Feeding a Sick Dog

sick dog

Unlike cats, dogs can manage a few days of not eating without suffering ill effects. The reason for not eating could be as simple as an upset stomach or a more serious condition. If your dog refuses to eat for more than 2 or 3 days, take him/her to the vet for a examination. Sometimes a dog suffering from an ongoing ailment will lose his/her appetite.

You may have to force-feed your dog liquids if s/he is not drinking. You can do this using a plastic syringe, with a little water at a time. Soft foods can be syringe-fed several times a day. Force-feeding must be done slowly with small amounts to avoid choking or food going into the lungs and causing aspiration pneumonia. Allow the dog to swallow each amount before offering more.

Start with feeding your dog about 1 mm. of food. If the dog swallow that with no problems, you can gradually increase the amount to 2 mm. until s/he can take 30-60mm. per meal. Don’t push your dog to eat too quickly.

Feed baby food meats or soft canned pet food. Or you can homecook. A simple nutritious soup can include chicken, veggies such as carrots, celery and squash in water. The acid in the veggies will remove the marrow from the bones. Cook for several hours. Do not add any salt or spices. When the soup is thoroughly cooked, remove the bones from the chicken and discard. Use a food processor for the chicken and veggies until all is mushy and you can feed that separately. The broth is rich in nutrients. It will gel in the fridge, so you can slightly warm the portion you will feed to liquify it. This is a recipe that usually works for sick pets and pets who refuse to eat.

Never medicate your dog without consulting with your vet. Have all pertinent information ready for the vet, such as temperature, dog’s behavior, appearance, etc. Adjust your dog’s diet as your vet or vet nutritionist recommends for the dog’s specific health problem.

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