PetMeds® Loss of Appetite in Pets

Filed under Dr. Dym's Vet Blog
The causes for a loss of appetite are numerous so your pet may need to have a veterinary exam in order to properly diagnose the cause A loss of appetite in pets is unfortunately a common yet nonspecific symptom for pets that may be ill. The causes for a loss of appetite are numerous and can include anything from viral/bacterial causes, parasites, metabolic diseases of the liver, kidney or pancreas, foreign body ingestion, cancer, as well as inflammatory bowel disease to name just a few.

If a loss of appetite is greater than a few days, or accompanied by other signs of illness (loss of energy, changes in behavior) or other signs of illness (vomiting or diarrhea) a veterinary assessment is always recommended to find out the cause of the symptoms and the best treatment plan.

If there is a history of simply nonspecific loss of appetite (i.e without other more serious or prolonged signs of illness), many times animal guardians can tempt such pets to eat by adding a new or different wet food diet to a pet’s plate.  Sometimes adding some bland hamburger and rice, or baby food to their every day kibble, can help if a pet has a mild upset stomach.

Pepcid AC (Famotidine) can be often used at a dose of one half mg per pound, once to twice daily, and can help if a pet has a sour stomach to enhance appetite. B-complex vitamins given orally, and/or brewers yeast added to meals can often increase appetite and palatability of many foods.

Has your pet ever experienced a loss of appetite? What were some ways in which you helped your pet to regain their hunger?


  1. Marie Adair
    Posted August 15, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    Emotional trauma affects dog appetite too:

    My 14 yo Chow-mix lost appitite following sudden death of his companion, my 11 yo Rotweiller. Per Vet., this was his way of greiving.

    I had to coax with tasty food, not his usual senior diet until eventually, after 2 wks of hunger strike & tearing his left side bear of all fur, he resumed normal habits.

    His bare skin on L. side was treated for hot spots.

    He is happy again, celebrating his 16th b. d. today.

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  1. [...] problems encountered by animal guardians is when they are confronted with a picky eater. Appetite issues are fairly common in pets, and it is not uncommon for an animal guardian to encounter this issue at [...]

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