As the owner of an old dog, making sure he eats enough is a top priority.
That’s because, at the ripe old age of 16, his appetite, at times in his life has waned, has waned. Fortunately, right now, he has a healthy appetite. But it hasn’t always been that way.
In our case, our dog’s loss of appetite came on slowly. So it wasn’t a medical emergency. He was eating. Just not with the same gusto we used to see. He was also pickier about what he wanted to eat. (He’s always preferred people food.)
But he did eat. When he was hungry he let us know. He still came over to the counter when I was cutting raw meat, hoping for a chunk or organic chicken.
If your dog loses his appetite, you’ll need to visit your vet, to rule out a more serious problem. Once you establish the cause, you can work with your vet to arrive at a solution. Please understand I’m not an animal health professional. So I can’t give medical advice. All I can do is share how we’re taking care of our elderly dog. For all feeding decisions, please defer to your vet.
My Senior Dog Will Not Eat
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Some months back, our dog stopped eating for a day. It was a frightening experience. Ever since then, I’ve paid a lot more attention to his diet. We’re trying hard to keep him healthy.
We’ve done various things to help balance his metabolism. Right now, we primarily use homeopathy, along with a grain-free diet. (Just so you know, there’s a specific combination homeopathic remedy designed for dog digestion.)
We’ve also tried sprinkling a little of his favorite people food on top of his dog food. (We eat mostly organic food, so this is always a healthy choice.) I’m also considering using herbal support.
We didn’t need to push the food when our dog was younger. In fact, keeping him away from food was practically a full-time job. After adopting him from a shelter, we noticed he wasn’t used to house rules. He’d jump on the counter looking for food. A few times he even jumped on the dining room table, hoping to snag a stick of butter.
Even as he settled into family life, he was always looking for food. If we opened the refrigerator, he tried to stick his head inside. He’d loudly hurl his plastic food bowl against a wall if he was hungry.
Now that he’s older, though, it’s important to make sure he’s getting enough calories.
Natural Appetite Stimulants for Dogs
There aren’t many products on the market designed specifically as appetite stimulants for dogs. One of the few herbal remedies I could find was a blend made from traditional Chinese herbs, sold by a reputable American-based company devoted to natural dog care. I have not used this product on my own dog, but I wanted to show it as a possible option. If you’re interested, you can ask your vet about this herbal blend.
Homeopathic Remedy for Dog Appetite
What has worked really well for our dog is homeopathy. Our dog went through a horrible stretch where he went on a hunger strike. I worried we’d lose him. However, I worked with a professional homeopath. Together, we found a remedy that helped him. He made a remarkable recover, and his appetite rebounded.
Throughout his life, when the need arose, I’d give him a custom remedy selected by a professional homeopath. After he takes the right remedy, we notice he seems more energetic. The last remedy I have him for appetite loss apparently did the trick. I think I had to repeat it once. He’s been eating well ever since, and the appetite improvement has held for two years.
At some point, we may have to try a new remedy. But, for now, it appears to be doing the job.
If you know of a good veterinary homeopath, I highly recommend this form of treatment. It seems to be helping our dog maintain his health, even at a very advanced age.
However, I realize good animal homeopaths are very hard to find. If you’re unable to locate one, there is another option to explore.
Vetionix sells a line of wide-range of broad-acting homeopathic remedies for animals. Its Digestrex formula is designed specifically for digestive problems, including poor appetite. It contains 11 remedies often given for digestive ailments. These come in varying strengths. The company also employs two holistic vets, and it offers free telephone support. You can email your questions to these holistic practitioners. Vetionix has an animal behavior expert on board as well.
My own homeopath tells me to stop giving a particular remedy once I see that it’s working. I can give my dog another dose only if the first seems to wear off. This prevents causing a temporary intensification of the symptoms you’re trying to prevent.
Do not use herbal or homeopathic remedies on pregnant females, and always check with your vet before trying any new natural remedy.