Join Our Community of Dog Lovers!

Subscribe now so that you get email alerts about all new content and/or updates from Champion of My Heart!  +

FREE e-book "8 Things to Know About Veterinary Care"

January 20, 2023

What. A. Week. Non-stop snow and wind and cold (and work deadlines). Then, Clover stopped eating. It happened once before during a lengthy false pregnancy. Don't miss myths and facts about dogs who won't eat from back then. This time, it turns out, the situation started with 1 or potentially a confluence of 3 things. Let's take a look. 


Dog Not Eating? Big Deal? And, Also Maybe Not?

We've always had dogs who were good eaters. Always. And, if they suddenly stopped eating, it meant something bad. But sometimes a dog not eating can come from a sudden aversion to their current dog food. 

It can be a chicken/egg quandary. Did the food make them feel sick? Or did they feel sick for other reasons and paired the food with that feeling? This situation is quite common in cats. 

Possible Reason #1 Dog Not Eating

Found this weird clump in our current bag of dog food. Veterinary nutritionist pal said not to worry about it, but to let the manufacturer know. We did. They also said it's safe, but they sent us a coupon for a free bag of dog food (smaller than the one in question, but whatever). 

We did NOT feed the clump, but kept feeding all 3 dogs out of that same bag. Initially, everyone seemed fine, then Clover -- and only Clover -- started eating slower and slower and then began refusing food. 

dog not eating photo showing a clump of dog food stuck together on a metal table in front of a see-thru container of dog food with kitchen cabinets behind

So, we abandoned that bag of dog food and opened a fresh one. Clover still refused to eat. Thankfully, we still have another type of food (from the same maker) that the shelter provided for our most recent foster dog DINO. And, Clover happily started eating that food just fine. 

Here's are some cute photos of Dino, just because. 

cute foster dog dino photo collage

So ... Dog Not Eating Problem Solved?

Well, yes and no. Clover is eating again, so that's good. I tried mixing just a bit of her regular food in with the new food to see what would happen. She picked around it. So, I tossed that portion out and gave her fresh of Dino's food, and she happily ate breakfast. I do NOT want to accidently create an aversion to Dino's food too. 

Two things, however, complicate this dog not eating situation.

1. Clover (and Tori) starting taking a new joint supplement a while back to see if it's better than our current one. And, Clover actually seems to be getting worse, but I was trying to give it a fair trial. After gobbling up the joint chew at first, she now refuses them the same way she refuses her long-time food. So, I've switched her back to the long-time joint supplement we've used. 

So, maybe that + food caused a sudden aversion. 

2. All 3 dogs got their heartworm preventive meds last weekend right before the dog food aversion issue started. 

So, that also could be playing a part. She did have sickly poops one time in the middle of all of this not eating stuff. That's not uncommon though after the heartworm meds since they also include stuff to treat tummy worms. 

Or maybe somehow she just had a tummy bug? Maybe from eating snow?

Or Maybe ...

Or maybe it's a combination of all 3 -- clumpy food, new supplement, heartworm prevention med? I honestly don't know.

If Clover had continued NOT eating, I would have called for a veterinary appointment. Since she seems okay now and is even moving better and playing more now that she's back on the other joint supplement, I hope we're over the hump with this dog not eating issue. Fingers crossed!

It's good to see her tail NOT tucked to her belly. Yesterday, she even played at ambushing Mr. Stix as he raced circles around the backyard in the snow. Clover hid behind various trees and jumped out to surprise him again and again as he sped by. It was super cute, and something we've haven't seen in a while. 

About the Author Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related.

I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

  1. It’s a scary thing. When Honey stopped eating and I couldn’t get her to no matter what I took her to the vet and her lymph nodes were swollen. Lymphoma sarcoma! And this bad news in March 2020, the start of the Covid pandemic. I had already had some health issues in the same month. I wasn’t in the vets office because I couldn’t go in so I cried in my car. We treated her with prednisone and thank the Lord it worked. She’s still on it but doing well. God is good.

    1. So scary. I’m so sorry about the lymphoma. I do worry about those kinds of things with tummy trouble, but also liver and kidney issues that can make it hard to eat.

  2. It’s scary anymore with dog food too. My dogs all used to grow up on Purina Puppy Chow and Purina Dog Food and did great. I feel like I should have just stayed with those. Anyway last summer I got a new bag of Chester’s regular food and he turned up his nose. That wasn’t like him. No other changes except fresh food. I called the farm/home store and they had be bring the bag back because once is a long while one would possibly go bad, but just in case I could exchange it. They let me take a different flavor and he at the first kind just fine next time I got it. I think the bag was “off” and he knew it. Glad Clover is doing fine now,

Comments are closed.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}


Stay Tuned for Something New!

big things in the works ... promise

Success message!
Warning message!
Error message!