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I've searched through some threads but I thought maybe I can get some updated/more recent advice. My 14 year old lab is certainly in his twilight stages of life :( but he's still happy-goes up and down stairs and goes on mini walks which he loves. He is blind in one eye and he's been to the vet within the last couple of weeks and other than age and his eye is in relatively good shape. I am fairly sure he has dementia and his loss of appetite may be due to that-I'm seeing that old dogs may also lose their sense of smell which can lead to loss of appetite. He'll no longer eat kibble and has gone from eating canned food (well he actually licks it up) out of the bowl, to only eating it if I dump it directly on to the floor. I'm totally fine with that but even then sometimes he'll eat a half can-sometimes more, sometimes less. I thought maybe someone here can help with ideas for stimulating his appetite or someone who's gone through this who can offer advice. FYI-I also make bone broth and he (and my other pups) get that.

Thanks so much.
 

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CBD oil was a big help with my old girl in her last months. I got it to help with seizures, but she also ate better, slept better, and seemed happier. I'm not usually the "herbal remedies" type, but at her age I figured it was worth trying anything.
 

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Thanks so much for responding-I do already put that in his food but in doesn't seem to be helping. The only thing he'll eat seems to be biscuits and I try to sneak some food on them but it's not going to be enough to sustain him for long....
 

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Are you willing/able to cook for him? For a senior dog nearing the end of their life I wouldn't be overly concerned about balancing everything meticulously, at least not in the beginning. You just want to get calories into them (ideally protein and fat making up the majority of those calories). Chicken breast and sweet potatoes is relatively inexpensive and likely to be appetizing. Or any combo of meat (ground beef, ground pork, fish, etc).

If not cooking his meals, my picky dog prefers kibble with fresh ingredients mixed in over canned food - I think it's a texture thing. So for example I will mix in sardines, eggs, Greek yogurt, cooked meats, etc into his kibble and then add hot water to that as well.

I also give my dogs Alaskan Salmon Oil that I get from Chewy (not a pill, it comes in a bottle and you squirt it on the food) and it's very smelly and they seem to love it.

Good luck with your guy!
 

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Thanks for responding! I am cooking chicken for him. Sometime he'll eat it, sometimes not. I tried to put kibble in, layer with a good canned food and then chicken on top. He ate it once so I was so excited. Next time, no go. I'll definitely try the salmon oil. Was there a specific kind you got-is see there are several brands. Thanks!!
 

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Thanks for responding! I am cooking chicken for him. Sometime he'll eat it, sometimes not. I tried to put kibble in, layer with a good canned food and then chicken on top. He ate it once so I was so excited. Next time, no go. I'll definitely try the salmon oil. Was there a specific kind you got-is see there are several brands. Thanks!!
I got the American Journey brand because it was on sale over the holidays - but I think pretty much any brand would be fine :) But I can say for sure that the American Journey one is super smelly! Though I'd imagine any salmon oil would be stinky haha.
 

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Just a heads up, CBD oil is not meant to be given with food. Most companies will tell you do not mix with food and do not even give food until after 20-30 minutes of giving the CBD oil. It needs to be put directly into the mouth to be effective.

As for add ins, I would definitely try canned sardines. Dogs who have a low appetite often prefer strong smelling foods and sardines are super smelly. Even just the water drizzled over the food might be enticing. If you try it make sure you get sardines packed in either water or olive oil and no added salt. Canned tripe might be worth trying to, also very stinky. K9 Natural freeze dried lamb tripe worked wonders when my boyfriend's dog was ill and would not eat. When you add warm water to it it smells like horse sh*t and she loved it.
 

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My experience with Seniors that are healthy , that run blood test still in the normal ranges, sleep alot to having great days , have a great sense of well being , it's a natural shut down process in the body towards the body turning off gently systematically naturally as they prepare to leave us over a long length of time. If there is nothing out of place for a vet to truly treat otherwise sometimes its just that they old and it's close to time for them to let go naturally which is a peaceful process in the body. I have used a product called Nutra Cal, for a large dog it would be very expensive for a full dose, which I don't give as a meal replacement, but it is a boost of nutrients and (sugar) energy boost and can activate wanting to eat more. I will give it as a boost in a smaller then recommended amount. I also like to start adding plain pedialyte in their water ( read the bottle you an overdose a system giving too much) I just add some to their normal water bowl. When it's time for our seniors to leave us, it's just their time and the body slowly shutting down naturally is a slow peaceful process. We can always support they body to be graceful.
 

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I agree that your dog may be shutting down. Labs are usually chowhounds, and not eating may be a symptom of pain such as beginning arthritis, or mild dysplasia, or something internal that is not yet showing up symptomatically.

Some additional things to try:
1. If he can see, can he catch treats tossed to him? Tossed food seems to taste better ;-)
2. Will he eat out of your hand? Hand feeding taste almost as good as tossed food.
3. As suggested, fish oil may add additional smell to entice eating. Even a $5 - $10 bottle of Fish Oil capsules, cut & squeezed into the food may help.
4. Can you walk him once or twice a day for 20 minutes or more, before meals?
 

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Try feeding him more often. My old girl's stomach just plain couldn't hold much food any longer. Be sure he's getting enough water in too. My dog stopped drinking completely so I watered down her meals. If he is dehydrated he'll act a lot more out of it than with a normal hydration level so monitor his water intake.
 
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