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Three Tips If Your Cat or Dog Won’t Eat

When your cat or dog won’t eat, everyone feels bad. There’s nothing worse than watching your beloved Tripawd lose appetite after amputation surgery, or if chemotherapy side effects happen. Today we’ll look at things we can do to get a Tripawd dog or cat snarfing down food once again.

Try This if Your Cat or Dog Won’t Eat During Amputation Recovery or Chemotherapy

cat or dog won't eat
Pandora isn’t sure about eating.

Animals don’t speak our language, but they communicate in other ways. Like telling us they’re not feeling well by turning away from food. If your cat or dog won’t eat during amputation recovery, it’s probably because the pain medications are dulling their appetite. You can try these first two tips if your dog or cat won’t eat. But if they don’t work, be sure to follow Step #3.

Step 1: Don’t hide pills in pet food.

Have you ever accidentally tasted a pill before swallowing it? Most taste terrible! Dogs and cats think so too. They can smell pills and most won’t eat them in their main meal. Don’t associate the bad taste of pills with food. If your Tripawd isn’t eating, put give pills separately in the stinkiest, tastiest treat you can think of, like:

Cheesy DIY Pill Wraps

trick to pill a dog
Don’t let medication touch your fingers.

Fish or Meatball Pill Wraps

And if all else fails, here’s how to give pills to a dog or cat.

Step 2: Feed on Paper Plates

We once asked vet nutritionist Dr. Donna Raditic, DVM, DACVN, CVA, what to do if your dog or cat won’t eat. Her advice? Use paper plates!

“Dogs can smell molecules. If they’ve eaten something that makes them nauseous and they won’t eat it, and then you put something new in their bowl, they may smell those molecules on that food, even if you run the bowl through a dishwasher! After all these are dogs that smell cancer in people!” she explained.

Keep your pet’s food bowls clear of any pill smells. Try placing a couple of different meal options on two separate paper plates and let your Tripawd choose which one to eat.

Step 3: Ask Your Vet for an Appetite Stimulant

If the first two tips don’t work, you may find it necessary to turn to yet another medication to help your dog or cat eat. An appetite stimulant is especially helpful for pets experiencing chemotherapy nausea (get the prescription before your pet’s chemo sessions begin, just in case they need it).

senior amputee dog recovery
Bessie isn’t thrilled about eating.

Appetite loss is stressful for both pet and parent, but there are plenty of ways to deal with it. Stay calm and be patient if it happens to your Tripawd. Remember, amputation recovery and chemotherapy are temporary stops on the road to a good life on three legs. With some TLC, maybe a dash of home cooked pet food and possibly some help from your vet, you can get your Tripawd hero back to a full, hoppy belly.

Do you have appetite boost tips for Tripawds? Let us know in the comments below, we would love to hear about them!

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