What Can I Feed My Elderly Dog With No Appetite?

As dogs age, it can be common for their appetite to decrease. This can be due to various factors such as dental problems, changes in metabolism, or underlying health issues. It’s important to make sure that your elderly dog is getting proper nutrition, even if they aren’t as interested in food as they used to be. Here is a list of options to consider when feeding your elderly dog with no appetite:

  1. Wet food: Wet food can be more appealing to dogs with decreased appetite because it has a stronger smell and taste than dry food. It can also be easier to chew and swallow for dogs with dental problems. Consider choosing a wet food that is high in protein and made specifically for senior dogs.
  2. Soft food: Similar to wet food, soft food can be easier for elderly dogs to eat if they are having trouble chewing. Soft food can be made from a variety of ingredients such as mashed sweet potatoes, cooked rice, or pureed meat. You can also consider adding warm water or broth to soften the food and make it more appealing.
  3. Home-cooked meals: If your elderly dog is not interested in store-bought options, you can try making them a home-cooked meal. Choose ingredients that are high in protein, such as cooked chicken or ground beef, and mix in some cooked vegetables for added nutrients. Just make sure to avoid any ingredients that are toxic to dogs, such as onions or garlic.
  4. High calorie supplements: If your elderly dog is struggling to maintain their weight, you may want to consider adding high calorie supplements to their diet. These supplements can be mixed in with their food or given as a standalone snack. Some options include peanut butter, cooked eggs, or cottage cheese.
  5. Hand feeding: If your elderly dog is really struggling to eat on their own, you may need to resort to hand feeding. This can be a time-consuming process, but it can be a good way to ensure that your dog is getting the nutrition they need. You can try offering small amounts of food at a time and using a spoon or syringe to deliver the food directly to your dog’s mouth.

It’s important to consult with your veterinarian before making any major changes to your elderly dog’s diet. They can help you determine the best course of action based on your dog’s specific needs and any underlying health issues. With a little patience and persistence, you can help ensure that your elderly dog is getting the nutrition they need to stay healthy and happy.


Hannah Elizabeth is an English animal behavior author, having written for several online publications. With a degree in Animal Behaviour and over a decade of practical animal husbandry experience, Hannah's articles cover everything from pet care to wildlife conservation. When she isn't creating content for blog posts, Hannah enjoys long walks with her Rottweiler cross Senna, reading fantasy novels and breeding aquarium shrimp.

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