Why is my German Shepherd not eating?

Why is my German shepherd not eating?

Why is my German shepherd not eating?

Did I miss something on his recipe?

Such questions can be a bother to any dog owner whose dog just lost his appetite completely.

A loss of appetite in dogs, or in short inappetence, can cause a loss of weight, thus leading to a host of other adverse health conditions.

However, keep calm as this article will help you unearth why your dog’s appetite has deteriorated abruptly.

Later on, you will learn of simple ways you can transform your dog’s poor appetite.

My German shepherd is Not Eating? What Could Be The Cause?

Like human beings, dogs like the German shepherd reach a point where their appetite vanishes.

And so, a host of factors can cause deterioration of appetite.

So why is your German shepherd not eating?

Let’s dive in.

Your German shepherd Is Sick

Remember the last time you had a bout of flu, did you sweep off the same serving as you do previously when not sick? Yes? I doubt so.

Health conditions like kennel cough and canine distemper in dogs can hamper how your German shepherd takes up its meal.

Similarly, adverse health conditions like cancer, kidney failure can hit your shepherd dog hard till he loses his appetite.

Some of these adverse health conditions tend to alter the body’s normal physiological processes, like eating.


Have you ever taken some pain relievers or antibiotics and later lost appetite? Yes? Similar to us humans, the medication that your dog receives can decrease his appetite.

Immunosuppressant’s and chemotherapies in dogs are some of the common culprits that can tie down your dog’s appetite.

Also, some drugs, when ingested by your dog, lead to bloating and ulcerations that outrightly hampers its appetite.

Your Lovely Dog Has a Dental Problem

A German shepherd with a swollen gum, or a broken tooth will hesitate on taking up food offered.


Although vaccines have a host of benefits to a dog’s body, some of them can cause your German shepherd not to eat.

Some vaccines also come with other bouts of gastro-intestinal reaction that may shut down your German shepherd’s desire to eat.

However, the good thing is that loss of appetite caused by vaccinations lasts for a short period. That said, always consult your vet whether the vaccine your dog is about to receive causes loss of appetite.

Type and Quality of Food

Another reason that can cause your German shepherd not to eat is the type of food offered. Stale and rotten food will not go well with your dog. Dogs cherish the food that is fresh as it is more palatable.

Check on that 10 kg of kibble that you bought six months ago. Perhaps it’s spoiled.  Check the sell-by date before you buy your dog’s food- as the food may spoil way earlier, even before the dog is half away.

Also, check on the quality and texture of food. Some dogs prefer moist food as compared to dry kibble. And such a reason can make your dog lose appetite or even stop eating.

Highlight: while on that note, avoid foods with high preservative content. Some preservative can be toxic on your German shepherd.

Separation Anxiety

I have seen lots of German shepherd dogs who won’t eat when their owners are not around.  You could be the difference between a dog and its appetite.

Also, some shepherds after getting re-homed in their forever home can take a long period before they adjust to their new environments, and such can lead to a deterioration of appetite.

Emotional Distress

Like human beings, emotions can affect your shepherd appetite levels. A happy and contented dog who’s enjoying life to the fullest will utmost sweep of its bowl of kibble with ease as compared to a distressed dog.

You Offer Many Treats

Treats are perfect when you train your German shepherd. But now it may turn out to be a problem when your dog doesn’t eat any other food apart from treats.

So, watch out for those table crapping that you give your dog under the table, they may cause an abrupt loss of appetite that can take longer to recover.

As a rule of thumb, treats should not give your dog over 10% of calories daily.

Behavioral Issue: Your German shepherd Is Picky

Behavioral factors can alter your dog’s level of appetite. For example, your German shepherd may decide not to eat any kibble unless offered on a purple bowl.

Serve the food in a different bowl, and the dog won’t touch the food from morning to evening.

Also, your dog may decide to eat certain foods that he feels they suit his taste buds. One thing is that most human beings predispose dogs to develop a picky eating behavior that later leads to a lack of eating or loss of appetite.

Change in Feeding Routine

You changed your dog’s eating time from 6 pm to 7 pm? Perhaps that is why your German shepherd is not eating.

A sudden change in a dog’s feeding routine could be the reason why your dog is struggling to clear up his bowl.

Dogs love a consistent feeding schedule, and such a translation will hamper most dog’s level of eating.

Your Dog Is Getting Old

Senior doggies will utmost present with a low scaled appetite as compared to teenage canines.

Additionally, old dogs have low-level energy requirements as compared to adult dogs, and such can affect a dog level of appetite.

Furthermore, old dogs have other underlying conditions that can cause total refusal to eat or complete loss of appetite.

Why Is My German shepherd Puppy Not Eating?

You are overjoyed as your puppies have reached the required age gap for them to start eating. However shock on you, they are not eating at the level you desire. So why so?

The Puppy Has Undeveloped Teeth

A puppy with undeveloped teeth will less likely crack up dry kibble. That said, wait till your puppy develops teeth. From there you can introduce a puppy’s food. Starting early before the teeth’s develops will cause more distress on your side as the puppy won’t eat at the levels you desire.

You Gave Your Puppy the Wrong Food

Giving your puppy adult dog food and expecting it to clear it all is impossible. Giving your puppy the wrong food in terms of its age will affect how he eats and lastly his appetite.

How Can I Make My German Shepherd Dog Eat?

From the look of things, various factors can cause your German shepherd to lose appetite or the urge to feed. So is it reversible? How is it possible to stimulate a German Shepherd’s appetite without breaking a sweat?

Let’s dive in and have a look.

Be Consistent With Your Schedules

How you schedule your dog’s feeding time is essential. Consistency and sticking to a fixed routine that the dog enjoys will help in reversing appetite loss.

If you are not around during the time that your dog eats, don’t break the rule, you can get a pet sitter to do it for you. Or even you can get a dog’s food dispenser from eBay or Amazon.

Keep the Treats and Table Scrapping Away

Even though treats are good, it’s better to keep them away, to salvage your dog’s deteriorating appetite. Only give your German shepherd treats when necessary.

Diligently withdraw the treats. From there, the dog will stop over-relying on treats and table scrapping and adopt regular dog food.

Make the Food Tasty

Unpalatable food won’t do well with your German shepherd. However, you can make the food sweeter by making some slight adjustments that will out rightly increase your dog’s appetite.

Make the food more aromatic and yummy by either heating it or even adding some hot water. Alternatively, you can mix the dog’s regular food with bone soup or cooked egg to make it tastier.

Nevertheless, consult a dog’s nutritionist on how to make a dog’s food more appealing. By doing so, you will salvage your dog’s deteriorating appetite.

Change the Food

Hard kibble making your German shepherd not eat? Then consider changing the quality of the food your dog eats.

It’s a matter of juggling from brand A to B in a bid to see which brand your dog enjoys.

Also, don’t give your dog the same type of food from January to December. Unless under vets’ advice, a change is better.

Consider revising your shepherd diet plan from time. And by so, you will note an increase of appetite gradually.

In the case, your dog’s appetite levels had gone low because of feeding it with dry food-you can opt for wet food that your dog may find hard to resist.

All in all, keep on checking which type of food your dog enjoys most. From there, you will get a stepping stone to help increase your German shepherd’s appetite.

Make Eating Time Fun and Remarkable

Don’t be a boring dog owner who throws food into a dog’s bowl and leaves. Make it fun and memorable for the dog. Make it fun till your German shepherd yearns for the next mealtime.

You can either make it fascinating by letting your dog open its bowl lid on itself. Alternatively, you can get food dispensing toys to impress and make your dog appetite increase.

Try Exercising

Did you know exercise can help increase appetite on your dog? Long hikes and swimming sessions with your dog will demand more energy, thus causing your dog’s appetite to increase.

Worth to note: don’t exercise your dog 1 hour after or before feeding it can lead to gastric discomfort.

Ensure the Feeding Bowl Is Clean

A clean feeding area and a clean bowl will come in a long way to help your German shepherd to start eating.

Keep Your Dog Company

Accompany your dog during its meal time. Animals like dogs that thrive in a pack, love Company during any activity.

Offer Quality Dog Food

Fresh and quality food will come handy if you want to increase your dog’s appetite. To help you, always look for the sell-by date before you purchase your dog’s food.

I recommend you would better buy a small quantity of dog’s food rather than buying a huge bag that your dog won’t end up finishing before it expires.

Key Note: here are some food stuffs you should never give your German shepherd: Macadamia nuts, grapes, chocolate and onions.

Weed Out Some Behaviors

Weird behaviors like choosing a type of bowl to eat on a specific location to stay when eating can cause degrade in your dog’s appetite.

Alternatively weeding out and training your dog in the right way can cause a remarkable change in your dog’s eating habits.

Go For Appetite Stimulants

You can opt for appetite stimulants if all options seem not to work.

Appetite stimulants like mirtazapine help dogs like a German shepherd who is not eating or has a poor eating habit.

However, consider first using natural remedies before opting for the highlighted drug.

Additionally, don’t self-medicate your dog, consider consulting your vet on the best medication to offer your canine.

Time to visit a vet to help you German shepherd who is not eating

If everything’s seems to go south in terms of improving or increasing your German shepherd appetite, consider consulting your vet.

A qualified veterinary will be in a better position to advise you on the best option to follow. They can diagnose and give medication to treat your ailing German shepherd.


How Many Times Should A Dog Eat In A Day?

Various factors can decide how many times a German shepherd eats in a day.

Some of the main factors are the size of the dog and amount of daily exercise and activities done.

For example, you would not expect a couch potato dog to eat like a dog in the police or military department.

Furthermore, puppies also eat several times in a day as compared to adults,

According to dog food experts, an adult dog should eat twice daily, whereas a puppy can eat as much as four times a day.

How Long Can German shepherd Stay without Eating?

A German shepherd can survive for as long as three days without food-however, with the provision of water. Never let your dog stay for more than two days without water. As dehydration and thirst may kill your dog quicker than hunger.

My German Is Not Eating, but He’s Drinking Lots of Water

Excess drinking of water in German shepherds is un-usual it can signify other underlying conditions that present with thirst as a symptom like diabetes and Cushing syndrome.

Here is an article explaining the quantity of water that German shepherds should take.

My German shepherd Is Not Eating, But He Is Vomiting A Lot

Lack of appetite and lots of vomiting can spell to danger on your dog. My take is that you should rush your dog in a vet shop for better assessment.

Remember, don’t self-treat your dog.

Final Thoughts

I know much of your concerns are answered on why your German shepherd is not eating. Worth to note is that these factors that cause a loss of appetite in dogs like German shepherds are easy to correct.

That said, to follow the above guideline diligently, and you will see a remarkable change in your shepherd’s appetite level.

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