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6 Tips To Get Your Male Dog To Eat When Female Is In Heat

Last Updated: December 10, 2023

When your male dog loses his appetite and becomes restless, it could indicate a female dog nearby is in heat (estrus). This is common among male dogs as they focus more on mating than eating. However, you must ensure that your male dog still gets the necessary nutrients during this time.

If your male dog won’t eat when a female dog is in heat, feed him in a separate room, change the feeding frequency, offer high-value treats, and exercise him before mealtimes. You can also consider neutering your dog, using calming aids, or temporarily removing him from the area.

If your male dog is not eating when a female dog is in heat, it can be concerning as he may experience weight loss and other health issues. Fortunately, there are several tips that you can try to encourage your male dog to eat and maintain his health during this time.

In this article, we will explore why your male dog may not be eating during a female’s heat cycle and provide several tips on how to get him to regain his appetite. Let’s dive in!

Male dog won't eat when a female is in heat.

Why Do Male Dogs Stop Eating When Female Is In Heat?

As a dog owner, you may have noticed that your male dog loses interest in his food when a female dog nearby is in heat

This is a widespread behavior among male dogs and is caused by their instincts to mate.

When a female dog is in heat, she releases pheromones that male dogs from a distance can detect. These pheromones signal to male dogs that a female is in heat nearby, which triggers their instinct to mate and reproduce.

Male dogs become more focused on finding a mate and less interested in eating during a female dog’s heat cycle. They can become restless, distracted, and may even lose weight if they don’t eat enough.

However, every dog may react differently to a female dog in heat. 

Consulting with your veterinarian is always a good idea if you notice any significant changes in your dog’s behavior or eating habits.

Do you want to know how to calm your boy when a female is in season? Check out this article, Top 7 Ways to Calm a Male Dog When a Female Is In Heat.

Tips To Make Your Dog Eat While The Female Is In Heat

1. Feed Your Dog In A Separate Room

One solution that may work is to feed your male dog in a separate room away from the female dog. This helps to reduce the distraction caused by the female’s scent, which can be very strong and overwhelming for male dogs. 

By feeding your dog in a separate room, you may notice that he is more focused on his food and less distracted by the female dog nearby. 

Another tip is to feed your dog smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day. This can help keep his energy levels up and prevent him from losing weight.

Offer him high-quality dog food that is easy to digest, and avoid feeding him table scraps or other human foods that could upset his stomach.

English Bulldog Puppy

2. Temporarily Remove the Male Dog From the Area

During the female’s heat cycle, you should keep your male dog away from her to prevent him from becoming too stressed or anxious.

If your male dog is not eating due to a nearby female dog in heat, one solution is to temporarily remove the male from the area. 

This is because as long as the female is around, your male dog’s instincts will drive him to mate with her, making it difficult for him to focus on anything else, including eating.

You could ask a friend or family member to look after your male dog until the estrus cycle passes or book your dog into a boarding facility. This way, he will be removed entirely from the area and won’t be able to sense the scent of the female. 

If these options are not possible, you should separate them into different rooms or use baby gates (for smaller breeds) to keep them apart, ensuring they both have a comfortable place to rest.

Reactive Dog Barking

3. Use Calming Aids

If your male dog is experiencing a lot of stress or anxiety during a female dog’s heat cycle, consider using calming aids, such as pheromone diffusers or calming supplements.

These products can help reduce stress and anxiety in dogs and make them feel more relaxed. Follow the instructions carefully and consult your veterinarian before using any calming aids.

4. Offer High-Value Treats

One strategy that may work for you is offering high-value treats. Male dogs may be more willing to eat if offered treats they love, such as small pieces of cooked chicken or cheese.

High-value treats are those that are particularly tasty and appealing to dogs. They can be a great way to stimulate your dog’s appetite and encourage him to eat his regular food. 

When offering high-value treats, be sure to do so in moderation, as overfeeding your dog can lead to weight gain and other health issues.

Another tip is to offer the treats during mealtime. This can create a positive association between the treats and the regular food, making your dog more willing to eat his meal.

With a caveat, of course…

“You have to be careful here, though, as you may condition your dog to expect treats at every meal time.” 

World of Dogz

Although high-value treats can help to get your male dog to eat during a female’s heat cycle, they should not replace a balanced and nutritious diet.

5. Exercise Him Before Mealtimes

Exercise can increase your dog’s appetite and make him more willing to eat.

Try taking your male dog for a long walk or playing a game of fetch before mealtime to stimulate his appetite. 

This can be a great way to encourage your dog to eat and provide him with the exercise he needs to stay healthy and happy.

Also, give your male dog plenty of water during and after exercise to prevent dehydration. With a little exercise and much love and attention, you can help your dog stay healthy and happy when a female is in season.

6. Consider Neutering Your Dog

One long-term solution is to consider having your dog neutered. Neutering is a surgical procedure that removes the testicles in male dogs, which can reduce or eliminate their instincts to mate.

By neutering your male dog, you can help prevent the adverse effects of a female dog’s heat cycle on his appetite and behavior. 

Neutering can also provide other health benefits, such as reducing the risk of certain types of cancer and aggressive behavior.

However, neutering is a personal decision and should be made in consultation with your veterinarian, who can inform you about the benefits and risks of neutering and provide guidance on when to have the procedure done. 


How Long Will A Male Dog Be Attracted To A Female In Heat?

Male dogs can be attracted to a female dog in heat for up to three weeks. The duration may vary depending on the dog and the female’s heat cycle stage. You must keep male dogs away from females in heat to prevent unwanted pregnancy and to ensure their health and safety.

Why Does My Male Dog Cry When My Female Dog Is In Heat?

Male dogs may cry or whine when a female dog is in heat due to their instincts to mate. The scent of a female in heat can be overwhelming for male dogs and cause them to become restless, distracted, and focused on finding a mate.

You should provide your male dog with appropriate care and attention and consider strategies to manage their behavior and prevent unwanted breeding.

Sharon Waddington
Sharon Waddington is the founder of World of Dogz. With over 30 years of experience working with dogs, this former Police Officer has seen it all. But it’s her trusty German Shepherd, Willow, who steals the show as the inspiration behind this website. As Sharon’s constant companion Willow has played a pivotal role in shaping her passion for dogs. Recently, Sharon has become deeply passionate about the plight of rescue dogs and is an active advocate for dog rescue, striving to make a difference in the lives of dogs in need.

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