Of the many problems you can encounter as a dog owner, a diminished appetite probably isn’t one of them. Dogs are generally always ready and willing to enjoy a meal, so if Fido isn’t behaving like his usual self, it is logical to be worried. The most important step you can take to protect your dog is to take him to the vet if he hasn’t eaten for 24 hours, or even earlier if the loss of appetite is accompanied by sluggishness, fainting, frequent vomiting or diarrhea, seizures, squinting of the eyes, or any other sign of pain. Once your vet rules out life-threatening conditions such as intestinal obstruction, you can consider exciting your pooch’s palate with tasty dry food and snacks such as Eat Small, containing a wonderfully healthy ingredient your pet may not have tried before: insects, which are fabulous sources of protein but also rich in important vitamins such as B12.
Appetite loss is a common symptom of a host of conditions, ranging from cancer to kidney failure. The best thing you can do for a pooch with appetite loss is call your veterinarian and observe your dog for any other symptoms that seem out of the ordinary. Anorexia can also occur because of a reaction to a medication, or because of dental issues such as a broken tooth, infection, or gum disease. The list of conditions that can lead to anorexia is long and includes liver disease, a urinary tract infection, and pain due to injury. In reality, any cause of pain and discomfort can interfere with your dog’s naturally healthy appetite so prompt medical attention is key.
If your usually insatiable pet is avoiding his bowl, see your vet to rule out serious illness. Sometimes, the problem could be as small as a cavity which you may not be able to spot yourself, so make sure to get the all-clear. To battle appetite loss, feed your dog quality nutrients like insect protein, and don’t be shy to add healthy foods such as veggies, fruits, and meat and fish to his bowl. Make sure that any dishes you feed him are lean and do not contain potentially allergenic or harmful foods such as grapes and pistachios, which can be toxic. This will involve research and discipline, but your dog will show his gratefulness in his growing interest in mealtimes.
Our guest writer Jackie Edwards spent more than a decade as a vet’s nurse, working to help save the lives of sick and injured animals, from beloved family pets through to hard working farm animals. She is originally from Reno, Nevada but now live in Wales. There, she enjoys the countryside and the opportunity to commune with nature.