How late it stays light outside isn’t the only thing that changes during the summer. The heat of this season can also cause some changes in your dog. Specifically, your dog’s eating habits may change when the temperature outside is elevated. If you’ve noticed any differences in your dog, keep reading to find out if the changes are consistent with what many dogs experience:
Eating Less During the Summer is Normal for a Dog
Plenty of dog owners notice that their pet doesn’t want to eat as much as normal when it’s hot outside. This may only occur during part of the summer. It’s also possible for a dog to get in a routine where they aren’t as hungry one night, return to normal the next and then start the cycle again. A dog’s decreased appetite during the summer is generally the result of a combination of feeling hot and being less active.
Other Issues That Cause a Dog to Eat Less (Plus Important Warning Signs)
As a rule of thumb, a dog that’s eating less but is still drinking plenty of water and being at least moderately active is most likely experiencing a temporary reduction in appetite that will disappear when the weather starts cooling down.
On the other hand, there are a few signs that a loss of appetite may be caused by something else. The first is if you’ve recently changed your dog’s food. Switching to a different brand or style may be accompanied by a period where your dog’s eating habits are less consistent.
The next thing to consider is if your dog has seemed anxious or depressed. These feelings can trigger a loss of appetite and may be caused by an event like kids going back to school (check out our recent post on how to best handle this transition).
It’s also worth seeing if your dog is getting food from another source. This type of invisible snacking happens far more often than many dog owners expect. While the issues covered above are all minor and fairly easy to fix, an underlying health problem can also be at fault for a dog’s loss of appetite.
One thing to remember with dogs is they often try to hide any signs of being sick or injured. So if a loss of appetite is accompanied by weight loss, aggressive behavior, not drinking water, vomiting, diarrhea and/or lack of energy, there’s probably a bigger issue than summer heat affecting your dog.
To reiterate, although it is totally normal for a dog’s eating habits to change during the summer, if you have any cause for concern, it’s always best to take your dog to the vet for a check. - Dog Day Every Day