Home remedies to whet a dog’s appetite

A dog without an appetite can have several causes, from illnesses to the use of low quality food to feed the dog. Regardless of the reason it is something that cannot be ignored because in a short time the health of your furry friend will deteriorate.

Veterinary care is essential in such cases, especially in the event of illness. Here in PeritoAnimal we present some r emedios home to open dog appetite as complementary treatments you can add to those prescribed by the professional.

Causes of dog without appetite

Before you know what are the home remedies to whet a dog’s appetite you need to determine the cause that is causing this behavior. A lack of appetite is normal in dogs, so pay attention to the following reasons that may explain why your dog does not want to eat anything .


Stress can be a trigger for the dog to stop eating, in addition to causing various diseases or destructive behaviors. The causes that cause it are varied, from changes in routine (a change of house, the adoption of another pet, the arrival of a baby, among others) to anxiety due to boredom or lack of exercise .


Indigestion is another reason that can reduce your furry friend’s appetite, either because discomfort prevents him from eating or because he prefers to deprive himself of food for a prudential period (one day at most) to improve.

Other stomach problems , such as constipation, gas or diarrhea, can also reduce your puppy’s urge to eat.

Respiratory diseases

From a simple flu to more serious respiratory diseases, such as bronchitis, can cause loss of appetite in dogs. The mucus prevents the dog from correctly perceiving the odor of the food and therefore it does not attract it.


A dog infected with intestinal parasites will also refuse to eat, in addition to showing signs of general malaise, vomiting, worms in the feces, among others, depending on the type of parasite that is causing the problem.

Consumption of medicines

Another cause for a dog with no appetite may be the treatment for some disease as it is possible that one of the side effects of the drugs is to decrease the appetite. Do not freak out! Ask your veterinarian what you should do according to the medication being administered.


The pain caused by blows, falls and wounds can cause you to have a dog with a lack of appetite. In the event of any injury that causes a change in behavior, it is necessary to go to the vet immediately.

Old age

Elderly dogs usually eat less. This is because they do less physical activity , so they save energy and do not need to replenish it so quickly.

Problems in the oral duct

The cavities , tumors in the mouth and obstructions (an inmate object gums or throat) do not remove the appetite of the dog, but the pain or discomfort caused by these problems prevent him chew the food.


It is very common for dogs to stop accepting the feed, especially when they are receiving low quality food . This does not mean that they are tired of the food, but if it does not cover their nutritional needs, if you have accustomed them to eating the same food as you or if you are provided with a diet based only on dry food, it is very possible that at some point the dog may reject it.

Other reasons

Other possible reasons that can cause a lack of appetite in dogs are the following:

  • Pancreatitis;
  • Tumors;
  • Renal insufficiency;
  • Vaccines.

If your dog goes over 24 without eating you should take him to the vet to determine the cause.

Home remedies to whet a dog’s appetite

Having a sick dog at home implies a lot of care and attention, including making sure you don’t stop eating. Food is important for recovery as a dog that does not eat has less energy and feels weak, which is counterproductive during any illness.

“ How to make a sick dog hungry ? ”Is a frequent question in these cases, but you don’t have to despair. There are several options and home remedies to stimulate the appetite in dogs that you can use in these cases. However, remember that none of these remedies replace veterinary care. These are alternative methods that you can use in addition to those recommended by the professional , as long as he approves. Likewise, these recommendations are equally applicable to healthy dogs that do not wish to eat. Certainly, in these cases, it is important to determine whether the problem is an incorrect or low quality diet, since the best medicine for these dogs is none other than offering an adequate diet.

Appetizing food

Offer your dog a different meal that catches his attention. You can serve your favorite food in the bowl or experiment with warm pieces of chicken or turkey. Another option is to wet the food with chicken broth or add some i ogurte.

The broth and the meat must be heated and offered to the dog when they are hot because the hot food exhales more intense smells that attract his attention. In addition, if the dog has the flu or mucus, this will help the phlegm to soften and expel it.

Choose food well

A sick dog needs different foods that provide the extra energy needed to recover. Therefore, you must offer foods according to each problem. For dogs with constipation problems , for example, offer meals rich in fiber. The dogs with diarrhea need protein and hydration, so a chicken broth is ideal for them, while foods rich in phosphorus are recommended for dogs with respiratory diseases.

Smells are very important for dogs. The addition of novelties in food will attract the attention of the dog that has lost its appetite. Add some leaves or pieces of mint, alfalfa, dill, fennel or ginger to the usual food , as these new aromas will be pleasant.

You can also add mint and ginger to the water to keep your dog hydrated, another essential element during recovery.

Home remedies to whet an appetite for a dog that doesn’t want to eat feed

Dog with no appetite? Once you’ve ruled out the possibility of illness, trauma or dental problems, it’s time to review the food you provide him to find out what to do if your dog doesn’t eat food .

Buy a quality feed

The quality of the feed you offer your dog is very important. It’s not just about buying the flavor he likes best, but getting quality brands that provide all the nutrients he needs and in the right quantities.

Any change in food should be made gradually, never switching suddenly from one brand of feed to another.

Try moist food

Another option is to alternate dry food with wet dog food. Moist foods offer more intense odors and can serve to give your dog something more. Never mix wet and dry food in the same portion, it is better to alternate them during the week.

If your dog doesn’t like canned food, try moistening the feed with chicken stock or salmon oil . He will love that extra flavor!

Vary the ingredients

To whet your dog’s appetite you can offer other foods. To do this, we recommend adding lean meats such as chicken and turkey, pieces of unsalted ham , carrots , low- fat yogurt and fruits to your furry friend’s diet. Not only will he be providing extra nutrients, he will also enjoy trying new things.

Follow a homemade diet

On the other hand, and in relation to the previous point, a natural diet not only allows to guarantee the quality of the products that you offer to your dog, but also allows the variety of the menu, which increases the richness of your diet. Likewise, homemade food, provided the menu is well established, promotes digestion, regulates intestinal transit, improves the condition of the skin, hair and health in general.

So if your dog doesn’t want to eat and you don’t know what to do, or none of the above options work, try this type of diet and see if your appetite returns. Again, remember to make the change gradually as sudden changes in diet can cause vomiting and / or diarrhea. As for the best type of homemade dog food, you have two options. The first is to follow a BARF diet based on raw foods or to cook the products . Both are valid, everything depends on the origin of the food, the time you have and the specific needs of each dog. Next, in our YouTube video we share how to make natural dog food:

What to do with puppy without appetite

There are several reasons why a puppy may refuse to eat, from any illness to the transition process between breast milk or powder and dry food, or even a recent dose of vaccine. Either way, be sure to consult your veterinarian first. After doing this, try some of these home remedies for puppies that don’t want to eat.


A tired dog will have more appetite , so we recommend that you take your dog for a walk and play with it to expend all the energy. Balls, racing and tracking games are some of the most fun. In addition, this can be a good time to start training.

Different rations

If your puppy is starting to try dry food, it is possible that he does not like the brand you bought or it is not suitable for him. Remember to buy only pet food formulated for puppies, you can buy half a kilo bags of several different flavors until you find what your furry friend likes.

Wet food

For some puppies, the transition between milk and dry food is often tricky, so try offering cans of food for puppies. The flavor is more intense and striking, and the soft texture can be exactly what your puppy needs. In addition, moistening the feed with water or chicken stock can also help the puppy to want to eat.

Homemade food

Homemade food is another option if your dog does not adapt to eating food. For that, as we said in the previous section, there are different diets, such as BARF, which are based on adding ingredients from different food groups until you find a balance that provides your puppy with all the necessary nutrients and, at the same time, is delicious. Ask your vet about the best way to feed your puppy a homemade diet.

How to put on a dog?

If the problem is that your dog eats well but is not fattening or is very thin, it is necessary to visit the vet to determine why he is not gaining weight. After the specialist is visited, if the dog is completely healthy, check the amount of daily food you give and increase to see if this is the reason that the dog does not put on weight. Also, check the calories he eats and the calories he uses because consuming less than he should or spending more than he eats can also be what is making the dog very thin.

On the other hand, a very effective remedy for dogs that do not want to eat or do not put on weight is to increase the number of daily meals . That is, offering small amounts of food several times a day. This will make the dog want to eat more, also improving the digestion and metabolism of nutrients. For more tips, our article on fattening a dog.