What To Feed a Sick Dog With No Appetite? Solving Query!

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Author: Jeanette Hampton

If your dog is sick then there are possible chances of him having no appetite. A sick dog is weak if doesn’t eat then it can create more problems for them. A sick dog loses its appetite and acts picky. In this situation, the only question that arises in paw parent’s minds is, “What to feed a sick dog with no appetite?”

Stress no more, through our blog will try to provide you with all the required information on what to feed the sick dog. We will also stress the importance of feeding the sick dog.

What To Feed a Sick Dog With No Appetite?

Why Is It Important To Feed a Sick Dog?

A sick dog is as it is suffering from an illness which makes them weak and lethargic and not eating makes it worse. It is common for the sick dog to develop no appetite, still you must try to feed them.

Here are the reasons why is it important to feed a sick dog:
  • It helps to provide them with all the required nutrients which provides them with strength to fight the illness.
  • A dog’s body becomes weak due to illness and requires energy to deal with it. Feeding them food during sickness provides them with abundant energy.
  • It helps to prevent muscle loss in dogs. If a sick dog remains without food for a longer period then he is likely to lose muscle mass. This loss of muscles affects the dog’s mobility.
  • Feeding sick dogs helps their body receive all the nutrients which promotes speedy recovery in them.
  • It helps to boost their mood and provide their appetite relief.

Causes of Loss of Appetite in Dogs

Causes of Loss of Appetite in Dogs

Here are some possible causes of loss of appetite in dogs:


If your dog is having a loss of appetite then it can be due to some illness. Certain kinds of bacterial or parasitic infections which may have a direct influence on the dog’s appetite can make them not eat.

Apart from this certain illnesses related to kidney, liver, and bladder issues or gastrointestinal problems can also lead to loss of appetite in them.

Dental issues

Dog might not feel like eating due to certain dental issues too. Dental issues cause extreme pain and inflammation in dogs which prevents them from eating. Dental issues like gingivitis, toothache, and swollen gums may restrict dogs from eating making them suffer from loss of appetite.

Unfamiliar surrounding

The new unfamiliar surroundings can make a dog anxious and feel weird. A dog’s habitual to eating at a particular place and in a particular bowl may not eat when taken to a new place. Moreover, this can trigger their anxiety making them lose appetite.

Behavioural issues

Behavioural issues too can make a dog lose its appetite. Some dogs are picky and are prone to eat particular food in particular ways and utensils. Such dogs may have a loss of appetite if not served food according to them.

What To Feed a Sick Dog With No Appetite?

Boiled chicken Rice

If your dog is sick and with no appetite then you can try the following food:

Boiled chicken

Boiled chicken with white rice is a perfect bland diet to feed a sick dog. For this, you just need to boil chicken and rice without any added ingredients and serve it to your dog. You can particularly opt for chicken breast.

Dogs love chicken and they tend to eat that. This bland diet of boiled chicken and rice provides sick dogs with some required nutrients and minerals. This makes them feel energetic and active giving them strength to fight the illness.

Bone broth

To make bone broth you can take bones of chicken, lamb or beef whichever your dog prefers. Then shimmer the bones in water for a few hours until your bone broth is ready to serve.

This bone broth provides dog’s body minerals, and amino acids and keeps them hydrated. You can add apple cider vinegar, turmeric or other dog-friendly ingredients in it to enhance its taste.

Wet dog food

For sick dogs suffering from loss of appetite feeding them dry dog food won’t work as they won’t consume it. So for such picky dogs, you may want to try wet dog food, it provides them with all the nutrition and its gravy texture makes them eat it without any nitpicking.

Sweet potato

Mashed sweet potato makes a great meal for a sick dog. It is loaded with lots of fibre, vitamin A and antioxidant properties. It helps to regulate the blood sugar in dogs and helps in better digestion.

To prepare the mashed sweet potato, you need to boil it and mash it with the masher or fork. To make it more tasty you can add boiled chicken and other veggies to it.

As mentioned by Rhiannon Koehler, DVM in petmd, "If your dog isn’t eating but is still drinking and otherwise acting normal, refer to the above potential reasons for why your dog may have a sudden lack of interest in eating. You can try warming their food, offering a different food, boiling rice and chicken, or offering treats to see if you can encourage them to eat. Make sure to consider whether your dog is experiencing any stressors."


What to feed a sick dog with no appetite?

For a sick dog with no appetite, you can try feeding a balanced diet of food. Boiled chicken, bone broth, curd rice, mashed sweet potato, and wet food are some of the foods you can feed your dog according to their daily nutrient need. This food goes well for sick dogs with no appetite providing them energy to deal with illness.

How can I treat my sick dog at home?

To treat a sick dog of yours at home you need to have proper medical knowledge and understanding related to the dog’s treatment. To treat your dog at home you need to keep him hydrated by providing the fluid frequently. For dogs suffering from appetite issues, you can try a bland diet which helps to cure easily. Still, if your dog is sick it is advisable to visit a vet and not treat yourself.

How long can a sick dog go without eating?

The period your sick dog can remain without eating depends on factors like their health, the severity of their sickness, their activity level and their surrounding. Typically a sick dog can go without food for 24 hours to 48 hours, but if your dog goes without eating for more than this then it’s time to consult a vet. A sick dog not eating for more than 48 hours is a sign of critical condition.

Is it normal for a sick dog not to eat?

Yes, it is normal for a sick dog not to eat, illness can cause them to have a loss of appetite. But still, you should try to feed your sick dog and keep them hydrated. Sickness as it is makes it difficult for dogs and not eating will only worsen the situation. If your sick dog remains without food for more than 24 hours then consult a vet.

What is the best food for a sick dog?

If your dog is sick then giving him a bland diet is advisable. A bland diet is easy to digest and provides dogs with the required energy to fight the illness. The bland diet includes boiled rice with curd, chicken rice, bone broth and pumpkin. The food is easy to digest and prevents vomiting and diarrhoea.


Feeding a sick dog gives them strength to fight against the illness and prevents them from being lethargic. However, if your dog is sick then he may make you work extra by not eating. We hope that through our blog, “What to feed a sick dog with no appetite?” we have provided you with all the required insights.

If your sick dog is not eating then consult a vet he will be able to guide you better. You can even try feeding your dog a liquid diet it too can help to provide them strength.


  1. Dacvim, D. E. L. D. M. (2017a, March 16). How do I get my picky pet to eat? Clinical Nutrition Service at Cummings School.
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Jeanette Hampton
Jeanette Hampton is a content writer at WWD and an expert on all things pets. She’s been writing pet blogs for over 5 years and knows everything there is to know about dogs. Jeanette enjoys writing about pet-related topics because she enjoys helping people learn more about their furry friends.

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