Dog Articles, Symptoms

Low Appetite, Decreased Enthusiasm for Food, or Finicky Eating Behavior in Cats and Dogs

Finicky eating behavior and decreased appetite are often related in cats and dogs.  Food preferences and minor behavioral issues are responsible for many instances of finicky eating behavior.

However, a very large number of diseases suppress appetite in pets.   Pets with suppressed appetites may eat less, or may become more selective (finicky) about what they eat.

Common Non-medical Causes

More common causes are listed first. Less common causes are listed later.

Hair Loss, Shedding, Balding, and Unkempt Hair in Cats and Dogs

Shedding, unkempt hair, and hair loss in pets are extremely common complaints among owners.   In many cases, shedding is normal and harmless for the pet.  However, hair loss leading to baldness, or hair loss accompanied by itchy, red, scabby, moist, or malodorous skin usually is linked to a medical problem.

Common Causes

More common causes are listed first.  Less common causes are listed later.

Vomiting in Cats and Dogs

Vomiting is very common in both cats and dogs. Mild, isolated incidents of vomiting usually does not represent a major concern. Protracted, severe, or chronic vomiting may be caused by serious illness. As well, severe vomiting can be dangerous in its own right.

Common Causes

More common causes are listed first. Less common causes are listed later. There are thousands of causes for vomiting, but they can be loosely grouped as follows.

Scratching or Licking the Skin (Itching) in Cats and Dogs

Scratching and licking the skin generally have similar causes. Excessively licking the skin is a way of scratching the skin. Skin irritation leading to itching is responsible for most instances of excessive licking and scratching.

A certain level of scratching or licking is considered normal in all animals. Also, both cats and dogs groom themselves with their tongues. Therefore, it is important to determine whether your pet is scratching or licking excessively, or whether he or she is engaging in normal behavior.

Panting in Dogs

Panting is very common in dogs. In most cases, panting is not a sign of a medical problem. Dogs pant in lieu of sweating. Anything that might cause a person to sweat can cause dogs to pant.

Dog owners frequently note and become concerned about episodes of increased panting in their pet that seem abnormal. In some cases, such episodes or trends are a sign of medical problems. However, this is rare. Most panting is not indicative of a serious underlying problem.

Common Causes

More common causes are listed first. Less common causes are listed later.