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Top 10 Appetite Stimulants for Dogs

Appetite Stimulants for dogs

How CBD Oil Combines The Best Attributes Of Each

There are a lot of different reason for why your dog may have stopped eating. They might just be picky eaters, or there could be an underlying medical issue.

Because of this, there are a lot of different ways you can stimulant your dog’s appetite, and you may be comfortable with some like reducing table scraps, but not other like putting them on prescription medication. That’s why we’re exploring all the different ways to increase appetite so you can choose your preferred method based on you and your dog’s needs.
While we are covering 10 ways to increase appetite, the main goal of this article was to find the one appetite stimulant that could be recommended beyond the rest. It had to have everything: easy to give, affordable, helps with appetite in a multitude of ways, and most importantly, came will low to no side effects giving pet owners the peace of mind that they are giving their pup something that is safe.

The winner is, of course, saved for last. Partially out of suspense, but the other nine needed a fair chance in the game as well.

Chicken / Rotisserie

What dog doesn’t love the smell and flavor of chicken? Chicken is an easy and all-natural way to get even the pickiest eaters . . .  well eating. It’s low fat, high in protein. and makes a great source of nutrition, especially if you’re trying to get your sick pup eating again. Chicken noodle soup is a classic for a reason after all! And before you ask, yes chicken noodle soup is healthy for dogs, especially if you replace the noodles with rice and throw some tasty veggies in.
The big negative with mouthwatering chicken is it’s not the best long-term method for obvious reasons.

Recommend for dogs that are picky eaters, sick, and/or debilitated.


It’s hard for a picky eater to be picky when they are hungry after a strenuous workout. Ideally, you’re exercising your pup every day, and maybe the sole reason your dog is hungry in the first place is that they aren’t using up all those calories for energy. Maybe that’s the secret to finding the motivation to eat clean – work out to the point that even the most unseasoned food looks mouth-wateringly appetizing.

The negative here is an exercise that is strenuous enough to work up a great appetite isn’t always possible. Your pup may be older or sick and not have the energy for it, your schedule may not permit it, etc.

Recommended for dogs that are picky eaters.

Reducing Table scraps

This is an obvious one, but it happens to the best of us. Sometimes those cute little jerks love the food we give them so much that they refuse to eat their own food. If you notice that your pet isn’t eating their food, but seem gung-ho for yours, then you probably want to stop giving them all human food. If you have kids in your house, you may want to keep an eye on them as those stinkers love sneaking food to their fur buddies behind your back.

Not a lot of negatives here, except for wanting to give your pup unconditional love and watching your children like hawks. Also, I swear my pup puts on 5lbs everytime I bring him home from my parents’ house, so watch them as well.

Recommended for picky eaters.

Changing Food

Sure, we humans have a terrible habit of easily getting bored, but to a lesser extent so do our dogs. I mean can you blame them? We have enough issues eating the same food twice in a row, can you imagine the same food every day for months, years, decades!!!! OK, back to being serious. Really, after you consider how long dogs can go eating the same thing day in and day out, it’s pretty clear that it’s a nice idea to change up their food once and a while.

When changing food, it’s always a good idea to slowly make the change by mixing the new food in with the old. Sometimes a quick switch can upset their stomach, which is the last thing we want.

Recommended for dogs that are picky eaters.


Acupuncture won’t cure the problem, but by reducing pain, inflammation, and even nausea it may give your pup enough relief that it brings back their appetite and provides them comfort while they eat.

The big negative is acupuncture is expensive, and your pup may be completely against the idea of being stuck with needles.

Recommended for dogs for medical conditions stemming from diabetes, kidney or liver failure, hormonal conditions, and/or inflammation of the pancreas.

Vitamin B

Vitamin B, especially B1 (thiamine) deficiency is often a culprit in appetite loss and supplementation in it alone may be enough. However, B6 (pyridoxine) has been shown to lead to an increase in appetite, and B-12 can help increase energy along with B1 and B6. So before giving your pup a vitamin B supplement, talk to your vet about the advantages and disadvantages that come with the different B vitamins. A vitamin B supplement will usually contain at least 6 B vitamins – B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B-12.

Vitamin B toxicity can occur and cause a number of issues. Too much B3 can cause nausea, which again is the last thing we want.

Recommend for dogs that are picky eaters and malnourished.


Unfortunately, when natural methods can’t get the job done you may need to look at pharmaceuticals for treatment.  Mirtazapine works by acting on the central nervous system and increases levels of serotonin. It’s a very common pharmaceutical drug for treating nausea when the patient is fighting cancer, as both cancer itself and the chemotherapy treatment for it can often cause nausea.

The side effects of mirtazapine are fairly minimum unless your pup is on an SSRI. Drownessines is the most common issue, and if mirtazapine is given alongside an SSRI serotonin syndrome may occur.

Recommended for dogs that are experiencing nausea due to cancer and/or the medication for to treat it, and kidney disease.

Ghrelin Receptor Agonist

This is a newer medication out there and it works in a really neat way. Ghrelin is the hormone that makes you and your pup hungry. In fact, it’s commonly referred to as the hunger hormone, but it can do so much more.  When ghrelin receptors are activated, they send signals to the brain and this causes hunger. And you guessed it, ghrelin receptor agonists work by binding to the ghrelin receptors.

While ghrelin receptor agonists are just now getting the studies they deserve, the side effects appear minimum. Caution is advised if your pup has liver and/or kidney issues. Only a licensed veterinarian can prescribe it as well.

Recommended for dogs that are picky eaters, and general malnourishment.   


Antihistamines are extremely common for treating nausea in both dogs and people because it targets vertigo-induced nausea and reduces muscle spasms. You might recognize the drug better when using the over-the-counter name, Dramamine. Antivert is the prescription name for meclizine.

Maropitant is another pharmaceutical used to treat vertigo, but unlike meclizine, it is not an antihistamine. Neurokinin 1 receptor antagonists, the class of drugs maropitant falls under, can be used to treat nausea associated with chemotherapy, as well as vertigo.
Because meclizine is an antihistamine it can cause drowsiness, especially with higher doses.

Recommended for dogs that are experiencing nausea, especially nausea due to vertigo.

CBD oil

With all of the above treatment methods, we’ve run into issues, from side effects that can occur with pharmaceutical drugs to realistic constraints some stimulates bring – it’s kinda unrealistic to give your pup rotisserie chicken every day, isn’t it?

The perfect treatment would need to be easy to give like a pharmaceutical drug, but natural like vitamin B or exercise. Is it possible to get an easily attainable, easy to give, natural method that doesn’t cause serious side effects, but can be stored and stay fresh? The answer is yes!

Let’s talk about the hubbub with CBD oil. I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about it lately, but are you getting the right info? Time for the unfiltered, easily digestible facts.

What is CBD Oil; The Unfiltered Facts

  • CBD (cannabidiol) is a phytocannabinoid found in Cannabis sativa but also found in high amounts in hemp, and even in low amounts in flax seeds.
  • Cannabinoids are classified into two groups based on where they are found: phytocannabinoids (plant) and endocannabinoids (mammals)
  • There are certain cannabinoids found in both plants and animals – Anandamide is found in chocolate, but is also created naturally in the brain.
  • All mammals have receptors that cannabinoids can attach to – there are two main receptors: CB1 and CB2 – these receptors and the cannabinoids are collectively called the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
  • The ECS plays a vital role in regulating and maintaining internal balance despite outside factors.
  • For example, your body is always working to keep your internal temperature always relatively the same despite changes in your environment’s temperature.
  • Unfortunately for some threats, your body uses extreme methods to deal with them such as anxiety and inflammation – if the ECS is inactive, natural and good anxiety and inflammation will become out of control, which often happens.

*We Interrupt this Broadcast to Answer the Most Common Misconceptions*

“Will CBD get to make my dog high?”

That’s a nope. The most important thing to remember is CBD cannot directly itself attach to CB1 or CB2 receptors. Instead, CBD attaches directly to FAAH enzymes, which break down the cannabinoid anandamide – when anandamide is allowed to build up it strengthen your endocannabinoid system and keeps it active throughout the day. This has been shown time and time again as providing a symphony of therapeutic benefits. This is the reason CBD has very low and mild side effects that most will not experience.

As well, it’s why CBD oil cannot get you high like marijuana. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the only known cannabinoid that causes a high. This is believed to be the case because it’s the only phytocannabinoid that attaches directly to CB1 receptors, which are largely found in the brain.

“Is CBD oil marijuana?”

While CBD is in marijuana, so is THC. Now, CBD oil can be derived from cannabis, but technically it could be created flax seeds as well.

We only want CBD derived from hemp, because it will have no THC – legally hemp has to have less than 0.03%. Hemp is pretty much legal everywhere, if you’ve walked into your grocery store and seen hemp then it’s legal in your state, but don’t buy that “hemp oil” expecting CBD in it. CBD is derived from all parts of the plant, where hemp oil or hemp seed oil is derived from the seeds – still super healthy for you and your pup though.

*Back to Your regularly Schedule Events*

CBD and Appetite: The First Way It Helps

  • The ECS plays a similar role in appetite regulation – as you’ve seen with ghrelin receptors, hunger is produced in the brain after it gets a signal – ECS seems to act in a way and protects signals so they don’t get crossed, lost, or misplaced.
  • For example, good inflammation can become bad inflammation when signals are lost or not sent.
  • Because of the ECS role in appetite regulation, CBD can help with picky eaters, dogs with poor appetite due to low energy, anxiety, sick, and malnutrition. The list goes on.

CBD and Appetite: The Second Way It Helps

  • Nausea stemming from a wide-range of illness is the other big culprit when it comes to poor appetite – the appetite doesn’t need to be stimulated like above. Instead, the irritant just needs to be removed.
  • Suppression of the enzyme FAAH appears to suppress acute and anticipatory nausea – remember CBD inhibits these which eventually gives you the first set of reasons why CBD works.
  • CBD will also influence the activation of a few other receptors, and when activated these receptors produce therapeutic effects of their own. One of these includes reducing nausea.



Woah, that’s a lot of science, but it tells us a lot about CBD. It tells us why CBD is very safe with little side effects, it tells us why CBD can’t get your dog high, and it tells us why CBD may just be the best treatment for appetite stimulation because it helps reduce both nausea and promotes appetite regulation

So where can you find CBD for pets? Well, you can click the link if you want to make life easier, or you can follow a couple rules for making sure your buying from a great company.

  1. CBD oil should be derived from hemp, not cannabis
  2. Organic and free from pesticides
  3. CBD oil product label should include: dosage, amount of CBD, and CO2 extracted, and less than 0.03% THC
  4. Watch for companies trying to trick their customer – always a great idea to look at their reviews.


1 thought on “Top 10 Appetite Stimulants for Dogs”

  1. Hi, Aj your article is good and helpful for dog appetite stimulates will be reading the blog I have been inspired thank you for your posting.

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