Did you notice that your German Shepherd does want to eat? You're not the first person who had this issue. Many dog owners worry when their pet's appetite changes or decreases. It can be hard to know what to do, especially if your German Shepherd has always been a healthy eater in the past.
In this blog post, we'll discuss common reasons why a German Shepherd might stop eating and how you can help them get back on track with their nutrition.
We'll also explore some tips for encouraging picky eaters and getting your pup excited about mealtime again!
By the end of this article, you should understand why your German Shepherd may not be eating and what actions you should take next.
First, let's see why your German Shepherd may not want to eat.
It's common for German Shepherd dog owners to be concerned when their beloved pet isn't eating as much or has lost their appetite.
If your German Shepherd doesn't want to eat, this can be caused by a few things, including medical issues, changes in routine, diet changes, boredom, stress, anxiety, and even depression.
Some of these conditions may be difficult to diagnose on your own, so it's important to have a veterinarian examine your pup if their lack of appetite persists.
In some cases, medical intervention may be necessary. If a medical issue is ruled out as the cause of your dog's decreased appetite, you should consider other potential reasons why they may not be eating.
Here are the 10 most common reasons why German Shepherds stop eating:
- Stress or Anxiety
- Medical Issues
- Not Enough Exercise
- Dentistry Problems
- Boredom or Lack of Stimulation
- Poor Quality Food
- Changes in Routine
- Too Many Treats and Snacks
- Diet Changes
- Loneliness and Depression
German Shepherds can stop eating because of stress or anxiety. This is usually caused by a major change in the dog’s environment, such as a new home or losing an owner or family member. This traumatic event can lead to decreased appetite and other physical and mental symptoms.
It’s important to identify the source of stress and work on resolving it in order to get your German Shepherd’s appetite back to normal. A visit to the vet is a good place to start. The vet can help you determine if any underlying medical issues may be causing stress, and they can also provide advice on how to manage your dog’s anxiety.
If your German Shepherd has stopped eating because of stress or anxiety, it’s important to take steps to make them feel more secure. Spend extra time with them, give them plenty of attention, and create a calm environment in which they feel safe.
You may also want to consider behavioral techniques, such as desensitization or counter-conditioning, which can help your dog become less anxious around certain stimuli or experiences.
Another common cause of a decrease in appetite is medical issues. If you suspect your German Shepherd may be ill, take them to the vet immediately for an examination. The vet may recommend further tests or treatments to help resolve the issue.
Common medical issues that can cause a decrease in appetite include allergies, digestive problems, diabetes, kidney or liver issues, and infection.
One of the most common medical issues that can cause a decrease in appetite in German Shepherds is allergies. Allergies can cause digestive upset and discomfort and decrease the dog’s desire to eat. Common allergens for dogs include food ingredients, pollen, molds, dust mites, and flea bites.
Although some of these conditions may require medication to treat, many can be managed through dietary changes once the underlying issue has been identified.
Not enough exercise.
German Shepherds can become disinterested in food because of a lack of exercise. This can occur when a dog's physical activity level is insufficient to meet its needs, and it causes the dog to become bored or lethargic.
This behavior can be seen more often in breeds such as German Shepherds that are more active and require regular physical and mental stimulation. To correct this behavior, it's important to ensure that your German Shepherd gets enough exercise throughout the day.
A minimum of 30 minutes of moderate-to-strenuous exercise every day is recommended for these dogs, depending on their age and general health condition. Additionally, providing mentally stimulating activities such as interactive toys and training sessions can help keep your dog mentally engaged.
With the right amount of exercise and mental stimulation, your German Shepherd should be more interested in food and have an appetite that is back to normal.
If your German Shepherd has a density problem, he'll probably stop eating. A dog's teeth are just as important as the rest of its body and must be taken care of properly in order to maintain a healthy diet. Unfortunately, dental issues can lead to an unwillingness to eat or chew certain types of food.
Signs of dental issues include bad breath, drooling, and refusal to eat certain foods. If you notice any of these signs, you must take your dog to the vet as soon as possible for a thorough examination. They can then recommend an appropriate treatment plan.
Sometimes, a simple teeth cleaning may be enough to restore your dog’s appetite. However, teeth extractions or other more complicated treatments may be necessary in more severe cases.
No matter the cause of your German Shepherd's loss of appetite, it's important to take action and seek help from a professional as soon as possible. You can help your German Shepherd get back on track and restore its appetite with the right treatment plan and care.
Boredom or lack of stimulation.
German Shepherds may also stop eating because of boredom or lack of stimulation. This can occur when a dog's physical and mental needs are not being met. Dogs, especially those with high energy levels, such as German Shepherds, need regular exercise to remain healthy and happy.
If they are not getting enough exercise or activities to keep them engaged, they may become bored and disinterested in food. Ensuring your German Shepherd is getting enough exercise and engaging in activities is important to counteract this behavior.
Poor quality food.
German Shepherds can stop eating if they are being fed poor-quality food, which is one of the main reasons they stop eating. Poor-quality food can contain many unhealthy ingredients, such as fillers, additives, and preservatives that cannot provide the necessary nutrition for a healthy diet.
These foods may also lack essential nutrients that are needed for optimal growth and health. In addition, poor-quality food usually does not taste great, which can lead to a lack of appetite in your dog.
To solve this problem, it is important to feed your German Shepherd a high-quality diet that includes all the essential nutrients and vitamins necessary for its growth and development.
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Changes in routine.
Do you frequently change your routine and the routine of your dog?
Changes in routine can cause a German Shepherd to stop eating. Dogs are creatures of habit and thrive when they know what to expect daily. Any drastic changes to their daily routines can cause them to become anxious or stressed, leading to a decrease in appetite.
For example, if you suddenly switch your dog’s feeding time or type of food, it may be overwhelmed and stop eating. To prevent this from happening, maintain the same feeding routine each day and try to limit changes to their environment.
Too Many Treats and Snacks.
If you're giving your German Shepherd too many treats, this may also cause a loss of appetite. Treats and snacks are meant to be given as rewards or special treats, not as meal replacements. If a dog receives too many treats and not enough of their regular food, it may develop a preference for the sweet taste of the treat.
This can lead to them having a decreased appetite for their regular food and, eventually, stopping eating it altogether.
To prevent this from happening, only give treats in moderation and ensure they get enough of their regular food. Additionally, try to choose healthy snacks over unhealthy ones that may lack the proper nutrition your dog needs.
A frequent change in the diet of your German Shepherd is also one of the main causes of weak appetite. Diet changes can be caused by various factors, such as changing the type of food they are fed or changing the ingredients in their food.
GSD may also become disinterested in their regular food if they have been given too many treats and snacks or aren’t getting enough of their regular food.
To combat this, it's important to stick to one type of diet and avoid feeding your dog too many treats or snacks. Additionally, ensure they receive the right amount of regular food daily.
If you must change the diet of your German Shepherd, do it slowly and gradually over time. This will give their digestive system enough time to adjust to the new food and prevent them from becoming disinterested in eating.
Loneliness and Depression.
German Shepherds can stop eating when they feel lonely or depressed due to a lack of physical and mental stimulation. Dogs, like humans, rely heavily on social interaction and companionship. When deprived of these things, dogs can become lonely and depressed, making it difficult for them to feel motivated to eat.
Loneliness and depression in dogs can be prevented or relieved by spending more time with them, providing them with adequate exercise and stimulation, and engaging in activities they enjoy. If the issue persists, it may be best to consult a vet or professional dog trainer for advice if you can alone solve this problem.
Related blog post: German Shepherd depression
Why is my dog suddenly not eating?
If your German Shepherd suddenly stops eating, this can be due to changes in routine, stressing him out, being given too many treats and snacks, changing his diet, or feeling lonely or depressed.
To determine the cause of this issue and solve it, it's best to consult a vet or professional dog trainer for advice.
Depending on the reason they have stopped eating, they may be able to provide you with tips and solutions that can help encourage your dog to start eating again.
Why my German Shepherd puppy is not eating?
Puppies have different appetites from adult dogs, and there are many reasons why your puppy may not be eating.
Some of the most common reasons why your German Shepherd puppy doesn't want to eat include changes in routine or environment, being overfed with treats or snacks, a sudden change in diet or nutrition, feeling lonely or depressed due to a lack of physical and mental stimulation, and medical issues.
If you suspect your puppy may be ill, it's best to contact a vet for advice and treatment. If the issue is more behavioral-based, they may be able to suggest methods that can help encourage them to start eating again.
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How long can a German Shepherd go without eating?
A German Shepherd can generally go for around three days without eating, although this can vary depending on the individual. While it doesn't necessarily pose an immediate health risk, it can lead to other problems, such as malnutrition and digestive issues, if left unchecked.
Unlike cats, which are obligate carnivores and need to eat frequently to remain healthy, dogs are omnivorous and can go long periods without food. However, it's still important to ensure your GSD gets enough nutrients in its diet to remain healthy.
When should I worry about my German Shepherd not eating?
You should worry about your German Shepherd not eating if they have been going without food for more than three days. If it has been over 48 hours since they last ate, it's important to take them to the vet and have them checked out.
This is especially important if your dog appears lethargic or has other concerning symptoms, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or loss of appetite.
It's important to keep a close eye on your dog if they cease eating, as it can be a sign of an underlying health issue that needs to be addressed immediately. With the right care and attention, you should be able to get them back to their normal eating habits in no time.
Do German Shepherds not eat a lot?
No, German Shepherds typically do not eat a lot. While they require adequate food to remain healthy and active, their appetite is rarely voracious. As with any breed, they need the right amount of calories, nutrition, and diet to maintain their health and energy levels.
Generally speaking, a diet that is balanced, varied, and tailored to their specific needs is the best way to ensure your German Shepherd remains fit and healthy.
Too many snacks or treats can interfere with their regular food intake, so it's best to stick to one type of diet and provide them with the right amount of meals daily. Additionally, ensure they receive plenty of physical and mental stimulation throughout the day.
What to do if my German Shepherd doesn’t want to eat?
If your German Shepherd is not eating, it's important to assess the situation and determine the underlying reason.
The first step should be to consult a vet or professional dog trainer to help you identify the cause of the issue and provide advice on how to address it.
Once you have identified the cause, such as changes in the environment or routine, a sudden change in diet, or feeling lonely and depressed, you can start to look for ways to help encourage your dog to start eating again.
Depending on the situation, this could include adjusting their diet, providing more stimulation throughout the day, or changing their routine. With the right approach and attention, you should be able to get them back to their normal eating habits in no time.
Are German Shepherds normally picky eaters?
No, German Shepherds are not normally picky eaters. In fact, they thrive on a balanced and varied diet that is tailored to their individual needs. However, certain situations or environmental changes can cause them to become picky or refuse food altogether.
These include changes in diet or nutrition, feeling lonely or depressed, or because of you. Giving your German Shepherd too many treats or human food can make them picky eaters.
It's important to stay consistent with their diet schedule, and the probability of your German Shepherd becoming a picky eater will be minimal.
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How do I get my German Shepherd to eat?
To get your German Shepherd to eat, you should start by ensuring that their diet is balanced and tailored to their needs. Provide them with various nutritious foods and offer the same meals at regular intervals throughout the day. Avoid drastic changes in diet, as it can lead to digestive issues or refusal to eat altogether.
In addition, ensure that they get plenty of mental stimulation throughout the day as this will help keep them interested in meal time and allow them to explore different flavors and textures more easily.
Providing treats should be limited and only used in moderation so as not to interfere with their regular food intake. Finally, monitor any changes in behavior or eating habits closely, as they could indicate an underlying health issue that needs attention immediately.
Here are some tips that will help your German Shepherd and make him eat again:
- Maintain consistency in their diet and feeding schedule: A regular diet is one of the most important components of a healthy pet lifestyle. Make sure your pet has access to quality food and water at all times, and create a routine for meals and snacks.
- Offer a variety of healthy foods that are appropriate for your dog's age and breed: Be sure to provide a variety of foods that are high in protein and low in carbohydrates. Feed your pup lean meats, such as chicken and turkey, and plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Whole grains like oats, rice, and barley are also great sources of dietary fiber. Avoid processed food that contains artificial preservatives or colorings.
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- Talk to your vet or a professional trainer if the issue persists to help identify underlying causes causing them not to eat properly: It's important to consult a vet or professional trainer if the issue of not eating persists.
They can help you identify any underlying causes that might be causing your dog’s loss of appetite. Common causes include undiagnosed medical conditions, stress, boredom, or dietary allergies.
Avoid giving excessive treats or human food as it could make them picky eaters over time: Excessive treats or human food can make your pet picky eaters over time. Too many of these foods can cause digestive issues, such as diarrhea and vomiting. It’s also important to remember that treats should only account for 10% of your pet’s daily calorie intake.
If you want to treat your pet, make sure it’s something specifically designed for them and not something you have lying around in your kitchen. It’s also important to avoid giving your pet table scraps, as many human foods are potentially toxic to animals. Stick to treats specifically made for your type of pet, and keep the portion size small.
Make sure your German Shepherd has plenty of physical activity throughout the day as this encourages appetite: It's important to provide it with plenty of physical activity throughout the day as this not only encourages appetite but also helps keep them healthy and fit.
Exercise helps to burn off excess energy, strengthen muscles, and improve overall health. It also provides the mental stimulation that helps prevent boredom-related behavior such as chewing, digging, and barking.
Monitor how much food you’re giving to your German Shepherd so that it is adequate for their size, weight, and energy level requirements: Regularly monitor your GSD’s weight and adjust the amount of food you give them as needed.
Make sure that any food you give them is specifically formulated for a German Shepherd, not just generic dog food. Also, consider the amount of exercise your GSD gets when determining how much to feed them each day.
Add wet food or broth (from boiled meats) to kibble, which can provide additional flavor, texture, and moisture: Adding wet food broth to kibble can provide additional flavor, texture, and moisture for your German Shepherd.
Wet food is higher in calories than dry food, so if you’re looking for an energy boost for your pet, wet food may be a good option. Be sure to check the label on the wet food packaging before feeding it to your dog, as canned and pouched foods can contain added salt or sugar, which can be harmful to your pet.
Replace metal bowls with ceramic ones – dogs tend not like eating out of metal dishes due to static electricity buildup: Ceramic bowls are a great way to avoid this problem. They absorb the electrical charge and prevent it from transferring to your pup’s mouth. Additionally, ceramic bowls are heavier than metal dishes, making them more difficult for your pup to tip over or carry away.
Ceramic bowls also have non-skid bottoms to help keep your pup from sliding the dish around as they eat.
Change their routine by providing different types of enrichment toys while they're eating: By providing enrichment toys within their habitat, you give your German Shepherd something to do and an opportunity to explore and observe the surrounding area.
This can be done using interactive feeders that release food as they move it around with their paws or noses. You can also provide foraging toys that require them to roll, move and toss around the toy to get the treat inside.
If possible, try feeding your dog at specific times in separate places away from other pets: If you have more than one pet, it's crucial to help ensure food bowl competition and aggression don't develop between them.
Feeding at specific times in different areas can help keep the peace. Additionally, try not to leave food dishes out all day; this encourages ‘grazing’ behavior which can lead to gastric problems and obesity in some breeds.
How can I increase my German Shepherd's appetite?
We'll be honest with you. This will not be easy, especially if your German Shepherd is a picky eater. During this process, the most important thing is consistency.
One of the best ways to increase your German Shepherd’s appetite is to ensure that their diet contains all the essential nutrients they need. This means providing them with high-quality, species-appropriate food that contains adequate levels of protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.
Here are the five most common ways to increase the appetite of your German Shepherd dog:
Offer Smaller and More Frequent Meals: Instead of giving your German Shepherd one large meal, try splitting it into smaller portions throughout the day. This will help stimulate their appetite and make them more interested in the food.
Also, having meals available at different times throughout the day can help keep your GSD from getting bored with its food.
Try Different Types of Food: If your German Shepherd is bored with their meals, try mixing it up by offering different flavors and textures. Consider adding wet food to kibble or trying different proteins like fish, chicken, or beef.
This variety can help keep your pup interested in their food and ensure they get the nutrition they need.
Increase Exercise: Exercise is one of the best ways to stimulate your pup’s appetite. Taking them on regular walks or playing fetch in the backyard can help increase their energy and make them more interested in mealtimes.
Additionally, if you have a dog that likes to chase after toys, try using a treat dispensing toy to get them more excited about food.
Change Mealtime Settings: If your pup is eating in the same spot every day, try changing the location or setting of their meals.
This can help make mealtimes more interesting and encourage them to eat faster. You can also try feeding them in different rooms in your home or in the yard.
Use Positive Reinforcement: If you have a German Shepherd that is picky about its food, try using positive reinforcement to encourage them to eat.
Give them praise and treats when they finish their meal (or their favorite toy) and avoid punishing them if they don’t. Eventually, this will help them associate food with positive experiences and increase their appetite.
- Consult with your vet (must): If your German Shepherd is still not eating, it’s important to consult your vet. They'll be able to evaluate the situation and provide the necessary medical advice or treatment if needed.
They can also recommend dietary changes or supplements to help your pup get the nutrition they need.
How many times per day should German Shepherds eat?
German Shepherds should typically eat two meals a day, with the amount of food varying depending on their age, activity level, size, and health condition. Adult German Shepherds should receive an average of 2 to 3 cups of high-quality dog food per day, divided into two meals.
Puppies need more frequent feedings as they grow, so you may need to feed them up to four times a day.
It’s important to remember that every GSD is different, and their nutritional needs vary. Talk to your vet and German Shepherd dog breeder about the best food and feeding schedule for your pup, and follow their advice closely.
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How much food can German Shepherds eat per day?
The amount of food German Shepherds can eat daily varies depending on factors such as age, activity level, size, and health condition.
Adult German Shepherds should generally eat two meals a day, each consisting of 2 to 3 cups of premium dog food. It is advised to feed puppies up to four times a day because of their quick development, which necessitates more frequent feedings.
But before you decide, ask your German Shepherd's dog breeder or vet for advice. They'll 100% know how much food you need to give your dog for proper development.
What is the most picky dog breed?
One of the most notoriously picky dog breeds on Earth is the Shih Tzu. This breed is often described as having a mind of its own and being incredibly discerning when it comes to food. They are also known for being prone to digestive issues and food allergies, making them even more challenging to feed.
Some of the other most picky dog breeds are:
- Yorkshire Terrier
- Standard Poodle
- Cocker Spaniel
- Bichon Frise
- Boston Terrier
- French Bulldog
Why my German Shepherd is not eating in summer?
There are a few reasons your German Shepherd may not want to eat during the summer, and the main one is temperature.
The heat can make German Shepherds lethargic, so they lose their appetite. If it is particularly hot where you live, your dog may not feel up to eating. Further, they might not be as hungry if they spend much time outside in the sun.
It’s also important to consider if their diet needs changing. Sometimes, German Shepherds can get bored of the same food every day and may need something new or different in order to be excited about eating.
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Add healthy options like fruits and vegetables to your pup’s meal for variety. You can also give your German Shepherd some frozen snacks or add ice to his water bowl.
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Ask for professional help.
If your German Shepherd doesn't want to eat for some reason, this article can help you find out why your GSD doesn't want to eat and how to solve this problem.
However, you should always contact your vet if there's any issue with your German Shepherd. So please, if your German Shepherd has any diet or other problems, don't hesitate to contact your vet.
If you want to learn more, you can hear the opinion of veterinarians on the most common reason dogs stop eating.
German Shepherds are amazing and loyal dogs, but they sometimes have dietary issues requiring special attention.
Anorexia, nausea, vomiting, an insufficient diet, or nutrient deficiency can all be potential causes of why your German Shepherd is not eating or not gaining weight.
It's important to visit the vet for tests so that they can investigate further and determine what may be causing this behavior in your GSD. Also, whether you feed them once a day or multiple times per day depends on their individual needs; it’s best to speak with your veterinarian about which diet will work best for them.
With proper nutrition and care from their owners, any German Shepherd dog has the potential to grow into a healthy adult canine and have a happy life!
Frequently asked questions
Do you still have questions? Check our FAQ section, and you can find your answer here!
❓Why is my German Shepherd not eating but drinking water?
There are many potential causes for why your German Shepherd may not be eating but drinking water. It's important to look out for other symptoms, such as vomiting, drooling, or changes in behavior that could indicate a health issue.
Possible causes include digestive issues, dental problems, nausea and anorexia, allergies or food sensitivities, stress and anxiety, changes to a dog's routine, and side effects of medications.
❓Why is my German Shepherd not eating his food but will eat treats?
It's normal for German Shepherds to lose their appetite on occasion. Still, if your German Shepherd is consistently not eating his food and only consuming treats, it's important to investigate the underlying cause. There are a number of potential causes that could be behind this behavior.
First, consider whether your dog's diet could be the issue. Ensure they have high-quality dog food that is rich in protein and contains all the essential vitamins and minerals.
Also, keep an eye out for any changes to their routine or lifestyle that could be causing them stress or anxiety. Finally, it's possible they may have underlying health issues such as digestive problems, dental issues, allergies, or food sensitivities.
If you notice behavior like this in your German Shepherd, please don't ignore it and visit your local vet.
❓My German Shepherd is not eating and has diarrhea.
There are various potential reasons why your German Shepherd might not eat and have diarrhea.
The most common cause is digestive issues, as German Shepherds are prone to problems such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and other digestive disorders. Another potential issue is dietary intolerance, which can lead to diarrhea.
Furthermore, eating something that doesn’t agree with them or a sudden diet change can also lead to digestive problems.
Suppose you notice that your German Shepherd has been having diarrhea and not eating for an extended period of time. In that case, it’s important to visit the vet for some tests so that they can investigate further and determine the cause. In some cases, dietary changes or medication may be needed to help your pup feel better and get back on track with its eating habits.
❓My German Shepherd is not eating and vomiting
Anorexia, nausea, and vomiting can all be signs that a German Shepherd is not eating. Anorexia can be caused by various factors, including underlying health issues such as digestive problems, food sensitivities, allergies, dental problems, or even stress and anxiety due to changes in routine or lifestyle.
Nausea and vomiting can also be caused by dietary intolerance or a sudden diet change.
If your German Shepherd is not eating and vomiting, it’s important to visit the vet as soon as possible. They will be able to investigate further and determine what could be causing this behavior in your GSD.
❓My German Shepherd only eats once a day
It depends on the individual dog and its needs.
Generally, for adult dogs who do not require special diets, feeding them once a day is okay as long as they receive enough nutrition. Certain breeds and ages may benefit from twice-a-day feedings or more frequent meals.
Senior dogs may need to eat smaller meals multiple times daily to help them properly digest their food.
If you have concerns about your dog's diet or eating habits, be sure to speak with your veterinarian.
❓German Shepherd female not eating
There can be a number of potential causes why your female dog doesn't want to eat. Perhaps the most common is an underlying health issue, such as digestive problems, allergies, food sensitivities, dental issues, nausea, and anorexia.
These could cause discomfort and make it difficult for your pup to eat normally. Additionally, stress and anxiety due to changes in routine or lifestyle can also impact your dog's appetite.
Also, your female German Shepherd is maybe in heat season. In some cases, female dogs may decrease their food intake in heat.
❓Why is my German Shepherd not gaining weight?
There could be a few potential explanations as to why your dog is not gaining weight.
Firstly, it may be that your German Shepherd is not receiving enough nutrition from their diet. High-quality food rich in protein and containing all the essential vitamins and minerals can help provide your pup with the nutrients they need for healthy weight gain.
Also, it's possible that they are not eating enough food or that their diet is low in calories. In this case, increasing the amount of food and/or the calorie content may be beneficial.
Finally, underlying health issues such as digestive problems, allergies, food sensitivities, dental issues, etc., can also impact your German Shepherd.
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❓Why my German Shepherd is not growing?
It's possible that your German Shepherd is not growing due to a lack of nutrition or a nutrient deficiency. High-quality food rich in protein and contains all the essential vitamins and minerals can help provide your pup with the nutrients they need for healthy growth.
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