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Here’s What To Do If Your Pet Stops Eating
Did your pet lose his appetite, or is your fur baby being extra picky about his dinner? Here are 6 tips to get your pet eating again.
Just like people, eating nutritious meals is important for our pets to keep them healthy and prolong their lives as long as possible. However, sometimes our pets suddenly seem to lose their appetites, or simply don’t want to eat for one reason or another. For example, this can happen because your pet has become bored of their kibble or something medically wrong needs to be addressed. Luckily, we have 6 tips that you can try to help your fur baby to enjoy meal time again.
Consult with your vet.
If your pet has stopped eating suddenly, the first step is to pay a visit to your veterinarian. If there is something medically wrong that is causing your pet to lose his appetite, your vet can prescribe a treatment plan to help your furry friend feel better. It’s also a good idea to consult your vet whenever you are considering making changes to your pet’s diet.
Your pet has an upset stomach.
If your pet is dealing with an upset stomach or indigestion, their normal dinner might be too much for them. Instead, consider giving your pet food that will ease their tummy ache. For dogs, feeding plain, canned pumpkin could offer some relief. Your dog may also appreciate some bland, plain chicken and white rice. Cats and dogs can also be given plain yogurt, or small amounts of banana.
Don’t free feed your pet.
If your pet has access to their food 24/7, he may not be hungry at designated meal times. Instead of giving your pet constant access to their food, pick up the bowls except for scheduled meal times. Give your pet time to eat their breakfast or dinner, and then pick up the bowls until the next meal. Your pet will learn to eat when the food is available to them.
As an added benefit, pets that are not free fed tend to have a lower risk of obesity. When pets have constant access to their food, they can eat as much as their heart desires, which is often too much.
Try a different brand of food.
Just like people, pets have different tastes and preferences. If your pet isn’t eating, they might not like the taste of their food, the quality of the food is low, or your pet has become bored with the flavor. Similarly, you might be feeding your pet dry food, when they would actually prefer wet food, or a combination of both. Switching your pet to a new brand of food might be just what they need to start eating again.
As a word of caution, always remember to switch your pet to new food gradually over time, and not all at once. They need time to adjust to new food. If your pet has a known food allergy or you suspect your pet has an allergy or intolerance, make sure the brand you select does not contain the problematic ingredient. When in doubt, it is always wise to consult your veterinarian.
Turn meals into games.
If your pet has stopped eating, there is a chance he is simply bored with eating out of a bowl. Luckily, there are many ways to make dinner time more interesting. One option is to feed your pet through puzzle toys or slow feeders. Your pet has fun working for their food, and enjoys some mental stimulation. In addition, you can turn feeding time into an exercise that encourages your pet to use their nose. Hide food around your home and encourage your pet to sniff it out, or toss pieces of food for your pet to retrieve, as if you are playing fetch.
Add some flavor.
Your pet might not be eating simply because they are craving more flavor, or a different flavor. Give them some taste and variety by adding something special to their food. One option is to incorporate meal mixers or pet food toppers sold by pet supply companies into your pet’s meals. If you find a meal mixer your dog particularly loves, you may be able to sign up for a subscription so that you never run out! Other pet owners have reported success with pet friendly fish oil, as well as adding water or chicken broth to their pet’s kibble.
If your pet has stopped eating, do not panic. It may take a bit of trial and error to figure out why your pet has lost his appetite, but with a bit of patience and the above tips your fur baby is sure to enjoy meals again. Sometimes all you need is a change to the normal routine and a little bit of fun!
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