It is very normal that your pet loses appetite during the hot months. During the colder months they tend to consume more, which is necessary to build up body fat. However, in summer, we all desire less bulky meals and may even skip a meal from time to time. This is also true for our pets.
Every year during the hot summer months I am often approached by concerned clients complaining that their pets have lost their appetite. Some even blame the brand of food that they are using.
I remind them that some believe that our beloved “Fido” is a descendent from the Wolf or wild dog and that our cats are descendants from any of the wild feline family. If that is the case then these “poor” creatures would only eat once in a while when they brought down their prey.
Scientists however, have confirmed that our furry companion friend may not have descended from the wolf as there are too many different genetic sequences for this to be possible. They propose that it is possible that our canine friends could have descended from the dingo, jackal, fox, or even a coyote. If this be true, then food was even more difficult to come by and they had to rely on scavenging and the odd small prey.
In each case, they were accustomed to eat very irregularly. Now, domestically, we force our pets to eat once and even twice a day, summer or winter. This is so foreign to their metabolism and inherent desires.
To make matters worse, in the last 50 years the whole nutritional base of our animals has shifted to highly processed and chemically-laden foods, an abrupt change from a natural diet that lasted thousands of years. Before, a “not so hungry dog”, could express himself by perhaps eating a lighter meal of vegetables and grass. Now his only option is a high carbo-loaded and calorie diet in the form of a pellet. The recipe remains the same and feeding quantity remains the same but the nutritional requirements may have changed depending on the season. He may thus eat his meal very reluctantly because the desired nutrition for that moment is not there.
For those who feel uncomfortable with their pet skipping a daily feed perhaps they may consider feeding once a day only.
Palatability is, also, as important to our pets as it is to us. In fact, we all know that our pets have an extremely sensitive sense of smell and taste. So, especially when the weather is hot, knowing that our pet’s appetite is poor, it is desirable to present palatable food that is tasty. Variety is also very important to enhance appetite. Who wants to eat the same food every day?
Here are some ingredients that one can add to your pets meal to enhance appetite and nutritional values:
Omega 3 fish oil, chicken fat, chicken broth, melted butter (not margarine), sardines, minced meat, apple cider vinegar and healthy left-overs.