Liquid Nutrition for Dogs

Liquid nutrition for dogs may be recommended if the dog has a health condition or is recovering from an illness. However, liquid nutrition may also be adopted as a regular diet, because it has many health benefits and is highly recommended by alternative medicine practitioners. If you want to make the transition to a liquid diet, you will need to take some time, because your pet won't be able to adapt in just a few days.

Conditions that Require Liquid Nutrition

Liquid nutrition can be recommended by the vet in a number of instances:

  • Kidney diseases, in which case the diet change may be temporary, but the dog will have to get a wet diet that will give less work to the kidneys, which will be permanent
  • A liver condition, as the liquid nutrition will allow the liver tissue to recover
  • Diabetes may require liquid nutrition until the blood sugar is normalized
  • Dogs recovering from an illness or after surgery, when the dog cannot eat properly
  • Dehydration, as the dog needs a lot of fluids
  • The dog has a mouth tumor and cannot swallow solid food
  • The dog has a dental or gum problem, which makes it painful for the dog to chew
  • Digestive system problems
  • In senior dogs that may have a difficult time eating

The liquid food may contain various ingredients and it is important to meet the requirements for each dog in part. The liquids may contain proteins, fats, fibers, vitamins and minerals. If the dog has a kidney or liver condition, the amount of proteins and fats will be reduced.

Benefits of Liquid Nutrition for Dogs

Liquid nutrition will allow the digestive system to rest, as the liquids are easier to digest. If containing the necessary nutrients, the diet will keep the dog hydrated and this will also ensure that the dog's skin will be healthy.

Minuses of Liquid Nutrition

If not recommended for a health condition and adopted as a regular diet, liquid nutrition may cause a few side effects. The dog will be more prone to tooth and gum diseases, which will develop due to the plaque deposits that develop into calculus and will not be removed. Kibble food has a cleaning effect and will scrape the plaque off from the teeth, preventing the plaque from turning into calculus. Some dogs may experience diarrhea, but this may be only a temporary side effect, until the body gets used to the diet. Some dogs may be lethargic if on a liquid diet.

Transitioning the Dog to Liquid Nutrition

If possible, the transition to the liquid nutrition should be gradual to prevent possible negative reactions such as vomiting and diarrhea. The transition should be made in one to two weeks, alternating the liquid food with solid food. If the liquid nutrition is administered intravenously (i.e., after surgery), the ingredients will be easily assimilated, because they go directly in the bloodstream.