My 12 Year Old Aussie Won't Eat Much At All

by Becky Tyra
(Franklin, OH)

He used to be a great eater. 2 weeks ago we had his teeth cleaned because he had problems. They pulled 2 teeth and he came home and ate fine. Then a few days later he started refusing his moistened hard food, so I hand fed him the same food only more moistened or mixed. Since that day we have tried 5 types of dry dog food (dry and wet), 4 types of canned food and baby food.

2 days ago we went back to the vet and she gave him an antibiotic shot, in case there was an infection causing him problems. We still can't get him to eat any "food" except here and there.

I realized long ago he was way smarter than me. I am wondering if maybe he is altering my behavior again. He WILL eat cooked cubed steak, tablet sized duck pill pockets or those little mini milkbones whenever... What should I do?

If we offer him any thing else he sits there and turns his head away with the "look", and if I do it too many times he gets up and walks away from me!

He still gets his toys to play, loves to go for walks and (along with his sister) is still my "velcro" dog. He is in reasonably good health, but he does have R. arthritis—diagnosed when he was 8. Since he has been on this strike he doesn't eat enough at a time to give his medicine for that. Actually for his age he seems fine except for this.

Could you offer any suggestions?

Comments for My 12 Year Old Aussie Won't Eat Much At All

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12 years old
by: Kathy

Hi Becky

I wish I had more practical suggestions, but can tell you that my 12 year old Aussie also went in for dental work a few months ago, with a couple of minor extractions.

She had a really tough time after coming home - took a few days to come round from the anesthetic and we got quite worried. We called the vet who said she was 12 and dogs at this age can take longer to recover from surgery.

This 'minor' procedure seems to have aged my girl several years - she went in young and now seems much older.

It's good your dog is on the antibiotics to rule out infection. Maybe she is 'punishing' you - the Aussie brain works in mysterious ways.

If mine stopped eating, I would put her on a home cooked diet to tempt her, mixing 'dog' food slowly back in over time.

Good luck - hope you get some helpful suggestions!


PS I now clean my Aussie's teeth diligently - do not want her to have another dental!

Aussie dental
by: Anonymous

Thank you so much for your reply. I am saying prayers for yours and mine too now... I have already found some recipes online and intend to try a couple today. Wishing you your old girl back soon. Thanks again,


12 years old
by: Kathy

That is very sweet Becky - thank you! I trust you will get your girl back in time too - it's very disturbing when a dog with a good appetite stops eating - I can definitely relate.

My vet's comments re: age were a bit of a shock - I adopted my dog at 4 and hadn't thought about her aging at all, till now. I realize from this forum that if an Aussie lives to 14, he or she is doing well, so this was an unwanted reality check.

Please keep us posted as to your dog's progress, and good luck with the recipes - we're sending you good thoughts!


My Aussie is going to be 12 in December. He Isn't eating very good
by: Pat

My going to be 12 year old Aussie also isn't eating good either. They eat in the mornings, now he eats a few bites then pushes his food around in the bowl then leaves the rest. I try him again at noon he eats another small amount. Some times takes three trys. I was planning on having his teeth checked but now a little worried about doing that. He may get worse afraid to give him special food for fear he won't go back to dry dog food.

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