A lot of dogs seem to lose their appetite during the height of summer. Pet owners worry about their health because their favorite meals are going untouched or they appear less enthusiastic about the snacks and treats they usually enjoy.
This is not unusual.
Unlike human beings, dogs eat in tandem with their energy level. If they’re not active, their energy requirement drops – and so does their need to eat.
If your dog is showing signs of lethargy during meal times, here are some things you can do:
OFFER COOL FOODS
• Some cool protein choices for hot, summer days are: carp, beef, whitefish, duck, eggs and yoghurt. Cool fruits and veggies include kale, watermelon, plantain, lettuce, broccoli, blueberry and raspberry.
AVOID AFTERNOON MEAL TIMES
• Try to feed your dog during cooler times of the day – such as early in the morning or after sunset.
SKIP A FEW MEALS
• Don’t stress if your pet is refusing to eat a particular meal. Skip it for a few days and see if that makes a difference.
DON’T FEED COLD FOOD
• Chilled food is not good for your dog’s stomach. No matter how hot it is, don’t serve food straight out of the fridge.
INCREASE WATER INTAKE
• Make sure your dog is drinking plenty of water. Dry food isn’t very palatable during hot summer months, and you can try adding more liquid to the food to see if it makes a difference.
• Keep in mind that puppies and older dogs are most affected by hot weather and therefore more likely to temporarily lose their appetite.
UNDERLYING HEALTH ISSUES
• While it is true that many dogs tend to eat less during summer, don’t ignore the possibility of your dog feeling unwell. Look for signs of illness or injury, and get in touch with your vet if anything seems amiss.