How To Increase Dog Appetite

How To Increase Dog Appetite

If you are wondering how to increase dog appetite due to your pets sudden loss of interest in food, here is all you need to know!

Just like a change in your appetite may indicate an underlying problem, dogs are not any different. If you start to notice a difference in your dog’s appetite, then it is vital to attend to them as soon as possible!

It is a way to communicate perhaps a mental, physical, or emotional problem. There could be many risk factors involved if your dog is eating less or not eating at all. If you are looking to increase a dog’s appetite, then it is also essential to know what causes a fluctuation in their eating habits.

There could be many causes like dental diseases, stress, anxiety, pain, and problems with the digestive tract. As a dog owner, it is important to keep a close eye on their diets and whether or not they’re enjoying their food as much as they would.

If you notice any changes, then it is vital to take a trip to the vet! It could be something harmless as a behavioral issue, but a checkup is necessary to eliminate potential risk factors.

What is Appetite Loss in Dogs?

Loss of appetite in dogs occurs when the animal gradually or suddenly eats less of its own regular food. Appetite loss is often a symptom for a more important problem ranging from tiredness to more serious medical issues.

There are several symptoms your dog might show when they are experiencing a change or loss in their appetites. Try to inspect them closely for a few days if you have doubts regarding their diet. One of the first symptoms you might notice is your dog not being able to finish their food.

You might find leftovers in their food bowl, which indicate a decreased appetite. In addition to this, your dog might refuse to eat at all or reject their treats. Showing a lack of interest during their mealtimes and getting distracted easily is a symptom as well.

Inspect your dog to see whether it is vomiting up their food afterward and seem lethargic. Dogs that aren’t having proper meals show low levels of energy and lack of motivation in their usual activities.

If you start to notice such symptoms, it is important to take a trip to the vet. Appetite changes are not always serious, but it is better to mitigate all possible risk factors before starting the right treatment.

Why Do Dogs Lose Their Appetite?

There are several reasons why your dog might be experiencing a loss in their appetite. Try to inspect your dog for a few days for factors that could result in a reluctance to eat.


Stress could be one of the factors that your dog is losing its appetite. A dog may have anxiety and stress due to a change in routine or perhaps a new pet in the house who is getting more attention. Dogs are sensitive towards their owners and may experience separation anxiety too.

These are certain reasons that could be causing them mental disturbances and stress. It can also translate into destructive behavior or your dog, not eating as much as they usually would. Try to notice changes in behavior and triggers that might stress them out.

Several factors can stress out a dog. This can include trauma, getting lost, staying away from their owner for too long or even loneliness.


Another reason as to why dogs may eat less or reject food is due to problems with digesting it. Dogs are aware that certain foods can cause them problems like Constipation, gas, or diarrhea. Therefore, they refrain from eating as much or eating a particular food at all.

This can translate into it is a reduced desire to eat. Try to visit a vet to know for sure what is causing your dog digestion problems. This may be due to the food not being suitable for your dog. Try to inspect your dog’s stool to know how their body might be reacting to their feed.

Respiratory Disease

There can be instances when your dog has trouble breathing. This can mean that respiratory disease is causing them to have a reduced appetite. Respiratory conditions such as Bronchitis (also called kennel cough) can cause coughing and buildup of mucus in the throat and nose.

This collection can cause blockages and in turn, lead to trouble eating and swallowing. One of the side effects of respiratory diseases is the reduced interest towards food an loss of appetite.


Certain parasites may be causing your dog to eat less than what he usually would. Parasites are small organisms that attach themselves to a host to derive nutritional benefit from them. Many types of parasites can affect your dog’s stomach or intestine.

There’s a chance of getting internal parasites which leads to worms in the stomach or vomiting. Notice whether or not your dog is vomiting after food. This kind of reaction can be triggered by something they have eaten or parasites affecting the body.

Although symptoms depend on the type of parasite, some common dog parasites are whipworms, hookworms, and tapeworms, all of which can affect the intestines. It is recommended that you visit a vet as soon as possible to know to get a confirmed diagnosis.

Top 10 Most Dangerous Internal Dog Parasites
Top 10 Most Dangerous Internal Dog Parasites

Medication Side Effects

Often, dogs may be experiencing behavioral changes and reduced appetite due to a medicinal side effect. If your dog has recently started some medication, try to read up on its side effects! Certain medicines have side effects that cause a loss of appetite.

If you are concerned regarding such medication, then speak to your vet regarding alternatives. A vet can help replace your prescription with something that does not reduce their food intake or cause behavioral problems either.


Increasing the dog’s appetite is especially difficult after they have undergone trauma. If your dog has been in an accident or has had a broken limb, that also means that they’re all healing from internal and physical injuries.

They are likely to experience pain and discomfort during their recovery, which in turn can cause certain behavioral changes. Your dog is not spending its routines as they usually would and might have trouble with their day to day activities.

This can trigger stress, anxiety, and behavioral fluctuations that can translate into a lack of interest in food and treats! Try to give your dog medication that can help with controlling pain or get a checkup from your local vet, to know what might be causing them discomfort.

Old Age

Your dog simply might not be eating enough because of old age. This is mainly because older dogs do not spend as much time doing activities and running around. They have the chance to conserve energy. Hence they do not require more food to replenish it!

They simply do not have the same requirements as a one-year-old pup, which is why you might notice a change in eating habits as your dog gets older. It is perfectly normal to have a reduced diet.

Food Quality

Your dog may not enjoy food as much or reject it entirely if it is low quality. Increasing a dog’s diet is not possible without providing them with healthy, nutritious food that they enjoy eating. Often food gets too redundant from them, and they might not derive as much satisfaction from kibble.

Dental Problems

Often time your dog might not be eating due to dental problems. This is possible due to obstruction in the mouth. Try to visit your vet if you find your dog struggling to chew and swallow food. There is change your dog might be experiencing tooth decay, tumors, or something lodged in their mouth.

A full check-up can reveal whether or not there is a foreign object disturbing your dog. You should also get a check-up if your dog’s breed is prone to tooth and gum disease. Smaller dog breeds may experience crowding their mouth.

It is crucial to maintain their dental hygiene, so the dog does not experience trouble while ingesting food.

professional dental cleaning for dogs
Never hesitate to schedule an appointment for your dog to get a professional dental cleaning.

How to Increase My Dog's Appetite?

It is concerning to see your dog not enjoy food as much. As a dog owner, you must ask yourself how to increase your dog’s diet? Here are some ways that can help improve their food intake.

Beyond providing them with the best appetite stimulants, there are many steps you can take to slowly increase your dog or puppy’s appetite for food.

Be consistent with your dog's eating habits

It is essential to be consistent with your dog’s eating schedule. Try to set a proper meal time during the day. Some dogs are energetic and are distracted easily, as well. They may leave unfinished food on the plate and leave.

Try giving them 30 to 40 minutes to finish up their food and pick up the plate afterward. This way, your dog will learn about mealtime and will finish it up when they have a chance. It disciplines them about finishing the food on time.

Consistency is also key, as it helps your dog develop a biological clock. Every day they are likely to feel hungry at their set mealtime and will finish their food correctly.

Offer high-quality food

The simple answer to the question, how to increase dog appetite is offering them high-quality food. It is essential to provide them with to have fresh, clean food. Make sure you check for expiry dates on food. If it is old or stale, your dog will simply reject it.

Try going for raw dog food or freshly prepared meals. There are many online natural dog food delivery services that provide with high-quality food right to your doorsteps. You also have the option of investing in a good kibble brand that your dogs enjoy.

Make sure the food is free from any odors and is fresh before you give it to your dog.

Provide appetizing meals

Providing appetizing meals is essential for your dog to enjoy their food. As a dog owner, you can try going for different kinds of food that have more flavor. Instead of off-the-rack kibble, you can alternate to dog food with gravy.

You can also mix their food with warm water to create a broth. Dogs tend to enjoy flavorsome wet food rather than eating dry kibble every day. You also have the option to give them treats and snacks occasionally as a reward for good behavior.

Appetizing meals or something they will enjoy and look forward to you will find them more likely to finish up their plate in time.

YouTube video from eHow explaining how to boost a sick dog’s appetite.

Give your dog a wide variety of food every meal

Variety is extremely important when it comes to dogs! Eating store-bought kibble on the daily can get a little redundant. This is also why dogs may not be finishing their food or are having reduced appetite in response to the same food every day.

You can try switching brands and flavors of kibble from time to time as it is a more affordable option. Apart from that, you can also give your dog a raw bone to chew, raw dog food, or canned gravy. They are many options to choose from.

In addition to this, you can offer your dog small treats like sweet potato chips, that they can enjoy from time to time. Variety helps your dog look forward to mealtime and enjoy it.

Cut back on treats and small snacks

Make sure you are cutting back on feeding them scraps and treats throughout the day. Your dog may enjoy these treats but also may develop a taste for them. They rather have a piece of chicken steak that you’re having instead of eating kibble.

This might make them a finicky eater, and you also are likely to find them going after you for other food. Try to limit treats and snacks as rewards or use them during training. It can lead them not to eat their own food or having reduced appetite during their mealtime.

Your dog may be experiencing appetite loss due to various reasons. It is recommended to visit a vet and get a proper diagnosis. Usually, there is no serious underlying condition, but it is also safe to eliminate all other risk factors.

Some dogs may experience appetite loss for a few days, and it is not always consistent. Try to look for the trigger that is causing behavioral changes and treat them accordingly.