As pet owners, we want the best for our furry friends, especially when they're sick. One of the most concerning symptoms of illness in dogs is when they stop eating. Fortunately, there are many home remedies that can help stimulate your dog's appetite and get them back to their healthy selves.
Below are the best home remedies for getting a sick dog to eat, along with other tips for helping them dog feel better.
Offer Tasty and Aromatic Foods
When your dog is sick, they may not be interested in their usual dry food (or wet food). However, there are some tasty and aromatic foods that can help stimulate their appetite.
Here are some examples:
- Boiled chicken and rice: This is a classic home remedy for getting a sick dog to eat. Boil boneless, skinless chicken breast and white rice, then mix them together for a bland, easy-to-digest meal.
- Human-grade meat in convenient packets: It can be a challenge to find or prepare real, high-quality foods for sick dogs. That is why, a good home remedy can be a lifesaver, especially one that comes in convenient packs like Paleo Pet's all-natural, human-grade meat in beef liver or pork heart.
- Canned tuna or salmon: The strong smell and taste of canned tuna or salmon can be enticing to a sick dog.
Use bone broth or chicken stock
Bone broth and chicken stock are both excellent wet food options for getting a sick dog to eat. They're easy to make at home or can be purchased at your local pet store. Here are some benefits of bone broth and chicken stock:
- Provides nutrients: Bone broth and chicken stock are rich in nutrients and can help replenish your dog's energy.
- Easy to digest: The nutrients in bone broth and chicken stock are easily absorbed by a sick dog's digestive system.
- Stimulates appetite: The smell and taste of bone broth and chicken stock can be enticing to a sick dog.
Add Cooked White Rice or Sweet Potatoes
Adding cooked white rice or sweet potatoes to your dog's regular food can help soothe their upset stomach. Consuming sweet potatoes can be an excellent way to incorporate dietary fiber into your diet, thereby promoting more effective digestive system functioning. Regular consumption of fiber has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and certain types of cancers, making it an important dietary consideration.
Mix cooked white rice or sweet potatoes with boiled chicken or canned pumpkin for a nutritious, easy-to-digest meal.
Try Canned Pumpkin or Baby Food
When it comes to getting a sick dog to eat, canned pumpkin and baby food are two great options to consider. Canned pumpkin is a high-fiber food that can help regulate your dog's digestive system, while baby food is easily digestible and can provide much-needed energy. These food options come in various flavors, making it easier to find one that your dog will enjoy. By incorporating these foods into your dog's diet, you can provide them with the nutrients they need to recover and feel better.
Use a Syringe or Dropper to Feed Your Dog
If your dog is not interested in eating on their own, you can try using a syringe or dropper to feed them small amounts of food. This can be helpful for providing nourishment and encouraging your dog to eat. Here are some tips:
- Offer small amounts: Use a syringe or dropper to feed your dog small amounts of food at a time, to avoid overwhelming their digestive system.
- Use high-calorie food: Choose a high-calorie food, such as canned puppy food or human-grade beef meal to provide your dog with the necessary energy to recover.
Warm up the food: Warming up the food can make it more appetizing and easier to digest.
Use Over the Counter Medications
Ask your veterinarian for over-the-counter medications as a home remedy. For instance, some stomach acid reducing medications, such as famotidine or omeprazole, may help alleviate mild stomach discomfort. However, it is crucial to consult with your veterinarian before administering any medication to your dog. Your vet can provide guidance on the appropriate medication, dosage, timing, and frequency based on your dog's specific condition. It is essential to keep in mind that not all medications are suitable for every dog, so it's crucial to rely on your vet's professional advice.
Other Tips for Helping a Sick Dog
In addition to home remedies for getting a sick dog to eat, there are other tips you can follow to help your dog feel better.
Keep your dog hydrated: It's important to make sure your dog stays hydrated, especially when they're not eating. Offer fresh water frequently or add a small amount of low-sodium chicken broth to your dog’s water bowl. You can also use a syringe or dropper to give small amounts of water throughout the day.
Monitor your dog's temperature: Monitoring your dog's temperature using a rectal thermometer is an important aspect of pet care that every dog owner should be familiar with. A dog's normal body temperature ranges between 100.5°F and 102.5°F. Any temperature reading that falls outside of this range could be indicative of an underlying health issue or infection. If a dog's temperature is consistently high or low, or if they are exhibiting other signs of illness, consult with a veterinarian as soon as possible.
Encourage rest and relaxation: Encouraging rest and relaxation is crucial for a sick dog's recovery. You can provide a comfortable space for your furry friend by providing a warm and comfortable bed that will help them rest properly. Keep the room quiet and free from distractions that may cause stress or anxiety. Using a soft and calming voice can also help to soothe your dog and create a relaxing atmosphere.
Keep the environment clean: Keeping your dog's environment clean helps prevent illness and promote healing. To maintain a clean environment, washing their beddings frequently and cleaning their food and water bowls daily is crucial to prevent the buildup of bacteria or other harmful contaminants. Using a pet-safe disinfectant to clean surfaces that your dog comes into contact with, such as floors or toys, can also help maintain a clean environment.
When your dog is sick and not eating, it can be a stressful and concerning time. However, by using the home remedies and tips discussed in this guide, you can help stimulate your dog's appetite and promote a speedy recovery.