Heather Ridge Pet Hospital

5901 S. Remington Place Suite 100
Sioux Falls, SD 57108



pet health care

Has your dog or cat lost its appetite recently?

This happens to many pet owners, and is often a cause for concern. And rightfully so. According to veterinarian Ted Morris, a pet who isn't eating could be dealing with a number of concerns, from minor problems to serious illnesses.

"There's a lots of reasons why they won't eat," said Morris. "Our pets are really good at hiding their illnesses, especially cats, so by the time they're starting to act sick they've usually been sick a fair bit longer than you realize."

If your cat isn't eating, Morris recommends that they be taken to the vet as soon as possible. This is because cats can easily develop fatty liver problems if they haven't eaten in a few days.

Unlike cats, an owner shouldn't be immediately concerned if their dog doesn't eat for a day. But if the problem persists, they should be taken to a veterinary technician or a pet hospital for further pet health care.

For dogs, the reasons fall on a large spectrum -- cancer to tooth decay. In fact, tooth decay is a problem for 80% of dogs by the age of three.

But once you have spoken to a vet at your veterinary practice and address the problem, here are some steps you can take in order to encourage your pet to eat:

  1. Try Switching Foods
    Try incorporating a small amount of a different food into their current wet or dry food. Make sure your food choices are approved by your pet health care provider, and to incorporate this new food slowly, as to not upset your animal's digestion.

  2. Create a Comfortable Dining Space
    When animals are sick or uncomfortable, finding a quiet and calming place for them to eat is often essential.

    Conversely, other animals are social beings, and will prefer your company. Try sitting on the floor with them and feeding them their food, providing them with extra care and attention. 

    Like people, all animals are different, and they all have different levels of comfort.

  3. Avoid Only Feeding Them Treats
    While it might be comforting to see you animals happy and finally eating, avoid reaching for treats to pique your pet's appetite. Doing so may lead to other issues, such as diarrhea.

Make Pet Health Care a Priority

Above all, don't be afraid to consult your veterinarian for advice. Pets are supposed to visit the vet at least once a year for routine preventive care for pets and older pets should go twice. There are 48 million households out there who own dogs and 38 million who own cats -- make sure you're a household that provides your pet with the proper love and care they need.

Have you ever had similar experiences with your pets? Let us know in the comments and questions or noteworthy suggestions.