What to Do When Your Dog Or Cat Won’t Eat

Your dog won’t eat. Or your cat is a picky eater. So what on earth do you do?

First, a caveat. No animal will willingly starve itself. But ALWAYS have your pet seen by a vet when there’s a change in behavior. You need to rule out illness before embarking on solving a pet’s eating problem. Be sure to check for a bad tooth as this is often overlooked as a cause of eating issues. The second caveat: Eating problems can be complex and the tips offered here are simplistic. I offer them with 30 years of experience as a dog owner, breeder, handler and fancier in the world of dogs, but you should discuss them with your vet to see if any are a plausible remedy for your pet’s situation.

We’ll start with dogs, and assuming that your dog is healthy but not a good eater, here are some potential reasons why and ideas for fixing it.

If you feed your dog treats during the day, stop. You want your dog hungry at meal times.If your dog is a show dog, remember that bait should be offered in TINY pieces, it’s not meant to be dinner. When it comes to meals, put the dog’s food bowl on the floor, give her 10 minutes to eat it, and if it isn’t touched, pick it up and put it away. Don’t feed again until the next meal, and resist the temptation to give treats. Do this for a whole week because what you’re doing here is behavior modification. Remember, a healthy dog won’t starve itself to death, but a stubborn, healthy dog could modify YOUR behavior if you cave in.

If you change pet foods frequently, stop. Frequent diet changes can create a finicky eater. The dog learns to “holdout” to see what will be offered next. When you find a nutritious diet your pet will eat, stay with it. If you MUST change the pet’s diet, do it gradually over a two week period. Add a small amount of the new diet to the old food, and each day, increase the amount of the new feed while decreasing the amount of the current food. This gradual change will help prevent diarrhea, vomiting and finicky eating.

With picky eaters, it’s important to feed a “super premium” brand of dog food. These foods cost a little more and are made with better ingredients, but they are nutritionally dense. This means that your dog is actually eating less in quantity than the cheaper brands bought at grocery stores (these foods have the nutritional value of bark), but because there are more “calories per cup” in a premium food, they’re actually getting more nutrition. Look for brands such as Merrick’s “Grammy’s Pot Pie” (canned food), California Natural, Prarie, Canidae, Flint River, Nutro, Wellness, Eagle Pack Holistic or Nutrisource.

Mixing kibble with a small amount of canned dog food and water will also make it enticing. This next part is important: The single most natural way to increase a pet’s appetite is to warm their food because it increases the smell and makes it more appetizing.

Perhaps your dog has a health issue or is on a medication that makes him not want to eat. She’s under a vet’s care, but the task of getting nutrition into her falls on you. Now what? First, understand that the less a dog eats, the less he WANTS to eat. Add to that the dog who comes to associate food with nausea and you have a real problem, so the sooner you can get your dog to WANT to eat on his own, the better. So much for the obvious. 검증사이트

We’ll start with the simplest remedies and work our way up to a radical solution that worked for one of my dogs. Assuming that your dog is on a high quality feed but still not eating, you may need to go to the next step: making dog food taste even better.

You don’t want to make these next foods a daily staple, mostly because the high sodium content of many of them would be contra-indicated for dogs in renal failure or with heart issues (if your dog does have kidney issues, check out a really informative web site here.) The following foods have been tried and tested by people in the dog fancy and are suggested ONLY as a means to jump start the appetite in a sick or compromised dog: Sardines, canned cat food, Gerber’s baby food – especially turkey or sweet potato, braunschweiger, Limburger Cheese, broth, pureed liver, Dinty Moore Beef Stew, yogurt, cottage cheese/cream cheese, canned mackerel, scrambled eggs with cream cheese, chicken noodle soup – and even this one: hard-boiled eggs smashed up in French Vanilla yogurt, slightly warmed.




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