Why Your Old Dog isn’t Eating and Sleeping A Lot

Disclaimer: The content on MyPetChild.com is for informational purpose only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a veterinarian when in doubt.

If you’ve noticed that your old dog isn’t eating much but tends to be sleeping a lot more, it could be a major cause for concern. There are a few different reasons as to why this behavior is happening and some tips you can try at home to encourage your dog to eat more.

1. A Sign of Old Age

A dog that’s sleeping a lot more and not eating simply could just be going through changes related to aging. Metabolism slows down as a dog gets older and this could lead your dog to sleep more often instead of being active and playing. Aging brings physical changes that affect appetite and your dog will be eating less as he gets older.

2. Your Old Dog Has a Medical Condition

Numerous medical conditions could be causing the issue as well and it can range in severity from minor to a possible life-threatening situation. Dental problems, infection, pancreatitis, and other issues are known to impact how much your dog eats and will also cause a change in sleeping habits. Liver issues, dementia, kidney issues, cancer, and infections also will cause this same reaction.

Your dog could also be experiencing nausea related to any medical issues that’s going on, which would cause him to not want to eat. Nausea could also be caused by simply eating too much too quickly or could be caused by something he got into outside. Vaccinations and medications might be to blame as well and could create nausea. If you have noticed your dog hasn’t eaten much in a few days or longer, it’s best to head to the veterinarian to ensure no underlying medical issues are to blame.

3. Your Dog is Suffering from Stress

A dog suffering from stress could stop eating and also choose to sleep more often, and the stress could be caused by a number of issues. Environmental changes, such as moving to a new home could be the culprit. New people in the environment or new animals introduced into the home recently also could be why your old dog is not eating and sleeping more often.

Stress could also be triggered by other factors such as a change in diet or even a change in feeding times. This means that your dog could simply be stressed out due to a new brand or type of dog food. It could also be that the dog food you normally buy has changed ingredients recently, so be on the lookout for that as well.

How to Encourage an Old Dog to Eat More

There are some ways you can encourage your older dog to eat more, which can ensure your dog is getting the vitamins and nutrients he needs to continue to thrive in his senior years. One of the biggest ways to encourage your dog to eat more is to make the meal more enticing. You can do this by adding low-sodium chicken broth to the food, adding in egg whites, adding in some wet dog food if you feed a dry food, and also by adding in a dog gravy.

Senior dogs also are not going to be eating as much, so you may want to break up the meals into smaller portions. You could feed your dog small portions three or four times a day as opposed to one or two bigger meals. If you can get your dog to eat out of your hand that’s also another option. The best thing to do is to switch things up and add variety to make the food more appealing to your aging dog.


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