Is Your Old Dog Not Eating?

Is that old dog not eating food? This article talks about dogs getting older, and why they don't want to eat, and what you can do about it.

As your dog ages, you may notice he doesn’t eat with same gusto as he did when he was younger. It is common to see a gradual loss of appetite in a maturing dog. Why? Well, food may be less appealing because the dog’s senses of smell and taste are not as keen. A sudden loss of appetite may indicate a more serious health problem. An old dog that is not eating for more than a day should be seen by a vet.

One thing you can do to help an old dog that is not eating as much as he should is to warm his food in order to increase the smell and taste appeal. Warm food is so much better when the old dog isn't eating.

You should give your dog food that is at room temperature or warmed instead of straight out of the refrigerator. Some older dogs prefer their food to be of a runny consistency. Try adding unsalted broth to the food to make it soupy.

An old dog who is not eating may like it if you add some variety to his diet. Mix his normal food with some beef or chicken, broth, rice, or vegetables. Any change in diet should be introduced gradually so the dog does not experience digestive upset which will surely not help the problem. Also, ask your vet about any special home prepared foods he would recommend to increase appetite.

One of the most common reasons for an old dog not eating may be that he is experiencing discomfort in his teeth and gums when he chews. It is normal for a gradual loss of interest in chewing to occur as a dog ages. He may not gnaw on bones and toys as heartily as he once did and he may also prefer softer food over the crunchy stuff.

However, if he stops chewing all of the sudden, is not chewing normally, or is allowing food to drop out of his mouth, he may be experiencing pain in his mouth. It is very important to have your vet perform routine dental care since older dogs are more susceptible to tartar buildup and gum disease.

Keep in mind that an older dog experiences many physical and psychological changes. Regular veterinary care, proper nutrition, and lots of love can make getting old easier and happier for your dog.


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The information provided about old dogs not eating is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your veterinarian or other health care professional when you buy dog food. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment.