Australian Shepherd (& Puppy) Not Eating

There are a whole bunch of reasons that your Australian Shepherd might not be eating. And while it may be disconcerting, there are also a whole bunch of things you can do to fix the issue! However, before anything, you should always consult a vet!

With that being said, there are some of the main reasons your Australian Shepherd may not be eating!

Why Is Your Australian Shepherd Not Eating?

Here are the main reasons your Aussie isn’t eating as well as solutions to the problem.

Illness And Disease

Illness and disease could be one of the reasons your Aussie has stopped eating. When your dog is unwell, the last thing he or she will want to do is eat. In addition to a lack of appetite, look for additional symptoms of illness or disease such as vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy.

Infections, cancer, liver disorders, and kidney infections are all possible reasons for your dog’s illness, so it’s critical that you take your pup to the vet as soon as you suspect they’re ill.


As previously stated, the first thing you should do if you suspect your Australian Shepherd is ill is taking them to the vet right away. However, while you’re waiting for an appointment, here are some more options.

Make the meal more appetizing to them by pouring warm water over it or adding flavoring broths to it.

Feed them new foods that they aren’t accustomed to. For instance, if they frequently eat dry food, give them wet food, and if they frequently eat wet food, give them dry food.

To help them feel more at ease, try feeding them by hand.

If they aren’t eating, they may just have an upset stomach, which, thankfully, will pass.

And, once again, if you discover your Australian Shepherd is ill, make sure you contact your veterinarian as soon as possible!

Dental Problems

Another reason your Australian Shepherd may not be eating is dental issues, which, believe it or not, aren’t as frequent as you think. However, you should inspect your dog’s mouth to discover if there is an issue.

Cracked, loose, or fractured teeth are quite common in larger dogs. You should also inspect their mouths for any injuries or things that have pierced their gums, tongue, or roof of their mouth.

Finally, examine for lumps that could indicate malignancy. However, you will not always be able to notice them; therefore, you should always seek the assistance of a specialist.

In addition to not eating, if your Aussie has a problem with their mouth, you may notice that they dribble a lot for no apparent reason.


If you detect or suspect that there is something wrong with your Australian Shepherd’s mouth, the best thing you can do is consult your veterinarian.

They’ll be able to determine what’s causing it as well as the appropriate next steps. Fortunately, in many circumstances, little will need to be done.

An Upset Stomach

This is frequently the cause of your Aussie not eating, and thankfully, there is rarely anything sinister behind it. If your Australian Shepherd has an upset stomach, he or she may just not want to eat.

In addition to a decrease in appetite, you may notice that your Aussie is vomiting, has diarrhea, flatulence, and appears nauseous.

When you take them for a walk, you may observe that they are munching grass. This is because they are aware that it will make them sick and are attempting to cleanse their stomach.

Your pup may have an upset stomach for a variety of reasons, the most common of which is something they’ve eaten.

Furthermore, motion sickness can lead dogs to lose their appetite; however, this should only last a short while.


If you believe your Aussie is merely suffering from an upset stomach (and they have been ill), you should fast them for 12 hours.

Try feeding them rice and chicken after they’ve fasted to help settle their stomachs and, perhaps, offer them something they can eat.

If they still refuse to eat after 12 hours, consult a veterinarian because it could be a sign of something more serious.

Two Australian Shepherd puppies, 2 months old, eating knuckle bone against white background


Medication might sometimes cause your pup to stop eating. You’ll be able to tell whether it’s the medicine if they stop eating soon after starting it.

Some medications will make your Australian Shepherd feel sick, while others may induce stomach pain.

It doesn’t have to be medicines that make people lose their appetite. Chemotherapy might also have an impact on your dog’s appetite.


If you suspect that medication is causing your Aussie to stop eating, you should consult with your veterinarian as soon as possible. They may simply tell you that this may pass with time in some circumstances, but in others, they may adjust the medication your Aussie is on or change the treatment they’re receiving entirely!

After all, you don’t want to solve one issue by creating another.


Some immunizations can temporarily impair your Aussie’s appetite and may be behind why they stopped eating. However, even if this is the case, it’s still a small price to pay to make sure your pup stays healthy!


Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do about it. Consult your veterinarian if you believe your Aussie has lost its appetite for a longer period of time than you should have. Aside from that, you’ll just have to wait it out.

Seperation Anxiety/Owner Absence

When their owners aren’t present, many Australian shepherds refuse to eat. It’s vital to remember that dogs are pack creatures who enjoy doing things together. It’s possible that if you’re not around, they won’t eat.

In more extreme cases, your absence can induce uneasiness, which is referred to as separation anxiety. You may notice that they chew things up while you’re gone, or your neighbors may report that they’re barking and whining while you’re gone, in addition to not eating.


If you believe your Aussie isn’t eating when you aren’t home, the simplest answer is to feed them when you are. You won’t have to worry because you’ll know they’ll eat.

If you suspect they are suffering from separation anxiety, you should take steps to address the issue. It will not only lessen the likelihood of you returning home to a ruined home, but it will also make your Australian Shepherd very happy!

In most circumstances, speaking with a behavior consultant who can show you how to effectively deal with your child’s separation anxiety is your best chance!

The Time Of The Day

Your dog might refuse to eat at particular times of the day. For example, they may not feel hungry in the morning if they have just awoken. Alternatively, if it is too late in the evening, they may not be hungry.


The most straightforward solution is to feed them at a different time of day. If you see that they’re eating normally later or earlier in the day, you’ve successfully resolved the problem. Just make sure you don’t leave their food out all day for them.

They may become picky eaters if they learn to graze instead of eating two large meals.

Their Food Has Spoiled

Your Australian Shepherd may refuse to eat because their food has rotted in some situations. Although most dog food has a long shelf life, it may have beyond its expiration date in some situations.


The remedy is straightforward: check the food’s expiration date to see if it has passed its expiration date. In addition, make sure the food doesn’t have any mildew on it and isn’t starting to smell.

Even though it hasn’t reached its expiration date, both of these symptoms indicate that it has gone bad.

Stress And Emotional Issues

It’s also possible that your dog is stressed or has emotional problems. There could be a variety of reasons for this. You may have recently moved or acquired a new pet, for example. Perhaps you recently adopted your Australian Shepherd from a shelter or someone who couldn’t care for them any longer.

Whatever the case may be, it has the potential to prevent children from eating. Emotional distress can drive them to stop eating altogether or start eating a lot more, just like humans.


If your Aussie is stressed or has emotional problems, you’ll need to do everything you can to help them feel better. I like to feed them by hand to reassure them that everything is well. However, it could also entail paying them extra attention and playing with them during the day.

Stress and mental troubles brought on by the new changes should subside rapidly.

They’re Picky

Last but not least, your Aussie may just be a finicky eater. It could be due to their surroundings; for example, they may not enjoy eating among other dogs who may be hostile or attempt to steal their food.

It could also be something much more straightforward. Perhaps they find it difficult to eat from the dish (this is especially common in older dogs). Perhaps the recipe of the food they usually eat has been modified (or, as they like to term it, “new and improved”), and your dog doesn’t like it. If you’ve been feeding your Australian Shepherd the same food for years, it’s possible that they’ve grown tired of it.


There are a few things you can do to assist your Australian Shepherd in regaining his appetite if he is a finicky eater.

First and foremost, stop giving them treats. If you feed your Aussie goodies throughout the day, they will refuse to eat when it is time for supper.

Alternatively, you might feed them at the same time every day. Every day, for example, I feed my dogs at 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. It doesn’t have to be at this specific hour, but you get the concept. This way, they’ll know when dinner is coming up and be prepared!

If you’ve been feeding them the same meal for a long time, you might want to switch things up for them. You could, for example, microwave it, add dry or wet food, other nutritious snacks, heat their food, or add water to it.

Why Is Your Australian Shepherd Puppy Not Eating?

There could be other reasons why your Aussie puppy isn’t eating beside the ones stated above. They may have lost their appetite for a variety of reasons.


Teething is one of the most common reasons why your puppy isn’t eating. Teething can be excruciatingly unpleasant for your puppy, and the last thing they’ll want to do is eat solid food.


If your Australian Shepherd puppy is teething, it would be a good idea to give them softer, easier-to-eat food. You might also try placing food in the refrigerator to ease their gums.

Not Old Enough For Dry Puppy Food

It’s also possible that you introduced your puppy to dry puppy food too soon. If this is the case, they will have a difficult time consuming it and may avoid it entirely. Of course, the most straightforward solution is to return to wet food until they’re old enough.

Fortunately, they’ll be weaned off puppy chow before being sold to you in most situations, but if they were sold to you too soon (say, when they were 3 weeks old), this could be why they’re not eating.

What Else Can You Try When Your Australian Shepherd & Australian Shepherd Puppy Aren’t Eating?

Fortunately, as well as everything listed above, there’s even more you can do to get your dog’s appetite going again!

Here are some more things you can try!

Give Them More Exercise

Giving your Australian shepherd extra activity (especially if you’re taking them for runs) will make them hungry. If you take them for a lengthy walk an hour before supper, they are likely to be hungry when it comes time for dinner.

Just keep an eye on your puppy when you’re doing this. Puppies cannot be walked for as long as adults. As a general rule, you should walk them for 5 minutes every month of their age. A four-month-old, for example, might walk for 20 minutes.

Stop Feeding Them Throughout The Day

We’ve all done it, but if your Australian Shepherd isn’t eating at mealtimes, it’s time to stop offering them snacks throughout the day.

This indicates that if you have any leftover chicken after eating, you should throw it away instead of feeding it to them. Stop giving them little bits of cheese when you’re cooking it for yourself, or, in my case, stop giving them little bits of cheese when you’re preparing it for yourself.

When they’re waiting for a reward, it’s difficult to say no, but if they don’t eat enough, it could harm their health in the long run. So you have to be cruel to be compassionate at times.

Monitor How Much They’re Drinking

Finally, you should keep track of how much water your Australian Shepherd drinks when they aren’t eating since this may provide additional indicators if something is amiss.

If they’re still drinking water when they’re not eating, it’s possible they’re suffering from a stomach ache. This implies you can wait a few days to see whether they get better, but if they don’t, you should see a veterinarian.

If your Aussie is eating but not drinking, it could be an indication of something more serious, such as diabetes or renal disease. As a result, it’s best to take them to the veterinarian to determine what’s happening.

And if your dog isn’t eating or drinking, it’s usually a sign that something is wrong. You should not hesitate to take them to the veterinarian as soon as possible. If they appear to be vomiting or have diarrhea, it’s most likely a significant problem that has to be addressed right once.

Interested In Training Your Australian Shepherd The Right Way?

If you haven’t trained your Australian Shepherd properly, then this is the perfect time to start. Whatever bad behavior your Shepherd has, whether it’s barking at night or other bad behaviors, using the right training program is the key to having an obedient and happy pup.

The training program I love and highly recommend is Brain Training For Dogs.

With Brain Training For Dogs, you’ll save yourself a ton of time and effort. Instead of banging your head against the wall trying to figure out why your dog won’t listen, you’ll follow a path that has been tried, tested, and most importantly, that’s given proven results. Not to mention the fact you’ll be able to fit the course around your schedule, not fit your schedule around a trainer or obedience class.

So instead of worrying about whether they’re going to be well-behaved or not, you’ll only have to worry about how much fun you’ll have with them!

And in most cases, it’s still going to be:

  • Cheaper than hiring a professional.
  • Cheaper than replacing everything they might break.
  • And definitely cheaper than a lawsuit against you, if they decide to bite someone.

Just imagine how great it will feel to finally be able to trust your Australian Shepherd completely and never worry whether they’ll be naughty or not. Instead, you’ll have the peace of mind that you have a well-behaved pup, and the boundaries you set for them will always be there, EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT. 

And the best part is it also has a 60-day money-back guarantee! So there’s no reason not to give Brain Training For Dogs a try!

So if you’re tired of your dog’s bad behavior or how they react around other people and pooches, then give it a try! You’ll be amazed by the results!

(You can also check out a full review here to learn exactly what the course has to offer!)


As you can see, there are so many different reasons your Aussie or Aussie puppy isn’t eating. However, fortunately, there are also plenty of things you can do to get them to start eating again!

And remember, if you’re worried about your Aussie’s eating habits, then you should take them to a vet as soon as possible to make sure nothing is wrong with them!

If you liked this article, make sure you check out the rest of the website! Otherwise, have a great day!