Helping Your Dog’s Appetite

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by Dr. Tori Countner

Helping Your Dog's Appetite

During certain times in a dog’s life, their appetite may diminish. They could be battling an illness, going through chemotherapy, or just have ups and downs like many dogs do. There are western medications to help with any nausea, or appetite stimulants, but here are a few tricks I use with my patients that may help stimulate the desire to eat!

Warming Up Food: Many senior dog’s sense of smell has decrease over time, so heating up their food can bring out odors that entice them to eat! Make sure its not too hot, though. Adding a little hot water usually does the trick.

Cooked Lean Meats: Plain chicken, turkey, ground meat, cooked eggs or other lean proteins mixed with their food can be a new, wonderful smell and just the thing to get them interested in eating.

Bone Broth: I heat up bone or vegetable broth when my dogs aren’t feeling their best. I either offer it to them in a small water dish, or pour it over their existing food. Its delicious and very nourishing for the gut and immune system, plus hydrating for your pet!

Hydration: If you pet is dehydrated, this can cause them to feel kinda icky, and not want to eat. Using warm bone broth, mixing broth with a little water, or mixing coconut water with some water can encourage your pet to drink and feel better. You can also use ice cubes, or frozen broth in ice cube form as a treat, which hydrates them.

Use a Different Bowl or feeding location: Some dogs develop an aversion to where they eat, or to their regular bowls. If they felt nauseous the last time they ate out of their regular spot, they may equate that feeling with their bowls! Switching up the location, or using a plate can “trick” them into eating. Some owners report that if they serve their dogs meals next to their own dinner table, the animals will eat!

Acupressure: There is a point called Shan-gen (Base of Mountain) on top of the nose than acts as an appetite stimulant. It is on the midline of the nose at the haired & non-haired junction region. press with your finger tip and massage for 30 seconds.

Getting to the root of the issue is always advised, so discuss with your veterinarian about your pet specifically. The above tricks can help with increasing their desire to eat!


Dr. Tori of Balanced Pet Vet educates pet lovers on how to care for their animals in a simple, realistic way!

The Balanced Pet Vet

Founded by Tori Countner, DVM, The Balanced Pet Vet treats the whole pet, not just the illness or ailment they are enduring. By combining Natural methodologies and Western Medicine, this approach pushes the boundaries of traditional veterinary care and challenges the status quo.

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