When dog appetite wanes, do you offer goodies to coax your hound to eat? You may be barking up the wrong tree. And you may be disregarding his instincts to take care of himself.
There are natural reasons for both loss and increased appetite.
For instance, have you ever considered the temperature outside as a reason that your dog won’t eat? I didn’t because I grew up in sunny California and then moved to hot, humid, sunnier Georgia.
The temperatures didn't fluctuate that much and neither did their appetite.
Now that I’m in Minnesota where it feels arctic to me for several months, here’s what I’ve learned. It takes more energy to keep the body warm when it’s cold so appetite increases in the winter and some foods are better to create body heat.
Conversely, when it’s hot, appetite wanes and some foods are better for that as well.
If your dog stays indoors all year as a virtual couch potato, this may not apply so scroll down to the subtitle Dog Won’t Eat.
If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors or gets regular outdoor exercise he may be able to eat up to 30% more during the cold seasons to maintain his weight.
I read an interesting article about dog appetite at DNM (Dogs Naturally Magazine) about foods that increase body heat or decrease body heat, which you can find here.
In essence the writer suggests the following and it makes sense if you realize you prefer fatty foods in the winter, yet when it’s hot outside, you crave something “light”. The same goes for canines.
creating foods and herbs are: chicken, turkey, trout, salmon, lamb, sweet
potatoes, turmeric and ginger. (I'm not sure I agree on salmon because it's one of my own summer choices.)
Neutral or cooling sources of protein and other nutrients are:
Whitefish, carp, beef, tripe, liver, kidney, rabbit, duck, eggs, kale, dandelion leaves and kelp.
Note: If you feed commercial dog food, it is very processed so changing the protein source won’t likely make a difference. Instead consider adding a few things on the list to their food.
Now don't make a face at me but sometimes a dog isn't hungry!
Yes, often it's that simple. Trust your dog's instincts.
I have seen people get so upset over a missed meal or two, they cook up all sorts of things as if their canine kid will fall over dead.
Maybe the dog really isn’t feeling good. One of the best ways to cure a body is to stop feeding it! Please head over to Fasting for Health where I explain exactly how not eating can be a marvelous gift to the body. It could save some trips to the Vet’s office too!
Most important is if your dog has ever been diagnosed with pancreatitis, IBD or IBS, he will never heal without fasting because his body gut is too damaged to absorb nutrients.
Related pages here at Three Little Pitties.com
Pancreatitis - What it is, what to expect and how to treat without drugs
IBD and IBS - Whether it's irritable bowel or any intestinal inflammation, understand it and treat it naturally to avoid organ damage from drugs.