National No Dirty Dishes Day

National No Dirty Dishes Day

Saturday, May 18th marks a holiday that we all need in our lives- National No Dirty Dishes Day!  While the first thing that probably comes to your mind is the tedious task of washing dishes, we would like to take this day to recognize the importance of pet nutrition and ensuring that pets are not leaving any dirty dishes behind after meal time.  A loss of appetite in pets can be brief and nothing to worry about, but in some cases, it can also signal an underlying problem.  After learning about your pet’s appetite, we also encourage you to use these 24 dishwashing-free hours to do something fun with your four-legged friend!


What Causes A Lack of Appetite in Pets

Has your pet stopped licking the plate clean?  There are several reasons that your dog or cat might not be eating, and a temporary loss of appetite in your pet is not something to be immediately worried about.  Oftentimes, cats and dogs are just like us and may not want to eat if something stressful has occurred in their day or if they are not feeling well.  However, if your pet’s loss of appetite persists, it may be a sign that something is wrong.

There are two names to classify your pet’s behavior: Pseudo-anorexia and True anorexia.  In Pseudo-anorexia, your pet may want to eat, however, he or she cannot due to a physical problem.  True anorexia occurs when your pet has no desire to eat at all.  Below are several reasons that your animal might have a loss of appetite:

Illness– A decreased appetite is often a sign of sickness, especially if your dog is exhibiting other symptoms in conjunction with not eating.  Bring your pet to the veterinarian if he or she is also lethargic, vomiting, having diarrhea, coughing, or is dehydrated.

Dental discomfort– A loss of appetite may be caused by something in your pet’s mouth that might be causing pain.  Teeth and gum problems such as a fractured tooth can make eating and chewing a painful task.  Have your pet checked for a broken tooth, a loose tooth, gingivitis, and other oral complications if he or she does not eat.

Recent vaccinations– Some vaccinations have minor and brief side effects, including a temporary loss of appetite in dogs and cats.

Travel and unfamiliar surroundings– Animals oftentimes become nervous in new places and therefore will not eat.  Try to make your pet as comfortable as possible in their new environment and offer some favorite toys or bedding to make them feel more at home.

Stress or change in daily routine– Just like humans, if an animal is under great stress or something has changed in their normal routine, it is not uncommon for a pet to stop eating.  Try to keep your animal on a regular schedule as best as you can, and eliminate as many stressful factors as possible.


Make Sure Your Dog Doesn’t Leave Any Dirty Dishes Behind

If your dog has been leaving food in his or her bowl, here are some tips to help your pet start eating normally again:

National No Dirty Dishes DayFeed on a regular schedule– This is one of the most important things that you can do in order to keep your pet eating normally.  Having a regularly scheduled feeding time not only creates a routine, but it also allows you to monitor how much your pet is eating.  If your animal just grazes throughout the day, you might not notice how much they are actually eating right away.  Most pet experts recommend feeding twice a day, once in the morning, and once in the evening.  Puppies and kittens may need to be fed more than twice a day, so always check with your veterinarian for specific directions.

Cut back on treats– Although we all love to spoil our pets with their favorite treats, it is important to limit the amount that you feed.  Your animal may be filling up on high-calorie treats and therefore not saving any room for his or her nutritious meals.

Make sure your pet gets exercise–  Regular exercise will stimulate your pet’s appetite and can encourage him or her to eat more food.  You can take your dog for walks before mealtime to start to create a positive association with exercise and with mealtime.

Feed your animal away from other animals– If your dog or cat’s food is continuously stolen by other animals, try feeding your pet in a separate room where the other animals cannot bother him or her.  Aggressive eaters may also snap at other pets during mealtime, so a separate space may be more calming and comfortable.

Try putting food bowls at different heights– To determine the correct height for a food bowl, your dog should be able to eat without lowering their neck or having to stretch it upwards.  Cats are natural “crouch” eaters and do not like to eat in a standing position.  If your pet is not eating comfortably, try adjusting the height of your pet’s food bowls to see if a different position is more comfortable for mealtime.

Try a different brand or type of food– If you feed your pet commercial food, your animal may not be getting all of the nutrition he or she needs, and changing up the type of food may stimulate your pet’s appetite again.  Additionally, if you have a picky eater, he or she may just be tired of the typical boring, bland food and may want to try something new!

Don’t feed table scraps– Animals that eat table scraps may start refusing to eat regular pet food.  Additionally, giving your pet people food may encourage begging and other bad behavior.  You can give your pet a treat every now and then, however, try to avoid giving table scraps on a regular basis.

Contact your vet– If all else fails and your pet is still not eating, call your veterinarian.  Animals can only go a few days without food, so do not wait too long before getting professional veterinary advice.  There may be an underlying health issue that is causing your pet’s lack of appetite, and a professional may need to intervene.


15 Things To Do With Your Pet Instead of Washing Dishes

Now for the fun part!  If you are looking for some fun activities to do with your pet instead of washing dirty dishes, here are some ideas to try:

  1. Go for a walk in the park with your dog.National No Dirty Dishes Day
  2. Spend the day swimming and exploring a dog-friendly beach or lake.
  3. Stock up on toys from the pet store and let your dog or cat pick out his or her favorites!
  4. Teach your pet a new trick.
  5. Play in the sprinklers.
  6. Take a trip and stay in a dog or cat-friendly hotel or air b-and-b.
  7. Throw a puppy party.
  8. Get your dog a puppuccino at Starbucks.
  9. Cook your pet a gourmet meal.
  10. Try a stand-up paddleboard at the lake and bring your dog along.
  11. Pamper your pet at an all-day grooming spa.
  12. Watch Netflix or movies all day in bed with your cat.
  13. Go on a picnic.
  14. Take your dog to an obedience class.
  15. Go camping together.


How do you plan on celebrating National No Dirty Dishes Day?  Let us know!