Can Dogs Who Refuse to Eat Be Given Baby Food?by Adrienne Farricelli
If your finicky pooch is suddenly turning her nose up at anything you offer, chances are Princess may not be feeling well; perhaps her tummy is upset. In such a case, you want to see your vet, but in the meanwhile coaxing her to eat with the right type of meat-based baby food is something veterinarians often recommend.
Resting the Tummy
If Princess recently stuffed herself on rich foods or retrieved something seemingly inedible from the trash or the yard, her tummy may revolt, refusing even her regular platter. Her tummy needs rest. It's a good idea to respect her tummy's wishes for a bit. Resting the bowels is a wise approach often recommended by veterinarians. Generally, you'll be withholding food for about 12 to 24 hours, and in some cases 48 hours, according to University of California Davis. The purpose is to reduce the quantity of unabsorbed nutrients in Fifi's tummy and prevent further vomiting or diarrhea.
Soothing the Tummy
Once Fifi's tummy has rested and her appetite is back, you can try to feed a "bland diet." What you're looking for here is food that is very low in fat and easy to digest. Meat-based baby food containing lean meats such as chicken or lamb fits the bill in this case. Look for brands of baby food that contain no onion or garlic in the list of ingredients as both have the potential to damage healthy red blood cells and, when not treated in time, may ultimately lead to life-threatening anemia, according to veterinarian and author Marty Becker.
Baby Food for Other Ailments
Baby food can do much more than soothe an upset tummy. Warming up some baby food, for instance, can perk up the appetite of a senior dog who no longer can smell or taste dry or cold food as before. Additionally, many owners resort to baby food when their dog is sick, going through periods of low appetite or is having some sort of chewing problem. Note that baby food isn't nutritionally complete, and as such, you shouldn't feed it solely as your dog's usual diet.
If you're dog has already seen the vet and has received a clean bill of health, it's possibly you're dealing with a really finicky eater. While baby food may entice Princess to eat, consider that you may be spoiling her. Don't be surprised if she'll go on a major strike the day you run out of baby food. If she is ultimately going after the lip-smacking flavor and texture of baby food, you can add flavor to her regular diet by adding savory sauces to her regular food. This way she'll be enticed to eat while you can have the peace of mind that she's eating a nutritionally balanced diet.
- UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine: Nutritional Management of Gastrointestinal Disease
- Vetstreet: Five Foods You Should Never Share With Your Dog (and a Few You Can)
- Whole Dog Journal: Canine Hospice Care Options
- Canine Diabetes: Diet - Comparison of Baby Foods
- Can I Give My Dog: Can I Give My Dog Baby Food?
- Chris Amaral/Digital Vision/Getty Images