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Question
My four and a half years old female German Spitz feels devastated after we lost our 11 years female German Spitz five months ago.The biggest problem I face now is her extremely poor eating habits and that she does not eat enough.Kindly provide suggestions and also a dietary recommendation,if possible.

Thanks,

Rick

Answer

Hi Rick,

I'm sorry to hear of the loss of your dog five months ago. Dogs, like people, can grieve for a lost companion. It's fairly common for it's appetite to be effected by this.

You haven't mentioned what you've tried already to get your dog to eat, I'd imagine you've tried adding tidbits to her meals. Since your surviving dog is fairly young, I'll assume that she's healthy. A good way of stimulating appetite is to increase the dog's daily exercise. A couple of extra long leashed walks, or a run in the park (with other dogs, if she enjoys it) is a good way of providing that exercise.

Sometimes, if a dog is used to dry food, switching (or mixing in) canned dog food will get it to eat. Warming the food is a good way to release the food's smell which can entice the dog into eating.
Things like a little crumbled bacon, grated cheese (or even moist cheese like cottage cheese that will "stick" to your dog's food), crumbled hard boiled egg, peanut butter (again, the sticky factor), cooked plain oatmeal, plain yogurt, and chopped canned salmon, are all good things to try, as many dogs find these foods irresistible.  

There are high calorie nutritional supplements that act as an appetite stimulant and added source of energy, which is something else you could try. Most of these are in gel or paste form, so even if the dog won't voluntarily eat it, you could smear it on her tongue or the gum area between her teeth and cheek inside of her mouth, if need be. Brands to look for are Nutri-Cal, EnerCal, Supplical High Calorie Gel, K9 Restart, Clinicare Liquid Diet, or Dogsure. You can find these products at larger pet stores. You could also try liquid meal replacement products made for humans, such as Boost or Ensure, just don't use the chocolate flavor.  

Lastly, there are appetite stimulants your vet could prescribe, if nothing else seems to be working.

I hope I've been a help.
Best of luck,

Patti

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Patti

Expertise

To date, I've owned 7 dogs, all of which have lived into old age. Having cared for them in all stages of life, I feel I can offer sound advice to other pet owners, and people considering getting a dog. I am knowledgeable about the AKC (American Kennel Club) dog breeds, training and exercise, caring for sick and elderly pets, feeding, as well as many holistic treatments pets can benefit from. My only request is that you write me using standard English and punctuation.

Experience

My life experience in this field is more like "on the job training" rather than an actual degree in animal welfare. You may benefit from my experiences over the past 30 years. Aside from the dogs I've owned, I'm also involved in "breed rescue" and have fostered several dogs, all of which have been adopted to wonderful "forever homes". I find helping people who want a dog very rewarding.

Education/Credentials
Real life experience, based on over 30 years of dog ownership.

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