If Your Pet is Not Eating or Drinking

These suggestions are things you can try at home. But treating at home is not a substitute for veterinary care. If you believe your pet is not eating or drinking well for more than 24 hours, it is important to call us at 650-779-4125 for an appointment.

IF YOUR PET IS NOT EATING WELL
In general, we recommend dry dog and cat food because it is healthier for the gums and teeth. However, when your pet has a medical condition and needs a short-term appetite stimulant, you can try a small amount of warmed canned food. Also, you can try adding salt-free tuna or clam juice, a very small amount of anchovy paste, a small amount of dry flaked fish which can be found in the Asian department of grocery stores, or chicken, beef, or vegetable broth.

IF YOUR PET IS NOT DRINKING WELL

  • Most animals prefer cold, clean water. If your tap water has any taste or odor, try using bottled water. Try putting ice cubes in the water
  • You can also try flavoring the water with chicken, beef or vegetable broth, clam juice, salt-free tuna juice, or Gatorade.
  • If your pet is still not drinking enough, you can try hand feeding the water with a small syringe or dropper for a cat or small dog. For a large dog, you can use a turkey baster. Tip the pet’s nose towards the ceiling at a 45° angle, insert the turkey baster in the cheek flap and dribble the water slowly, being careful to not cause any choking.
  • Most cats should drink at least a cup a day. Most dogs vary in the amount of water taken in depending on size: approximately 1 cup per 10 lbs. In any case, your pet should take in enough fluid to urinate at least twice a day.

IF YOUR PET IS NOT DRINKING WELL, WE RECOMMEND MAKING AN APPOINTMENT WITH A VETERINARIAN.
Because dehydration can occur quickly especially in small and older pets, this is considered an urgent need for a same day appointment.