What to do when a sick dog is not eating

There are many situations that can lead a dog to get sick: colds , intestinal flu, swollen perianal glands, etc. In these cases it is normal for the animal not to have a great appetite, but it is precisely in these conditions that it is essential to feed it correctly . Of course, it will be appropriate to give him specific foods, based on the disease that has affected him.

Why is it good for dogs to eat when they are sick?

In these cases, animals react exactly as we humans react: we don’t have the strength to do anything, much less to eat. But it is precisely because of this weakness of the body that we will need the most nutrients. In the case of dogs, exactly the same happens.

When a dog gets sick , his entire organism struggles much harder to fight the disease, virus or bacterium that weakens him.  With the aim of recovering wasted energy, the animal will have to ingest the necessary foods, rich in all the nutrients that its body has been deprived of.

Always consider the possibility that the disease affecting your dog means that the animal will not eat, even if these cases are quite rare. It is almost always advisable for the animal to continue eating even when sick. For these reasons, you need to know what foods your dog can and cannot eat.

What to prepare for the sick dog

First, ask your veterinarian if your dog’s illness has a restriction on permitted foods ; milk, for example, is often banned in these cases. Once you are aware of this information, you can proceed according to the following recommendations, again based on the disease:

  • Bad digestion. In these cases, the animal will need easily digestible proteins , without fat and, if possible, with an addition of fiber, useful for stimulating the intestinal flora. This type of protein is easily found in foods such as chicken, fish or turkey, to be cooked by steaming or boiling, so that the food remains tender and easy to digest. Cut everything into small bites and mix them.
  • Diarrhea and vomiting . Diarrhea and vomiting cause dehydration in the animal, which will therefore need to ingest liquids . Water alone will not provide him with the necessary strength, so it is advisable to opt for a chicken broth with vegetables: the dog will ingest it as if it were water, but at the same time it will get the nutrients and vitamins necessary for a rapid recovery.
  • Cancer. If your dog has cancer, he will need a diet high in protein and fat , which will give him the right level of energy to fight the disease, especially if he has started chemotherapy.
  • Kidney pains. If your dog’s kidneys are not functioning properly, his diet will have to rely almost entirely on vitamins ; also provide him with a reduced intake of protein that gives him strength, but no type of fat.

How to get a sick dog to eat

Even if you have prepared your dog an ad hoc diet according to his needs, the dog does not necessarily intend to eat. So don’t be surprised if your dog doesn’t pay attention to the dish you prepared for him , even if you put all the love and time possible into it.

So what can be done to make the sick dog eat? One idea is to bring the food close to the dog for fifteen minutes to collect it later even if it has not eaten. Repeat the action every two hours. The dog will learn that either he takes advantage of that moment to eat, or he will no longer be able to.

If after taking all the necessary measures the dog persists in not wanting to eat, you will have to feed him yourself. You can grind the food and give it to him with a spoon, or, in more extreme cases, inject it with a syringe. The quantities administered should not be excessive, otherwise your pet may vomit. Give him small amounts of food every two hours.

If your vet has prescribed a recovery drug for your dog, you can try mixing it into food. The animal won’t notice, and you’ve killed two birds with one stone.

By listening to the vet and preparing the necessary foods following his advice, we are sure that your dog will recover in no time. As always, we remind you that with love, perseverance, patience and constancy you will be able to take care of your little friend perfectly, making him a healthy and happy animal.

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