Recovering The SelfA Journal of Hope and Healing


Is Prednisone Making Your Dog Excessively Hungry?

Posted on by in Animals

Since she was put on prednisone, our dog Sadie, now 12, can’t be hungry enough. She wants to eat anything and everything, all the time from her wake-up moment in the morning till bedtime in the evening. And if she doesn’t get anything to eat, despite being fed, she starts whining. Hunger in dogs, and humans too, is a common side effect of prednisone.

hungry dog

The prescription drug prednisone is a synthetic corticosteroid used to treat inflammation. It is prescribed for humans and pets. Inflammation in dogs, particularly those affected by cancer, is a condition for which prednisone is commonly prescribed. While helping with inflammation, prednisone also suppresses the immune system, which means it helps provide relief from any auto-immune diseases. The flip side is that with a weakened immune system, the dog (or person) has a higher risk of getting sick with any other infections.

So what to do when your dog is hungry all the time and asking for food non-stop while you worry about the dog’s weight and possibly overeating that itself can cause sickness? posted a podcast in 2020 with Dr. Demian Dressler answering addressing this issue.

As offered in his expert opinion, it’s not possible to entirely block the excess appetite while the dog is on prednisone. However steps can be taken to curb or decrease the severity of the issue including switching prednisone with its alternative Methylprednisolone (Medrol) that may give the patient less appetite and less thirst. Another important measure is feeding the dog with food that has less calories but still make they dog feel fed. Such food includes a higher proportion of vegetables.

Here is Dr. Dressler’s complete answer to this question.

Other effects of prednisone in dogs, as seen on American Kennel Club, include panting, vomiting and/or diarrhea, and lethargy. The post notes that prednisone is normally prescribed for short-term use, usually not more than 4 months.

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