What to do when an older dog goes off their food? Try healthy naturally attractive treats!
Older dogs often show disinterest in their dog food. They just can’t be bothered chewing grain any more. There are things that you can do to both increase their appetite and keep them in general better health.
Dogs disinterest in food.
While some dogs maintain a healthy interests in food, the lack of exercise and physiological changes can make a dog avoid food and become too thin. They are also missing out on vital nutrients which will harm their health.
Commercial dog food made of grain that is crushed (so they can access some of the nutrition), but it is also heat treated and has sugar, salt, and oil added to make it artificially palatable. The average dog would never eat the raw grain of its own choice. Perhaps a dog getting old and avoiding commercial dog food is just wisdom?
Whatever your take on it, many old dogs prefer raw or cooked meat products and if you use a more fatty cut of meat you can assist an underweight dog in gaining sufficient weight, because they naturally like the taste of animals and its the world’s most natural food for a dog. If you are concerned about feeding raw, then properly processed 100% or 80% meat dog treats are your solution.
The higher fat treats are pork products makes them ideal for dogs trying to gain weight. Though the pork treats we sell (in treats and bones categories) are typically long chewing – so you may need to cut these up for your older dog if you want them to eat pork.
Some sites make the excuse that older dogs might go off kibble because they have a ” hard time chewing the large kibble”. If your dog eats meat and bones throughout its life it should have good teeth and gums and be able to chew meat and small raw bones for most of its life. Kibble often gets stuck to a dog’s teeth and causes teeth cavities and gum atrophy.
If your dogs teeth and gums arent healthy, you can put water with kibble so why not do it with meat based dog treats?
If you want a very economical solution then something like roo or beef liver balls are small and you can easily add water to them to soften them up. They are also 3-4 times the amount of meat than you will find in kibble.
Even if you have to pulverise the meat based dog treats in a mortar and pestle or blender, its still going to be HIGH MEAT and high quality nutrition minus the chewing.
Please note some older dogs that have not had a high percentage of meat before might experience soft stools. So just like you are recommended to do when changing kibble brands, you need to take the change in dog treats slowly for their stomachs to adjust to real nutrition. Slowly introduce over a week. If your dog eats kibble with beef or chicken in it and they are not allergic to those meats, then they wont be allergic to higher proportions of these meats.
Why not mix your dogs diet up with kangaroo or fish products. These are typically low fat and hypo allergenic meaning very easy on their stomach.
As always, consult your vet before embarking on any major change in your dogs diet.