It's difficult to see your canine friend in pain when it is suffering from an illness, an injury, or just an upset stomach. Much like humans, dogs also lose their appetite and do not feel like eating anything when they are sick. Missing a meal is okay considering your dog is unwell, but you must ensure it is getting the nutrients it needs to stay alive and healthy.
At DhohOo, we care about your pet’s health as much as you do. So, in this blog, we shall highlight what to feed a sick dog and what you can do to encourage your dog to eat.
Encouraging a Sick Dog to Eat
Giving your dog the right amount of nutrition it needs is key in helping its body recover and heal. Unlike humans, dogs do not understand the logic behind eating food to stay healthy and alive, making it harder for pet owners to encourage them to eat when sick.
Depending on the illness diagnosed and nutritional guidelines provided by your pet’s vet, you must start encouraging your pet to consume food and water in the following ways:
1. Try Out Different Foods
Changing your dog’s diet can help significantly. Dogs are enticed by changes in their routine as well as meals. You must avoid greasy and fatty foods. Give your dog bland food while it is sick. Keep the portion size small. Feed smaller amounts like a spoonful or two every hour rather than two big meals a day.
2. Be With Your Dog
Sitting next to your pet during their eating time can be very comforting and motivate them to eat. Try talking to your dog in a relaxed tone when you offer it some food. Hold its paw or pat it while it eats. Spoon or hand-feeding a sick dog is also one of the ways to encourage it to eat because the method makes it feel loved and cared for.
3. Change Locations
Changing locations can entice your pet to eat. Your dog is bound to get excited when things that are different from its usual routine start to happen. If you usually feed your dog in the kitchen, take its bowl out to the porch or backyard. Your dog will begin wondering what is happening and will take an interest in eating. Changing your dog’s bowl or plate can also motivate it to eat even when it is sick.
4. Release Food Aromas
No matter what type of food you give to your dog, try to heat it up or add hot water, so its smell fills up the room. Dogs can be very attracted to smells and will show great interest in what you are putting in their bowl. If your pet is sensitive to smells or has a respiratory illness that has damaged its sense of smell, inducing intense aromas by heating up food can encourage it to eat.
5. Trick Your Dog
If you want your dog to eat, trick it by giving it a small quantity of food it likes but cannot have. You can also try out foods that your dog has never had before. Put a dab of canned food or peanut butter on your dog’s nose or tongue and push its food bowl towards it. Your dog will think that the food in its bowl has the same acquired taste and is worth eating. However, please refrain from doing this before every meal since your pet might detect the trick, and that will make it even less likely to eat.
What to Feed a Sick Dog
There are several foods that can be incorporated into the diet when feeding a sick dog. For instance, you can try adding High Protein Treats to its diet.
If your dog has an upset stomach or diarrhea, you must add the following foods to its diet:
- Shredded chicken – packed with minerals and vitamins; easy to digest
- Rice – sits well on upset stomachs
- Pumpkin – high in fiber; helps control the digestive system
- Baby food – easy to digest and swallow
- Bone broth – packed with essential nutrients
If your dog is dehydrated, increase its water intake. Add water to its food and give nutritious liquid foods like bone broths. Also, add electrolytes, such as Pedialyte, to help replace the nutrients lost from your dog’s body. Add ice cubes to your dog’s water bowl if that is something you haven’t done before. New techniques might entice your pet to drink more water.
If your dog is not eating its usual food because of any disease, try substituting or adding the following ingredients to its meals:
- Sweet potatoes
- Mild meats like tuna
- Carrot sticks
- Boiled chicken
- Tomato soup
Even though your dog is a canine and must not eat grass, let it eat some. Eating grass is poisonous for your dog’s health and will induce vomiting, thereby flushing out all the toxins from your pet’s body.
Feeding a sick dog can be difficult, especially if you and your dog have difficulty communicating with each other. Trying to get your pet to understand the importance of eating, especially while it is sick, is hard. Use our techniques to encourage your dog and add new food to its diet, so it does not miss out on essential nutrients.
You can also try giving your dog supplements from DhohOo. We have a vast range of supplements available to treat digestive issues, develop skin and nails, soothe and calm your dog, and improve joint and muscle health.
Remember, don’t be harsh with your dog or try to discipline it when it is sick. Your dog needs your love and affection! Provide utmost care, be patient, and believe that your dog will gradually start eating bit by bit.