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Canine production is quite fascinating. As soon as the female goes into heat, she will produce a scent that male dogs know and love so much. If you have a male dog, you know this scent can drive him temporarily insane. The minute he catches a whiff of it, his brain will only think of mating with the dog. Other things like sleeping, cuddling with his owners, and even eating become secondary to him. If your male dog has refused to eat because there’s a female dog on heat, don’t panic. We will tell you a few things to get his appetite back.
Why Do Male Dogs Stop Eating When There’s a Female on Heat
The mating process is scent-driven. When the female goes into heat, the hormones in her body will cause the production of a discharge with a special smell. Males as far as three miles away can identify with the scent and will know their role in the reproduction process. The smell is very distracting to an unneutered male dog. Naturally, it tells the dog to focus only on mating with the female. It’s simply a natural behavior that happens to all dogs. His mind is only preoccupied with one thing and one thing only: Mating. He may lose weight, vomit a lot, and act very agitated throughout the period.
What To Do
If your precious male canine friend sees the opportunity to mate, his appetite will go outside the window. No matter what you offer, he will find it unappealing and disinteresting.Thankfully, his body will not let him starve. He will eventually come around. However, since heat can last up to 21 days, you don’t want to sit around and wait for your fur baby to be normal again. Here are a few things you can try to get him to eat again.
1. Remove The Male From The Area
As long as the female on heat hangs around your male dog, he will not rest until he mates with her. This is why you might want to take the male dog as far away from the female dog as humanly possible. If you have a friend or family that stays more than three miles from you, consider asking them to watch over your dog until the estrus cycle passes. Without the scent of the female, his appetite will reappear. Some pet owners book their males dogs to boarding facilities during this time for the same reason. It is a simple yet effective strategy to get your dog to eat his food again. Sure, you will miss him a little but the effort is certainly worth it.
2. Mask The Smell
Seeing as your male dog acts the way he does because of the scent coming from the female, masking the scent will normalize things again. There are plenty of sprays used on male dogs to calm them down. A good example is ‘Lust Buster’ used in the show ring to get male dogs to focus on the activities of the day rather than lusting after females. If you own the female dog on heat, use a scent concealer on her as well. You can utilize a diaper to trap the discharge or apply a methanol spray on her tail. This overpowers the scent so that your male dog doesn’t pick it up. Of course, if he cannot smell the female, he will get his appetite back in no time.
Related Post: How to Stop a Male Dog from Smelling a Female in Heat
3. Offer Enticing Treats
To trigger your pup’s appetite further, use the good old trick of adding treats he loves and craves. The best thing would be to change his diet completely but that might do more harm than good. Canine stomachs are very sensitive and react to the tiniest of changes. You don’t want that. Instead, supplement his diet with high-value treats including hot dogs, chicken, cheese, or any other treat your doggie loves. The tasty morsels may stimulate hunger and motivate him to eat. The tempting snacks might overpower the desire to mate.
4. Exercise the Pooch
This is a long shot but it can work if you get it right. In a bid to distract the male dog from thinking about mating and fuel his body with food, try tiring him out. Go for long walks with him. Let him run around the yard as long as the female is not close by. Take him hiking all afternoon. Play fetch for hours. Go swimming. Anything that distracts him from constantly thinking about the female works like a charm. Just make sure you don’t follow the same route the female dog uses during walks. That can worsen things for you.
It is not uncommon for a male dog to refuse to eat when he smells a female dog on heat. The urge to mate takes over everything and renders the dog powerless. It is your responsibility to help him find his appetite once again. Hopefully, the above tips will help.