Dog Appetite Stimulants

Dog Appetite Stimulants
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Dogs are usually food motivated, and enthusiastic eaters. If a dog's eating habits change quickly, it's a cause for concern.

Dogs May Lose Their Appetite for Several Reasons

New surroundings or stress

If your dog has a sudden loss of appetite after travel, moving, or other big life changes like the arrival of a new pet or family member, the disruption may cause a loss of appetite or change in eating habits.

Recent vaccinations or medical treatments

Some vaccinations can result in a temporary loss of appetite, and some medications have loss of appetite as a side effect. If your dog has recently had a medical treatment or procedure, it may affect their desire to eat.

Dental disease

Problems with their teeth and gums can often make it painful for a dog to eat their food, particularly if they are fed hard kibbles. Dogs need regular dental care in order to avoid pain when eating.

Recent vaccinations or medical treatments


Loss of appetite is a symptom of a wide range of dog diseases. Dogs can instinctively stop eating when they are sick, and it is often an early warning sign of serious systemic illnesses, including cancer, liver or kidney problems, or infection.


Some dogs are naturally picky eaters, and not only are particular about food, but can also be fussy about the placement of their bowl, social and aggression behaviors, and other food-related issues. Picky dogs can often become even more fussy as they age.

If your dog doesn't eat their food for two days, you should take them to the vet to determine the cause. If a dog stops eating and drinking water, you should take them to the vet the same day: a dog can live for up to 7 days without eating, but only for a day or two without water.

Many dogs require appetite stimulants as they age, or as a part of recovery from a disease or illness. Some treatments, like medicines and chemotherapy, reduce appetites in dogs much like they do in humans. Kidney disease can often lead to a chronically low appetite, or a dog may not like a medically recommended food. In those instances, an appetite stimulant can help a dog maintain a healthy weight, consume their food or medicine, and stay strong and active. Working with your vet, determine whether dog appetite stimulants are a good choice for your best friend.

The Best Appetite Stimulants for Dogs 

Getting a picky or unwell dog to eat can take some trial and error, and requires patience and persistence. You may need to try several methods, or combine different solutions. If you need dog appetite stimulants, here are some excellent choices.

Tempting treats

Although it's best to feed dogs the food that is designed for them, mixing in high-quality human food can often persuade a dog to eat when they aren't interested in their regular diet. Choose healthy, high-quality proteins that may tempt your dog, and consider foods that are highly fragrant; if it smells good to you, it probably smells good to your dog. Adding some white chicken breast meat, grilled boneless fish meat, or baby food to your dog bowl may get them to eat when they are off their appetite.

Tempting treats


There are several medications that may help to stimulate a dog's appetite, that are available from your veterinarian. Medicines like mirtazapine, meclizine, or a ghrelin receptor agonist all work in different ways to treat loss of appetite and the underlying causes. Depending on your dog's medical condition, it may take trying a couple different medicines to see what works; it can be difficult to tell if your dog isn't eating due to hormonal causes, nausea, or other factors.

CBD products

As with humans, CBD oil can help treat a variety of symptoms of illness and old age, and help a dog feel better. CBD oil not only stimulates the appetite, but it reduces anxiety, helps to alleviate pain, reduces nausea, and reduces inflammation. CBD oil for dogs is not psychoactive and won't get them high, and is a safe, effective way to help a dog feel better and have a healthy appetite. CBD treats are a great way to combine the benefits of CBD oil with the reward of a treat, and help your dog in multiple ways at once.


Acupuncture is an increasingly popular way to help a dog reduce pain, alleviate nausea, and stimulate their appetite. This procedure is safe and effective, but may not be suitable for very active, nervous dogs.


Dogs are social animals, and some dogs eat best when they have company. Particularly if your dog is feeling anxious or stressed, or weak from illness or injury, simply being with them and encouraging them can help to motivate them to eat.

A dog's loss of appetite should never be treated lightly, particularly if it is sudden and doesn't seem triggered by any changes in lifestyle or diet. Pay attention to the signs and symptoms, and seek medical advice. It's great to know that, if you need them, we have a range of medications and methods that can help to restore their appetite, and their health.

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