We've partnered with We Love Doodles to bring you an informative guide on what to feed your four legged friend when they aren't feeling themselves.
Dogs usually have a healthy appetite. However, it becomes quite challenging to feed them when they become ill, as they have reduced appetite and upset stomachs and might not eat the food they usually like.
Your dog needs special food when they get sick, just like people do. Unfortunately, many individuals don't know about this and keep giving dogs the usual stuff. This does not help at all in regaining their health. Feeding your pet friend nutritious food is vital to boost their recovery.
This article will outline some healthy options you may buy for your dog's well-being. But before that, you must identify the symptoms of a sick dog.
At Wilsons, we know how important it is for your dog to be healthy, which is why we supply a range of grain free dog food. View our entire grain free dog food range here!
Symptoms of a Sick Dog
If you ignore a particular habit in your dog, you won't know if they're ill and require extra care. Lucky for you, we love doodles just as much as you, which is why we present this guide dedicated to sick dogs, with a list of symptoms you need to look out for.
A common symptom is when your dog is sick, it will frequently vomit, especially after they overeat. It’s best to feed your furry friends soft dry dog food after they have had an upset stomach.
2. Loss of Appetite
Because of an upset stomach, the dogs will not eat much, eventually weakening them. Because of the pain from vomiting, they are also reluctant to eat.
3. Coughing or Wheezing
If your dog's lung is affected by any sickness, you will notice your dog coughing frequently. They will start to wheeze if left unchecked, which may also cause bad breath.
4. Shift in Personality
A sick dog is more likely to be in a bad mood and show aggressive behaviour. They are also likely to be more lethargic and stay in one place for an extended period.
What to Give a Sick Dog to Eat?
Giving your dog the proper food is crucial now that you know when they are ill. Foods that are nutritious and healthy will quicken the body's recovery. Always consider the food's nutritional content when choosing food. Here are some foods for your dog that are nutritious after all that.
1. Cooked, Plain White Meat
Rinse the chicken or turkey thoroughly under cold water. Remove any excess fat or bones. Place the meat in a pot and cover it with water. Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat to low and let the meat simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Once the meat is cooked, remove it from the pot and let it cool. Cut the meat into small, bite-sized pieces. Serve the cooked white meat to your sick dog alone or mixed with a small amount of cooked rice or vegetables.
It's important to talk to your veterinarian before making any changes to your dog's diet, especially if they are sick. They can recommend the best action and advise you on what foods are safe for your dog.
2. Chicken with White Rice
Chicken and white rice are staples for dogs worldwide. They are rich in nutrients, and dogs love them as well. However, brown rice is more nutritious than white rice, the blandness of white rice makes it easier to digest when the dog has an upset stomach.
As for the chicken, opt for a boneless and skinless breast piece so that your dog can easily chew and digest it.
Normally, you can use some seasoning and some butter, but avoiding these when your dog is sick is best because they can cause stomach discomfort.
3. Boiled Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamins and fiber. This makes them an excellent choice if you want your dog’s intestine to feel better and provide them with essential nutrients such as calcium, iron, magnesium, and many more.
Be sure not to offer raw potatoes to your dog. Peel the skin off and cook the potato thoroughly. Raw potatoes with skin are harder to digest and can upset the stomach even more. The best will be if you provide your dog with mashed sweet potatoes.
4. Bone Broth
Bone broths are highly nutritious liquid foods rich in minerals. They are high in sodium and potassium while low in carbohydrates, making them an excellent choice for an upset stomach.
To prepare the bone broth, simply put beef or pork marrow bones with turkey or chicken bones. Then put them in a pot with 2 to 3 inches of water and cook on low heat for 20-24 hours. Before serving this broth, remove all bones and only serve the liquid because bones can worsen the stomach’s digestion process.
Pumpkins, just like sweet potatoes, are very effective in curing an upset stomach and making a sick dog feel better. They are rich in vitamins that help boost your dog's immune system. Giving your dog one to four tablespoons of pumpkin with their regular meal will surely help them recover fast.
Do not add any sort of seasonings like pumpkin pie season or any added sugar. They can have a negative effect on the stomach. Alternatively, you can use canned pumpkin, too if it has no added sugar or any other extra ingredient.
6. Baby Food
Some baby foods, such as Stage II meat-based baby foods like chicken, lamb, and turkey, are highly effective in treating puppies. Some of these may have added seasoning, like garlic. Be sure to remove all the extra seasonings before serving them to your sick canine friend.
These baby foods are easy to chew and digest. They are also effective in stomach and diarrhea treatment. These foods can get stuck on your dog’s taste buds, so when they get better, get ready because they will not be willing to eat anything but these baby foods.
Fish can help your dog in recovering its appetite. They have a strong smell which can help encourage your dog to eat more food. Fish such as Cod have a lot of healthy fat and vitamins, which can strengthen the dog's immune system. They have a strong smell which can help encourage your dog to eat more food.
Cut the fish in small parts and remove all fish bones so that the dogs have an easier time chewing.
Oatmeal is very high in fiber which helps with constipation and antioxidants that helps reduce stomach inflammation. Giving your sick dog some oatmeal mixed with warm water and honey can help improve their health. They also have linoleic acid which helps improve skin.
However, do not feed your dog too much oatmeal because too much fiber in your dog’s stomach can make them feel even more sick. Dogs have a hard time digesting milk so avoid mixing oatmeal with milk and instead use warm water.
Yogurt, especially plain yogurt, which is free of any additional sweeteners, is a good source of calcium and protein. They also contain helpful bacteria that can help in digestion. So if your dog suffers from constipation, plain yogurt can be a great meal.
You can buy plain yogurt from your local store. Some yogurt brands also contain added nutrients with vitamins and minerals. If you can go through the hassle, consider making homemade yogurt that is fresh and healthy.
10. Boiled Egg
Eggs are a rich protein source, and dogs love them. Although they are a healthy meal option, they might not be optimal for all sicknesses as some can worsen after eating an egg. If you see that your dog is vomiting regularly, then avoid eggs completely.
If this is not the issue, eggs can be a great meal. They are great energy boosters as well. You can add fried rice with boiled eggs to make a complete meal.
Medicine for a Sick Dog
Although giving your dog meals might aid in recovery, there are other things you should do. If you want a quick recovery, they also require the proper medication. These medicines are helpful:
- Imodium - Imodium is effective at recovering from stomach inflammation and decreasing diarrhea.
- Pepto Bismol - This liquid medicine helps remove nausea and can help with digestion.
- Pepcid - This medicine helps reduce stomach acidity and vomiting.
Don't forget to always speak to your dog's vet before giving them medicine they've not had before, especially if they are on any other medication.
It's important to talk to your vet before making any changes to your dog's diet, especially if they are sick. They can recommend the best course of action and advise you on what foods are safe for your dog.
We hope this article has provided insight into the types of meals and medical care your dog could receive.
Are you looking for food for a dog who has a sensitive tummy?
Wondering whether our dog food is suitable for puppies too? Take a look at our dedicated puppy food page to discover more!