It is true that the slightest signs of illness in your dog can send you spiralling down a path of constant worrying and looking up ways to treat your furry friend, on the internet. As amazing as having a dog at home can be, there can be any number of health concerns and physiological complications. However, no concern is untreatable in dogs and it is important to remain calm and consult your vet when such situations arise.
Dogs are usually very excited about mealtimes. They instinctively know when it’s time for lunch or supper. The sight of treats gets them to run around and jump in joy in a second. Therefore, as a dog parent, it can be highly distressing if your puppy won’t eat. You know it is a definite problem when your foodie little pup turns his head away at the sight of his favourite treats.
However, if you have a functioning knowledge of the root causes of appetite loss and how to fix it, you can determine the best course of action for your little champ by yourself. We shall discuss that in detail later but at first, it is important to stay careful of how you’re analysing your dog’s appetite. If it is according to the information stated on the dog food packets you purchase, you should keep in mind that these are just averages. Most perfectly healthy dogs consume only 60% to 70% of whatever is mentioned on the packaging.
But if you still feel that your dog’s eating is lower than usual, there may be some cause of concern. When your dog is feeling a little under the weather, the first thing that gets affected is his eating habits. He may not want to eat wet or dry food items. Even his favourite treats fail to excite him. Not only is it heart breaking for you to see your little pooch in a state like that, not eating also depletes the energy reserves in your dog’s body that they need for fighting illnesses and to build stronger immunity. Because appetite loss in a dog can be an indication of a bigger illness, it is highly recommended that you seek veterinary experts to address the problem instead of self-prescribing and treating.
If you’re not sure, then lookup for these symptoms to tell if your dog is suffering from appetite loss or not. These symptoms may include:
- Inability to finish a meal,
- Refusal to eat even when your dog is offered his favourite treat,
- weight loss,
- lethargy, and
- Renal failure leading to gastrointestinal complications like vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation
Causes of Loss of Appetite.
However, it is important to have a clear understanding of what is causing such appetite loss in your dog. Not only will it help with aftercare, it will also come in handy so as to avoid such health concerns in the future. So let’s look at some of the primary cause of loss of appetite in dogs.
Loss of appetite can arise from any health concerns like liver disease or heart problems in dogs. Renal failure is also a major cause of loss of appetite in dogs. So if your dog has a lower appetite than usual, and you notice other symptoms, it definitely warrants a visit to the veterinarian.
If something in your dog’s mouth is causing him discomfort or pain, it is most likely that he will refuse to eat. You should have him checked for gingivitis, broken tooth, or in worst case scenarios, oral tumor.
Most contagious or life-threatening dog diseases can be prevented by vaccination in dogs. Although vaccinations protect your dog from hundreds of fatal diseases, they do come with some adverse effects of their own. These side effects are mostly brief and insignificant, and nothing to worry about. Sometimes they include a temporary loss of appetite that can be easily restored.
Travelling or unfamiliar environment
If you’ve moved to a new location or if you’re travelling with your pet pooch, and you notice loss of appetite in them, it is most likely because your dog is uncomfortable or scared in the new surroundings. Often times, dogs get motion sickness just like human beings do. They may become nervous in such situations and refuse to eat food as a result.
Sometimes, it’s possible that your dog is just a picky eater and it is more of a behavioural issue than a medical or physiological one. Sometimes they may just be too uncomfortable to eat like if an aggressive dog is around or if the bowl is set in an inconvenient position. However, it is always important to investigate and rule out other causes of appetite loss before assuming that its behavioural.
In addition to the treatment recommended by your vet, you must do everything you can to try to get your dog to eat something. This may include making some significant changes in your dog’s diet. As we know dogs enjoy strong-smelling varieties of dog food, heated to room temperature, or just slightly above. Also, you as a dog parent should take care of what to give them to avoid anything that falls under the category of dangerous food for dogs. This will help your dog gain some of his lost appetites, and some of his long-lost energy all over again.
Home Remedies to treat Loss of Appetite in Dogs
So, some of the items that you could make to try to get your dog to eat are:
- The first choice of food to feed your dog when he is suffering from appetite loss is chicken giblets, including the bird’s heart, liver, neck, kidney, and gizzard sautéed in a little bit of olive oil with one or two cloves of garlic chopped finely. This strong-smelling food can help your dog regain some of his lost appetites. The cloves of garlic contribute greatly to your dog’s recovery.
- Secondly, you may try feeding your dog broiled chicken. Broiled chicken shredded into tiny pieces, has a number of health benefits that can help your dog recover in no time at all.
- Thirdly, your vet will have recommended commercially prepared special diets. If your dog is vomiting or suffering from diarrhea then these special diets will provide medical as well as general health benefits to your dog. They speed up the recovery process so your pet dog can go back to being his usual, happy sole.
- The fourth choice can be a thinly sliced steak that has been microwaved for approximately 3 to 4 minutes. You can also shred it into strips to make it easier for your dog to chew and gulp down on his own.
- At number five, we have Nutri-Cal, a high-calorie nutrient paste, often acts as a wet food alternative for your dog in times of sickness. The high-calorie content in the paste keeps your dog active and full for long periods of time.
- And the last supplement is bone broth. Bone broth is light enough for your dog to digest easily. It also contains high amounts of vitamins, fatty acids, and trace amounts of protein. This combination helps in soothing an upset stomach. This may even help in keeping your dog hydrated, especially if they have been throwing up a lot leading to loss of bodily fluids.
These few items, along with the medical care prescribed by the vet will surely help him gain some of his long-lost energy and jump around at the sight of food again. In case, changing your dog’s diet does not help, you can always take them for another consultation at the veterinarian office. Remember, it is very crucial for you to keep your calm as a pet parent and look for constructive solutions when your dog falls sick. Nothing fixes them like lots and lots of love from their human mommy and daddy and regular medical check-ups.