When dogs stop eating, it’s normal to worry, especially when experiencing other symptoms. So the question is: why is my French Bulldog not eating? From anxiety to dental issues, there are many reasons why your Frenchie might not be eating.
In this guide, I’ve featured ten possible reasons behind a French Bulldog’s lack of appetite and the best remedies for them.
French Bulldogs and the Dangers of Loss of Appetite
It’s unusual for most dogs not to eat or refuse food, especially Frenchies who love to eat! So if you notice your French Bulldog not eating anything for more than a day, there might be something wrong. That’s three small meals for a young Frenchie and two standard meals for adults.
Factors like stress or an upset stomach can reduce a French Bulldog’s appetite. However, these usually pass in 1 to 2 days. So if your dog has wholly stopped beyond two days, contact your vet immediately.
10 Reasons to Why is My French Bulldog Not Eating
It’s important to know why your French Bulldog is not eating to determine the best treatment for them. From emotional distress to dental problems, here are the ten possible reasons behind your dog’s loss of appetite:
Emotional Distress (Anxiety or Stress)
If your Frenchie is not eating their favorite food and keeps pacing and barking, they might be experiencing emotional distress. Commonly stress or anxiety, these mental conditions can significantly affect your dog’s appetite. Like humans, Frenchies can also get anxious and stressed out—leading to loss of appetite.
Many factors can affect a French Bulldog’s emotional well-being. Many things can stress your dog, ranging from aging, separation, and fear. So, you need to be observant as you need to know the cause behind your Frenchie’s behavior.
Depending on the cause, the vet can provide different treatments. Generally, these include medications and training.
You’re Overfeeding your Dog with Snacks
Your French Bulldog will likely not eat their regular meals if you overdo it on snacks. Whether it’s wet or dry treats, giving your dog too much can make them feel full. And when this happens, they might not have room for their regular meals. So avoid overdoing it with treats, even if your dog loves it.
In addition, too many snacks can lead to obesity, so give them in moderation.
Only give your Frenchie treats for rewarding good behavior. Doing so helps your dog work for their snacks, giving them additional exercise.
Someone Else is Feeding your French Bulldog
If you notice your Frenchie ignoring their food or treats, it might signify someone else is feeding them. It can be anybody in your household or even your neighbor! And the chances are even higher if you allow your dog to roam outdoors without supervision.
You can tell by observing your French Bulldog’s behavior and actions. If you notice your dog going out a lot, someone from your area might be giving it food.
Although this isn’t necessarily bad, you have to take precautions. After all, strangers wouldn’t know your dog’s medical history and particular needs. Additionally, your dog might have some allergies that others wouldn’t know.
I recommend supervising your dog whenever it goes outdoors to prevent this from happening.
Your Dog is Getting Older
Like humans, dogs also undergo appetite changes as they age. For example, older people tend to eat less than children, which applies to French Bulldogs.
As the years pass, a Frenchie’s sense of smell will eventually become duller. As a result, many older French Bulldogs become less excited about food. Keep in mind this applies to both regular meals and treats.
Moreover, older French Bulldogs are more prone to developing health issues. That’s why these senior dogs usually eat less than young pups. Luckily, there are many ways to entice even the oldest Frenchies to eat.
Sudden Changes to Their Food
French Bulldogs can be stubborn, and if you change their regular meals, they might not eat. Whether it’s changing their kibble or their entire diet, Frenchies are picky eaters. You may see your dog just sniff at their bowl without touching the food. And the worse part, this process can go on for a while.
Luckily, there’s a solution, but it does take time.
Firstly, you’ll need to have your dog transition from its old food to the new one you’re planning on giving them. It’s best to start by giving your Frenchie around 70% of their old food and 30% of the new one.
After that, you can decrease their old food portion gradually. And over time, you’ll see your dog adjusting to the new food without issues.
Finally, avoid giving your dog treats in-between their regular meals to ensure the transition goes smoothly. Doing so encourages your dog to crave the new food more.
Your Dog Has an Upset Stomach
If you notice your French Bulldog not eating and vomiting, this might result from an upset stomach. Many things can cause an upset stomach in dogs, such as eating something bad or salty. Either way, this can cause irritation and diarrhea, reducing your dog’s appetite.
In this case, it’s best to give your dog soft and bland food for a while. These include foods like steamed or boiled chicken, fish, or other types of meat. Doing this neutralizes your dog’s stomach, easing the pain. With proper consistency, these foods should improve your dog’s appetite in no time.
However, if that remedy doesn’t work, bring your dog to the vet ASAP. Otherwise, your French Bulldog might get dehydrated, causing more health problems.
Side Effects of their Medication
If you notice your Frenchie not eating after the visit to the vet, this might be the side effect of medications. Whether your dog went to get its shots or was given some probiotics, these can result in reduced appetite.
Also, keep in mind that some medications are appetite suppressants. These help obese dogs lose weight safely. However, even the effects of these shouldn’t last too long. After all, once these pass through your dog’s system, your Frenchie should be able to eat again.
However, if, for some reason, your French Bulldog isn’t still touching its food after a few days, go back to the vet.
Severe Health Problems
If you notice your dog not eating for the past two days, it might be experiencing something more severe. A sudden loss in appetite paired with lethargy can tell you that they may have underlying issues.
Aside from that, symptoms to watch out for include the following:
- Unruly behavior
- Persistent diarrhea
- Sudden weight loss
- Aggressive tendencies
If you notice your Frenchie having any of the symptoms above, see your vet immediately.
Sudden Environmental Changes
Although French Bulldogs quickly adapt to most environments, they can still react strongly to sudden location changes.
This is known as motion sickness, and, unfortunately, it lasts for a while. So until your dog gets settled in their new surroundings, making them eat is going to be hard.
However, you can also bring your dog’s favorite toys, blankets, and other items to a particular room.
From there, let your dog relax and get used to its environment. This way, the scent carried on your dog’s favorite things will remind it of home.
Dental or Mouth Issues
Finally, dental and mouth issues can also cause reduced appetite in French Bulldogs. After all, no human or dog would want to eat with a rotten tooth. So if you notice Frenchies having a hard time chewing, they may have loose or decaying teeth. Aside from that, gum infection, bad breath, or cuts inside the mouth may also be an issue.
The problems mentioned can reduce your dog’s appetite or stop it from eating entirely. You can check your French Bulldog’s mouth to see any of these issues early on.
However, brushing your dog’s teeth regularly and investing in quality chew sticks is ideal for preventing these problems early on.
What to Do When your French Bulldog Refuses to Eat
If you’re struggling to make your French Bulldog eat, here are a couple of tips to keep in mind:
- Opt for wet food. Switching up your dog’s dry for wet food is an excellent way to encourage your dog to eat more. If not possible, you can add a little bit of warm water to soften your dog’s regular kibble.
- Mix dry and wet. Combining kibble and wet food can help improve your dog’s appetite due to its unique texture and flavor. You can also crush the dry food and mix it up with the wet food.
- Add human food to the mix. Sneak in bits of raw or boiled chicken on top of your dog’s regular kibble. These give off a more enticing smell, encouraging your dog to eat.
- Microwave their food. Warm meals permeate a more pungent smell, making your dog crave food more.
- Let your dog exercise. Whether it’s bringing your dog for walks or playing with them before a meal, these are great ways to make your French Bulldog hungry.
- Never give treats in-between meals. Although it seems tempting to sneak in a treat or two during your Frenchie’s regular meals to add more food into their system, this is doing more harm than good. It discourages your dog from eating during mealtime.
- Raise your dog’s food bowl. Since Frenchies have short necks, eating at ground level may be challenging, discouraging them from eating.
- Utilize feeding toys. Use dog toys like a feeding ball to train your French Bulldog to eat more. These are interactive balls that release kibble as your dog uses them.
- Try and hand-feed your dog. If the tips above don’t work for your dog, try feeding your Frenchie by hand. This feeding method should be your last resort and is best if your French Bulldog refuses to eat entirely. You can use a feeding tube or syringe to force the food down your dog’s throat gently.
- If nothing else works, go to the vet. In an extreme case where your dog refuses to eat anything at all, visit your vet immediately. They should be able to help you see what’s going on with your Frenchie and appoint the appropriate treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How long can French Bulldogs survive without eating?
A: Healthy dogs can survive up to five days without eating anything. However, this only applies to French Bulldogs that drink water regularly. In extreme cases, Frenchies can also go up to seven days without food. But never let it get that far without taking your Frenchie to the vet.
Q: Why has my French Bulldog suddenly stopped eating?
A: If your French Bulldog stops eating and seems sluggish, they might be down on something. Your dog might be sick, whether from a bacterial or viral infection. If this is the case, consult with your dog’s vet immediately.
Q: When’s the time I should worry about my French Bulldog not eating?
A: If your Frenchie usually eats its food excitedly but abruptly stops, it’s time to take action. Make sure your dog is healthy as an abrupt disinterest in food usually means sickness. Generally, if your dog still doesn’t eat after two days, it’s best to seek professional help ASAP.
Q: Are French Bulldogs picky eaters?
A: French Bulldogs are naturally picky when it comes to food. However, complete refusal might be triggered by instances like feeding your dog in an uncomfortable scenario.
Q: What can I give my French Bulldog with no appetite?
A: If your Frenchie is refusing to eat its regular meals and treats, it’s time to switch up to human food. Although it depends on each dog, common human foods French Bulldogs love include bone broth, fish, pumpkin, boiled white rice and chicken, and sweet potato.
Why is my French Bulldog not eating? At some point, dogs, like humans, lose their appetite. When this happens, knowing the reason behind your dog’s behavior can help you address it early on. So be vigilant, observe for any changes, and take action! Your Frenchie should be eating in no time.