How to get a sick dog to eat?

In this brief discussion, we’ll answer the question “ How to get a sick dog to eat? “ We will also talk about why dogs lose their appetite, when you should contact your vet and how can you use a syringe to force feed your dog.

Why do dogs lose their appetite?

There can be many reasons that can make a dog lose its appetite. Most dogs stop eating because they’re suffering from an illness or an upset stomach. Dogs can also lose their appetite when they’re stressed, getting old, or suffering from an infection.

Some dogs also refuse to eat when they’re recovering from any surgery. But staying hungry for your pet is not good for their health as it can lead to many life-threatening health complications in the future. Therefore, you need to come up with ways to get them to eat.

Has my dog stopped eating because he’s on medication?

Yes, it is possible that your dog has stopped eating due to its medication. If your dog is on antibiotics, it is very likely that he’ll develop an upset stomach which leads to reduced appetite. 

If you suspect your dog has stopped eating because the medication has upset his stomach, you need to consult with a vet as soon as possible and get them medicine to protect their stomach lining before feeding them food so they can eat easily.

When should I contact my vet?

If your dog is showing signs of reduced appetite for some time in conjunction with any of the signs of vomiting, lethargy, weight loss, diarrhea, gagging, wheezing, or coughing, you should take your dog to the vet as soon as possible.

If your dog is already sick, you can use different tactics to feed them first. If none of the strategies work, make an appointment with your vet so he can advise you on what to do keeping your dog’s condition in mind.

How do I get my sick dog to eat?

There can be many possible reasons why your dog can stop eating. Fortunately, there are certain ways you can adopt to feed your sick dog. Some of those ways are given below:

  • If your dog hasn’t been feeling well and refuses to eat, you can entice them by giving them a delicious treat that they don’t normally get.
  •  You can try giving them human food that is safe for their consumption. You can also mix it with their normal dry food. You just need to make sure not to overfeed them.
  • Try changing the brand of your dog’s dry food. You can also mix their dry food with a little wet food to enhance its taste. This may help to stimulate your dog’s appetite.
  • Heating up your dog’s food just above their body temperature is one of the best methods to feed your dog. Heat enhances the smell and palatability of their food.
  • You can also add chicken broth to your dog’s food. This will not only enhance its flavor but also make your dog’s meal more nutritious.

Can I use medicine to stimulate your dog’s appetite?

Yes, you can use medication to stimulate your dog’s appetite but only under certain conditions. If your dog’s medication or health condition suppresses your dog’s appetite, you can get a prescribed appetite stimulant from your vet.

Many stimulants are available in the market that can help to manage nausea and stimulate hunger hormones. It is important to keep in mind not to give stimulants to your dog without their vet’s recommendation.

Can I use a syringe to feed my dog?

Yes, you can use a syringe to feed your dog but only if nothing works. Force-feeding with a syringe should be your go-to option if you have tried all the strategies but none of them worked.

You can use a syringe to feed liquids such as broth or watered-down wet food. If your dog is supposed to dictation, you can also use the syringe to give medicine to your dog.

How can I  encourage my dog to drink water?

Sometimes dogs may also refuse to drink water which can lead to dehydration. Dehydration can be really unhealthy for dogs and create further health complications in them. there are many ways you can use to get your dog to drink water. Some of them are given below:

  • You can give them an ice cube to lick on
  • You can offer them water using your fingers
  • Consult your vet regarding giving them Pedialyte
  • You can also add ice to your dog’s water bowl


We answered the question “ How to get a sick dog to eat? “ We also talked about why dogs lose their appetite, when you should contact your vet and how can you use a syringe to force feed your dog.


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