"How and What to Feed a Sickly Dog

"How and What to Feed a Sickly Dog

Health & Safety

If you are nursing a sickly dog, you need to know just how important their diet is during their recovery period. When a dog is ill they go off their food but there are certain health issues which many dogs are predisposed to and which are in fact, food-related. This includes all sorts of things like allergies, cardiomyopathy and osteoarthritis to name but three.

Knowing when to feed something other than a usual dog food goes a long way in helping your pet stay healthy and happy. Sometimes when a dog goes off their normal food, it's a good idea to tempt them to eat with something they really like, a tasty morsel you normally give them as a treat from time to time. This could be a nice piece of cooked liver or some cooked chicken breast or even some cooked white fish which is full of goodness and Omega-3 oils.

However, if you need to feed this type of food to your dog to get them to eat anything, then it could be time for a trip to the vet to find out if something untoward is going on. Once a diagnosis has been made, the right treatment can be given to your pet so they get their appetites back and make a full recovery.

Dogs Predisposed to Obesity

There are certain breeds which are predisposed to obesity and this includes Labrador Retrievers, Cocker Spaniels as well as a few Terrier breeds. If they get ill, it's really important to keep an eye on their diet making sure they are fed one which is rich in good quality protein but low in carbohydrates. However, you also need to make sure your sickly pet gets all the needed vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants so their immune systems stay strong enough to combat the infection or illness they may be suffering from.

Dogs That Suffer with Allergies

You may own a dog that suffers from allergies which could include allergies to certain foods. There is one symptom which is typically seen in dogs who have developed a food allergy which is swollen legs. A lot of the time, these food allergies are triggered by the proteins in meat, wheat, corn, soy as well as potatoes so it's important to try to eliminate just what the trigger actually is.

A good way of controlling this type of allergy is to limit the dog's intake of any particular ingredient to one a day. This also helps single out which of them could be causing the allergy. Dogs may also benefit from being given omega 3 fatty acid supplements which can help reduce any inflammation that may be present throughout their bodies.

Older Dogs Can Suffer From Diabetes

Older dogs may develop diabetes which means their diet would need to be looked at closely and then changed if needed. Much of the time it's a question of keeping their blood sugar levels under control. A diet containing more fibre can be beneficial to older dogs who have developed the condition as well as vegetables like carrots which are that much easier for them to digest. A diet that's high in protein and low in any carbohydrates is the right choice for an older dog when they are suffering from diabetes.

Is Your Dog Suffering From Dilated Cardiomyopathy?

Dilated cardiomyopathy is a condition that dogs can suffer from which a heart related illness where the walls of the heart are thin but the heart itself is large. This results in the heart not being able to contract and perform properly. The condition often occurs as a result of a dietary problem where there's not enough taurine which is one of the amino acids dogs need in their diets. Most good quality pet foods now contain enough taurine to make sure there's less chance of a dog contracting the condition – but it's always a good idea to check labels to satisfy yourself this is indeed the case. Adding valuable antioxidants to your dog's diet has been seen to be very beneficial too if there is a taurine deficiency.

Why Dogs May Go Off Their Food

Although there are many reasons why your dog might suddenly go off their food, there are, however some common causes too. Your pet could be suffering from some sort of bacterial or viral infection. It could be they have a cold which means their noses or sinuses are blocked. If a dog cannot smell their food, they are less likely to want to tuck into it. You would need to take them to the vet for a correct diagnosis to be made followed by a treatment. Another common cause could be that your dog just simply does not like their food any more, and if this is the case you should try changing it to something else.

There are several health conditions which are food-related and which can be avoided to a certain degree if a dog is fed the correct diet from an early age. This includes the following:

  • Joint diseases
  • Arthritis
  • Hip dysplasia

If you have just got or adopted a puppy or young dog, you should not feed them too much food too soon as this can prove quite harmful to them later on in their lives. Studies have shown that feeding young dogs too much food early in their lives may cause them to suffer from a few joint diseases as well as other health issues.


Over recent years, people have taken a long, hard look at their own diets realising just how important it is and how eating the right sort of things can help them live longer, healthier lives. The same is true of our four legged friends, dogs need the same well thought out balanced diet for them to lead happy, healthy and and ultimately longer lives.

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