5 Common Eating Disorders in Dogs That Every Pet Owner Should Know

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Eating disorders affect a surprisingly large number of dogs. What causes such disorders is still unknown, although there is a lot of debate about what causes an eating disorder to grow. It is perceived that eating disorders in dogs may be caused by how mealtimes are handled in his or her home. While many believe that the dog is just having a cranky phase that will pass, it is best to keep an eye on the situation.

Some signs may include occasionally skipping a meal, natural fasting on a more regular basis, a naturally low appetite, a reaction to hot weather, or outright refusal to eat food, etc.

To understand each eating disorder, we’ve listed some details and preventive measures:


Overeating occurs when the dog consumes more food than it needs. This may lead to obesity! Obesity in dogs comes with a lot of health risks like joint stress, heart disease, liver disease, and kidney disease. Most dog owners feel that their dog’s excessive food consumption is simply because of a healthy appetite, but it is not.

Dogs are opportunistic eaters that will eat whatever they find is tasty or that appears to be food. They won’t able to induce self-control all by themselves. You will need to step in. So, if you want your dog to avoid overeating set up a feeding schedule and limit how much food he can consume at each feeding.


Anorexia nervosa means a lack of appetite. The term “partial anorexia” refers to a “decrease in appetite.” Some pet owners are too preoccupied to notice this disorder, but if you want to know the major sign of concern, it’s your pet’s weight loss. Your pet will lose weight if it has anorexia for a long time.

There are many causes of anorexia, the more common ones are:

  • Oral conditions such as an infected tongue, swollen tonsils, and dental disease may all contribute to anorexia.
  • Anorexia may be caused by infections that cause a fever. In addition to the fever, pets with upper-respiratory infections, are unable to smell food and can develop oral ulcers.
  • For dogs recovering from surgery and injuries, anorexia can result in discomfort.
  • Anorexia can be caused by stomach or intestinal illness. The most common are cancer, inflammation ulcers, internal parasites, and foreign bodies.
  • Excessive noises, such as fireworks, may trigger anorexia.


In certain circumstances, canine coprophagia is not an uncommon trait. Female dogs eat their own pups’ faeces to keep the living place clean. This action has a survival advantage because it prevents unsanitary conditions in the nest.

Dogs that are slow learners with easily entrenched behaviours can participate in coprophagia far beyond the agreed standard. Such adamant coprophagic persist in their actions even after their peers have moved on to new pursuits. This type of dog, which appears to be addicted to the habit, is better characterised as “compulsive.”

The more you repeat an action, whether it’s eating poop or sitting politely to welcome visitors, the better your dog becomes at it. This means, for a dog that eats litter, stopping him from his poop-eating activity is important.

There are many food additives in the market that claim to make a dog’s poop unappealing. If you go this path, make sure to take your vet’s advice before using it.


In scoffing, when puppies are fed, they may feel compelled to compete for resources with their littermates. Certain medical conditions or parasites can impair the body’s ability to consume nutrients. Nutritionally deficient food can make your dog feel more hungry than normal and cause him to eat excessively.

If your dog’s behaviour is becoming a habit, make sure he eats in a position where he doesn’t feel he has to fight for food from other animals or something that could steal his food.

Another option is instead of feeding your dog a whole bowl at once considers hand-feeding or serving small quantities at a time.


Pica is a canine health condition marked by the ingestion of non-food items such as fabric, plastic, wood, paper, or even rocks. Pica-affected dogs may be fascinated with one form of a non-food object or eat everything they can get their hands on. This means, they chew and ingest stuff they shouldn’t.

Pica disorders among pets can cause a lot of irritation for pet owners. Moreover, non-food items can be particularly risky for a dog to chew and swallow. If items become lodged in the stomach or intestinal tract, a veterinarian may need to perform surgery to locate and extract them.

One of the biggest challenges is that a pet owner may notice that their dog is ill, with symptoms like vomiting or diarrhoea. Yet it may be difficult for owners to realise that their dog is eating objects.

Pica in dogs can manifest itself in a variety of ways:

  • Swallowing non-food products
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Tiredness
  • Lack of appetite

It may be difficult to decide whether the cause of an eating disorder in a pet is behavioural, medical, or nutritional. This is why a regular check-up is necessary for your pets to stay healthy.


This article was written by Jesse and she can be contacted on Twitter.

One response to “5 Common Eating Disorders in Dogs That Every Pet Owner Should Know”

  1. Linda says:

    My daughter’s dog wants to eat practically anything….always.
    They breed dogs so they have a definite feeding schedule.
    Example….This dog will go up on the counter to get a plastic bag with a little bit of flour in it.

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