How to make a sick dog eat and drink

How to make a sick dog eat is a concern for many dog owners!  When a dog is sick, it may lose its appetite and refuse to eat, which can be a cause for concern for pet owners. However, there are several ways to encourage sick dogs to eat and ensure they are receiving the necessary nutrition to support their recovery. From offering tempting foods to making mealtimes more appealing, there are several strategies that pet owners can use to help their sick dog regain their appetite.

Learn more about how to make a sick dog eat and drink, what to feed him, and finally what are the best meals.

How to make a sick dog eat and drink?

If your dog is sick and not eating or drinking, it's important to address the underlying health issue and consult with a veterinarian. In some cases, a loss of appetite can be a symptom of an underlying illness, and it's important to identify and treat the underlying cause of the problem.

Here are some tips to encourage your sick dog to eat and drink:

  1. Offer tempting foods: Try offering your dog a variety of foods to see if there is anything they are willing to eat. You can try offering foods that are high in protein and easily digestible, such as boiled chicken or lean ground beef.
  2. Make the food more appealing: You can try warming up the food or adding low-sodium chicken or beef broth to make it more appealing.
  3. Hand feed or use food puzzles: Some dogs may respond to hand feeding or using food puzzles to encourage them to eat.
  4. Offer small, frequent meals: Offer your dog small, frequent meals throughout the day to encourage eating and prevent vomiting.
  5. Encourage drinking: Offer your dog fresh water frequently and consider adding some low-sodium chicken or beef broth to the water to make it more appealing.
  6. Offer ice cubes: Some dogs may be willing to lick ice cubes to stay hydrated.
  7. Consider hydration options: In some cases, a sick dog may need to be given fluids subcutaneously or intravenously to stay hydrated.

How long can a sick dog go without eating?

sick dog

A sick dog can live without eating for three to five days. How to make a sick dog eat is not the problem here but when you need help!

But the length of time a sick dog can go without eating depends on the underlying cause of the illness and the severity of the condition. In general, a healthy dog can go without food for a few days, but a sick dog may be more vulnerable to the effects of not eating.

If a dog goes without eating for more than 24-48 hours, it's important to consult with a veterinarian to determine the underlying cause and to develop a plan to address the issue. Prolonged lack of food intake can lead to muscle wasting, weakness, and other health problems.

What happens if a dog doesn't eat for 5 days?

sick dog cant eat

If a dog doesn't eat for 5 days, it can lead to serious health complications and should be considered a medical emergency. A lack of food intake for an extended period can cause the body to break down its own muscle tissue for energy, leading to muscle wasting and weakness.

In addition, a lack of food intake can lead to dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and other health problems. The longer a dog goes without eating, the more severe these complications can become.

You can help your sick dog by stimulating his appetite, here’s how..

How can I stimulate my dog's appetite?

sick dog witthou eating

One of the answers to how to make a sick dog eat is how to stimulate a dog's appetite. Here are some tips:

  1. Change the food: Sometimes, dogs can get bored with their food and lose interest in eating. Try switching to a different brand or flavor of food to see if that makes a difference.
  2. Warm up the food: Heating up your dog's food can make it more aromatic and appealing to them. You can warm it up in the microwave or by adding warm water.
  3. Add some flavor: You can add a little bit of low-sodium chicken or beef broth to your dog's food to give it some extra flavor and make it more appealing.
  4. Try hand feeding: Some dogs respond well to being hand fed. Offer your dog small bites of food from your hand to encourage them to eat.
  5. Feed smaller, more frequent meals: Some dogs may be more interested in eating if they are offered smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day.
  6. Exercise: Regular exercise can help stimulate a dog's appetite. Take your dog for a walk or play with them to encourage them to eat.
  7. Check for health issues: If your dog's appetite has decreased suddenly or they are showing other signs of illness, it's important to have them checked by a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues.

Remember, it's important to provide your dog with a balanced, nutritious diet that meets their specific nutritional needs. 

Best meals to feed your sick dog:

Finding your dog's favorite meals is the answer to how to make a sick dog eat.

When selecting meals for a sick dog, it's important to choose foods that are easily digestible and provide the necessary nutrients to support their recovery. Such as:

  • Chicken and Rice
  • Shredded Chicken
  • Pumpkin and sweet potato
  • Bone Broth
  • Baby Food
  • Wet dog food

Read more about the best wet dog food

What about fruits and vegetables?

Here’re the most recommended fruits and vegetables for sick dogs:


  • Apples
  • Cantaloupe
  • Bananas
  • Peaches
  • Mango
  • Pears


  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Peas
  • Celery
  • Green Beans
  • Spinach

In conclusion:

A sick dog requires special attention and care to help them recover from their illness. Providing a balanced and nutritious diet, encouraging hydration, and monitoring their overall health are key components of caring for a sick dog. By working closely with a veterinarian and following these tips, pet owners can help their sick dogs feel better and get back to their happy and healthy selves.


  • How long can a dog go without food but drinking water?

A dog can go for 5 days without food but only drinking water because they need water to survive. Every dog is different and the length of time a dog can go without food depends on their individual health and nutritional status.

  • How to force feed a dog who won't eat?

Force-feeding a dog who won't eat is not recommended and can be dangerous. Force-feeding can cause stress and anxiety for the dog, and can lead to choking or other health complications. Instead, try to stimulate his appetite.

  • How do you get a dog to eat that won't eat?

A new treat will be helpful to get a sick dog to eat, also give him time and be aware of every medication instruction and how it affects him.