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My Vizsla Isn’t Eating – 6 Reasons Why & What To Do

Vizslas usually have great appetites, so if it suddenly goes it can be both confusing and concerning. This article explains the common reasons behind food refusal, how to help, and when to seek help from a vet.

6 Reasons why your Vizsla isn’t eating:

  1. Food preference issues
  2. Distractions
  3. Inconsistent meal schedule
  4. Psychological issues
  5. Pain
  6. Underlying health issues

Understanding Anorexia In Vizslas

When discussing a lack of appetite in your Vizsla, you may hear your vet use the term “anorexia”. Anorexia is simply a term used to describe a dog that is not eating or has experienced a drastic decline in appetite. 

A healthy Vizsla should happily dive into their meals, making anorexia a sign of something being off in your furry friend.  Anorexia in dogs can point to anything from GI conditions to behavioral struggles, each of which requires extra attention on our part. 

6 Possible Reasons Why Your Vizsla Isn’t Eating

If your Vizsla is suddenly shying away from their meals, there is a list of common issues that could be contributing to this behavior. Anorexia in Vizslas can be one of the first signs of developing illness, making it so important to pay close attention. 

To help you better understand a lack of appetite in your pup, let’s list 6 of the most common causes below!

1. Food Preference

Just like humans, most dogs have food preferences. Your pup may not enjoy every food item that hits their bowl, and some kibble just won’t hit the spot. Some dog food just isn’t appetizing to some Vizsla friends, causing them to turn their nose up at mealtime. 

Not only can some kibble be undesirable to some dogs, but some may struggle with Gi upset when eating certain kibble. Though they may enjoy the taste, they may begin to catch on to the fact that they feel unwell each time they eat this food.

If your Vizsla is suddenly refusing their normal diet but is still interested in treats or other food items, their standard diet may be the issue. You may also notice signs of GI upset, especially directly after their meals. 

If you do make the decision to switch them to a new kibble, just be sure to transition them to the new diet over a 1 week period. An abrupt diet change can lead to even more GI upset, making it so important to take things slowly. 

2. Distractions

Vizslas love to be a part of every activity that occurs within their home. Distractions around mealtime can make it hard for your Vizsla to focus, often resulting in them skipping meal time to join in on the fun. 

If your pup struggles with focusing on eating their meals, it may be best to limit any activities or “fun” when it’s time for your pup to eat. You can even move your dog to a quiet space in the house when it’s time to dive into their food, ensuring that no distractions get in the way of their feast.

3. Inconsistent Meal Schedules

Have you ever eaten a late lunch, only to discover that you are not hungry around dinner time? This same effect sets in for our furry friends, making a constant diet schedule so important. 

Not only do our dogs love routine, but a set diet schedule can help your pup in multiple ways. Scheduled meal times can help your pup have a regular potty schedule, stay on top of any appetite changes, and become accustomed to a normal routine. 

If your Vizsla is not on a meal schedule and they are struggling to finish certain meals, it may be time to establish a set food routine. 

4. Psychological Struggles

Just like you and I, our beloved Vizslas can have psychological struggles. While our pups may have different stress triggers, their mental anguish is just as real. 

A Vizsla may begin to shy away from meals if they are experiencing anxiety, stress, depression, and more. These behavioral conditions can be a result of any changes in their daily routine, ranging from new pets in the home to the loss of someone they love. Any type of change can be overwhelming for a dog, resulting in changes to their daily behavior. 

If you think psychological struggles are at the root of your Vizsla’s anorexia, it may be time to assess their environment for any potential triggers. If you are unaware of what could be upsetting your pup, you can always seek advice from your veterinarian. 

5. Pain

If your Vizsla is experiencing pain of any kind, this can cause them to shy away from their food. Pain can be stressful for our canine friends, often leading to many changes in their daily behavior. Pain can make it hard for your dog to focus on anything else, eating included. 

If pain is the cause of your Vizsla’s sudden anorexia, you may notice a few other concerning symptoms as well. A dog in pain may experience panting, lethargy, limping, whining, crying out, rigid stance, and any other abnormal behaviors.

If your Vizsla is experiencing any of the above behaviors, we suggest speaking to your vet as soon as possible. Over-the-counter pain relief is not safe for our pups to consume, so it’s important to always reach out to your vet for proper diagnosis and pain relief.

6. Underlying Health Complications

If you are unable to tie any of the above factors to your Vizsla’s lack of appetite, they may be struggling with a form of underlying illness. Anorexia is a sign of multiple health complications in our canine friends, as appetite is commonly impacted when a dog is not feeling their best. 

A sudden change in appetite can be your Vizsla’s way of telling you they are not feeling well, as a healthy pup will often eagerly dive into their food bowl. Anorexia can point to anything from GI upset to systemic disease, making it so important to reach out to your vet for professional advice. 

It’s especially critical to reach out to your vet if their decreased appetite persists for more than 12-24 hours. We also suggest keeping an eye out for any signs of vomiting, abdominal pain, lethargy, diarrhea, and other signs of an upset stomach. 

Interesting read: Male vs Female Vizslas: The KEY Differences

My Vizsla Puppy Will Not Eat: What To Do

While you should take anorexia seriously in dogs of any age, it is even more important to take anorexia seriously in puppies. Puppies are extremely food-driven, making it very uncommon for a Vizsla pup to suddenly turn their nose up at food. 

Not only is it uncommon for a puppy to say no to food, but it can be dangerous for them to go without food for a prolonged period of time. Puppies are always at risk of a dangerous drop in blood sugar referred to as hypoglycemia, of which they can fall victim to when skipping meals. 

It’s important for a puppy to receive every ounce of nutrition they can, so any changes in appetite should always warrant immediate attention on our part. If your Vizsla puppy is shying away from any meals or treats when offered, we suggest contacting your vet immediately for further advice. 

With the serious threat of hypoglycemia in growing puppies, we do not suggest waiting more than 12 hours to contact your vet if your Vizsla puppy is not eating.

Tips To Encourage Your Vizsla To Eat Again

If your Vizsla seems uninterested in their food, there are a few at-home tips to encourage them to eat. To better assist you in getting your Vizsla to eat, let’s discuss tricks for each potential cause. 

Tips For A Vizsla That Dislikes Their Food

  • Test their appetite by offering them a tasty treat. If they happily eat the treat instead of their food, their current diet may be the issue.
  • If you are hesitant to change their diet, you can always add a dog-approved meal topper to their kibble. These are flavored powders that contain approved nutrients for our canine friends. 
  • If you do choose to switch their standard diet, be sure that you are choosing an AAFCO dog food that is created for their life stage and nutritional needs. 
  • When adopting any diet changes, just be sure to transition them to the new food over a 1 week period to avoid any further GI upset.

Tips For A Distracted Vizsla

  • Sit with your dog during meal times to encourage them to eat.
  • Try your best to limit any activities or distracting behaviors around your dog’s mealtime.
  • Feed them in an area of your home that is free of any foot traffic or distractions.

Tips For A Vizsla With GI Upset

  • Offer them a bland diet until their GI troubles resolve. The standard bland diet option that veterinarians suggest includes boiled chicken breast and white rice, or any other lean protein with a bland carb source. Just be sure to leave out any spices or oils. 
  • Top their standard diet with turkey or chicken baby food. This is bland enough to avoid further GI upset, but still encourages your pup to dive in. 

Recommended read: 9 Most common health issues in Vizslas

When To See The Vet

If your Vizsla has a sudden decrease in appetite, you may be wondering when it’s time to reach out to your veterinarian. It can be challenging to determine when it’s time for professional care, or whether or not you can cure your pup with at-home care. 

If your Vizsla has not eaten for 24 hours or has skipped more than one meal, it’s time to reach out to your vet for further care. However, if you are dealing with an anorexic Vizsla puppy, the rule changes to 12 hours without food. 

It’s always fine to attempt at home care first when your pup won’t eat, but if it does not resolve, it’s best to visit your veterinarian. This is especially true if your Vizsla is displaying other signs of illness as well. 

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are a few potential causes of anorexia in our Vizsla friends. Be sure to review the information we discussed above, and you can get your pup back on track in no time!

Thank you for reading!
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Before making any decisions that could affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area. Even though this content may have been written/reviewed by a trained veterinarian, our advice to you is to always consult your own local veterinarian in person. Please read our full dislcaimer if you have any questions.