Why Is My German Shepherd Not Eating? – (And What To Do!)

Are you a proud owner of a German Shepherd?

These majestic and intelligent dogs make wonderful companions.

They are known for their loyalty, bravery, and strong character.

However, it can be concerning when your furry friend suddenly loses their appetite.

If you find yourself asking, “Why is my German Shepherd not eating?” don’t worry!

In this article, we will explore the possible reasons behind this behavior and provide you with helpful tips on how to get your German Shepherd to start eating again.

So, sit back, relax, and let’s dive into the world of your four-legged friend’s eating habits!

10 Reasons Why Your German Shepherd Is Not Eating

It’s dinnertime, and you excitedly fill up your German Shepherd’s bowl with their favorite food. 

But to your dismay, they sniff it and walk away with a disinterested expression.

As a loving owner, you want to understand why your furry friend has suddenly lost their appetite. Don’t fret!

We’ve got your back. In this section, we will explore the top 10 reasons why your German Shepherd might not be chowing down on their meals.

From dental dramas to upset tummies and everything in between, we’ll uncover these puzzling possibilities.

So, grab a tasty treat for yourself and let’s dive into this deliciously informative quest for answers!

1. Dental Problems:

Did you know that your German Shepherd’s dental health can affect their appetite?

Just like us, dogs can experience toothaches and gum problems that make it hard to enjoy their meals. Ouch!

So, if your furry friend is turning their nose up at dinner time, it’s time to inspect those pearly whites.

Take a peek at their teeth and gums.

Do you notice any signs of trouble?

Bad breath, red or swollen gums, or brownish tartar buildup are all potential indicators of dental problems.

The good news is that you can help your pup!

Regular toothbrushing with dog-friendly toothpaste, dental treats, and chewing on appropriate toys can keep their chompers in tip-top shape. 

And don’t forget to schedule regular check-ups with the vet to ensure their dental health is in check.

Remember, a healthy mouth means a happy tummy!

2. Illness or Injury


Is your German Shepherd feeling under the weather? 

Just like us, dogs can get sick or injured, and it can impact their appetite.

When our furry friends aren’t feeling their best, they may lose interest in their food.

If you suspect that your German Shepherd is unwell or has been injured, it’s essential to pay attention to any other symptoms they might be showing.

Are they lethargic, coughing, sneezing, or limping?

These signs can help you determine if something is bothering them and causing the loss of appetite.

When it comes to illness or injury, it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian. 

They will be able to diagnose the issue and provide the appropriate treatment.

In the meantime, offer your pup plenty of love, comfort, and perhaps some extra tasty treats to entice their appetite back.

Remember, our beloved German Shepherds can’t tell us when they’re not feeling well, so it’s up to us to be observant and take action.

3. Stress or Anxiety

Did you know that our German Shepherds can experience stress and anxiety just like humans? 

Major changes or disruptions in their lives can affect their appetite, leaving them disinterested in their food.

If you’ve recently moved to a new home, introduced a new family member, or experienced any other significant changes, your German Shepherd may be feeling a bit overwhelmed.

Dogs thrive on routine, and sudden alterations can throw them off balance.

To help your furry friend cope with stress or anxiety, create a calm and peaceful environment for them.

Set a consistent daily routine, provide them with a cozy and safe space, and offer plenty of love and reassurance.

Engaging in interactive playtime and providing mental stimulation can also help take their mind off any anxieties they may be feeling.

4. Heat or Humidity

Is it getting hot in here, or is it just our German Shepherds?

These magnificent dogs are known for their thick fur coats, which can make them more susceptible to heat-related discomfort.

When temperatures soar, your German Shepherd’s appetite may take a nosedive.

Just like us, dogs can experience heat exhaustion or dehydration, making them feel less interested in eating.

This is their way of conserving energy and staying cool.

To help your furry friend beat the heat and regain their appetite, make sure they have access to fresh and cool water at all times.

Provide them with a shaded area to relax in, and avoid taking them out during the hottest parts of the day.

If necessary, use fans or air conditioning to keep their environment cool and comfortable.

Remember, keeping our German Shepherds safe and comfortable in hot weather is crucial.

By taking steps to keep them cool, we can ensure their appetite stays healthy and hearty!

5. Upset Stomach

Oh no, is your German Shepherd’s tummy feeling rumbly?

Just like humans, dogs can experience upset stomachs, which can lead to an unwillingness to eat. It’s no fun for them!

If your furry pal is experiencing an upset stomach, they may show signs like vomiting, diarrhea, or even lack of interest in their food.

This could be due to something they ate that didn’t agree with them, a change in diet, or even a temporary stomach bug.

To help your German Shepherd’s stomach settle down and restore their appetite, it’s best to feed them a bland diet for a short period.

Boiled chicken and rice, for example, can be gentle on their stomachs.

Also, make sure they have access to clean water to stay hydrated.

If your pup’s upset stomach persists or worsens, it’s always a good idea to check in with your vet. 

They can provide further guidance and remedies to help your four-legged friend feel better in no time.

6. Medication Side Effects

Is your German Shepherd on medication?

Just like with humans, certain medications can affect our furry friends’ appetite.

If your pup has started a new medication recently and you notice a decrease in their interest in food, it could be due to medication side effects.

Some medications might cause stomach upset, nausea, or changes in taste, all of which can contribute to a loss of appetite.

It’s essential to read the medication instructions carefully and consult with your veterinarian about any potential side effects.

If you suspect that the medication is causing the decline in appetite, reach out to your vet for advice.

They may adjust the dosage or suggest alternative medications that have fewer impact on your German Shepherd’s appetite.

Always remember to follow the prescribed medications and reach out to your vet whenever you have concerns.

With their guidance, you can help your furry companion stay healthy and ensure their appetite stays robust and strong!

7. Aging

Time flies, and our German Shepherds aren’t immune to it either!

As our furry friends grow older, their metabolism and appetite can change.

It’s completely normal for senior dogs to have a decreased desire for food.

As your German Shepherd enters their golden years, their bodies may require fewer calories, and their taste preferences might shift.

They may also experience age-related health issues that can contribute to a decreased appetite.

To cater to your aging companion, consider switching to a senior-specific dog food that addresses their nutritional needs. 

These formulas are designed to support their joint health, digestion, and overall wellbeing.

It’s also a good idea to provide smaller, more frequent meals to entice their appetite.

8. Quality of Food

Is your German Shepherd turning their nose up at their usual meal?

It might be time to examine the quality of their food.

Just like us, dogs appreciate tasty and nutritious meals that satisfy their cravings.

If your furry friend finds their food unappealing, it could be due to bland flavors, lack of variety, or even low-quality ingredients.

Dogs have taste preferences too, after all!

Consider evaluating the ingredients in your dog’s food and opt for high-quality options that provide essential nutrients.

Look for brands that use real meat, whole grains, and natural ingredients.

Adding some variety to their diet, such as rotating different flavors or incorporating a mix of wet and dry food, can also spice up their dining experience.

Remember, our German Shepherds deserve the best when it comes to their meals.

9. Change in Routine

Dogs thrive on routine and consistency, so any significant change in their daily schedule can impact their eating habits.

If you’ve recently switched up your German Shepherd’s routine, such as a change in feeding times or a different walking schedule, it may be causing a loss of appetite.

Our furry friends rely on predictability, and sudden alterations can throw them off balance.

They might need some time to adjust to the new routine and feel comfortable again.

To help your German Shepherd adapt, try to establish a consistent schedule for meals and exercise.

Keep their feeding times and walk times as regular as possible.

Dogs appreciate knowing what to expect each day, and this can help alleviate any stress or confusion that may be affecting their appetite.

10. Boredom or Lack of Exercise

Have you noticed your German Shepherd becoming a little too sedentary?

Dogs are active creatures by nature, and a lack of physical and mental stimulation can lead to a decreased appetite.

Boredom and a lack of exercise can impact their overall well-being, including their interest in food.

If your pup isn’t getting enough exercise or mental enrichment, they may have excess energy and restlessness, which can suppress their appetite.

A bored German Shepherd may simply not be motivated to eat.

To combat this, ensure that your furry friend is getting enough exercise on a daily basis.

Regular walks, interactive play sessions, and engaging in activities that challenge their intellect can help keep them physically and mentally satisfied.

Puzzle toys, obedience training, and even introducing them to new environments or canine sports can keep their minds sharp and their appetites revved up.

Remember, a tired dog is a happy dog!

7 Ways to Get Your German Shepherds to Start Eating Again:

Has mealtime become a bit of a struggle with your German Shepherd?

Don’t worry, I’ve got some tricks up my sleeves to help entice your furry friend back to their bowl!

1. Review Their Diet

Is your German Shepherd turning their snout up at their regular food? It might be time to conduct a review of their diet.

Just like us, dogs have their preferences when it comes to taste and variety.

Start by examining the quality of the food you’re providing.

Look for dog foods that contain high-quality, natural ingredients and are designed to meet the specific nutritional needs of German Shepherds.

Sometimes, a change in the brand or flavor can make a world of difference to their appetite.

Adding some variety to their meals can also help reignite their interest.

Consider mixing in a small amount of wet food or introducing healthy toppers like cooked meat or veggies.

2. Create a Routine

Just like us, dogs thrive on routine and structure.

Establishing a consistent feeding schedule can help stimulate your German Shepherd’s appetite and create a sense of predictability.

Set specific times for their meals and try to stick to them as closely as possible.

Dogs appreciate knowing when their food is coming, and having a routine can signal to them that it’s time to eat.

In addition to regular meal times, try to incorporate a daily exercise routine as well.

Physical activity can stimulate their metabolism and increase their hunger.

A tired dog is more likely to have a healthy appetite!

By creating a predictable routine for both mealtimes and exercise, you’ll provide your German Shepherd with a sense of security and structure, which can help reignite their interest in food. 

Time to get those tails wagging at the sight of their food bowl!

3. Try Food Puzzles

Mealtime doesn’t have to be just about eating; it can also be a fun and mentally stimulating activity for your German Shepherd.

Introduce food puzzles or treat-dispensing toys to make their meals more engaging and exciting.

Food puzzles are designed to challenge your pup’s problem-solving skills.

They usually involve hiding treats or kibble inside a puzzle toy that requires them to figure out how to access the food.

This not only keeps them entertained but also encourages them to work for their food, satisfying their natural instincts.

You can find a variety of food puzzle toys available in pet stores or even make DIY versions at home using cardboard boxes or muffin tins.

Just be sure to supervise your German Shepherd while they are playing with the puzzle to ensure their safety.

4. Add Tasty Toppers

Sometimes, a little sprinkle of extra flavor can do wonders for enticing your German Shepherd’s taste buds.

Consider adding tasty toppers to their meals to make them more enticing and appealing.

You can experiment with healthy and dog-friendly toppers such as bone broth, low-fat yogurt, or small pieces of cooked meat.

These additions can enhance the aroma and taste of their food, making it more irresistible.

Just remember to keep the toppers in moderation, as they should complement their main meal rather than replace it.

Too many toppings can upset their stomach or disrupt the balance of their nutritional intake.

5. Warm Up the Food

Imagine sitting down to a delicious meal that’s just come out of the oven or microwave.

The enticing aroma and comforting warmth make it all the more appetizing.

The same can be true for your German Shepherd!

Try gently heating up their food before serving it.

You can use a microwave or mix in some warm water to add a touch of warmth to their meal.

Be sure to test the temperature to avoid overheating and burning their sensitive mouths.

The warmth of the food can enhance its scent and flavor, making it more appealing to your German Shepherd.

It may also help entice them to eat, especially if they’re feeling a bit picky or off their appetite.

6. Limit Treats

While treats can be a great way to reward your German Shepherd, excessive snacking throughout the day can lead to a diminished appetite during mealtime.

To encourage your pup to focus on their regular meals, it’s important to limit the number of treats they receive.

Set specific times for treat-giving and stick to them.

Avoid providing treats too close to their scheduled meals, as this might fill them up and make them less interested in their main food.

Instead, use treats as occasional rewards for good behavior or during training sessions.

If you feel the need to offer something extra between meal times, consider low-calorie and healthy snack options like carrot sticks, cucumber slices, or small pieces of plain cooked chicken.

These alternatives can provide a little nibble without spoiling their appetite.

7. Consult a Veterinarian

If your German Shepherd’s loss of appetite persists or is accompanied by other concerning symptoms, it’s always a good idea to seek guidance from a trusted veterinarian.

They can assess your furry friend’s overall health and help determine if there are any underlying medical issues contributing to their decreased appetite.

A veterinarian may perform a thorough examination, run diagnostic tests, or request additional information about your German Shepherd’s behavior and diet.

Based on their findings, they can provide appropriate advice and treatment options.

Remember, veterinary professionals have the expertise to identify and address potential health concerns.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to them if you have any concerns about your German Shepherd’s appetite or general well-being.


We hope this article has provided you with valuable insights and solutions to address the issue of your German Shepherd’s loss of appetite.

A decrease in appetite can stem from various factors, including dental problems, stress, aging, or even a change in routine.

Always remember to be patient and observant with your German Shepherd.

Each dog is unique, and it may take some trial and error to find the best approach to reignite their appetite.

With your love, care, and attention, your German Shepherd will be back to enjoying their meals and thriving in no time.


  1. Why Is My German Shepherd Female Not Eating?

    A female German Shepherd may not eat due to factors like pregnancy, nursing, or hormonal changes. It's important to monitor her closely, ensure access to fresh food, and consult with a veterinarian if the loss of appetite persists or is accompanied by other concerning symptoms.

  2. Why Is My German Shepherd Male Not Eating?

    A male German Shepherd may lose appetite due to factors like illness, stress, change in routine, or aging. If the loss of appetite persists or is accompanied by other concerning symptoms, it's recommended to consult with a veterinarian for a proper evaluation and guidance.

  3. How long can a German Shepherd go without eating?

    A healthy German Shepherd can typically go without eating for a day or two. However, it's important to address the underlying cause of their decreased appetite and seek veterinary advice if the issue continues for an extended period.

  4. When should I worry about my German Shepherd not eating?

    If your German Shepherd refuses to eat for more than a day or two, or if the loss of appetite is accompanied by other symptoms like lethargy, vomiting, or diarrhea, it's time to consult with a veterinarian. Professional guidance will help determine the underlying cause and appropriate steps to take.

I have been fortunate to have German Shepherds as my beloved companions for the past decade. I trained , cared for them, and formed an unbreakable bond with each fluffy butt that I came across. Inspired by my profound love for German Shepherds, I decided to start a website dedicated solely to these magnificent dogs
Zara Hawkins