Muffin Diabetic Pet Support Group
 

MY PET WON'T EAT -

WHAT CAN I DO?

Tips from Muffin members on getting your diabetic pet to eat

 
NOTE:  These tips are meant to be suggestions only - if your pet consistently refuses to eat, consult your veterinarian.

If you can add to these suggestions, please  let us know


 
General:
  •  As you probably know eating is very important and they can be very stubborn.  On the advice of my vet I use half dry kibbles and half canned, mixed together (all weight-control). (Judy and Benny (DD)]
 
Cats:
  • We had a few problems with him eating, but gave him pills to stimulate his appetite.  That got him eating again.   I kept Casey on his regular food when he became diabetic. He eats 3 times a day.  6:30am, 3:30pm and at midnight.  We've been doing the midnight thing since he was a kitten.  It kept him from waking us up in the middle of the night.  Only thing different was I added a 1/4 can of Iams for when he got his shot.  I also gave him a small snack before his shot and after.  I never had any problems giving them even though I hated it.  He knew that 30 minutes after eating when the timer went off it was shot time.  If I didn't get to it right that minute, he would come looking for me! (Nancy, Casey (dc, honeymooning)

  • Bill eats dry DM and I supplement it with a tbsp of wet food (his  favorite) here and there.  Bills emergency food is a can of cat food  Tuna...like 9 lives tuna.  If he will eat NOTHING he will be coaxed with  that. (Mary & Bill T. Cat)

  • Samuel has got to be the world's pickiest cat.  Nothing is good enough.  There I am, a house full of hungry animals--cajoling and wheedling Mr. Prima Dona :-).  In truth, there have been times I've simply had to skip his shot simply because he just wouldn't eat--not something that I like doing.  I just keep trying different things--each time I hit on something, it only seems to last for a brief time.  But usually he will eat non-shredded, non-lumpy (smooth) canned cat food that has been mashed up with a good bit of Whiskas cat milk.  OK, not a nutritious diet and there's far too much sugar--but he has to eat.  I leave dry food out for him so that he can catch up when he is feeling peckish.              ~Barbara and Samuel (fussy dc)


  • Maureen writes in July, 2007:

    What worked for Tigs when he went through his "I'm not gonna eat anything" spell, was a flavor enhancer I got from the vet (looks like a bottle of regular seasoning - except for cats!) He loves that stuff. When he walks away from his dish, I sprinkle some of that on and his face goes right in it. Also, I hid treats in his food, but I made sure he saw me get out his treats, and stick it in his food - tricked him into eating for a lil while - but make sure you bury them good otherwise the cat will move the food around, eat the treats and walk away lol.

    I also saw kitty gravy at Petsmart (or Petco I cant remember which) - I tried
    some of that - 


    I dont know if this helps or if dogs are different then cats......When Scamp or Buttons will not eat I warm their food and add a little low sodium chicken broth(from the can) or a little sprinkle of cinnamon.

    Nancy and Scamp
    July, 2007



    When any of my cats starts turning down food, I "prime" appetites with Whiskas Kitty Milk (not wholesome KMR but plain old, supermarket Kitty Milk.  Even the sickest or most finicky cat will not turn it down.

    Another item rarely refused is turkey breast.  This hint was given me years ago by a cat rescuer in Turkey (appropriate?) and much experiece has prooved that Sima was right.

    Baby food is my vet's favorite recommendation (although you need to avoid certain ingredients so read the labels).

    Refusal to eat may be a healthy, short-term reaction to an upset tummy (just as we have the sense to avoid food when we are feeling quesy)--but it may be an indication of a more serious problem.  If she persists, I'd check with the vet.  You may have to resort of force feeding--not much fun but doable.

    Barbara and Samuel
    July, 2007


 
 
DOGS:
 
  • Hershey ate prescription kibble and also canned rx food, measured, and ate 2 x a day. In the mornings it was the worst when she wouldnt eat for me and I had to give the insulin, what was I to do?? Well... I listened to others, and I got some fat free cottage cheese, and oh boy did she love that, so since she also vomited alot before the cottage cheese, as she had alot of belly problems, along with cushings disease, I stopped feeding her the dry RX food and she just got half of a can of the canned food and cottage cheese on it, and this would make her want to eat. 
  • Most times this worked but there were some days she absolutely would NOT EAT. So.. I fixed her dish with the canned food, and sometimes added infant baby food meat, just a little for her to taste,  just to get her started eating, sometimes this would work and she would finish and I would give her the shot. 
  • But, then some days nothing seemed to work. Her belly would be empty in the morning and so I came up with giving her a snack in the evening, of cottage cheese, cause she loved it so much, and she did eat that, and sometimes it would hold her till early morning and then she would eat her breakfast. 
  • But sometimes it wouldnt work, so then I am now back to HELP!!! I need you to eat hershey!! So.. sometimes I would scramble and egg, put that on her food and sometimes on a small dish next to her food, anything to get her interested in eating, once she was started, she kept eating, which was a good thing and I was able to give her the shot. 
  • One of the things the vet told me to do was that they said some of their other clients found out that bread, toasted, and just a bit burned, not completely burned, would work for some dogs. So.. I also tried that. It worked. So, towards the end of Hershey's life, when she wouldnt eat, I didnt even try all the other stuff, I just started toasting bread, not alot, just one slice and then broke it up in small pieces, fed it to her by hand, and also put it on her food, rx canned food and cottage cheese. It was a daily challenge to see if she would eat or not. 
  • It was so frustrating but I loved my little girl so much and I would do anything I had to do to get her to eat, baby food, eggs, toast, cheese, oh and if I had some lunch meat, I would take a small thin piece and make tiny pieces and crumble it up into her food and she would eat it then too.
  • Oh and another tip, was peanut butter, she just loved peanut butter, and so what I would do would fix her meal, and take peanut butter, NOT ALOT, and not the crunchy!! and I would smear it all the way around her dish, she loved it and it got her started to eat.
     Oh and one more thing that worked for hershey, was that I made up batches of barley, and would mix a little bit in with her food. She didnt like this as much as the cottage cheese, but she did and would eat it.
     
  •  I had such horrible problems with Hershey getting her to eat so many times almost every day, and my vet had said to take bread, toast it almost burn it and the dogs for some reason like the taste or smell of the burnt toast, so you rip of f small pieces of the toast and feed it to the  dog, then put some on top of the dog food or mix it in, If they still dont eat, peanut butter works, and cottage cheese and also pumpkin not the pie filling but the 100% pure stuff, just a litle mixed

  • into the food, she would eat it, and she always had cottage cheese that was a staple along with her Prescription food.

    Denise and my angels, Jagger(DD)RB, Hershey(DD) RB, and my new little (NDD)my rescued little Bingo boy, rat terrier.


  • I've recently gotten intrigued by the idea that smell is more important to a dog than taste. I guess everyone has probably given a dog a bit of steak or chicken off a barbeque grill just to watch it be practically swallowed whole. I always wonder why, if it seems such a prized food that they don't try to savor the taste as people would do. To my mind, it is just the smell that gets them going.
  • Since I home cook much of Poke's food, she is able to smell it cooking, and I vary the home cooked stuff a lot, different meats and veggies, but I also will add a slight pinch of some spice, oregano, basil, garlic, rosemary, nutmeg & etc., not enough to make it "spicy" but enough to give it a different smell....
  • it is weird with animals, you can fry up a bunch of bacon for yourself and allow them to smell it cooking...put a teaspoon of bacon grease on their food, and they feel like they ate the whole bunch. I think their noses have a lot to do with appetite.

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    Linda and Poke


    7 Jul 2007 18:47:33 -0500 

    I saw where some one asking about feeding tips I gave Lee to get Hub to eat.
     

  • I told her when Ditto doesn't want to eat I get a piece of roast beef and tear it into tiny (I mean tiny) little pieces.  Then I offer him one.  If he turns that down I put it on the plat with his dog food.  Then I offer him another one. If he turns that down i put it on his dog food.  Then I'll rub a

  • piece on my finger and let him smell my finger and we go like this until he licks my finger a couple of times.  After that he usually eats a couple of pieces.  Then he will eat the pieces on his plate and before you know it the dog food is gone.  This may take 15 or 20 minutes but it does usually result with him eating.
     
  • Was what someone from Muffin suggested which to cut some W/D into bite size pieces and micro wave them.  Although Ditto doesn't like W/D from the can he loves the microwaved bite size pieces.  I usually microwave for 3 minutes. They are sort of crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.

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    Steve and Ditto 



     
  •  I did find that my dogs LOVE the canned dog food, but were sometimes slow to dig into the dry, if I served only kibble. So I just put bits of canned food on top of the dry, at each meal, and both dogs dig in and eat every bite.

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  • But I also find that to get my dogs to eat, if it's only dry kibble, I can pour boiling water over it and let it soak till the kibble is mushy, and they really like that! Very interesting!

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    Sat, 7 Jul 2007  18:32:40
    Carol Whitney (ndh)



    More food suggestions from Poke's Linda that might tempt your dog (or cat) to eat:
     
  • a simple bowl of broth made by boiling chicken or beef
  • a hard boiled egg
  • an egg poached in chicken or beef broth, served with broth included
  • a scrambled egg with a bit of parmesan cheese on it
  • cheese slices
  • a small can of cat food
  • baby food meats or meals
  • some tablespoons of cottage cheese or plain yogurt
  • chicken livers, or liver in general - You can cook them up with veggies, or blend the veggies into a soup
  • a bit of Jack Mackerel or Salmon
  • crackers
  • a slice of bologna or a cooked hot dog...not very nourishing but something Poke will always eat! She also goes for the more refined sandwich meat, like turkey or ham.

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