Dogs are not naturally averse to food, as they are found to relish even garbage and other waste food products. However, sometimes you may find your canine getting disinterested in food, without any apparent reason. In such cases, you may use appetite stimulants that are meant for dogs. However, before starting with such stimulants, take your dog to the vet and get the condition diagnosed. If there is any underlying medical condition, it has to be treated. Otherwise, use appetite stimulants, according to the instructions of the vet.
Loss of Appetite in Dogs
Appetite loss in dogs could be due to medical conditions, like intestinal obstruction, digestive problems, kidney or liver problems, respiratory diseases, intestinal parasites, dental or other oral medical problems, or worm infestation. Apart from that, factors, like stress, anxiety, lack of exercise, and change in weather, may also affect the food intake of the animal. Even aging can be a reason for lack of appetite in dogs. It has also been noticed that some dogs give up food for a day or two, as a natural detoxification process. Usually, such fasting is not a cause of concern, as far as the animal remains active. However, you must take him to the vet, if he refuses food for more than two days, or if he develops other symptoms. Proper diagnosis is necessary to rule out the possibility of underlying diseases.
How to Stimulate Appetite in Dogs
If the dog is healthy and is not diagnosed with any underlying disease; you may use some appetite stimulants. There are certain prescription medications that are used for stimulating appetite in dogs. Some food supplements and herbs are also useful for this purpose. Here are some tips for improving appetite in dogs.
- Before starting with medication, it is always better to try some natural appetite stimulants for dogs. They include herbs, like ginger, alfalfa, peppermint, dill, fennel, milk thistle, dandelion, celery seed, and chamomile. Mix a small amount of the herb with the dog food.
- Even changes in diet may increase appetite in dogs. Instead of commercial dog food, you may try home cooked ones. It will be better to add rice and meat to their diet. It has also been observed that, dogs like baby food, broth, home cooked chicken, eggs, and fish. You may also try flavor enhancers that can be added to food, so as to boost your pet's appetite.
- Some people try homeopathy and acupuncture, to tackle appetite loss in dogs. These methods are more beneficial in dogs with digestive problems. Even vitamin supplements can be effective for dogs with this condition. You may consult your vet and start B vitamins or multivitamins for this purpose.
- There are certain prescription medicines, that are used for treating canine appetite loss. They are prednisolone, mirtazapine and megestrol acetate. Make sure that these medications are administered to dogs, as per the instructions of the vet.
- Some people try essential oils, like rose and vetiver, for increasing appetite in dogs. You have to apply a few drops on the dog collar. Get a companion for your dog, in order to boost his appetite. Exercises may also prove effective for this purpose.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.