German Shorthaired Pointer Not Eating? Follow These 8 Steps

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

Have you ever been worried about your German shorthaired pointer not eating?

If so, you’re not alone.

It can be hard to understand why your GSP is behaving this way, but sometimes when your dog is not eating, it does not mean you need to panic.

In this post, we detail the different reasons why your GSP is not eating and what you can do to encourage it to do so.

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Reasons Why Your German Shorthaired Pointer Is Not Eating Like Usual

8 Reasons Why Your German Shorthaired Pointer Is Not Eating Like Usual

Your dog is just not hungry

If you’ve ever seen a dog that isn’t eating, you may be tempted to think that it’s because they’re sick or something. but that’s not always the case!

At times, they might simply not feel hungry at all. In fact, dogs can go for several days without food at a time.

If that’s the case, just make sure they are getting lots of water and try feeding it a bit later.

Your GSP is getting too many treats

Despite the fact that dogs are known for being food hounds, if you offer them too many treats, they won’t eat enough to stay healthy.

High-quality canned food or high-quality kibble should make up a shorthaired pointer’s diet (and not too many treats!).

If your dog has been eating goodies every day for some time, it could seem like a harmless habit, but it could lead to some serious problems.

Eating too much sugar can lead to obesity and other health issues in both humans and dogs.

Just be careful not to overdo it if you want to give your dog something special!

Have you accidentally fed your dog twice? Find out what you can do.

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Your dog’s diet was recently changed

If you recently altered your pointer’s food, he or she could not be accustomed to it.

Dogs might be picky eaters and decline to eat when you try to feed them for whatever reason, even if it has been on the schedule in the past.

If you recently switched from one brand to another, it can take your dog a few days to acclimatize.

Try this simple formula to get them accustomed to their new food:

  • Start by mixing the old food with the new in a 75/25 ratio for the first 3 days
  • Next 3 days, change the mix to 50/50
  • Transition to a ratio of 75/25 new versus old for 3 days
  • Finally, offer 100% of the new food from here on out

Your GSP’s feeding schedule might be too short

This is, in my opinion, a common and quite reasonable error made by new dog owners.

We all want our dogs to be well-fed, but sometimes this causes us to feed them excessively or frequently.

Think about the last time your dog consumed food. Was it just a couple of hours ago? If so, that is too soon.

Generally speaking, it is advised to feed your dog twice daily, separated by 12 hours.

Your shorthaired pointer might have gone through emotional trauma

The possibility that your dog may be experiencing mental distress is one potential factor that is frequently disregarded.

If it turns out that your dog does not have a medical condition that is causing them to resist eating, then stress or concern may be the cause.

Your dog might experience stress from moving into a new house, having a new kid (or even just having one nearby), altering routines and environments, or even getting a new companion.

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Your dog’s food might have gone stale

There can be a problem with how you prepare your dog’s meals, especially if you are giving it fresh food.

Leaving cooked meat out at room temperature for more than two hours (or even just one hour in the summer) may encourage the growth of germs that endangers dogs.

Therefore, it is usually advisable to reheat leftovers before reserving them.

Some dogs don’t mind eating leftover food, but that doesn’t mean it’s good for them.

As a result, you should always ensure that your dog consumes the food as soon as it is offered.

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Your German Shorthaired Pointer may have a toothache

It’s important to rule out dental issues when your dog won’t eat.

A doggo experiencing tooth pain will stop eating and begin to lose weight.

If your GSP has sore gums or teeth decay, they will have trouble chewing and in some cases, they might also vomit or sleep more than usual.

As soon as you can, schedule a visit with the doctor if you think your pet is having dental issues and needs treatment.

Your dog could be sick

Pay great attention to your dog’s behavior when you see that they aren’t eating because not all symptoms will be as clear.

If this persists for more than two days, I would suggest sending your dog to the veterinarian for a checkup to determine whether he or she is ill.

If you experience any symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, you should visit the veterinarian clinic as soon as possible.

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How to Get Your German Shorthaired Pointer to Eat?

How to Get Your German Shorthaired Pointer to Eat?

If your German Shorthaired Pointer is not eating, then it’s time to take action!

It’s important to address the issue as soon as you notice something is off with your dog.

Refusing food for more than two days? See a veterinarian immediately.

Sometimes, it could be just that your doxie is being picky and refuses to eat anything you put in front of it.

Or it might be just a mood swing thing but this can go on for a day or two.

Here are a few things you can do to encourage it to start eating again.

Give your pointer more time

Give your dog adequate time to eat by being mindful of this.

When their meals are hurried, many dogs become irritable and may even refuse food completely.

Alternatively, you can try feeding in smaller amounts throughout the day so that it won’t feel as full after finishing one plateful.

Reduce the amount of treats it gets

Unfortunately, if the main dish doesn’t spark your dog’s appetite because you gave it too much of its preferred nibbles, you might be the main culprit here.

And if your dog gets too used to having so many snacks, it promotes finicky eating and poor table manners.

Let it have access to plenty of fresh drinking water

Keeping a clean bowl of water in the room where your dog spends most of its time will help it stay hydrated and avoid the risk of dehydration.

Not only that, but it will also help keep their digestive system working properly.

Let your Shorthaired Pointer have plenty of exercise

Keeping your dog active is a great way to keep it healthy.

Not only will exercise help prevent obesity and diabetes, but it will also help keep their mind stimulated, which can reduce boredom-related behavior problems.

All these means it will have a great appetite when its meal time!

Mix up the food you are feeding your dog

One way that you can mix up what kind of food your dog eats is by mixing in some wet food with dry kibble.

You can do this by putting some wet dog food into a bowl with the dry kibble and mixing them together so that it forms one big mixture.

This will give your dog something new to taste while still giving him something familiar so he doesn’t get too excited about eating something new right away!

Make sure you’re feeding your GSP the right food

It’s crucial to make sure they’re eating nutritious, high-quality food for healthy growth throughout their lives.

Continuously giving them the same food each and every day might be very boring.

Instead, consider feeding your dog a variety of foods that are rich in various nutrients so that they can enjoy a healthy, balanced diet.

Try not to change your dog’s diet too abruptly

Slowly introduce new foods into their diet by mixing them with the food they already eat.

In this way, you can increase the amount of new food over time until it’s entirely replaced by the old food.

Most dog food manufacturers also provide handy advice on how best to switch out your dog’s diet.

Feed your GSP by hand

In addition to feeding your German Shorthaired Pointer from their food bowl, try feeding them by hand.

This is a great way to bond with your dog, as well as provide them with some much-needed attention and affection.

If you have more than one dog, it’s a good idea to feed each of them separately so that they don’t fight over any scraps that might be left over.

How Long Can a German Shorthaired Pointer Live Without Food?

Most dogs, including GSPs, can go up to 5 days without food.

However, this is highly dependent on whether it has access to fresh drinking water or not, without which it may not even last 2 or 3 days.

While it may survive for that period of time, it will be severely dehydrated and show signs of serious illnesses such as lethargy and becoming very weak.

Be sure to keep a very close eye on your dog!

When Should You Bring Your GSP to the Vet if It Does Not Eat?

In most cases, your pointer should recover its appetite quickly and if it does not show any signs of obvious distress, you can do without a visit to the vet.

However, there are certain symptoms that clearly indicate your dog is in trouble, in which case you should be seeing your veterinarian right away.

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Gagging/coughing
  • Not eating for more than 24 hours
  • Not drinking any water
  • Lethargy
  • Swollen gums

In Conclusion: What to Do if German Shorthaired Pointer Not Eating?

There is usually no need to panic when you notice your GSP not eating, even a couple of hours past their meal time.

In most cases, he or she will feel hungry and head to their meal bowls and finish up what’s in there.

Just ensure that you keep the food clean and fresh when it wants to eat again and that there is plenty of water around.

Being a dog owner can be challenging, which is why we have lots of articles covering dog care tips such as why is your puppy not eating much and sleeping a lot, golden retriever dwarfism, can my dog jump on the couch after heartworm treatment, and many more!

You’ve made it to the end, but I hope it’s not the end of our journey. We want to hear your voice! Share your thoughts, problems, suggestions, or anything related to your dog in the comments section. And don’t forget to join our newsletter today too.

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Canine Care Central!

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