The Magic Bullet Fund


It is very common for a dog with cancer, particularly a dog in cancer treatment, to suddenly stop wanting to eat his usual diet. Many families spend countless hours in frustration, serving up buffets of various foods trying to find out what their dog WILL eat. The bouts of "not eating" are common for patients (canine and human) during chemotherapy. They can become prolonged and stressful and can be very dangerous if not resolved.

First, hear my mantra, "Keep him fat!" There is much concern about a dog losing too much weight. Not only because of malnutrition, but also because the "not eating" can become habitual and progressive. Not-eating is not an indication of cancer cachexia, rather it can lead to cancer anorexia. But lack of nutrients because of inappetance can lead to cachexia. When the non-eating cycle is not resolved to get the dog eating again, it leads to Cancer Anorexia. None of us can survive when we are not eating. It's necessary - urgent - to break the non-eating behavior.

Try any foods that your dog might want to eat. Canned cat food, canned fish (such as mackerel) without any sauces, just the plain fish. Try liverwurst, raw meat, cooked meat, cheese, peanut butter.

Try Frozen Fishies. This is what I used to get Bullet to eat when he would not eat anything at all. You can get a bag of Frozen Fishies, just plain fish fillets, without the heads or skin, at most supermarkets. Look for Whiting, Pollack or Salmon. For small dogs, a bag of Smelts works well. Give your dog the fillet right out of the freezer.

Try hand feeding. Sometimes a dog will take food from your hand even if he won't eat from his bowl.

You can "force-feed" your dog to get some nutrition into him. The word "force" is misleading. Get a large syringe (without the needle) from your clinic. Prepare some food that you think your dog might swallow and put it through the food processor. You can add water so that it will go through the syringe and not clog it. Hold the syringe inside your dog's cheek, next to his teeth. His mouth can be closed, his head should be in a neutral position. Do not force feed with a dog's head tilted up and remember to insert a small amount, let him swallow that before you insert more. Leave the syringe in position if your dog will allow you to. If not, remove it and let him swallow, then re-insert it to give the next "dose" of food.

If you still cannot get your dog to eat, see your veterinarian. There are medications for inappetance that might get him to start eating again.

Rachel Lewis (Teddy's mom)  suggests the following
EVO Grain Free Herring or Chicken/Turkey
Wild Red Salmon (not pink) in small cans (less waste if your dog will not eat it)
Orijens Dry food with fresh fish and turkey (smells like cat food, it's 80% protein and grain free)
Low Fat Cottage Cheese (1 percent milk fat) with pineapple
* I recommend cottage cheese with flax seeds instead (LK)
Organic Chicken slices or Turkey Breast
EVO Grain Free HERRING or Chicken/Turkey Dog Biscuits Grain Free

Rachel also has a great idea for pre-chemo treatments, to prevent diarrhea
as a side effect
Double the water in any white rice recipe. Then get rid of the RICE and use only the chilled water to prevent diarrhea. This binds them !

Cancer Cachexia
When a dog is eating but losing weight, this may be a condition called Cancer Cachexia. (Ka Kex ia)
This condition is difficult to reverse but your vet will make every attempt to reverse it. Whether a dog is eating normally or not eating, the progressive weight loss continues until the dog cannot survive. At home you can try to give your dog Omega 3 fatty acids but this in itself will not be a solution.

Things Your Dog Should Never Eat

  • Chocolate (6 oz of chocolate can kill a 24 pound dog.)
  • Apple seeds
  • Avacado (including guacamole)
  • Walnuts and Macademia nuts
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Sugar free foods containing Xylitol
  • (reference:
  • Antifreeze - even a very small amount can lead to kidney failure and death. Be on the outlook when walking through parking lots! Dogs will lick antifreeze because it has a sweet taste.
Cocoa Mulch (do not use in flower beds that your dog has access to)


Not Today and Not Without a Fight!
Click logo to order books
© 2018 JanGen Press LLC. All rights reserved.