Puppies grow quickly and have special nutritional needs to keep their bodies strong. The most noticeable time is known as the rapid growth stage, which occurs between 2 and 6 months of age. From about 3 to 6 months, most pups will lose their puppy teeth (you might find a tooth near his dish or on the floor; this is normal).
During this phase, his mouth and gums may be very sensitive, which could cause him to be a bit picky when it comes to eating. There's nothing you can do except to wait it out, even if his appetite is low for a couple of days.
Don't switch to a new formula to stimulate your puppy's appetite. Changing food at this time can cause additional stress and intestinal upset. The tips below could help your puppy make the change:
- Mix his regular, premium dry food with a premium canned puppy food to soften the dry food and make mealtime even more appealing. Or, try some moist food to help him through this sensitive period.
- Soak dry food in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Feeding a dry food and biscuits loosens the teeth, so pups can get through the teething process quicker. If his appetite loss persists, see your veterinarian before you switch food.
adp_related_article_block9 YOUR --spice-- MAY ALSO LIKE …
adp_related_article_block9 Continue scrolling for next content
Does your mature dog sniff at his bowl and walk away instead of digging in? You may think he’s just being picky, but it’s important to keep an eye on how much he’s eating — especially if he’s a senior. While age-related diminishment of the senses of smell and taste may account for some of his disinterest in food, appetite loss can also indicate a serious medical problem.
“It’s important to give your dog enough calories because weight loss can be debilitating to senior pets,” says Wendy Brooks, D.V.M., who warns that a loss in appetite should be mentioned to your vet. A good rule of thumb: If your pet hasn’t eaten in a day, make a visit to the vet. Here are six ways to entice your canine friend with a nourishing meal.
6 Ways to Encourage Your Senior Dog to Eat More
1. Mix Dry Food with Moist Food
Many animals find canned food more palatable because they like the taste and texture, Brooks says. You can top their favorite dry food with room-temperature wet food.
2. Warm It Up
Dogs like a warm or room-temperature (not hot or cold) meal. Avoid serving him day-old wet food from the refrigerator, and keep his food away from heat. Another reason he might not be eating: It's too hot outside.
3. Try a Change
Dogs prefer consistency when it comes to their food. Don't change every day, but try a new flavor, such as lamb or chicken, and see if he responds (it may trigger his sense of smell). To avoid an upset stomach, introduce a new food by mixing it with his old food in equal increments each day.
4. Stay Close
Common mature-dog health issues, such as arthritis or joint pain, can make it difficult for him to access his bowls. Keep food and water where he spends most of his time. Put a water bowl on all floors of the house, too.
5. Keep the Fresh Water Flowing
Older pets are at a higher risk of dehydration. Provide a clean bowl with fresh water at all times. It will help prevent disease, such as a kidney condition, and aid in digestion.
6. Offer Praise
Dogs are people pleasers. If you see him eating, give him a little verbal reward. He'll know it makes you happy and will repeat the behavior.
adp_related_article_block277 YOUR --spice-- MAY ALSO LIKE …adp_related_article_block277Continue scrolling for next content