What To Feed A Sick Dog With No Appetite

what to feed a sick dog with no appetite

There are many a reason for your dog to get an upset stomach. Ailments such as anxiety can also cause your dog to feel unwell, which might accompany vomiting and diarrhoea. 

Under such circumstances, it’s natural for your pooch to lose appetite. However, your fur baby will get weaker without food and thus must be fed.

But what to feed your sick dog? We will try to answer that and much more through this piece. 

What To Feed A Sick Dog With No Appetite?

It’s often challenging to feed a sick dog who is refusing food. Thankfully, there are a few recipes you can try to feed your ailing dog.

However, it’s always recommended to check with your vet to treat the widespread health problem at hand. 

Also Read: How Long Can A Snake Go Without Water- Signs Of Snake Dehydration

Determining What To Feed Your Sick Dog

what to feed a sick dog with no appetite

It’s a bit challenging to select simple food for your ailing dog to prevent them from throwing up. The choice of food will depend on the reason for sickness. 

So for starters, take your pup to the vet to determine the cause of illness. 

Dogs often get sick if they get a cold or an upset stomach from eating something wrong. If that is the case, it’s essential to feed your pup something bland. 

The food your select should stay in your puppy’s stomach, not churning and decreasing the liquid consistency of the faeces. 

While these apply to common diseases, if your pup is suffering from something serious, you must give a specific diet.

Different food provides various nutrients which are required to treat specific illnesses. Thus always consult your vet first. 

8 Best Foods To Feed A Sick Dog With No Appetite

Below are the eight types of food you can give your dog when they are sick and the processes you can use to make them. 

1. Chicken And White Rice: 

what to feed a sick dog with no appetite

Rice and chicken is a great food for dogs as it’s bland and provides energy. The combination works best if your dog is vomiting, has diarrhoea, or refuses to eat.

The best thing about rice and chicken is they lack flavour and thus does it induce vomiting. It also stops the stomach’s churning sensation while providing the required nutrients to the dog. 

2. Shredded Chicken Breasts: 

what to feed a sick dog with no appetite

As mentioned earlier, chicken is both tasty and provides your dog’s required nutrients. Even if you are not serving it with rice, plain chicken is also appetizing for pups.

Ideally, the chicken should be plain without any strong flavour and cooked oil-less. 

It’s best to bake the chicken at 360 Fahrenheit and ensure it’s cooked throughout and not burnt. The inside should not be pink.

Once the chicken is made, throw away the excess oil, cut the meat into small pieces, cool it and give your dog. 

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3. Bone Broth: 

what to feed a sick dog with no appetite

The broth is liquid, and your dog can easily lap it up. Thus this food works perfectly for dogs suffering from dental pain or teeth condition. 

Bone broth is easy on the stomach and does not cause churning or vomiting. 

It’s easy to make as well. All you need to do is combine the bones (beef, pork, chicken) and add vegetables such as carrots. You can add other dog-friendly veggies too. 

Add a small amount of apple cider vinegar and a teaspoon of olive oil. Now put all this in a cooking pot and prepare on low heat for the next 24-48 hours. Strain the bones and serve. 

4. Wet Food: 

what to feed a sick dog with no appetite

Appetizing wet food can help your dog eat well when sick. Wet food often smells good to dogs, especially when microwaved for 10-30 seconds.

Wet food is available in various forms, in a pouch as dry food mixed with water or even baby food. 

However, you need to check the ingredients of baby food thoroughly and ensure it contains nothing harmful to your dog. 

Though wet food is nutritional, it’s best to give it to dogs suffering from anxiety and dental pain. 

5. Fish: 

what to feed a sick dog with no appetite

Though you may not like the smell of fish, your dog finds it delicious, which can encourage your sick dog to eat. 

However, the fish needs to be cooked thoroughly as raw fish is dangerous for dogs. 

The best way to feed fish to your dog is by de-boning a few pieces of cooked cod and serving them to your dog. Since cooked fish is soft, it’s best for dogs suffering from anxiety and toothache. 

6. Pumpkin: 

what to feed a sick dog with no appetite

Pumpkin is known to treat diarrhoea among dogs, so adding some to their food or getting them to lick a spoonful of mashed pumpkin is excellent. 

Pumpkins have a high percentage of fibre and thus can help to solidify your dog’s stool and settle their stomach. It also contains probiotics which encourage the growth of healthy gut bacteria. 

7. Baby Food: 

what to feed a sick dog with no appetite

As mentioned earlier, baby food can be great for sick dogs as it kick-starts their appetite through the smell. Additionally, baby food is easy to invest and keep down. 

However, once your dog’s appetite is back, you should avoid using baby food as it has high fats and carbs.

Additionally, it’s highly recommended to check the baby food’s nutrients. Not all baby food is safe for dogs. 

8. Sweet Potato: 

what to feed a sick dog with no appetite

Sweet potato will work great if your dog is suffering from intestinal issues. However, never serve raw sweet potato to your dog.

Raw sweet potato can further upset your dog’s stomach and lead to intestinal blockage. 

This it must be cooked well. Your dog’s stomach will gets better quickly thanks to sweet potato’s high fibre levels and vitamins. 

Read More: Can Dogs Have Ham Bones?

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What to feed a sick dog that refuses to eat?

All the foods mentioned above are ideal for dogs refusing to eat. However, it’s advisable to check with your vet before feeding anything to your dog. 

2. How can I stimulate my sick dog’s appetite?

You can increase your dog’s appetite by adding flavour to your food. You can add a few spoonfuls of tuna, salmon, mackerel, anchovies or other fish products to your dog’s food.

As mentioned earlier, some baby food can stimulate your dog’s appetite. 

3. How long can a dog go without eating when sick?

Dogs can go up to five to seven days without eating. But it’s essential to consult your vet before the situation reaches there. 


Your dog may be refusing food for many reasons. But there is no need to worry about it. Get in touch with your vet, and meanwhile, feed your dog some of the quick foods mentioned in this article.