Why My Newfoundland dog Won’t Eat?

Do you have a Newfoundland dog that refuses food that he has eaten perfectly until recently? It’s quite normal to be worried about this, especially if your Newf loses weight. What are the reasons for Newfoundlanands to stop eating?

Newfoundland dog may stop eating for various reasons. The reasons might be some medical conditions such as ear infection, anal gland problems, urinary infection,dental issues, excessive gas, GI blockage, heat cycle but also psychological issues like anxiety,stress,change of routine/schedule, boredom, etc. Even outside temperature changes may affect your dog’s appetite.

Newfoundland dogs are often overfed, so If the dog leaves the food behind, doesn’t mean that he won’t eat, maybe he got more then he needs.

The Most Common Reasons for Newfoundland Not Eating

When Newf refuses to eat, the first thing that crosses his owner’s mind is that the dog is sick. He can be of course but that are many reasons why dogs won’t eat sometimes.

Medical Issues

The best way is to go first to the vet who will rule out some medical conditions that can lead to appetite loss.

  • Different kind of infections
  • Parasites
  • GI Blockages, Obstructions
  • Internal organs problems ( liver, kidneys, heart)
  • Tumors
  • Recent injuries, pain
  • Allergies
  • Diabetes
  • Poisoning
  • Upset stomach
  • Neurological diseases
  • Being in heat cycle
  • Recent vaccination

Psychological Issues

If it turns out that your pet is completely healthy then you should look for the cause in some physiological issues and environmental changes like :

  • Separation anxiety
  • Change of routine
  • Depression
  • Boredom
  • Lack of mental stimulation
  • Stress
  • Being a picky eater
  • Outside temperature changes ( change of seasons)

If your Newfie sleeps all day long, doesn’t show any special interest in play and food, he might be depressed.

Dogs are creatures of habit. If something disturbs the perfect balance they live in, they won’t feel comfortable which may result in decreased appetite.

What does it mean –change of routine? For example, if you go for a vacation together, or some member of your household moves out ( break up, divorce, kids that are going to college, etc ) or you have a new person in the house ( new partner, roommate, newborn baby, etc)

Even if you change the place of your dog’s food bowl, his reaction can be reduced appetite.

Newfoundland dogs hate hot weather. When the season starts to change and the temperatures become higher, he might lose interest in food. He will eat, but far less than usual.

If you are not around, don’t spend quality time with your Newfie ( by the way these dogs really like their humans and they crave their attention), he becomes anxious, bored, depressed. Being in this state makes them indifferent towards food.

Food Related Issues

Last but not least – food issues. Maybe your Newf is a healthy, emotionally stable, happy dog but still, he won’t eat. Maybe it has something to do with the food.

  • Spoiled food ( smell, color or texture changes, check expiry date)
  • Change of diet ( transition from old to a new food should be made gradually otherwise dog may refuse the new food)
  • Too many or too often fed by treats and table scraps
  • The temperature of the food ( too hot or too cold )
  • Sensitivity to some of the ingredients
  • The transition from home-cooked meals or dog wet food to kibbles ( dogs that are used to a certain food texture, especially if they are used to wet food, have problems accepting dry food)
  • Overfeeding ( maybe your dog eats well but since you are giving him more and he leaves some food behind, you think that he has poor appetite. Adult Newfies should have 2 meals per day, each meal should consist of 2-3 cups of good quality food for large dogs. Since Newfies are a large breed you have to keep their weight in mind, it’s better to keep your dog lean and not obese. Obesity can bring a lot of serious problems especially in large dogs)
  • The dog is bored with the food ( sometimes dogs become fed up with eating the same food every day. Try to introduce a little variety and offer different kinds of foods. Offer him safe vegetables, fruits, tasty but healthy toppings for his regular food)

What Does It Mean If My Newfoundland Dog Won’t Eat But Drinks A lot Of Water?

If you Newf won’t eat but drinks a lot of water, he might be struggling with urinary infection, diabetes or kidney disease and this is not the end of the list.

You Newf might have Cushing’s or Addison’s disease or liver problems. All these conditions require immediate vet attention.

For example in case of urinary infection ( remember if your Newf was swimming in some local lake or pool lately) your Newf won’t be able to empty entirely his bladder out so this is causing him not to eat.

What Does it Mean If My Newfoundland Dog Won’t Eat But Acts Normally?

This usually means that he doesn’t like the food. He is either bored with it or you have recently changed his food and he is not accustomed yet.

Another reason might be the weather – maybe it’s too hot, so he drinks a lot of water but eats less than usual due to high temperatures.

What Does It Mean If My Newfoundland Dog Won’t Eat But All Diagnostics Are Normal?

This can be really frustrating. Your dog won’t eat, he loses his weight, you have paid several visits to the vet who ran many tests ( blood, urinal/kidney ultrasound, GI tract ultrasound )

No sign of teeth problems, pain or discomfort, no limping, no sign of upset stomach etc but your dog still won’t eat.

He acts normally, you have changed his food several times… he is not depressive nor had some major environmental changes lately (even going on a vacation can trigger appetite loss).

According to the online vet Dr Emily, an Expert on JustAnswer.com sometimes foreign bodies go undetected despite all diagnostics that has been done.

The dog that has obstruction due to the presence of the foreign body, might not vomit but still cannot eat. So in that case the next step would be intestinal tract exploratory which is a surgery and of which you should defiantly speak to your vet.


Newfoundland dog that is not eating might be a great concern for its owner. The reasons for poor appetite are numerous, some of them can be rather serious and require immediate vet’s attention but some others might not look that severe but still, you need to work on the cause and try to help your Newf.

Anyhow, I really hope that this article helps you to discover why your dog won’t eat. For more details on what to do when your Newf won’t eat read our article ‘What To Do If My Newfoundland Dog Won’t Eat?

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