All dog owners know their dog’s eating habits. It doesn’t matter whether your pooch is as large as a Rottie or as small as a Chihuahua — they have their usual ways of eating. But, what happens if your beloved dog stops eating any type of food?
You ask yourself: Why is my Rottweiler not eating? We immediately think there is a serious health problem, and start panicking. Especially if our “I-will-eat-everything” doggo starts having a lack of appetite. I understand the panic, but first — let’s take a deep breath.
There are numerous reasons why a Rottweiler stops eating. From psychological to physical, from small to big problems, we’ve gathered 11 possible reasons for such behavior.
Sometimes, the reason is easily detectable and solvable. On other occasions, we will have to take our dog to the vet to give him a proper professional examination.
Whatever the case is, we’ve got it covered, and we’ll talk you through it. Most of these reasons are not permanent and not life-threatening. However, they do require your attention and action.
Why do dogs stop eating? Let’s see the possible causes…
Why Is My Rottweiler Not Eating?
Rottweilers are medium to large dogs that can eat from four to six cups of kibble dog food (dry food) in a day. They are also (simply said) dogs, which means they usually inhale food rather than actually chew it.
So, when something changes in the way they eat, whether it’s food they don’t like anymore or the way they are eating, we as pet parents start to worry.
Is it some kind of medical issue, is my dog hurt, or is it a behavioral change that led to this change in eating habits?
Well, we have gathered 11 common reasons for such behavior. If you were wondering, why does my dog avoid food all of a sudden, or if it has lasted for some time now — let’s dive into all the possibilities for such behavior.
Why is my Rottweiler not eating?
1. Health Condition
We will start with the more serious reason right away. Your Rottweiler might have some kind of health condition that is preventing him from eating normally.
First of all, a bit of clarification — a health condition does not necessarily mean a serious health problem or an incurable disease. A health condition can mean both a medical problem (serious or less serious) or a health issue that meddles with the eating habits of your dog.
There are also two terms that are important when it comes to medical conditions:
- Anorexia (loss of appetite)
- Hyporexia (decreased appetite)
We are talking about anorexia, which is a complete loss of appetite in dogs. Simply put – they don’t eat food because of a medical condition.
Here are some health conditions that can be a reason why your dog has stopped eating food:
Mentioning all of these conditions looks very scary. The point is not to scare you or make you think of the worst right away, but to inform you that these health issues are a possibility. You have to pay attention to some other signs besides lack of appetite.
A dog that has a more serious health condition will have some usual symptoms that tell us there is something wrong.
These symptoms are common to a lot of different diseases, so you will have to take your dog to the DVM (doctor of veterinary medicine) as soon as you notice more than one of these symptoms:
All of these signs tell us that a dog’s body is fighting some kind of disease. Your vet will do a thorough examination, blood work, or anything else that is needed in order to make a proper diagnosis.
After the diagnosis has been made, you can get an answer to the question, Why is my dog not eating? Or, in our case — Why is my Rottweiler not eating?
2. Feeling Pain
Another common reason why a dog eats less or not at all is the pain it might feel. It doesn’t have to be dental pain or pain related to the oral cavity.
A dog can feel pain in any body part, and still refuse to eat. It seems silly to think that if a dog has a limp and pain in the hip, it won’t eat. But, think about what you do when you feel pain. We are not so keen on eating either.
Sometimes, a dog won’t eat even when the pain is not that great. You can examine your dog on your own before going to the vet to be sure there are no foreign bodies stuck in your dog’s fur and skin causing the pain.
Check the ears, nose, and tail, too. Rottweilers have floppy ears that can hide a stuck object. So, be sure to check the ear canals thoroughly.
Also, the pain might come from too much exercise or jumping after spaying or neutering. The dog, especially the female dog, should rest, and avoid jumping, running, or any other type of exercise for at least 48 hours after this operation.
If you can’t find a reason or you did find a reason, but don’t know what to do — take your Rottie to the vet.
3. Dental Problems
So, why is my Rottweiler not eating?
One of the most common reasons is a problem concerning your dog’s teeth. Maybe your dog has a gum issue or it has an aching tooth or any other kind of dental disease. Maybe your Rottweiler has something stuck in his mouth, in between his teeth, or under his tongue?
You can check your dog’s oral cavity and see for yourself. You will be looking for anything that looks out of the ordinary. Look for:
- Redness of the gums
- Swollen Gums
- Foreign objects
- Loose teeth
- Broken teeth
- Cuts on the gums or on the tongue
If you have a Rottweiler puppy, look for teething symptoms. Maybe your doggo won’t eat because it has new teeth coming in.
What To Do?
If you realize your dog has a dental issue, whether it’s a teething problem or a cut, you have to help your dog by making mealtime as comfortable as possible.
Another thing you can do is change the food — instead of dry, give your dog some wet food (canned food).
4. Vaccine Reaction
Dogs can react differently to a vaccine. Most dogs will be a bit lethargic, and won’t be as hyper as usual. However, some dogs can have a more severe reaction and stop eating completely. This is a passing issue, and it shouldn’t last more than a day.
If you were wondering how long a dog can go without food, don’t worry — one day will not harm your dog. But, you shouldn’t wait any longer. If you notice your dog avoiding food for more than one day after the vaccination — take your dog to the vet.
5. Medication Side Effects
Besides a vaccine reaction, some dogs, and that includes Rottweilers of all types, can experience side effects after medication.
The side effects can be various, but the one we are focusing on is the lack of appetite. It is quite common if the medication is given orally.
If you think your dog has a medication side effect causing him to stop eating, you can try giving him human food like some rice and chicken (boiled chicken and deboned) or some baby food.
6. Separation Anxiety
Now, it’s time to talk about behavioral issues that can make your dog stop eating food. So, why is my Rottweiler not eating?
Well, your dog might be feeling separation anxiety. This happens when your dog gets too attached, and feels an extreme sense of anxiety every time you leave the house. It doesn’t matter that Rottweilers are big guard dogs — they can get overly attached, too!
If you notice that your dog doesn’t eat food when you are gone, and eats it normally after you come back, it is quite possible you have a clingy dog.
You will either need to put your dog through some obedience training or keep him entertained while you are gone if you want to change this habit.
7. Feeling Stressed
Just like in humans, stress can make dogs change their behavior and habits. The problem is, we can’t always know for sure what is causing stress in dogs.
However, we do know the signs that can tell us your Rottie is under stress:
You will have to pay attention to your surroundings as well as the time when your dog seems stressed the most. That’s how you can find out what is causing the problem.
8. Feeling Afraid
Animals that are scared are in “flight or fight” mode, and they are not interested in food at that moment. This includes dogs, too.
Maybe your dog got scared by something or someone, which put him into a defensive stance where eating is not a priority. Fireworks, loud music, or simply a strange smell all of a sudden is sometimes enough to make a dog hide under the table.
They can also be scared of something that is inside the house. Once again, follow your dog, check where he looks, and try to solve the mystery: Why is my Rottweiler not eating? Did something scare him?
If you noticed your dog avoids food after traveling, he might feel nauseous. They are instinctively avoiding food and staying clear of the food bowl for a good reason — they might throw up if they eat something.
This behavior is not alarming, but if it lasts for more than just an hour or two after traveling, the best option is to take your dog to the vet. After all… it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Sometimes, a dog that has problems with traveling will also drool more than usual. You can use some ginger to treat nausea and drooling at the same time. However, always consult your vet before adding something new to your dog’s diet.
A simple, yet common reason why a dog avoids food or eats less is overfeeding. This doesn’t just include dog food, but human food as well, especially table scraps.
Also, giving your Rottweiler lots of treats can be a problem. They get used to treats so much that they won’t eat regular food, no matter if you give them the same or try out some new food or a different brand.
However, you notice they are drinking water, and don’t mind being hand fed. Hand feeding is a cute way to bond with your dog, but if we are not careful, we can cause more problems than good.
Rottweilers are big dogs, but they act like big babies — they want your attention, love, and if possible — treats, treats, and some more treats.
See Next: Best Dog Food For Rottweilers
11. Some Dogs Are Picky
And, finally… the last answer to the question: Why is my Rottweiler not eating?
Your Rottie might be a picky eater. This usually happens with older dogs because their taste changes with age. However, it can happen to dogs of any age.
Before you try out different foods, check the expiration date. Maybe your dog is not that picky, but he noticed something we didn’t notice. You might wonder why the expiration date is important when we all know dogs eat all kinds of stuff — they even eat cat poop.
Well, food with an expired date has more potential to disrupt your dog’s digestive system or overall health. The date is there for a reason, and we shouldn’t feed our dogs expired food.
If you have asked the question, Why is my Rottweiler not eating? We hope that some of these 11 possible reasons were problem-solving for you.
In general, most reasons are not that serious, and they can easily be treated. They require your attention to detail to find out what the cause for the loss of appetite is, but the problem itself is solvable.
It could be a loose tooth, a passing reaction to a vaccine, or a dog that is a picky eater. However, there are other reasons that imply your dog needs to see a vet. These reasons include all kinds of medical issues, from liver and kidney problems to viral diseases.
In all of these cases, you should take your dog to the vet. When it comes to our furry friends, we can’t take any risks. We love them so much that we want to do everything correctly, and that includes taking them to see a vet whenever we notice something is not quite right.