This page may contain affiliate links. We earn a commission for qualifying purchases at no cost to you. Our mission is to help save dogs’ and cats lives through our educational content. To help us create more veterinarian- and trainer-approved content, please consider buying one of our web-books for yourself or as a gift.
Your puppys loss of appetite or anorexia may be sudden, or they may gradually eat less over a time period. If your puppy is given a clean bill of health by their veterinarian, consider whether they are happy to eat other things besides their meals, such as healthy dog treats or dog-safe fruit .
Changing protein sources for your dog can make it more challenging in the future should your pup develop food sensitivities or allergies. Even just wetting the food with warm water and letting it sit for a few minutes can make it more enticing (read: smelly) for your puppy. You don’t want to build a habit of them refusing dry food and learning that doing so means you’ll add something yummy.
Although puppies dont have bills to pay or life-draining jobs to rush off to, its important to recognize that they can still experience stress. All puppies (and adult dogs) can go through a bit of an “adjustment period when they first come home, having just left a familiar environment (and possibly their mother or siblings) for an unfamiliar one filled with strangers. Pups can also experience inflammation of their pancreas ( pancreatitis ) or growing pains from their developing bones.
Some snacks and treats, whether stolen by your puppy or given freely by you, can cause digestive upset as well as obesity and begging later in life. You can greatly decrease the chance of your pup sneaking their own treats by puppy-proofing your home and teaching them not to counter surf . Unfortunately, there are plenty of viruses ( Parvo ), intestinal worms (like roundworms), bacteria, and other creepy-crawlies that can set up shop in your puppys gut and cause a range of problems.
Puppies can suffer from problems in their liver, kidneys, endocrine/hormonal system, and pretty much any other organ or part of their body. It can be the result of problems they were born with (like a liver shunt), an infection, toxic injury, or something else theyve picked up. For example, puppies with liver shunts will have stunted growth, poor muscle development, abnormal behavior such as head pressing, seizures, circling, etc.
Acute kidney failure due to a toxin or infection can cause decreased appetite, abnormal urination, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, etc. Some choices if you’re going to add a canned wet food suddenly are: Purina EN or Royal Canin Puppy GI . Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric dry canine formula provides complete and balanced nutrition for the growth of puppies and maintenance of adult dogs, including the growth of large breed dogs (70 lbs or more as an adult).
If Feeding Canned Food: Try offering it cold, room temperature, or warm to find your pup’s preference. For example, excess fiber from the pumpkin could block the absorption of protein if the puppy consumes more of it than their normal diet. If you normally feed your pup their food in a bowl, try a different type (stainless steel instead of plastic) or switch to a plate.
Feeding them in their crate or puppy playpen is the best idea, which provides some separation from other dogs, cats, and the hustle and bustle of your home. These pheromones mimic the scent of a mother nursing her puppies, encouraging a sense of safety and security. Spread some wet food on a licking mat (you can even freeze it to make it longer-lasting or to use on hot days) and give it to your puppy in their crate or playpen to work on.
Spread a bit of your dog’s wet food, peanut butter, pureed pumpkin, or low-fat greek yogurt on this mat to provide a soothing enrichment activity. You can try spreading a bit of your dog’s wet food, peanut butter , pureed pumpkin , or low-fat greek yogurt on this mat to provide a soothing enrichment activity. A puppy that is full of yummy treats won’t eat their regular meals because they just aren’t hungry.
There are a couple of options here to help mitigate extra treat calories and to ensure your puppy is getting a complete and balanced diet during intensive training. One of the best things you can do when training your puppy is to practice identifying what it is that they want in a particular moment and then using that as a reinforcer and reward for their behavior. If your puppy shows signs of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) abnormal gait (walking), weakness, seizures, and even coma.
Puppies have unique nutritional requirements and therefore need diets specially formulated for their optimal health and growth. Support proper immune functions Prevent the possible occurrence of developing orthopedic issues in the legs and hips
Why is my puppy not eating as much?
Anything from a simple stomach upset, to dental problems can cause appetite loss. Stress – Stress and anxiety caused by people, other animals or the environment can affect your puppy’s desire to eat. For example, this could be due to separation anxiety, a noisy washing machine, or another pet they don’t get along with.
Should I be worried if my puppy isn't eating much?
Although a loss of appetite in dogs doesn’t necessarily indicate serious disease, prompt veterinary attention is important because it could be a sign of significant illness, including cancer, various systemic infections, pain, liver problems, and kidney failure. Dental disease.
What do I do if my puppy doesn't want to eat?
Add canned food or chicken broth. ….Put puppy food into an interactive toy. ….Use a flavored spray. ….Buy a new food bowl. ….Take your puppy for a walk.
Like humans, it’s not unusual for a dog to lose its appetite once in a while. As long as your dog acts normal otherwise, losing enthusiasm for a meal isn’t a huge cause for concern. But any sudden loss of appetite that is out of character for your dog and lasts longer than a meal or two requires veterinary attentionsooner if your puppy acts sick.
Other times, an ingested foreign body (like a swallowed toy or piece of trash) can cause abdominal pain and result in a puppy not wanting to eat. If your dog’s anorexia lasts for more than a few meals, be sure to have your veterinarian rule out any illnesses before trying any techniques to coax your puppy to eat.
If your vet rules out illness, its often OK to tempt your puppy with bland, vet-approved healthy people food and employ other techniques to encourage it to eat. Spike your puppy‘s regular food with yogurt or cottage cheese for another good way to tempt your dog to eat or offer a small amount of a stinky canned product with high meat or fat content. Utilize a little behavior modification if your veterinarian has ruled out a health issue and your puppy is turning its nose up at even the tastiest foods.
Seek veterinary attention immediately if your puppy shows signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), such as a drunken-type gait, weakness, and occasional seizures. In the meantime, if it appears weak, you might try boosting its low blood sugar by applying something sweet to its gums, such as a very small amount of pasteurized honey or Karo syrup.
If your puppy wont eat dry food, there could be a lot of factors at play. You could simply be dealing with a picky eater, or this could be a sign of a more serious health issue. If youre not sure why your puppy isnt eating dry food, heres a checklist of some of the things to think about:
Feeding your puppy on a regular schedule, versus leaving food in his bowl all the time, can help him regulate his digestive system.
Once you have ruled out any health issues, it is likely the reason your new puppy is not eating is that he needs a little time to adjust.WHY A PUPPY WONT EAT As humans, its not unusual for a dog to lose its appetite once in a while. As long as your dog acts normal otherwise, losing enthusiasm for a meal isnt a huge cause for concern.
Try not to worry too much as there can be a variety of factors affecting your puppys loss of appetite and eating habits. However, the first step in determining why your puppy is refusing to eat may be a trip to the vet if you havent had a recent checkup.
This visit will rule out any medical reasons your pooch has a loss of appetite and is refusing to eat such as illness or dental problems. But any sudden loss of appetite that is out of character for your dog and lasts longer than a meal or two requires veterinary attentionsooner if your puppy acts sick. Young puppies have smaller fat reserves than adult dogs and cant go without food longer than about 12 hours before needing medical help.
Toy breed puppies are particularly prone to potentially deadly drops in blood sugar (hypoglycemia) if they skip a meal. From the tiniest, most energetic puppies to distinguished furry seniors, they seem to gobble up pretty much anything you put in front of themany time, anywhere. There are many things that could cause a puppy to lose interest in their food, such as infections, pain, organ problems, or the way youre feeding them.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of viruses (like the dreaded Parvo ), intestinal worms (like roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms), bacteria, and other creepy-crawlies that can set up shop in your puppys gut and cause a range of problems. Chances are, your puppy wont eat because he is used to a specific type of dog food that he was fed in his previous home or shelter. Avoiding disruptions in his feeding may help him adjust to his new home quicker.
Dogs in general and puppies, tend to become overwhelmed when their environment or routine changes too much. Despite your best efforts, your puppys entire world just changed and they may be feeling a little disoriented. It may also be a good idea to avoid too many visitors for a couple of days so as not to inundate him with too many new stimuli.
Pickiness or behavior issues Some dogs are just picky, or the puppy wont eat it may be caused by feeding them in situations where they arent comfortable, such as around an aggressive dog or from a bowl at an uncomfortable height. Dogs are predisposed to avoid starvation and he will likely come around to eating once he feels more comfortable in his new home.
Why Do Puppies Refuse to Eat?
Anorexia, or loss of appetite, may be abrupt, with your pup suddenly refusing to eat, or gradual, so that it’s eating less over time. A number of factors can contribute to your puppy‘s anorexia.
Some finicky pups develop preferences for certain foods and refuse to eat anything else. When you give in and feed your puppy its desired food, you’ve taught it how to get its way. If your vet has confirmed that your puppy is otherwise healthy, practicing “tough puppy love” may convince it to eat your choice of food during scheduled feedings.
Stress and High Temperatures
Stress can suppress your pet’s desire to eat; being left at the kennel or change in a owner’s work schedule that results in separation anxiety can suppress the dog’s appetite as well. Just the stress of household visitors could prompt anorexia. High outdoor temperatures can also kill a pet’s appetite.
Illnesses, Parasites, and Teething
Anorexia is one of the most common signs of illness in dogs and can occur in conjunction with a fever if infection is present. Life-threatening viral infections, such as parvovirus, will cause anorexia. Distemper and other less severe infections such as an upper respiratory infection or intestinal parasites will also cause anorexia. Even a sore mouth from teething can make a pup reluctant to eat. Other times, an ingested foreign body (like a swallowed toy or piece of trash) can cause abdominal pain and result in a puppy not wanting to eat.If your dog’s anorexia lasts for more than a few meals, be sure to have your veterinarian rule out any illnesses before trying any techniques to coax your puppy to eat.
Is your puppy healthy?
If your puppy normally eats his food eagerly but has suddenly stopped, the first thing you should do is make sure he is healthy. A sudden disinterest in food may mean your puppy is sick, perhaps intestinal woes. If you suspect something may be wrong, make an appointment with your puppy’s veterinarian. If your puppy eats other kinds of food (like wet food or snacks) and refuses to touch his dry food, he may just be a picky eater.
Is your puppy teething?
Many puppies eat less (and chew more) when they’re teething, which usually takes place when a puppy is between three and six months old. Tender gums and loose teeth can make dry food unappetizing, so if your teething puppy won’t eat dry food, you may try moistening it with warm water or mixing it with wet food to make it easier to chew. If you do decide to add wet food to his regular meal, remember to scale back the amount of dry food you give him to make sure you’re not overfeeding him.