More often than not, dogs that are left alone for long periods may develop behavioral issues including appetite problems. This post is dedicated to handling eating disorders in dogs. Thankfully, this behavior is not unusual. You’ll find many pet owners going through the same issue. The problem is how to handle your dog’s loss of appetite while you are away. But first, we need to understand the cause of this behavior.
Thanks to several dog behavior experts, they have explained the reason behind a dog’s continuous refusal to eat if left alone.
- Separation anxiety. Dogs are social animals. They prefer to eat and do everything with their pack. If left alone most of the time, a dog may lose his appetite. If you notice that the behavior increases when alone, then he is likely to be suffering from separation anxiety.
- Not used to eating alone. If your pet is accustomed to eating when you are around, it will be difficult for him to eat without you.
- Insecurity. Dogs tend to relax when they are around their leader, which happens to be you. If they can’t see you, a dog will feel he is not adept in protecting his territory, hence the insecurity. Once they are insecure, they lose all interest in eating.
Whatever the situation both you and your pet are in, you have to look for ways to keep your pooch from not starving. You will know that your pooch is suffering from anxiety because he is depressed, unusually aggressive, and may also start defecating and urinating inside your home.
You may need a few weeks before you can get him to eat. You may need to make some changes to make your pooch feel comfortable even if he is alone. Helping his confidence to grow can significantly help in preventing feelings of insecurity if you are not there.
What you can do
Try turning on the TV or radio before leaving. It will help cover up outside noises. This practice can help your pooch feel safe in an environment that he is used to. Make sure that any windows are closed to prevent outside noises. Once he recovers and gains confidence, he will have a much-improved appetite.
To drain his energy, have your dog exercise before going outside for a walk. The purpose is to use up his energy that he will become so hungry that he will gobble his food in no time. Furthermore, your dog may become so sleepy that he won’t be bothered by your absence at all.
If your pet is getting used to eating with people around him, train him to eat unaccompanied. Begin the training by letting him eat inside a small gate that you can set up inside your home. You can stand right outside the gate. Walk away for a few seconds and come back. Do this setup for many days.
You can also use an auto dog-feeder. You can program this machine to feed your dog while you are away. There are many available auto feeders from different brands that you can choose from.