I am trying to devise a plan to get a beloved treat-motivated female dog to drink from a baby/puppy/whatever bottle, and I only found articles on the topic of bottle feeding puppies (no information about the elderly).
She is remarkably brilliant when it comes to food and its acquisition. Right now, she is struggling with cancer as we try various drugs and is dehydrated due to her tongue being too weak to effectively "slurp" up the water from her drinking bowl (at least, that's my observation and inference). She isn't suffering too much to enjoy life (yet), so I want her to have a good quality of life while that lasts.
She eagerly received hotdog water (the liquid created from cooking hotdogs in a pot of water) via tiny spaced-out squirts from a syringe, but is coughing a little so I think she unintentionally aspirated a little hotdog water. Thus, I don't think the syringe is a viable method of delivery (perhaps I'm wrong and there's a trick to it. If so, please tell me).
My thinking is that baby puppies are capable of creating enough suction to draw milk from their mother's nipples and baby puppies can even suck from a silicon-nipple bottle, so maybe (just maybe) my sweet old dog might still have the ability and instincts to suck from a bottle with a nipple on top. I bought a (human) baby bottle at the store, filled it with hotdog water, and swished the end of it in hotdog water. My dog licked it and even bit down on it, but I don't think she ever tried to suck it (or, maybe, she wasn't able to suck it. I don't know). Obvious problems include:
- Getting a nipple of the right size and shape. She is a full-grown dog, so puppy nipples are not going to work. Do I just get a kit with a hundred different nipple shapes and sizes and try each one, or is there a better way?
- Getting her to suck the bottle. What else can I do other than swishing the tip in hotdog water? One thought I had was buying a puppy-milk formula and trying to get her to drink that in the (far-fetched) hope that it might trigger her sucking instinct. Other than that, I'm out of ideas and would appreciate any suggestions/advice.
P.S. I'm not feeding her hotdog water all the time (though, she does receive the leftover hotdogs). I'm only using the hotdog water to train her how to use the equipment. Once she learns how to use the equipment, I'm confident that she will be able to receive regular water because she's a very smart dog and surprisingly aware of what is really going on, including the fact that I am trying to help her.