All pets lose their appetite once in awhile and may snub the bowl for a meal or two. Healthy dogs and cats tend to make up for a missed meal with the next serving. When pets act like they don’t?feel good, skipping a meal or two probably isn?t a problem. Read more about how to feed picky pets and watch for more serious symptoms.?
How To Feed Picky Pets
If your pet stops eating, you?ll need a diagnosis from the veterinarian to figure out why. ?Often it?s perfectly fine to tempt their appetite with healthy scraps from your plate. Offer wholesome tidbits like a sliver of lean beef or chicken, or spike their kibble with no-salt meat broth. That will also help you decide if they are just finicky, or really has a problem that needs medical attention.
Cats suffering from upper respiratory infections often have stuffy noses. If they can?t smell their food, cats won?t eat. Use a humidifier in a small room to help open up the breathing passages or run a hot shower, so the pet breathes steamy air in the bathroom for ten minutes a couple of times a day. Warm water on a cotton ball gently cleans off the plugged nose to keep it unblocked.
How to Tempt Appetites
Tempt your pet?s appetite with pungent-smelling foods. Many cats relish tuna juice from a can of water-packed tuna, while dogs often live for liverwurst. You can also offer meat-based baby food. That?s very yummy for most cats and dogs but is easier to eat if the mouth is sore from respiratory infections or dental problems.
Studies have shown that 95 to 98 degrees are the most attractive food temperature, especially to cats. Warm the food and test it against your wrist–close to your body temperature is the right range. Anorexic cats often will lick food off a spoon or your finger more readily than out of a bowl so hand feeding helps get nutrition in them until you can see the veterinarian.
Leaving food out for long periods at a time ?wears out? the appetite centers. That may curb any urge to eat your pet may still have. So instead, only offer tiny amounts at a time. Take away the food after they’ve had enough, and offer it again in another hour or so.
What to Look Out For
Nearly any illness can cause a pet to refuse to eat. Life-threatening diseases such as distemper or kidney failure, parasites such as hookworms, a sore mouth from dental problems, or just the stress of a mother-in-law visiting the family, could prompt anorexia. High outdoor temperatures during summer months also can kill pet’s appetite.
How Long is Too Long?
Any sudden loss of appetite that lasts more than two days needs medical attention?sooner if the pet acts sick. Tiny pets have fewer fat and fluid reserves and can?t go without food longer than about 12 hours before needing medical help to counter drops in blood sugar (hypoglycemia).
Cats, especially pudgy kitties, can also become gravely ill by skipping just one or two meals. Refusing to eat can start a chain reaction that moves fat cells into the cat?s liver. Hepatic lipidosis or ?fatty liver disease? can kill the cat, and requires veterinary help to get the cat eating again.
Did you learn any new tips on how to feed picky pets? What are some tricks you can share? Let us know in the comment box below!