Skip to Content

9 Surprising Reasons Why Your Dog Is Eating Slowly (2023)

My Dog Is Eating Slow

This is how it used to be:

Your dog gets so excited before you even put their food bowl down.

But lately…

Your pooch is suddenly eating slowly.

I know you’re worried…

So, I prepared a meal full of assuring answers.

Continue reading to find out: 

  • Whether it’s normal for dogs to eat slowly or not. 
  • Vital tips about what to do if Fido’s eating too slow.
  • 9 surprising reasons why your dog is eating slowly (#1, #7, & #9 are alarming).
  • And so much more…

Is it normal for dogs to eat slowly?

It’s normal for dogs to eat slowly. As canines grow, it’s common to lose interest in their food. Sometimes, anxiety affects your dog’s feeding habits too. Moreover, senior canines eat slower due to their body’s metabolism. However, a sudden appetite change could be a sign of an illness.

Why your dog is eating slowly – 9 reasons

#1: Depression

Mental health is a serious matter. Even for your furry friends.

That said, some dogs could have depression. And that can cause pups to lose their appetite.

As a result, your pooch might start eating slowly. 

Now, that’s worrying. 

I mean, next thing you know…

Fido might totally stop eating. And that could lead to more health issues for your dog.

So, before it reaches that point…

The AKC says you should watch for signs, like:

At first glance, these signs might not sound scary. 

But in the long run…

The effects can be fatal for Fido. Or worse, your pup might even face sudden death.

“Wait, how can that happen?” 

Experts claim that some dogs could die from grief. 

And in humans, you might know this as: 

Broken heart syndrome. 

“So what should I do if my dog’s depressed?” 

You can follow these easy tips: 

However, this issue can be hard to tackle alone.

In that case, you should consider talking to a dog specialist.

Continue reading: Quiz: Is My Dog Depressed? 19 Symptoms (+Tips To Treat It)

#2: Old age

Old Age Causes Your Dog To Eat Slowly

Like humans…

A dog’s body also weakens as they age. Due to that, their metabolism slows down too. 

That means your pup can’t burn fat like when they were young.

Aside from this, vets also state that:

80% of dogs above 3 years of age have dental issues.

With that, chewing food becomes painful for your furry friend.

As a result, senior Fidos tend to eat slowly. 

But wait… 

How old is ‘old’ for canines? 

Science fact: Big dogs age faster than smaller breeds. And that’s backed up by research.

Moreover, to help you even further… 

I prepared this age chart for you and your pooch based on AKC’s guide:

Your dog’s sizeAverage lifespanSenior age
Small breeds 13 to 18 years10 to 12 years old
Medium breeds10 to 13 years7 years and above
Large to giants8 to 12 years5 years and above

With this, you know what to expect from your furry pal. 

Especially once they reach their senior years.

But in case you’re worried, it doesn’t hurt to ask the vet for help.

#3: Teething in puppies

You read about senior dogs. 

Now, this one’s for fur parents with puppies. 

You see, like hooman babies… 

Pups also go through teething. And that can make Fido eat slowly. 

I mean, isn’t it uncomfortable to eat with wobbly teeth? 

So, if you want to help your pooch out…

Experts say you can try relieving your dog’s toothache. To do that, just give Fido some chew toys

Now, these items are designed in a way that won’t hurt your pup. That’s because chew toys are much softer.

Thanks to that, your furry pal can bite them with ease.

Plus, chew toys supports your furry pal’s teeth growth too.

And the toys promote healthy habits when it comes to biting as well.

But if you think your pup’s in severe pain…

Then, reaching out to a vet is also an option. 

“Okay, how long do puppies go through this?” 

Well, according to specialists

Teething in pups typically stops around 6 months of age. 

So, at this point, you just have to wait for Fido to grow.

Find out more: 11 Reasons Why Your Puppy Is Suddenly Eating Slowly + Tips

#4: Your dog has an injury

Dogs might lose their appetite if they’re in pain. 

And I’m talking about physical injuries. 

Now, you might not notice this right away. 

That’s because Dr. Coren warns:

Most Fidos tend to hide their pain. But that’s due to a dog’s instincts. 

After all, when it comes to living in the wild… 

Having an injury is a weakness. And that could give your enemies the idea to attack. 

Now, most canines today still have that trait. 

But in that case, how could you confirm if Fido’s really in pain? 

PetMD says you should watch out for signs like: 

Note: Some injuries are hard to spot on your own. So if your dog’s still not eating after 24 hours, it’s best to seek an expert. 

Read next: Do Dogs Fake Injuries? 5 Things You Need To Know 

#5: Food allergies

Food Allergies

Dogs can have food allergies too. 

So, if you’re feeding your pup other food aside from kibbles…

Then your furry pal might eat slowly due to their allergy. 

Now, there are many things Fido could be sensitive to. 

And based on a study, you should watch out for food like:

Note: Most dogs are lactose intolerant. So, you should avoid giving them dairy products.

That aside…

Here’s how you can tell if your pup has an allergy:

Warning: Most allergies in dogs are only mild. But for your furry pal’s safety, you should still talk to a specialist.

Keep reading: Help, My Dog Is Constantly Scratching And Biting Himself!

#6: Dental problems 

There are many dental illnesses in dogs. 

But no matter which it could be…

1 thing is for sure: 

Oral diseases can make your pup eat slowly. 

After all, it hurts your dog just to chew on their food.

But what could cause dental issues in your pooch? 

To name a few reasons, here’s a helpful list:

  • Injuries.
  • Poor diet.
  • Too much licking.
  • Genetic disorders.
  • Playing on dirty toys.
  • Chewing on non-food items.

With so many possibilities…

Your best option is to take your dog to the animal clinic. From there, you’ll know how to handle Fido’s dental issues. 

And once your pup’s doing better…

They’ll eat like they usually do once again.

#7: Stomach issues

An upset tummy could make your dog eat slowly too. 

But what can cause stomach issues in Fido? 

The truth is, eating too fast could be 1 of the reasons. And that’s why your furry pal’s slowing down instead. 

“How could that happen?”

Well, if your dog eats too fast…

Fido might not digest the food properly. Thus, they’ll end up upsetting their tummy. 

But aside from that…

Some pups are simply prone to a sensitive belly. 

Meanwhile, other dogs could also have problems like:

Warning: Parasites can be deadly for Fidos. So even if your pup’s already vaccinated, you should still talk to a vet. 

Reading tip: 21 Dog Breeds That Are Prone To Have Sensitive Stomachs 

#8: Fido’s in heat 

Is your dog an adult girl?

If yes, then that could explain the issue. 

You see, when lady Fidos are in heat…

They tend to lose some appetite. 

But why, you ask?

Well, it’s like a female human on her period. 

During a woman’s monthly cycle…

The hormones in her body go through a lot of changes. Thus, it might lead to mood swings. And in some cases, it could even cause pain for other ladies.

With that, many women tend to lose their appetite. 

But since we can’t just skip our meals…

We still choose to eat. Though, ladies might slow down when eating due to the uncomfortable feeling.

Now, female doggos also feel the same way. 

And that’s why your furry pal eats slower during her season.

Suggested read: 13 Reasons Your Female Dog’s Private Area Is Swollen

#9: Anxiety

Doctors say that over 70% of pups have signs of anxiety. 

And you know what could be a symptom of that? 

Well, it’s none other than not eating. 

After all, when some dogs are anxious…

They might get too nervous to eat. 

So, at first, it seems like Fido’s only eating slow. 

But later on… 

You’ll see that your pup didn’t even finish their meal. 

Now, why would this happen to your furry pal? 

Well, there are a lot of reasons for dogs to have anxiety. 

So, let’s focus on the common causes. Namely: 

Note: Anxiety can be risky for dogs. If left ignored, it could lead to unwanted habits in pups. Like running away. Or destructive behavior, for example.

In that case… 

You can try soothing your dog’s anxiety with these tips:

  • Ask the vet for medicine.
  • Give your dog a massage.
  • Don’t leave Fido with strangers.
  • Take them for a health check-up.
  • Avoid loud noises for your pooch.
  • Spend more time with your furry friend.

And if you need more guidance…

This expert’s video might help you:

Check out also: 19 Proven Ways To Calm Your Anxious Dog (How-To Guide)

#BONUS: Fido’s a picky eater

Dogs love their food

But, some canines can be picky eaters. 

And that could happen if you share your snacks with Fido too. 

By doing that, your pup might get excited about human food instead. 

As a result:

Some dogs might eat slower. Especially if you’re only feeding them their regular kibbles.