The first time I brought my dog camping, I thought I was 100% prepared. I made sure my puppy had all her shots, was well-socialized, and was trained and ready for the trip. I even had all her papers with me just in case someone would ask me for them.
But what I wasn’t prepared for was for my little labrador to go on a hunger strike. During the first day, she ate fine and happily, but on the second morning of the camping trip, she would say no to almost any food I gave. I didn’t like seeing my dog go without food and did not want her to get hungry on the trip, which is why I did my research.
I found out a lot about why dogs don’t eat while out camping, and I’m going to share everything I learned with you in this article. And don’t worry, you’ll have your dog eating again in no time! Read on to find out more.
Why Won’t My Dog Eat While Out Camping?
There are a lot of reasons why a dog won’t eat. It could be due to health issues, other animals, or simply just a new and unfamiliar environment.
I gave off a sigh of relief when I read that it was normal for a dog not to eat when in an unfamiliar environment, but I also read that there are a whole lot of other things that could cause a dog not to eat, and we’ll dive into them in the next section.
Common Reasons Why Your Dog Won’t Eat While Out Camping
It’s An Unfamiliar Environment
It is very common for a dog not to eat when they find themselves in a different or new location. This is because they have yet to settle in and get comfortable in the new environment.
Aside from that, traveling in a car to a new place can give a dog motion sickness, which could be another reason why your dog isn’t eating.
Temporary Gastrointestinal Upset
Dogs are scavengers, and if they find themselves in a large area like a campground, they might just stumble upon something they aren’t supposed to eat.
There are so many stories out there of dogs getting candy or chocolate they aren’t supposed to eat while at home, what more if they’re at a campsite?
If your dog isn’t eating while out camping, keep a close eye on it. Check if it has diarrhea or is vomiting, as that’s a sign that your dog is trying to expel something from its system.
And as long as there is no blood in your dog’s stool or vomit, you should just allow the dog to get rid of whatever it ate naturally. Once everything has been expelled from the dog’s system, its appetite will come back and it will be ready to eat.
If the vomiting and diarrhea last more than 24 hours, however, it’s time to bring your dog to the vet
A Routine Change
When you’re out camping, you can’t avoid a change in routine. You might find that you aren’t feeding the dog at the same time you’ll feed it when you’re at home. Even simply changing the time you walk or take your dog out for potty breaks can throw your dog off and make it lose its appetite.
There’s a high chance that schedules will get mixed up during camping and you aren’t following the daily routine your dog is used to and that maybe what’s causing the loss of appetite.
It’s a great thing that there are vaccines out there to protect our puppies from infectious diseases. However, even if these vaccines are essential to keeping our pups safe, they can also have some side effects.
One of the side effects of a recent vaccination could be a loss of appetite and could be the reason your dog isn’t eating.
One of the tell-tale signs that your dog is sick is a loss of appetite. However, you should remember that your dog not eating does not mean that it has a serious illness. Loss of appetite can be a symptom of a lot of illnesses sometimes, but other times, it isn’t anything to worry about.
Just make sure to keep a close eye on your dog and bring it to the vet if the loss of appetite lasts a long while.
Is It A Problem If My Dog Won’t Eat?
As mentioned earlier, a loss in appetite could mean that your dog is sick, especially if it lasts for an extended period.
However, a lot of times, it isn’t a big issue that a dog isn’t eating. There are a lot of things that can cause a dog to lose its appetite (as we mentioned above).
But just to be extra careful, keep a close eye on your dog if it loses its appetite. If you notice a change in behavior, or you see that your dog isn’t feeling well, then it might be time to bring your dog to the vet.
What To Do If Your Dog won’t Eat While Out Camping
Here are some simple things you can do to get your dog to eat while out camping.
Mix In Meat Or Wet Food With Your Dog’s Food
Another thing that could be causing your dog not to eat is its taste. Yes, dogs can be picky eaters too. And if that’s the reason your dog isn’t eating, you can try mixing in other, more tasty foods for your dog.
One of these is meat. If you think your dog is just being a picky eater, then you can try mixing in unsalted meat or Nutro wet dog food with their food and see if it likes that more.
Try Out Freeze-Dried Raw Food
Freeze-dried raw food is also a great choice for dogs. Examples of this can be freeze-dried liver treats that you can make at home. Dogs love this treat and it is cheap and easy to make!
You can also try other freeze-dried food that you think your dog will like more to get it to eat while camping.
Play With Your Dog
A dog needs to feel happy and comfortable for it to eat, especially if it’s in a new environment. If your dog isn’t eating, all it might need is some TLC from the owner.
So try playing around with it a bit and showing your dog some affection to get it in a good mood.
Wait It Out
Sometimes, a dog simply isn’t feeling well or just isn’t hungry yet. If that’s the case, you don’t have to panic. What you have to do is keep an eye on your pet and see if it’s showing signs of sickness such as vomiting or diarrhea.
If that is the case and you see no blood, try waiting until your dog removes everything from its system. If that was the only reason your dog wasn’t eating, it will eat right after everything is expelled.
Leave Food And Water Out
As mentioned earlier, sometimes a routine change is enough to make a dog not eat. So what you can do is just leave some food and water out for your dog and not panic.
Chances are, the dog will eventually make it to the food bowl and grab a big bite.
Related: Top best dry dogs food
Change The Food You’re Feeding The Dog
If your dog is a picky eater, the wrong type of dog food might be the only reason it’s not eating.
Try giving your dog a different brand or type of dog food and see if it will eat that. Sometimes, this can be the only reason a dog is not eating, and it’s also the easiest to fix.
Pack Extra Treats
This will keep your dog’s energy up for the entire duration of the camping trip and it will also be an easy way to get it to eat when appetite isn’t present.
A great treat to bring is freeze-dried liver, as that can be made at home for a relatively low-cost and dogs generally love the treat. However, feel free to bring whatever treat is your dog’s favorite.
Prepare Food For Picky Eaters
Dogs that are picky eaters can be tough, especially if you aren’t too sure what food works for your dog yet. Try to remember the meals that made your dog dig in, and bring that with you on your camping trip just in case your dog isn’t up to eating the normal dog food you packed.
If you already know that your dog is a picky eater and are familiar with what food your dog will or will not eat, that will make things much easier.
Q: When should I worry about my dog not eating?
Generally, you shouldn’t worry if your dog isn’t eating right away. There are a lot of reasons that your dog isn’t up to the meal in front of it.
However, if the loss of appetite lasts more than 48 hours or if you notice blood in the stool or vomit of your dog, it could be a sign of something a bit more serious.
If that happens, it’s best to bring your dog to a vet
Q: How long can a dog go without eating?
Dogs can go days without eating. Up to 5 days, in fact, and they can last more than 7 days without food in survival situations.
That being said, if your dog hasn’t eaten in more than two days, there might be a health issue involved, so make sure to bring it to the vet
Q: My dog won’t eat, Does he hate camping?
If you find that your dog isn’t eating during the trip, that doesn’t mean it isn’t having fun.
Oftentimes, it just means that it’s in a new environment with a different routine, and that can cause them to lose their appetite
Q: What is the best tasting dog food for picky dogs?
Some people try mixing in unsalted meats or freeze-dried food with regular dog food to get their dog eating.
Most picky dogs will love food that tastes more like meat. So high-quality wet food might serve them well. You can also try the more-healthy food options on the market as picky dogs tend to like those foods better than the highly-commercialized dog food options.
So there you have it. There’s no need to panic if you find your dog not eating while out camping, there are a lot of reasons why they can lose their appetite.
When I took my dog out, all I had to do was wait for her to get comfortable at the campsite and she started eating like everything was normal!
If you’re facing the same issues, all you have to do is keep an eye on your dog. More often than not, they’ll be eating and their appetite will be restored before you know it!