Why is my Springer Spaniel Not Eating?

August 26, 2022

For any Springer Spaniel owner, the idea of one not eating can be very difficult to picture. Springers are very motivated by food and always find a way to be at the centre of it if there is any being eaten or prepared.

This makes your English Springer Spaniel not eating quite puzzling!

So, what can cause your dog to not eat?

There are many reasons a dog could not want to eat their food. Causes can vary from being a pretty simple fix such as you have a fussy dog all the way to far more serious causes such as being related to an illness.

In this article, we will look at the main reasons an English Springer Spaniel may stop eating, what you can do about it, and when it will be time to seek professional help from your vet.

If you are just a little curious about your dog's behaviour or have a Springer who has not eaten for a few mealtimes this will be a great resource to deal with a dog not eating.

What can Stop a Springer Spaniel from Eating?

First, let's look at the reasons which can cause a Springer Spaniel to stop eating their food.

Reasons are pretty wide-ranging so from a fussy dog who is bored with its kibble and sees something more exciting to health problems that will require your veterinarian.

Bored with their Food

This has to be one of the most common reasons.

Imagine eating the same old boring kibble twice a day every day. Quite a bland diet really. In fairness from a nutritional standpoint, high-quality dry food will offer everything they need to stay healthy, but it can be boring.

This is particularly the case if you often feed your dog scraps when cooking or a bit of what you are eating. If your Springer can smell the food on the counter there is a good chance they will hold off eating just in case they can have that dry dog's food upgraded with a bit of what you are having.

Changes to Environment

Your Springer Spaniel not feeling like eating can also be caused by changes to their environment.

This covers quite a wide range of situations such as:

  • Moving home
  • People visiting your home (if your dog isn't used to it)
  • A new pet joining the family
  • Having a baby
  • Separation anxiety
  • Changes in the owner's schedule
  • Work being done in the house (strange people/noises)

If something from the list above leaps out to you it could be the cause of your Springer Spaniel not eating. Try to fix this before considering other reasons, unless some of the more serious signs are present.

A little upgrade to that dry kibble with sausage, boiled chicken, or even a little wet food and help smooth over the adjustment period for many of the above situations.

The root cause of many of these situations is stress. Eliminating the cause of that stress will be the best way to help your dog get past this long term.


While a loss of dog's appetite won't always be a sign that a trip to the vet is required, it can be a signal of something more serious.

There are a few possible illnesses, these include:

  • Liver problems
  • Kidney problems
  • Infections
  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Hormonal diseases
  • Food allergies

If you even remotely suspect that your English Springer Spaniels loss of appetite could be caused by an illness skip every other piece of advice in this article and book an appointment with your vet as soon as you can.

Dental Disease

Dental disease is pretty common in dogs. VCA Animal Hospitals actually reported that around 8/10 dogs over three years old have dental problems.

Some pretty scary stats. Tooth problems can be pretty painful, so much that it could even stop your Springer Spaniel from wanting to eat their dinner.

There is a wide range of dental issues that can affect your Springer Spaniel, the main ones are periodontal disease and broken, chipped, or fractured teeth.

Just like with any illnesses, if you think your Springer has dental problems book an appointment with your vet straight away.

Too Much Food

Another reason your dog may be not finishing its meals is that the portion is too big.

This may sound like an unlikely reason, particularly given it can feel like a Springer Spaniel is always hungry some dogs will just stop eating when they've had enough.

If your dog tends to not finish their meals you may want to check you are not overfeeding the dog. Providing you are giving your dog the right portion just remove the excess. You will be able to find information on the correct portion size for your dog's size on the packaging.

What Can You Do?

At this point it may seem a little doom and gloom with a long list of reasons your Springer Spaniel may not eat their food, but the good news is there is actually many ways you can get your dog eating again.

I'd recommend trying the home remedies first and then booking an appointment with your vet if your efforts are unsuccessful.

Remove any Source of Stress

First up, check your home for any of this signs of stress in your dog's environment that could be making your dog anxious and affecting their appetite.

Refer back to the list above for a plan on what you should try. It may be a bit of trial and error if a few of these look possible.

Have Set Feeding Times

Dog's like structure and routine in their days and having a set feeding time can help with that. Set meal times around 12 hours apart. This will mean that your dog should be keen to eat and even anticipating meal times.

Dog's have great internal clocks!

My spaniels always knowns when dinner time is.

Cut Down on Treats

If you are feeding your Springer Spaniel treats throughout the day it could be a reason they are less interested in their actual meals. They may not be hungry if your Springer is being overfed during the day.

It can also contribute to your dog not being interested in their standard dog dry food.

There are other reasons you wouldn't want to overdo treats such as an increased risk of obesity.

Make their Current Food More Interesting

Your dog becoming bored of their dog food can be a problem sometimes if your dog is used to getting bits of your tasty food, or even a wide range of treats on a regular basis.

If this is the problem you face your Springer Spaniel is just a bit fussy. Just stand your ground with the kibble and cut down on the treats, they will eat it eventually.

Change Dog Food

Sometimes a certain food will just not agree with your dog. There can be some cases where your dog plainly just doesn't like the dog food.

Certain foods may also cause other conditions such as softer stool, a dull or flaky coat, or even with your dog appearing more lethargic.

See your Vet

If you have tried some of these suggestions above and not had any success it will be time to book an appointment with your time out the exact cause of your Springer Spaniel not eating.

Don't hesitate to see your vet if you feel concerned about Springer not eating.

Signs you Should Book a Vet Appointment

The next logical question is how do you know when its time to book that appointment with your vet.

There are a few signs you can watch out that may hint at something more serious. This is not an exhaustive list but will be a few signs you need to talk to a vet.

As I've said a few times, any doubts, book the appointment.


If you notice that your Springer Spaniel isn't their usual excitable, larger-than-life self and seems a bit more deflated and sluggish it can be a sign of something more at play.


If your dog's having very loose stool or struggling to pass for a few days this can also be a sign of something more serious such as a blockage internally. Time to call the vet!


If your Springer Spaniel is having a hard time keeping anything down and not interested in dog food for a few days then it would be a good idea to get a professional opinion.

How Long has Passed Since their Last Meal

How long is too long when it comes to your dog not eating?

Your Springer Spaniel should be no longer than three days without food. If on the morning of the third day you still have no luck with your dogs first meal call the vet for an emergency appointment.


It can be a frightening time for pet owners when their dog isn't eating their food. Thankfully there are many logical explanations for why it may happen an quite a few ways you can deal with it yourself at home.

And if it something that could have more serious implications on your dogs health you always have your vet for support.

Finally, if you have an English Springer Spaniel who is not eating their food just now I hope this article has helped and your canine companion is eating again normally soon!

Allan  Noble
Hi, my name is Allan! I am the owner of Spaniel Advisor and I've got over seven years experience of owning Spaniels.  
I hope this article was helpful for you! 
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