What to Do If My Newfoundland Dog Won’t Eat?

Like any other dog, Newfoundland can stop eating. If that happens, don’t panic. It’s quite normal for a dog to refuse one meal every once in a while, but you should take some precautions if your dog hasn’t eaten for more than 24h

In case your Newfoundland dog won’t eat, follow these steps that experienced owners usually recommend.

  • Check your Newf’s behavior
  • Check your Newf’s teeth and whole body
  • Check the dog’s food
  • Check your home
  • Revise your feeding actions  

These steps can help you discover the possible cause of appetite loss or at least to gather as much information as you can to share with the vet if necessary.

Check your Newf’s Behaviour

Observe your Newf. Does he completely refuse to eat or he leaves some food behind? Is he playful and full of energy as always or he looks tired, not interested in regular activities.

Check his stool and urine. Do they look the same as always? Does he pee more often than usual? Is his poop the same texture and color as usual?

Can you see that he has any other problem besides he refuses to eat? Does he vomit? Has diarrhea?

Is he hiding and sleeping all day long? Maybe he suffers from depression.

Check your Newf’s teeth and the whole body

Dogs usually won’t eat their regular food if they have some problems with teeth or gums ( broken and infected tooth, gum infection). Test him by giving him hard and soft food. If he eats only soft food you’ll know that something is wrong with his teeth.

Check his fur and skin, looking for some parasites. Also try to detect any lumps/bumps, injuries, etc. All these things can be the cause of discomfort and pain and be the reason why your Newf won’t eat.

Check your Newf’s food

Maybe the food has been spoiled and you didn’t notice. Check the expiry date, smell, and color. If you suspect that is anything wrong with the food, throw It away.

Check your home (plants, toys,carpets…)

Your Newf might be refusing the food as he ate something that he shouldn’t. Check the house plants, many of them are really toxic to dogs. Check your furniture, carpets, children’s toys. Pay special attention to chemicals and medications if your dog can reach them. If something is missing and your Newf is vomiting or having diarrhea, consult the vet immediately.  

If you have a new dog, note that he needs some time to adjust to a new environment. Until he feels totally comfortable and secure, he might have issues with eating and food.

The same goes for your dog is that is in your house for years but something has changed in the house lately. Someone left the house ( break up, divorce, going to college, etc) or someone moved in (new partner, roommate, newborn baby, etc.)  

If you live in a house full of people, you should check if someone is giving the food to your Newf off the schedule.

Revise your feeding actions

Maybe your actions brought to this situation. Do you give a lot of table scraps to your Newf? What about treats? Overfeeding in Newfoundland dogs is common.

These are large but quite sedentary dogs. People tend to feed them with large portions and think if they don’t eat everything that something is wrong with them.

When Should I Worry About My Newfoundland Dog Not Eating?

Newfoundland dogs usually can survive up to 5 days without food. Of course, they can do far less without water intake ( up to a max of 3 days).

Bear in mind that this is only statistics and that you shouldn’t leave your furry friend without food for that number of days, no matter how stubborn he is.

If you notice that he won’t eat, or he eats significantly less than he used to for 24-48 h do contact your vet. He/she will run some tests and will perform a full examination to determine the cause.

How Can I Stimulate My Newfoundland Dog’s Appetite?

When you discover the reason the causes your dog not to eat, you have solved half of the problem. If your dog is ill, your vet will prescribe him some therapy, medications.

If you would like to read more about the reasons why Newfoundland dogs won’t eat, do check our article ‘Why My Newfoundland Won’t Eat?’

If you have a dog that recovers from a recent surgery syringe or hand-feeding might be a good idea.

Dogs in the heat cycle might refuse food for a couple of days, but there is nothing special to be done about it.

You can offer some tastier cuts of meat to your Newfie girl or her favorite food. It will go away in a week or so and she will get back to normal.

If you have a Newf that suffers from separation anxiety, try to spend more time with him, to play with him, hand-feeding may also help in this case.

If your dog is bored with his food, try to enrich it with some tasty topping or to add some healthy, delicious oils like fish or coconut oil to his food.

You can soak his kibbles in tasty unsalted chicken broth to change the texture of the food and improve its taste.

If you are going to change the food brand, be careful and make this change baby steps, mixing the old and new food for next 7-10 days in different proportions (new / old food, two/three days each proportion 25/75, 50/50, 75/25)

Make sure you stick to the feeding schedule and give your dog food every day at the same time. Avoid a lot of treats and don’t give him any table scraps.

Take a walk or do some exercise before mealtime with your dog. Just be careful not to give him food at least one hour after you come back to avoid bloat. Newfoundland dogs are prone to bloat.

You can consult your vet about some appetite stimulants (like Mirtazapine) if he finds them necessary.

Some dogs won’t eat as they had food allergies or they are too sensitive to some of the food ingredients.

This is something you need to investigate and find the right food by offering different brands and combinations. Eventually, you will succeed.

Sometimes dogs won’t eat because they don’t like the bowl (avoid stainless steel or glass bowls, as dogs don’t like their own reflection, use ceramic one instead), it can be made of a ‘wrong’ material or it’s not clean.

Note that senior dogs have a lot of problems with joints so maybe your old guy refuses to eat as it’s painful for him to bend. In that case, lift up the bowl.

Don’t forget that senior dogs eat less normally, so don’t expect your old Newf to keep the same level of food motivation as earlier.

If your Newf Is not mentally stimulated enough he won’t eat well. Try to serve his food in some interesting food toy like a snuffle pad or puzzle. Maybe he needs to ‘work’ a bit in order to get his food.

Don’t forget to be creative and make a DIY enrichment dog feeder. You can use simple cardboard boxes or muffin tins or even egg cartons. Your Newf will be thrilled.

Hopefully this article helped you and your Newfoundland with this topic and remember to always check these changes with your vet.

Recent Posts