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Owner's attitude when a pet does'nt want to eat.

What are the reasons that can explain why an animal does not want to eat ?
How can we stimulate the dog's or the cat's appetite ?

When the appetite of a dog or a cat dicreases, there are two main hypothesis :

  • - pathological problem that affects the body shape, the smell or the taste senses,
  • - behavioural problem : due to the education, the environment of the animal...

Pathological problem

If the observation shows some lesions in the oro-nasal area, or other general symptoms (higher temperature, diarrhea, vomiting...), the animal will be immediatly presented to the veterinarian. Fasting must not last too long, especially with a cat, because of its high proteic requirement that makes him "burn" his muscular proteins ; moreover, the important mobilization of fatty reserves may lead to a pathological accumulation of lipids in the liver.

In case of vital risk, the veterinarian could set up a forced-feeding system, thanks to a naso-gastric tube that allows to administrate liquid food to the animal.

During his recovery, the owner will encourage him to eat, staying with him in a quiet place, eventually feeding him by hand.

Capricious behaviour

When he is too much spoilt, the animal becomes very demanding concerning the quality of its food : he can even refuse to eat what he receives, if he knows that his owner will give up once faced to his sollicitations.

  • 1st rule : a dog should be fed after his owner to reinforce the dominant position of the second one. Do not look at him when he eats.
  • 2nd rule : offer food twice or 3 times a day, always at the same time, and take the plate off after 10 to 15 mn, even if the food has not been consumed. Do not give anything else between the regular meals. As it is very difficult to oblige a cat to eat what he refuses, he will be proposed various products, to take advantage of its natural attraction towards a new food.

    This education is much easier when it is started in the very young age.

    Various tricks to enhance the palatability

    • - Competition with an other animal might have a positive effect.
    • - Rehydration of the croquettes, or adoption of a dinners presentation (dogs only).
    • - Introduction of a new diet, richer in proteins and fats : provided that the daily quantities are adapted to keep the same energetic intake.
    • - Addition of meat juice (proteic extracts), salt, grinded cheese, milk powder...


Products packed up under controlled atmosphere and presented in small portions allow to keep all the flavour of the food until its consumption.

Donated by the Borg Cardona and Co. Ltd. visit Borg Cardona website

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