How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?
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For senior cats that become picky eaters, the change in behavior could be caused by a sensitive stomach or a decline in their sense of taste or smell. Changes in environment or routines can also cause a cat to become a picky eater.
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The other day my boyfriend accidentally left the laundry room door open where we were keeping the trash that was filled with cooked chicken bones. She ate one of the chicken bones lightning fast. We had to induce vomiting by feeding her some hydrogen peroxide. After we had fed her the peroxide, she immediately began frantically eating grass because her tummy was upset.
If there is something lacking in your dogs diet, it could be that your dog is eating grass to make up for it. I am sure that my dogs diet is extremely well balanced (I do not only feed her an air-dried raw food-type diet (Ziwipeak), but a wide variety of safe, healthy foods), so when she eats grass, I know that it is because she has an upset tummy.
That is why I think it is important making sure your dog has a very well balanced diet. If your dog is on a low quality kibble, your dog may be trying to let you know by eating grass (or eating poop).
If this is an adult dog and you observe other concerning signs, such as diarrhea or decreased energy, you should see a veterinarian.
If the dog seems otherwise bright and stable, try offering different types of food: wet food, canned tripe, or cooked chicken and rice. Some dogs will go for canned baby food: chicken, turkey, or beef as the main ingredient. Make sure there are no garlic or onions in the ingredients!
Causes of anorexia in adult dogs can range from less serious to severe. Younger dogs are more likely to get into trouble- they tend to eat things they shouldn’t, and can get foreign bodies from eating things like socks, or stomach upset from getting in the trash. Any dog may stop eating due to stress, or just being a picky eater. Middle aged dogs can stop eating when they’re stressed and also have Addison’s disease, which can be fatal. Older dogs tend to stop eating when they develop cancer or renal disease.
There is no one-size-fits-all recipe to know when the right time is to take your dog to the vet. The moral of this story is, if it’s not getting better, your pup feels bad, or you’re worried – go see the vet!
The first step is to remove any additional treats or people food that may be more enticing to your dog than his own meal. If you feel you must give him some form of treat, be sure to place them directly in his food bowl and mixed with his regular diet. This allows him to get some snacks while also “forcing” him to try out his current meal to get the reward.
Enticing your dog to try his food by adding a pet-safe gravy or even a few treats of plain boiled chicken mixed in can help. Be sure to mix the foods thoroughly so he must explore his own food before getting the treat.
Some small breed dogs may also have a hard time with certain bowls and their collars. If there is a metal name tag on the collar and a metal bowl, the clinking sound can sometimes scare off dogs and make them not want to eat from their bowl. Using a bowl of a different material, or removing the collar prior to a meal may help with this issue.
Your dog may also just not be into his current food and may like another variety better. You can try a new variety by gradually switching over a period of 7-9 days, slowly adding in more new food and removing old until it is switched. This change may encourage him to try out meals again, and the slow changeover will allow his body to adjust to the new diet without digestive upset.
If your dog has been vomiting a lot recently, either related to or unrelated to eating grass, then it is always a good idea to schedule a wellness exam with your vet to make sure there are not any issues causing illness. Grass, especially in areas where livestock may graze can also be a host for parasite eggs, which can in turn infect your dog with an internal parasite (and thus cause vomiting and diarrhea).
If your dog is not eating at all, this is more concerning and points further to some digestive upset causing his or her symptoms. Making an appointment with your vet as well as bringing in a sample of his or her stool is best for helping your pet feel better.
If your dog is showing any other signs of illness in addition to the refusal to eat (beyond normal missing an owner), then it is always a good idea to keep an eye out and contact a veterinarian as needed.
1. Nutritional Issues
Historically speaking, dogs are considered omnivores, which mean they consume a variety of both meat and plant-based food. There is some indication that dogs with a low fiber diet may choose to scavenge in the grass to fulfill this nutritional deficiency. These dogs may also find that grass has an appealing flavor and consistency. If you feel that this may be the reason for your beloved canine consuming grass then consider discussing with your veterinarian on how to incorporate more fiber into your dog’s diet.
Many dogs who are not receiving adequate exercise will be become bored and search out activities to occupy their time, including eating grass. Evaluate how much exercise your dog is getting on a daily basis and consider more walks or other fun activities, such as playing fetch or tug of war.
3. Upset Stomach
There is a belief that dogs with an upset or gassy stomach will self-medicate by consuming grass. Vomiting often follows this grass eating activity eliminating the contents of the stomach or changing the gas distension within the gastrointestinal tract. However, there is not much scientific evidence to back up this theory. If you are concerned about too much gastric acid in your dog’s stomach or any other underlying medical issue that could be the reason for their grass eating, consult with your veterinarian.
Overall, grass eating is usually not toxic to your dogs unless your lawn contains chemicals, including pesticides or herbicides. Monitor your dog’s behavior along with his diet and exercise to determine if there is a reason for the inappropriate grass snacking.
Try enticing your pet to eat with beef or chicken baby food that does not contain onion or garlic powder. Onion and garlic causes anemia. Warm it in the microwave for a few seconds. Stir it with your finger first to make sure there are no hot spots and that it isn’t too hot. This makes it more aromatic and appealing to your pet. Wetting dry food or mixing wet food with low sodium chicken broth, also warmed, might entice your pet to eat. Some cats like to be petted while they eat, some want to be left alone. You’ll know your cat’s habits and be able to act accordingly.