Appetite Stimulant For Dogs

Our canine companions are known to wolf down their meals from time to time, so it can be alarming when they suddenly refuse their food.

With so many dogs being food motivated, any change in appetite can be their way of telling us something is wrong.

So when our dogs stop eating, what do we do?

In this article we will dive into the details of anorexia in our canine friends, and discuss the best appetite stimulants for dogs that stop eating.

Why Did My Dog Stop Eating?

Appetite Stimulants for Dogs

Our dogs love food, so it’s often concerning when they suddenly turn away from their meals.

Since changes in their overall health and in their environment can cause stress in our furry friends, it can often be reflected in their appetite.

So what could cause a dog to stop eating?

Here is a quick list of reasons:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Gastrointestinal upset and diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Dental pain from periodontal disease
  • Stress due to changes in their home such as a new pet, a move, etc. 
  • New diagnosis of a chronic illness such as diabetes, cardiac condition, cushings, etc. 
  • Change in their feeding routine/diet
  • New addition of daily medications
  • Upper respiratory infection or congestion

Though our pups may love to eat, any of the above changes can cause a dog to shy away from their normal meal routine.

Whether they are experiencing stress from their environment or sudden illness, any change in diet should be taken seriously.

If your dog ever experiences anorexia (not eating), it’s best to contact your veterinarian for advice.

Natural Appetite Stimulants

Once you visit your veterinarian and get to the bottom of your dog’s anorexia, you may begin to wonder if you can take a natural approach to their appetite.

Though there are prescribed medications that can stir up hunger in your pup, there are a few natural approaches to their sudden change in appetite.

Here are a few natural appetite stimulants for dogs.

Offer Tasty (But Bland) Food

Sometimes a delicious change in diet can be enough to encourage our picky pups to eat.

Not only can a bland diet settle the upset stomach of a dog, but it can also be extremely tasty for our furry friends.

Some bland diet options for dogs include boiled chicken breast and rice, lean ground turkey and rice, and even chicken baby food.

Be sure to avoid giving your dog chicken bones as these can be extremely dangerous.

These food items are such a hit among our pups, that even the pickiest of dogs will dig in.

Make It Fun

Making a dog’s mealtime into a game can be exciting enough to make them dig in.

Mental stimulation can make your dog more invested in their meal and offer them enough excitement to kick start their appetite.

You can make their mealtime more exciting by using kong toys that can be stuffed with treats, food puzzles that make your dog sniff out their meal, or any other mentally stimulating games.

Spice Up Their Kibble

Sometimes our dogs just want us to spice up their normal kibble.

Adding warm water to their food can offer an exciting change in texture, and make their food challenging to resist.

You can also pour some chicken baby food over their kibble, creating a tasty and safe food topper.


CBD is still being researched for use in dogs, but it may have surprising benefits for our canine companions.

Veterinarians suggest that CBD may stimulate an appetite in dogs that are struggling with anorexia and can even prevent stress at the same time.

If you are interested in offering your dog CBD products, it’s best to contact your veterinarian first.

They can offer you additional information on the topic, as well as recommend brands that they trust.

What Should I Do If My Dog Stops Eating?

This is a very common question people ask when their dog just stops eating.

While you should always contact your vet with any behavioral changes, there are a few steps you can take before rushing your pet in.

Some of the best ways things to do when your dog stops eating include:

  • Look for any other changes in behavior such as drooling, lethargy, abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, or any other concerning symptom. If you do see any of these symptoms in your pup, you should skip the following steps and contact your veterinarian. 
  • Offer your dog a bland buffet that will get their mouth watering. You can do this by cooking some type of unseasoned protein, a bland carb source, and any other bland food options that your dog enjoys. For example, dogs with an upset stomach often do well with boiled chicken breast and white rice. 
  • Try to spice up their regular diet to make it more appetizing. You can do this by softening their kibble with warm water, mixing their kibble with chicken baby food, adding bits of boiled chicken, soaking the kibble in bone broth, and more. 
  • Sit down with your dog and try to encourage them to eat with hand feeding. Sometimes this is all the extra care our dogs need to get back into the swing of eating. 
  • If none of the above options encourage your dog to eat, it’s time to contact your veterinarian. Sometimes our dogs require medical attention to get to the bottom of their anorexia, and we are just unable to solve the issue at home. 

Prescription Appetite Stimulants For Dogs

Since there are no over the counter appetite stimulants for dogs, the next step would be to seek veterinary care if natural appetite stimulants fail to work.

Once your veterinarian gets to the source of your dog’s anorexia, they may determine that prescription appetite stimulants are the best route.

In order to help you understand which options are available to your canine companion, let’s discuss some of the most common prescription appetite stimulants for dogs.


Mirtazapine is the most well known appetite stimulants for dogs.

Miratazipne has been around for quite some time and is used for dogs that struggle with appetite loss due to serious illness.

This medication can promote a healthy appetite, encourage weight gain and even control nausea in cases of chronic nausea.


Entyce is a fairly new appetite stimulant that is taking the veterinary world by storm.

With having so much success in dogs that refuse to eat, Entyce is gaining popularity in clinics around the country.

This appetite stimulant gets to work within 2 hours of taking it and is known to have dogs digging into their dinners soon after its use.

How To Get A Dog To Eat With Kidney Failure

When it comes to getting a dog with kidney failure to eat, it can be a bit more challenging.

Medications like Entyce must be used carefully in dogs with kidney disease, and they may experience chronic nausea that makes their life more challenging.

Because of this, managing the appetite of a dog with kidney failure often comes from all angles.

First, it’s important to ensure that you are offering your dog symptomatic support that could be contributing to their lack of appetite.

This means having them on a nausea control medication, treating their dehydration and any other symptoms that are caused by their kidney disease.

Next, you should be sure that you are offering your dog a kidney diet that helps to maintain their health.

Prescription diets come in many forms, offering your dog a chance to try out several different options.

Be sure to experiment with these food choices, as this will help your dog choose their favorite.

The last step would involve talking to your vet about appetite stimulant options.

Since some of these medications can affect their kidney function, it’s important to work closely with your vet throughout the process.

As you can see, a dog’s refusal to eat can have multiple layers.

Be sure to review the information we discussed above, so you can find the best appetite stimulant for your dog going forward.

There is one comment:

  • Debbie Arnold at 9:52 pm

    I have enjoyed reading your article. It is very informative on dogs with appetite loss. My dog is 11 and has kidney disease. He has been on all the different kidney Diet foods offered on the market. He hates the taste and we have been hand feeding him for many months doctoring the food with beef,chicken yogurt. Etc. For the past month he is harder to get to eat. His kidney numbers have gotten worse. He has been on Mirtazapine for a few days now. And I think he’s eating better. We did notice his teeth are covered with tarter. Prob because he hasn’t chewed his food much for months. Any help is getting him to eat better would be appreciated

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