Saturday, July 20, 2024

Can Dogs Have Eating Disorders

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Additional Dog Care Requirements

Your child will also need to clean up after the dog. this means daily poop-duty. Theres also the likelihood of random vomiting, diarrhea, and peeing-in-the-house accidents.

Grooming varies based on the type of dog you get. If the dog is going to be inside your home, you should require your child to bathe the dog every few weeks and brush it daily. These duties may increase if the dog is prone to shedding.

Some dogs develop barking or other bad habits that your child will need to address through research and training. Almost every negative habit can be addressed. But it will require your child to learn some new skills. This can actually be a great thing for a child who is in recovery for an eating disorder.

Create a care plan for the dog before you bring it home. Set this up as a contract between you and your child. Print out the care plan and have your child sign and date it to affirm the care they will provide the dog.

Is Your Dog A Puppy

A young, healthy puppy shouldnt go more than a few hours without eating.

Small breed puppies, especially, are at a high risk of hypoglycemia and should be watched closely for signs of lethargy or collapse if they are not eating. If this happens, they should be treated on an emergency basis.

Some puppies may not like larger kibble, as it can be hard for their puppy teeth to chew, especially if they are just transitioning to solid food. This can be remedied by mixing in water and letting it soak to create more of a porridge consistency, or the kibble can be mixed with canned food as well.

If your puppy still will not eat, they should be seen right away by a veterinarian. If they are also lethargic, vomiting, or having diarrhea, they should be seen on an emergency basis.

Service Dogs And Eating Disorder Recovery

Baxter Ekern

Studies show that multi-faceted eating disorder treatment leads to the most successful outcomes. Broadly, this means individuals have a higher chance of recovery if they are treated by a team of therapists, medical doctors, nutritionists, and possibly physical therapists. Outside of these main players, individuals may enlist their own specific types of support, such as a spiritual leader, movement therapist, or mentor. A member of the team eating disorder recovery warriors may want to consider adding is a service dog.

Eating Disorder 1: Overeating

When your dog seems to want to eat all the time or it can eat two or more plates of food in a sitting, you might call it overeating when in actual fact its being fed too much.

So, sorry to say, youre the one whos causing the problem!

If your dog is begging for food, it doesnt always mean that he or she is hungry especially if you know youve just fed them.

The thing to know about dogs is that they will eat even when theyre not hungry.

As reports, they can eat 16 percent of their body weight in one sitting!

So, if youre dealing with Fido who loves to eat for the sake of it, its time to make some adjustments to how available youre making his food.

Its also worth bearing in mind that sometimes overeating can be as a result of an underlying medical condition, such as diabetes and hyperthyroidism.

If your dog wants food all the time and doesnt seem to stop begging for food, its time to take it to the vet for a checkup.

What To Do When Your Dog Wont Eat

5 Eating Disorders That Can Affect Dogs

If your dog is lethargic, vomiting, or having diarrhea in addition to not eating, see your veterinarian right away. If you dont see any of these, here are some ways to try to entice your dog to eat:

  • Add water or no-sodium chicken broth to the dog food and let it soak for several minutes to soften it.

  • Heat canned food for a few seconds in the microwave . Canned food can become scorching hot quickly, so feel the food first to avoid any burned tongues.

  • Try mixing some plain, boneless, skinless boiled chicken and rice with their kibble to encourage them to eat.

  • Add a probiotic such as Purina Fortiflora or Advita on top of the food. Not only can this make the food more palatable, but it can also help any inflamed or irritated intestine heal by rebalancing a healthy gastrointestinal flora.

If you have tried these tricks and your dog continues to refuse his food, he should be seen by his veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical conditions.

Unless explicitly prescribed by your veterinarian, your dog should not be given any over-the-counter gastrointestinal medications like or Pepto Bismol, as these could cause serious side effects or even interact with medications that your veterinarian may want to give. It is best to consult with your veterinarian before attempting to treat symptoms at home.

Featured image: Blanco

Words For Other Women

Today, I offer animal therapy to anyone suffering from an eating disorder. I tell them, “I used to hate people like me. They dont understand what its like to be in my brain, in my body.” But recovery is the hardest thing Ive ever done, and I want other people to know its possible.

While I still have challenges, life has become so beautiful, and I have so much to be grateful for. The bravest thing I ever did was accept that I had an illness and ask for help. Most of the lessons Ive learned today I learned watching shelter dogs respond to love and seeing how theyre never too proud to ask for help.

According to the National Eating Disorders Association , 20 million American women suffer from an eating disorder at some point in their lives. And theyre serious: Anorexia has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder, and bulimia can lead to deadly electrolyte imbalances. For help, visit the NEDA website or call their hotline at 1-800-931-2237. For more eating disorder resources or to find out how you can volunteer to help dogs, visit Shannons website.

Colleen de Bellefonds

The Difference Between Hunger And Appetite

First of all, when seeking to understand canine anorexia, it is important to understand the difference between hunger and appetite, as psychological anorexia is related to appetite only.

Hunger is a wholly physical drive to eat, telling the dog that their stomach is empty and that they need food for fuel, while appetite is to do with tastes and preferences, just as it is in people.

For instance, if you feel hungry, eating any type of food in sufficient amounts will stave off your hunger and fill you up. However, if you fancy a cake, but would not be interested in eating a sandwich, this is appetite, a psychological preference for a certain thing at a certain time, based on what you would like to eat and why you want to eat, rather than a physical need to fuel the body.

This is why things like stress, upset or fear can make you lose your appetite, even if you feel hungry at the same time; and the same is true for dogs.

A loss of appetite rather than a loss of hunger is the distinction between canine anorexia, and a physical, underlying cause for not wishing to eat.

Pica Treatment For Dogs

Treatment for pica in dogs depends on whats causing the dog to ingest non-food items. 

First and foremost, we want to try to determine what the underlying disease process is and treat that, Collier says. If we eliminate the underlying cause, the pica should improve.

If the pica is being caused by a medical condition, providing treatment for that specific health problem might be all thats needed to put a stop to the inappropriate eating. 

Sometimes, however, the pica could develop into a bad habit of sorts, especially if the dog has been ingesting non-food items for a long time. If thats the case, the pet owner might still need to be diligent about keeping items the dog likes to eat out of reach, even after treating the underlying medical condition.

If the pica is due to a nutritional deficiency, your veterinarian might recommend a different type of food, a different amount of food, nutritional supplements, a different feeding schedule or a combination of several of these changes.  

Behavioral pica can be challenging to treat. Resolving the pica is often a combination of training, behavioral reconditioning, environmental enrichment, reducing anxiety and stress, and keeping desirable items away from the dog.  

For dogs with stress-related pica, make sure the dog gets daily vigorous exercise in the form of walking, jogging, or off-leash play. Provide lots of acceptable chew items and interesting toys to play with, and rotate them regularly . 

Did You Just Adopt Your Dog Recently

A newly adopted dog can take days or weeks to settle into their new home. Anxiety is a common cause of temporary inappetence, so its not unusual for a new addition to the household to refuse food for the first day or two.

It is important to ensure that they are given a quiet place to eat, away from other pets or children that may interrupt them. As long as they are otherwise energetic and not having vomiting or diarrhea, its okay to give them a day or two to get used to their new home before worrying about them not eating.

However, if they are lethargic, vomiting, or having diarrhea, or go more than 48 hours without eating anything, they should be examined by a veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical conditions.  

Common Medications For Pica In Dogs

Fluoxetine hydrochloride : Reconcile is the veterinary brand of fluoxetine hydrochloride, better known as Prozac in humans. Fluoxetine hydrochloride is type of drug known as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor . Reconcile is FDA approved to treat separation anxiety in dogs. It should always be used under the supervision of a veterinarian and in conjunction with a behavior-modification program.

Clomipramine hydrochloride : Clomicalm is a type of drug known as a tricyclic antidepressant . Clomicalm is FDA approved to treat separation anxiety in dogs. This drug should always be used under the supervision of a veterinarian and in conjunction with a behavior-modification program.

Dog-appeasing pheromones : Dog appeasing pheromones , are a non-drug, natural option designed to help dogs with stress and separation anxiety. Available without a prescription, dog appeasing pheromones may come as a diffuser to be plugged into the home, a spray, or a collar that the dog wears. 

Can Having A Pet Help You Too

Several popular books have been written by authors who got through a difficult time with the love of a four-legged friend. One of the most popular TV shows ever created was about a boy and his dog. Every week, millions of Americans tuned in to watch as Lassie helped rescue little Timmy from some horrific form of danger. Through all of these episodes, Lassie never questioned the boys apparent need to create some new form of crisis every week. Lassie always came to the rescue. At the climax of nearly every show, Lassie would make a valiant run for help. When she got home or reached one of Timmys parents, Lassies barks were taken very seriously. What is it, girl? the adults would say, and Lassie would lead them to a location where Timmy was trapped or hanging from a cliff.

You dont have to wait until the point that you are in real physical danger or feeling trapped in a threatening situation to explore the option of having a canine companion or a feline friend. As you recover from an eating disorder, many of the challenges you face may be internal. If you are battling with issues like trust, low self-esteem, and obsessive thoughts, or struggling to overcome feelings of anxiety and depression, the opportunity to bond with a sympathetic animal can be a blessing.

Why Is My Dog Not Eating But Drinking Water

A dog is drinking excessive amounts of water but refusing to eat could be a symptom of many things, including diabetes, liver disease or an infection, among others. If your dog is drinking lots but not eating, contact your vet who will be able to discuss diagnosis and treatment with you.

Book an appointment

How Long Should You Watch And Wait When Your Dog Has Stopped Eating

5 Eating Disorders That Can Affect Dogs

There are dog parents who dont panic at the slighted thing and give symptoms a reasonable amount of time to resolve before heading to the vet. There are also dog parents who are under temporary financial strains and who cant afford an unnecessary visit to the vet.

We are NOT veterinarians, and thus the recommendations above and below are based on our collective experiences and should NOT be taken as hard and fast veterinary advice.

We recommend paying your vet a visit right away if

Dealing with anorexia in dogs can sometimes be fast and simple, or it can be a long and complicated process, depending on the reasons why your dog is refusing to eat. You know your pup and you know when theyre feeling unwell or out of the ordinary. Often this knowledge allows us to judge when our dogs need veterinary intervention.

If you are unsure though, please call your vet immediately rather than turning to an internet forum for advice. Your vet knows your dogs health history and is professionally trained to identify symptoms and they can start treatment right away if necessary.

Specific Vs Supportive Therapy

Specific therapy means your vet treats an underlying condition that is causing it to stop eating. Supportive therapy is what you can do to encourage the dog to eat, even if you do not know the cause for the anorexic behavior.

We will not address specific therapies, since your vet will have to be involved in any care plan focused on a specific disease. Rather, well look at supportive therapies and some tips to get your dog to start eating more normally again.

What Can Cause Psychological Anorexia In The Dog

Whilst a form of anorexia can occur as a physical short-term result of physical issues, such as certain health conditions, medications or simply feeling unwell, psychological anorexia in the dog is much more complex; the condition is not fully understood even in people, and there are a huge number of different paths to treatment and recovery, each of which are very different.

Psychological anorexia in the dog is not, as is often the case with people, related to body image; however, there are a huge range of other psychological triggers that can lead to a loss of appetite and an unwillingness to eat in the dog nonetheless. Some of these triggers include:

  • Stress.
  • Poor handling or a history of abuse.
  • A strong dislike for the food offered.
  • Not recognising the food offered as their meals; for instance, if a dog has become used to eating human food rather than dog food.

Whilst such issues can affect any breed or type of dog at any age, dogs that are highly intelligent, very active and are highly strung or need a lot of stimulus in order to be happy are particularly sensitive to such things, such as the petite Yorkshire terrier, or the lively, personable Springer spaniel, who is nonetheless a very sensitive character!

Psychology Today Says Raw Feeding Is An Eating Disorder

This post may contain affiliate links.

If you have an eating disorder, this post may be triggering.

When I was young, I used to say things like I’m so depressed when I was merely bummed out about something mundane.  And then I hit rock bottom and my depression took hold of me and wouldn’t let go and I learned that depression is more serious than being bummed out.  I would say, I have such a migraine, when it was simply a headache.  And then I got a migraine that dropped me to my knees and it took what felt like 10 years to crawl to the blessed darkness of my bedroom.

My point is that we as a society often make the mistake of downplaying serious health conditions and not taking the suffering of our fellow humans seriously.  This is why I was surprised to see Psychology Today broaching under the guise of saying behavioral issues are involved.

My psychological interest in this matter came from the fact that it appeared to me that the dog owners who insisted on a raw food diet for their dogs might be showing some form of orthorexia nervosa. This is a proposed eating disorder which is marked by an excessive preoccupation with eating healthy food. ~ Stanley Coren PhD., DSc, FRSC for Psychology Today

Instead of questioning the cleanliness of raw feeders, this time, Mr. Coren, author of the Canine Corner of Psychology Today, decided to tackle our mental health.

What Causes Anorexia And Pseudo

There are many potential explanations for decreased food consumption, and the first, most important step is to determine whether the dog has true or pseudo-anorexia. Does he want to eat but is unable to, or is he truly not interested in eating?

“There are many potential explanations for decreased food consumption, and the first, most important step is to determine whether the dog has true or pseudo-anorexia.”

Your veterinarian will want to take a detailed history to begin to differentiate between the two conditions. Next your dog will have a thorough physical examination to try to determine the presence of an obvious physical explanation for decreased food consumption. Finally, diagnostic tests will be used to aid in uncovering a reason for decreased appetite. These may include laboratory tests such as a complete blood count and a serum chemistry profile, electrolytes , radiographs of the chest and abdomen, ultrasound studies, and , more invasive diagnostics like endoscopy or biopsies.

Potential explanations for pseudo-anorexia in which a dog wants to eat but does not or has difficulty eating include:

True anorexia can also have various causes:

Eating Disorders That Can Affect Dogs

Mike Clark

While eating disorders are well known in humans, not many people know about the eating disorders that affect dogs.

Animals have different reasons for having unusual eating habits, but they can be just as troubling for concerned pet parents.

Here are five eating disorders that can affect dogs.

Eating Disorders That Affect Cats

Most cats love food, but for some, eating disorders can cause serious health concerns.

While human eating disorders are well known, eating disorders that affect felines arent commonly understood by cat parents. These eating habits have a variety of causes and treatments, and you should definitely consult your vet if you see unusual behavior.

Here are five cat eating disorders that you should know about.

Dealing With Dogs With Pica Or Coprophagia

Anorexia, bulimia, and weird pregnancy cravings are common in humans, but did you know dogs have eating disorders, too? Dogs with pica consume indigestible nonfood items like rocks, concrete, wrought iron, glass, ice, coins, screws, upholstery stuffing, batteries, soda cans, gravel, dirt, clay, and other objects. Young puppies often chew on inappropriate items in an effort to ease the discomfort of teething; this is different. Adolescent and adult dogs who exhibit pica compulsively chew and consume inappropriate items, sometimes resulting in their deaths.

Chewing hard or sharp objects can damage teeth, gums, or digestive organs. Objects that become stuck or cause blockage can require surgery. And items containing zinc or other toxic minerals can poison the dog.


Dog owners more frequently complain about another disturbing habit of canine consumption: coprophagia or dung eating. Though dogs with coprophagia may eat only deer droppings, cat box contents, horse manure and the like, people are most horrified with dogs who eat their own or other dogs stools. Bleh!

What causes these canine eating disorders, and what can be done about them?

Most veterinarians consider pica and coprophagia behavioral problems having nothing to do with nutrition because their patients are fed a 100-percent nutritionally complete canned or packaged dog food.

A closer look at pica

Stool eating

Jacki Panzik


Improve your dogs digestion


Other methods

How To Change Dog Food: Switch Your Dogs Food Gradually

5 Eating Disorders That Can Affect Dogs

The easiest way to change your dogs food is to do it gradually, which means mixing both the old food and new food until gradually theyre only eating the new food.

A good guide to follow is 25% new food and 75% old food to begin with, before moving up to 40% and 60% a couple of days later. If the change goes unnoticed then increase the new food every few days, but for those who are a little more hesitant, you can take make the space between ratio changing longer.

As you introduce the new food, keep track of changes in behavior and toilet habits so that if anything major does change, you can check in with the vet.

Lunch Is Served Again And Again

Daniele needs to adjust Bikinis feeding schedule. Instead of free feeding or feeding her only a couple of times a day, she should divide the cats food into smaller portions and feed her six to seven meals a day. Keeping to a schedule is important. A schedule will help the little one adjust to having regular meals every day. She will soon realize that she does not have to be on high alert for food. Timed auto feeders for canned and dry food work well. Daniele can time them to deliver food on a set schedule.

What Can Be Done For Anorexic Dogs

Once both yourself and your vet are confident in a diagnosis of true anorexia or loss or appetite rather than a physical problem, the next step is identifying what is causing upset, stress, or otherwise something anomalous in terms of your dogs desire for food.

Once this has been achieved, or you have considered a few different factors in combination, making the appropriate changes to your dogs lifestyle, or supporting them to the point that their natural balance is restored is the next step in helping your dog to feel happier and more comfortable, and so, regain their appetite.

Tempting your dog with various different food offerings should be incorporated into this, and your vet will be able to suggest various different ways to do this, such as possibly feeding your dog in a different room, on their own, or offering them small pieces of food by hand.

The sooner that you notice that something is amiss and take steps to correct it, the better this will be for your dog, as the longer that they refuse to eat for, the harder it can be to help them to get their appetite back again.

What Is Orthorexia Nervosa

Although not formally recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, awareness about orthorexia is on the rise. The term orthorexia was coined in 1998 and means an obsession with proper or healthful eating. Although being aware of and concerned with the nutritional quality of the food you eat isnt a problem in and of itself, people with orthorexia become so fixated on so-called healthy eating that they actually damage their own well-being. ~

Our mental health is being called into question because we choose to feed our pets a species appropriate diet.  And Mr. Coren is suggesting that raw feeders are so obsessed with healthy eating that we’re projecting this undiagnosed eating disorder onto our dogs, thereby putting our dogs’ health at risk.

Well, I disagree.

Does My Dog Have Anorexia

Pet owners experiencing a dog that refuses to eat or does not eat enough can encounter real frustration. When your dog experiences a decrease in appetite that persist for more than a few days and is not associated with an acute illness, as a pet owner you will be naturally concerned. The first step to determining what to do for your dog is for you and your veterinarian to determine if your pooch has pseudo-anorexia, that is, he wants to eat but is limited by a physical condition such as:

  • Teeth problems, periodontal disease

  • Mouth disorder, pain when chewing from disorders in muscles used for mastication and temporomandibular joint disorder

  • Abscesses or tumors in the facial or throat area causing pain

  • Esophageal blockages

  • Nausea or gastrointestinal disease

If the decrease in consumption seems to be from a true lack of interest in food and appetite, and not merely the inability to consume food, your veterinarian will consider other causes such as:

  • Emotional stress, separation anxiety, PTSD, change in environment, boredom, fear, or depression

  • Chronic pain: pain anywhere in the body can result in decreased appetite.

  • Disease with organ dysfunction or infection.

  • Unpalatable food, which may be associated with inability to smell and disorders of the olfactory system

  • Toxicity

  • Gastrointestinal disorder or blockage

  • Side effects from medications

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