A dog is truly man’s best friend, closest confidant, and giver of unconditional love and support. Your canine companion is a member of your family, and when they don’t feel well, it’s important to identify and treat the problem. Just like humans, dogs may fall victim to a decrease in appetite or become disinterested in their food. While a day or two of this activity may not be cause for concern, prolonged issues with eating or appetite can lead to serious consequences. Luckily, below are several ways that you can stimulate your furry friend’s appetite and get them back on the road to healthy eating.
Natural stimulants are a great place to start when trying to help your dog regain his or her appetite. Exercise is a perfect way to stimulate hunger in your pet. As their body works harder, it will crave food to use as energy. However, this method is only suitable for certain dogs, depending on the underlying cause of the decreased appetite. In other words, certain physical ailments may prevent routine exercise.
Herbs are another natural stimulant that can work well when added to dog food. Choices such as chamomile, ginger, celery seed, and peppermint are among the herbs that tend to work best. Garlic seems to have the highest success rate as dogs enjoy the taste and it naturally boosts the immune system.
Rotisserie chicken may be the secret stimulant that you never dreamed would work. It smells wonderful, and it seems that even the pickiest of canines love the taste. Serve this with caution though, removing all of the skin and bones from the chicken. Also, only give the white meat as a supplement to dogs who require a low fat diet.
Other ideas include hand feeding your dog or warming up their food in the microwave. Warming the food enhances the smell, thus becoming more enticing for your pet.
As a pet parent, you may want to try a more holistic approach to appetite stimulation. Acupuncture is a popular method now used to help dogs in various situations. The process can reduce inflammation, pain, and upset stomach. As the symptoms ease in severity, the appetite may return.
Some states have legalized the use of CBD supplements and stimulants. The natural derivative tends to decrease pain while increasing the appetite. It is important to note that CBD is a safe, natural stimulant while THC is toxic to animals. Contact your veterinarian for a reliable source and dosage for your beloved dog.
There are medications on the market that can be prescribed by a veterinarian to enhance an animal’s desire to eat. Mirtazapine is commonly given for a decreased appetite and works well to increase serotonin levels. It may react with other medications, so it is important for the doctor to review anything your dog currently takes and check for potential problems.
Ghrelin Receptor Agonist is a somewhat new medication that acts like Ghreline, a hormone that makes us feel hungry. When your dog takes this medicine, it sends a signal to the brain to make the body feel the urge to eat.
There are a number of things that can affect your dog’s appetite or eating patterns. These include:
It is vitally important that you consult a veterinarian before beginning any new stimulation program with your pet. Underlying causes or issues must be diagnosed in order to treat your dog and ensure their overall health for the future. Our team at Dr. Ron’s Animal Hospital & Emergency is committed to helping you create and sustain a healthy lifestyle for your dog.
We serve pet parents in Simi Valley, Moorpark, Thousand Oaks, Chatsworth, and areas nearby Ventura County. We understand that your dog is a part of your family and we work diligently to identify, diagnose, and treat the conditions that make it difficult for them to eat. Proper stimulation can maintain weight and help in the healing and recovery process. Together, we can create an appetite stimulant plan that is safe and effective.