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Q&A: How Can I Get My Dog to Eat Her Prescription Food?

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Dr. Mark is a veterinarian. He has been working with dogs for more than 40 years.

If your dog is a picky eater, here are a few tips to help them eat prescription food.

If your dog is a picky eater, here are a few tips to help them eat prescription food.

Why Won't My Dog Eat Her Prescription Diet?

"My 1.5-year-old female dog suddenly doesn't want to eat. I have been feeding her little pieces of chicken and brought her to the vet last week. They said blood was normal, but the X-ray showed an inflamed small intestine. She gave me antibiotics for her and special food, but there is no making her eat it.

After she urinates, she licks her privates. It's confusing because she goes outside and runs around with my other dog and barks up a storm like there's no problem. What do I do now?" —Beatrice

How to Get Your Dog to Eat a Prescription Diet

I cannot comment on the x-ray since I did not see it, but if the vet decided to put your dog on a prescription diet, here are some things that might help her eat:

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  • Add some warm broth (you can use beef, bone, or chicken but make sure you make it up for your dog without onions) to her food.
  • If you feed canned food, warm the food a little (not hot, just enough to release the aromas).
  • If the prescription diet is dry, add a little warmed canned food and mix it in.
  • Try feeding by hand (dogs are social animals, and many respond to this).

There are many reasons that a dog will not eat. If those tips do not help, you will need to take her back to your vet so that she can be examined again and have a urinalysis to see why she is licking herself after urinating.

Feed Yogurt Along With Antibiotics

Sometimes dogs also develop loose stools after taking antibiotics, so it helps to give them yogurt to replenish the bacteria in their gut that have died because of the medicine. (Make sure that it is the plain, non-flavored yogurt and not one that contains flavors or artificial sweeteners). I usually recommend a few tablespoons for a small dog and up to about half a container for a large dog.

This article is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from your veterinarian. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

© 2022 Dr Mark

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