, you really cannot afford to wait around and see what happens, because, as some of our customers have found out the hard way, your dog may not live to tell the tale.