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How to Stimulate A Dog's Appetite with CBD

 How to Stimulate A Dog's Appetite with CBD

Recall a familiar scene: You’re chopping veggies at the kitchen counter, sizzling up some bacon on the stovetop, unboxing a majestic meal of takeout or sitting down at the dinner table to tuck in. You know exactly where to find your pup: underfoot and expectant, with a convincing look of adorably desperate starvation on its face.

If your dog is shunning its food bowl due to stress, sadness, joint stiffness or an upset stomach, try incorporating CBD treats or other products into its daily routine.

But if your dog has suddenly stopped taking an interest in food, its bowl may remain full throughout the day. In that case, you’ll want to find the cause of your dog’s low appetite and a way to support its overall health. Wondering how to stimulate a dog’s appetite? Read on to learn why your dog may be suddenly uninterested in food and how CBD can help as a natural appetite stimulant. 

Why Has Your Dog’s Appetite Waned?

If you’ve noticed that your dog is suddenly unenthusiastic about food, keep an eye on its other behaviors. They may signify the underlying cause of its appetite problems and give you an idea of how to address the change.

Common reasons that your dog may no longer be interested in eating include:

  • Sadness and stress – If your dog is “shut down” and not engaging with you, other members of the family or its toys and food, this could be a sign of mental distress. Poor canine mental health is usually in response to a traumatic event or loss. Consider any recent changes in your family’s life. Would they affect your dog’s emotional balance?
  • Joint discomfort – Your dog’s active lifestyle may lead to joint stiffness. This discomfort could make your dog uninterested in eating or playing. Watch your dog during times of activity to look for other signs of discomfort.
  • Stomach discomfort – Your dog may have difficulty digesting its food, which can lead to discomfort and a loss of appetite. If your dog is vomiting or experiencing unusual bowel movements, it may not want to eat.
  • Bad food – Your dog’s sensitive snout might be picking up on something you haven’t noticed, like food that’s past its prime. If your dog is still interested in your food, but not its own, check the labels on your dog food to make sure it isn’t past the use-by date. 
  • New food – Have you recently changed your dog’s diet by introducing new food or replacing an element of its old food? If the food transition was abrupt, your dog may be experiencing stomach discomfort that discourages it from eating or your dog may require food with a different nutritional balance.
  • Illness or medication – If your dog has been diagnosed with an illness and is on a medication, that may be affecting its appetite. Be sure to inform your vet of any changes to your dog’s appetite, especially if your dog is undergoing treatment or at risk for an illness.

Pet owners may notice their dog experiencing appetite loss. Reduced food intake can be an alarming signal for a more serious ailment, such as kidney disease, and should be treated with the utmost care. Reach out to your veterinarian if your pet continues to experience low food consumption.

Now that you know some potential reasons your pup could be experiencing a loss of appetite, keep reading to learn how to stimulate a dog’s appetite.

How to Encourage Your Dog to Eat

If your dog’s appetite is lower than usual and it’s causing you concern, you aren’t out of options yet. Try these steps to encourage your dog to take an interest in food again:

  • Feed your dog a bland diet – Prepare unflavored, boiled chicken with white rice. Be sure to give the food time to cool so it doesn’t burn your dog’s mouth.
  • Incorporate CBD into your dog’s dietCBD for animals has a variety of formulations that may help address the underlying causes of your dog’s loss of appetite.
  • Add warm water or unsalted chicken broth to your dog’s kibble – This makes the dry food smell stronger and might entice your dog to eat.
  • Feed your dog by hand – Put small amounts of food in the palm of your hand and bring it to your dog’s mouth.
  • Feed your dog at regular times of the day – Dogs appreciate routine when it comes to food. Every dog is different and many variables influence the ideal feeding schedule for your individual dog. How often should dogs eat? It depends on a few factors like the breed of dog you have, but it’s important to know to support the pet health of your dog. 
  • Return to your dog’s preferred diet – If you have recently changed dog food brands or formulas and your dog is not interested in eating, try switching back. If this successfully reignites your dog’s interest in food, you can try the switch again by slowly introducing the new food in with the old. Over time, you will fully replace the old food with the new, at which point your dog should be familiar enough with it to gladly eat it. For example, if you want to switch from a canned dog food to a dry food brand, slowly introduce the dry food into the canned food or wet food and lessen the wet food over time.

If your dog’s appetite still hasn’t returned after implementing these steps for a few days, it’s time to get in touch with your vet. Veterinary medicine may recommend giving your dog CBD tablets and otherappetite stimulants for dogs to increase yourdog's appetite.

Be sure to inform your vet how long your dog has had a low appetite. They may want to run tests and will be able to ensure that your dog gets the nutrition and hydration it needs, even if it’s not interested in food. 

Introducing CBD to Help Your Dog’s Appetite

Does CBD stimulate appetite in dogs? Limited research and anecdotal evidence suggest that CBD may have several benefits for your canine companion, including a better appetite. If your animal is experiencingweight loss and adecreased appetite, consider giving themappetite stimulants to help them increase theirfood consumption.

How CBD Can Influence Your Dog’s Appetite

Depending on the cause of your dog’s weakened appetite, CBD may be able to support wellness that encourages your dog to fill its belly again. These potential CBD benefits may support a healthy appetite:

  • Promotes feelings of calm and ease – CBD potentially promotes feelings of relaxation and calmness. If stress is causing your dog to ignore its meals, CBD may help with those emotional disturbances.
  • Eases joint stiffness – CBD may help with joint stiffness and discomfort due to an active lifestyle (in humans and dogs). If joint discomfort causes your dog’s weakened appetite, you can give them CBD in the form of a digestible chew or as an oil rubbed directly on the offending joints. 
  • Aids healthy digestion – Stomach discomfort can certainly lead to a poor appetite, but CBD treats may facilitate your dog’s digestion and support a healthy bowel. 

If your dog is shunning its food bowl due to stress, sadness, joint stiffness or an upset stomach, try incorporating CBD treats or other products into its daily routine. Giving your dog anappetite stimulation supplement in the form of CBD tablets or topicals can help your pet experienceincreased appetite

How to Incorporate CBD Into Your Dog’s Routine

While CBD may provide benefits for everyone and every dog, the means of delivery aren’t one-size-fits-all. Certain variables, including what’s causing your dog’s low appetite levels, will help you determine the best way to give your dog CBD. 

With Zebra CBD, you have options when it comes to how you incorporate CBD into your dog’s routine:

  • Chews – These soft chews are made of organically-grown hemp and are free of heavy metals, pesticides and herbicides. The beef-flavored bites each contain 10 mg of full-spectrum CBD oil. They are available in two different formulations:
    • CBD Calming Chews for Dogs – These chews include not only the 10 mg of CBD but a range of ingredients that may support your dog’s relaxation, like ashwagandha, omega-3, L-theanine, chamomile, probiotics, zinc and magnesium.
    • CBD Joint & Hip Chews for Dogs – Like the calming chews, these chews include 10mg of CBD along with special ingredients that may support mobility. With these chews, your dog will receive boswellia extract, green-lipped mussel and collagen.
  • OilZebra CBD canine oil is vegan and unfiltered. Each bottle includes 600 mg of CBD. You can administer CBD oil to your dog in two ways:
    • Drizzle the oil over your dog’s food. Because it is unflavored, it shouldn’t stop your dog from eating its regular meal. However, if your dog is uninterested in food, it’s also unlikely to further rouse their interest if it’s simply added to their meal.
    • Apply the oil sublingually. Drop it directly onto your dog’s gums, the underside of their ears or the base of their inner ears. These areas of your dog are a direct pathway for the CBD into your dog’s bloodstream. This way, the CBD doesn’t need to be processed by the digestive system to be activated. This is an ideal method if your dog has stomach discomfort causing its low appetite.
  • Balm – Zebra CBD Balm for Dogs is a moisturizing, calming rub that can soothe skin and calm your dog with lemon balm aromatherapy and can target joint stiffness. Use it on your dog’s dry and cracked skin or apply it to your pup’s stiff joints. It’s packed with a range of oils to moisturize skin and support joint health and lemongrass to keep away fleas and ticks.

You may want to experiment with all three methods of delivery to see which one is most effective and which your dog likes best. 

When Will Your Dog’s Appetite Get Better?

Your dog’s poor appetite may be stress-inducing for you as a pet owner, and you might find yourself vigilantly watching for a change in its behavior. 

How long does CBD stay in a dog’s system? Every animal is different, so it is difficult to determine how long you must wait until CBD takes effect. However, the method of delivery you choose will have an impact on how fast-acting the CBD is.

Of the three delivery methods, balms take the longest for the CBD to take effect. While they can offer skin-soothing moisture and relaxing aromatherapy, the CBD must penetrate the skin to enter your dog’s system.

Because chews must be digested to have an effect, they are also slower to deliver CBD to the bloodstream. Because different-sized dogs have different-sized stomachs, it’s hard to say how long it will take for CBD to have an effect when given as a chew to any individual dog. Plus, if your dog isn’t interested in eating, it’s likely not interested in CBD chews — even if they are deliciously beef-flavored.

Sublingually administering CBD oil to your dog will have the fastest-acting effect. Your fingers might get oily, but it will be worth it if you see your pup acting like itself again.

How Often Should You Give Your Dog CBD?

Again, every dog is different. Always follow the instructions on the packaging and consult with your vet to determine the right amount of CBD for your dog. 

Generally, CBD is assumed to stay in a dog’s bloodstream for up to 24 hours. However, the effects of CBD may last up to eight hours. All of this is affected by your dog’s breed, weight, age and day-to-day factors like how much it has eaten or played.

Zebra CBD, Your Trusted CBD Expert For the Whole Family

Your dog is part of the family, so when something’s wrong with its appetite, you’ll want to get to the bottom of it. Improving your dog’s appetite with bland foods, a change in diet and a regular feeding schedule may help. 

Zebra CBD is the most effective CBD formula on the market, so you can be confident in your CBD solution — for you and for your canine companion.

If you’re looking for your own CBD products, consider trying any of our CBD tablets, CBD topicals and more.


American Kennel Club. How to Know if Your Dog is Depressed.

Wag! Walking. Loss of Appetite in Dogs.

Zebra CBD. How Often Should Dogs Eat Throughout the Day?

Zebra CBD. How to Give Your Dog CBD Oil.

Zebra CBD. How Long Does CBD Stay in a Dog’s System?

Co-founder of Copycat Copywriters, Adam has written for dozens of CBD and cannabis companies on a wide array of topics, including regulations, economics, farming practices and biochemistry.

About the Author

Adam Biederman Image

Adam Biederman

As co-founder and lead writer of Copycat Copywriters, one of Adam’s primary areas of expertise is within the budding CBD and cannabis space. He has written for dozens of CBD and cannabis companies, producing a collection of white papers, press releases, blog posts, articles and ebooks about a wide array of industry-related subjects, including regulations, economics, farming practices and biochemistry.

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