Taste Tempters for Finicky Pets
To be used to encourage and stimulate the appetite of finicky or ill pets.
Tasty thingProsCons
Nutritional yeastHigh in B vitamins.Can worsen bladder, digestive, or skin/ear problems.
Canned fish:  salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, anchovies (small amounts)Great for cats.Can be high sodium (salt).
Liver (cooked or raw)Great nutrition.Can worsen feline bladder problems.
Baby food (meat based formulas)Often a favorite of ill pets, esp cats.Do not use formulas containing onion for long periods for cats.
Tamari (2-3 drops on top of meal)A favorite of cats.High sodium (salt), and may contain MSG.
Parmesan or other grated cheeseA favorite of both dogs and cats.High sodium (salt).
Catnip (ONLY if not on homeopathic treatment)A favorite of cats.Hallucinogenic, may antidote response to homeopathic treatment! May cause cat to roll in food rather than eat it.
Deli meatsNatural brands available (eg AppleGate Farms).High sodium (salt), and likely contains MSG.
Soups, broths, gravies, sauces (eg tomato sauce, mayonnaise)Can add much flavor and variety to any type of meal.Do not use formulas containing onion for long periods for cats. Likely contains MSG.
Dairy products – cottage cheese, sour cream, milk, cream, yogurt, ice creamHigh fat varieties may help with underwt patients. Great with homeopathic meds.High fat may contribute to overwt problems, and aggravate digestive issues.
Raw or cooked meatsHigh quality nutrition!Calcium, vitamin A, or other deficiency possible with long term use without balancing the diet
The “Assertive Appetizer”A finger-full of food pasted onto the upper lip or teeth will often jump start an appetite. Be firm, but gentle.
The “Simulated Hunt”Carnivores naturally eat only after a kill.  Extended petting, brushing, play, or exercise immediately prior to presenting food mimics the stimulation of a successful hunt, and often stimulates the appetite.

Disclaimer: All these palatability enhancers can create problems, even when used in appropriate quantities for short periods.  All of them can be addictive.  Some may be contraindicated for your pet.  Remember, the best way to decide on these taste tempters is to use a cost/benefit analysis.  Weigh the pros against the cons.  For example, the short term use of deli meats to get some calories into an anorexic patient may out weigh the “cost” of the excess sodium, or not.   Use them at your own risk.  I have used them for years safely in my patients.  Please use common sense when trying new foods and use only under a veterinarian’s supervision.  Contact my office for more info: (845) 338-3300.