Why Is Golden Retriever Not Eating? (Explained) 2022

Like humans, our human children, our dogs love it when it is time to eat.

And if you have been with a Golden Retriever, especially for quite some time, then you know for a fact that they are greedy consumers who, if not controlled, easily become overweight courtesy of their feeding habits.

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Still, why would a Golden Retriever-‘a celebrated consumer ‘have difficulties eating?

The predominant reason for this is as a result of illness or even a particular disease. Another reason, though, could be your Golden Retriever just being fussy or naughty. In this case, there is no cause for alarm.


Contemplating this question alone can be a source of serious heartache, especially when your Golden Retriever could eat almost everything within seconds but has gradually or even abruptly stopped eating altogether.

There are several reasons why your Golden Retriever may not want to eat. Consider a few of them as discussed below;

1. Illness:

Illness of Golden Retrievers

Like all dogs, Golden Retrievers are also susceptible to having anorexia. Though not a very serious illness for dogs, it does not spare the impediment of their feeding.

Even though your Golden Retriever looks fine and normal, this decline in appetite could really be an early symptom of an infection such as worm infestation or other digestive problems.

2. Dental Problems:

Dental problem of Golden Retrievers

Like every other dog, Retrievers do not fancy revealing their dental problems to their owners, considering their tendency to pick up and pull things aided by their exceptionally soft jaws.

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to see a Golden Retriever with dental issues, which can cause a decline in the consumption of their meals. This also happens during teething.

3. Vaccination:

Vaccination of Golden Retrievers

It would be really redundant to explain the importance of vaccination to your Golden Retriever.

Still, as important as it is, vaccination also comes with its own side effect, which is a temporary loss of appetite.

4. Change in the type and time of feeding:

As one must have noticed, Golden Retrievers are very routine animals, and a considerable change in the time of their feeding can cause some unwanted reactions, such as a decline in their level of feeding.

The same is true when the type of food you give your Goldy has changed abruptly.

5. Fussiness:

At this point, I would encourage you to find out, is your Golden Retriever not eating, or is it simply not eating what you are feeding it?’

It is essential when your dog looks normal and healthy despite a notable decline in meal consumption.

Who knows what you will find? It may be receiving one too many treats or invading your own food.

Other reasons could include; Ageing of your Golden Retriever, being choosy about their meals, or even an addition of a new dog in the family, as well as bullying from older dogs.


Having seen that the reasons for a Golden Retriever to decline or abstain from eating varies from major causes like illness affecting the digestive tract or even parasitism to minor causes like emotional instability, stress, or even fussiness.

So when faced with this situation, we can be calm but careful!

So, when should you worry about your Golden Retriever not eating?

After eight to twelve (8-12) hours of noticing this trend, you should be concerned, especially if it is accompanied by vomiting, diarrhea, or a significant physical change. In the absence of these accompanying changes, you could worry at 48 hours after starting this trend.

It is essential to take swift action when this is observed because; a Golden Retriever is known to expend a lot of energy carrying out activities each day.

In fact, a tired Golden Retriever is often said to be a good dog.

Thus, when this energy is expended without sufficient replenishment through a healthy meal, it could result in even more damage to this lovely creature. Hence, the need for immediate action!


If your Golden Retriever has not been eating, there is work to do. Indeed, a lot of checking and fixing is required because; a Golden Retriever is seldom born with a small appetite. Where, though, do we start?

An excellent place to begin is your feeding bowl. But, first, ensure that the feeding bowl for our Golden Retriever is always clean.

This is because a well-bred Golden Retriever would be very reluctant to eat from a messy bowl.

Also, if there are other dogs in the house, you can reserve a separate bowl for your Goldy.

When changing their meal type, bear in mind that dogs cannot read nutritional contents like we do but would instead stick to a familiar taste, especially ones they have come to cherish.

This is no different for a Golden Retriever, so if it is necessary to change their meal type, then it is paramount that you slowly introduce this new feed between the former or serve it with the dog’s favorite such as chicken or eggs.

Discipline is also essential when fluffiness is detected. This can be achieved by taking away the dog’s food about 30 minutes after it is served if he does not eat it and returning it only when it is time for the next meal.

When all this is done and no improvement is seen, it is time to see a veterinary doctor.

Scary as it may sound, it is only the proper thing to do, and in many cases, a few medications and recommendations from the doctor could be all you need!


Golden Retrievers are known for being energetic, and having large appetites sometimes scare us when they refuse to eat.

However, we can surmount when we take prompt actions in discipline, hygiene, and medications due to stress, fussiness, or even illness.

In any case, restoring the appetite of a natural consumer is nonetheless a walkover for a caring dog lover.





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