7 Lifesaving Appetite Stimulants For Sick Dogs
Lack of Appetite in Dogs, Symptoms, and Tips
It can be a real worry and a sure sign that something isn’t quite right when a dog loses his appetite.
There could be a very simple reason, however, the problem might be more complex and require veterinary care.
Points to Consider When Your Dog Loses His Appetite
1 Is this a recent thing? Did the dog eat normally yesterday? (If you’re not sure ask other members of the household if they noticed anything) Try to pin down when the problem began.
2 Has the dog had any sickness or diarrhea? Keep an eye on the dog’s stools and look out for signs of vomiting, they may indicate a tummy bug.
3 Is the dog’s tummy soft? Does he/she show any pain when you gently touch the stomach area?
4 Have you changed his food recently? It can take time for a dog’s stomach to adjust to a different food. If you do decide to change a dog’s diet always do it gradually by integrating it with the previous food, then slowly build up the amount.
5 Have you noticed the rubbish bin overturned? Some dogs are born scavengers and can pick up nasty germs from decayed food in the rubbish bin.
6 Is the dog as active as normal? Does your dog seem more sleepy than usual? this could be a sign that he is in pain.
7 Does he seem reluctant to jump on the couch or go upstairs? This might be a sign of stomach ache.
8 Are the dog’s teeth well cared for? Bacteria from the mouth can be swallowed and cause nasty stomach upsets.
9 Has the household routine changed in any way? Dogs are sensitive souls and they are creatures of routine so moving house, guests, holidays, new babies etc can upset them emotionally, and as a result, they lose the desire to eat.
10 Has the dog experienced weight loss? It’s always a good idea to keep a record of your dog’s weight. The first sign of severe illness can be weight loss and it will be the first thing that a vet checks if your dog loses his appetite. If you have a large dog always check his weight on professional scales, even if you are just going to get his nails trimmed. Domestic scales at home can be used for small dogs. Weigh yourself first, then again whilst holding the dog. Subtract the second recording from the first to get the dog’s weight.
11 Has the dog been in contact with an animal carcass or drank from a stagnant pool whilst out walking? Sometimes a dog will pick up the scent of a dead bird, rabbit etc and have a good investigate! Try to avoid this by being vigilant on walks and distracting your dog away from anything potentially harmful.
If there is no improvement after 24 hours the vet must be contacted. He will ask all of the above questions because a loss of appetite in dogs can signify a physical or mental problem. The vet will narrow down the possibilities then do a physical examination to confirm a diagnosis.
He may advise a bland diet of chicken and rice for a short period of time, or further tests.
If the dog will eat the bland diet, keep to it for 48 hours then gradually add his own food until he is back to normal.
7 Lifesaving Appetite Stimulants For Dogs
1 Offer small pieces of delicious smelling food, still slightly warm (eg roasted chicken, crispy bacon, hot dog sausage) as an appetite stimulant. Try to engage with the dog’s strong sense of smell.
2 Try baby food if you suspect the mouth is sore.
3 Offer food hidden in Kongs, make mealtimes fun and the dog may feel more inclined to eat.
4 Stay with the dog and gently encourage a few mouthfuls.Think little and often rather than over facing the dog with too much food all at once.
5 Hand feeding may be an option. (I have even pretended to eat the food myself to encourage eating)
6 Try a herbal appetite stimulant like dandelion, however, check with your vet first.
7 Acupuncture can help when a dog loses his appetite, ask for a practitioner recommended by your vet.
The Difference Between A Dog’s Digestion and A Human’s Digestion.
Have you noticed that your dog can raid a rubbish bin, drink pond water even eat his own excrement and still not get sick?
Here are three reasons why…
Dog’s saliva has antibacterial qualities which will kill off harmful bacteria before it is swallowed.
Also, the dog’s stomach acid is much stronger than humans. Dogs need strong acid to help them digest meat and bones, which was their original diet.
Dogs have a shorter digestive tract which means that the amount of time needed for digestion is much quicker. This means that there is less time for toxins to form
These products may help to stimulate appetite in dogs.
(contains Amazon affiliate links)
Use a Kong toy to entice play and stimulate appetite.
You can use a Bob-A-Lot interactive treat dispenser to help stimulate the dog’s appetite. This toy is a firm favourite in our household. The bottom chamber is big enough to hold a full meal, and most types of dog food fit inside. The dog will have so much fun working out how to get the food that he will not realise how much he has eaten. There are difficulty settings too so that you can adjust the openings depending on how clever your dog is.
Fast-acting digestive support for dogs and cats.
If your dog is prone to digestive problems, keep YuDigest Plus close by.
Gentle, natural and effective, it provides fast support for troubled tummies, and it helps manage ongoing upsets.
This blog post called Superfoods For Dogs has lots of useful tips about dog nutrition for when he is fit and well again.
Thank you for reading, I hope your dog recovers soon!