Puppy malnutrition is serious and should be addressed immediately. When puppies stop eating, it’s vital to call the vet since they require a steady supply of nutrients to thrive. Questions like “Why is my puppy not eating?” and “How much should my puppy eat?” will be addressed in this Canvas Personalized‘s article. What to do if your puppy stops eating and how to get them back on track quickly will also be covered.
1. Why Is Your Puppy Not Eating?
A dog’s lack of appetite could be due to several factors. If your dog hasn’t eaten in 24 hours, especially if there are other symptoms like diarrhea or lethargy, you should call your vet immediately. Loss of appetite is one of the most prevalent signs of disease. Always remember that the Small Door Vet app is available around the clock.
1.1. Tense Teeth
Loss of appetite is a common symptom of dental problems. Check your dog’s mouth for anything trapped in the teeth or gums, as, like humans, they may not feel like eating if there’s something wrong with their teeth.
Your puppy’s refusal to eat could be due to several medical issues, such as an infection or parasites. Loss of appetite in puppies can be a symptom of more serious diseases such as renal failure, pancreatitis, liver failure, and cancer. You should take your puppy to the vet immediately if you notice it is not eating and assume it is due to illness.
1.3. Environmental Changes
Some dogs become temporarily picky eaters if there is a change in their routine or environment. This could be the case if your puppy recently went through a traumatic incident.
An animal’s environment has a significant impact on its diet. When it’s extremely hot, some dogs won’t eat. Some dogs experience appetite loss due to stress from unfamiliar environments.
Similarly, sometimes dogs lose their appetite after receiving vaccinations or starting a new medicine, but this should pass after a day or two. If your dog isn’t on a hypoallergenic diet, some chicken and rice may help with medication-induced loss of appetite.
Your dog refuses food for reasons that have nothing to do with their health or behavior. They could simply not be hungry. It’s shockingly simple to overfeed your dog by giving him or her too many treats. Remember that the dosages recommended on dog food packages tend to be excessive.
You should track how often you feed your dog treats daily (and ensure no one else in the home is feeding them extra).
1.6. Picky Eaters
There may not be anything substantially wrong if your dog is just refusing some food. Perhaps you’re dealing with a finicky eater. Dogs that have been fed a wide variety of foods, who obtain table scraps frequently, or who are fed at irregular intervals are more likely to develop this issue. Dogs at this age tend to be picky eaters. A new puppy’s refusal to feed may not necessarily indicate illness.
1.7. Food Quality
If your dog has been eating a certain food for years but has now stopped, ensure it hasn’t gone bad. Dry kibble can develop mold that people can’t see, but dogs can smell it, so it’s best to test the expiration date of that food. Besides, it’s possible that the components have changed, so trying a new flavor would be a good idea, too.
1.8. Anxiety and Stress
Like humans, dogs can suffer from worry and stress. They might become so anxious and stressed that they stop eating, just like people. Puppies can experience stress and anxiety for various reasons, including being abandoned as a youngster or experiencing a sudden change in ownership. One of the symptoms of separation anxiety in puppies is a loss of appetite.
1.9. Absence Of The Owner
When you get home, some dogs will immediately begin eating again, while others will ignore their bowls the entire time you are gone. Since dogs are pack animals, they could feel more at ease eating in your home. If this is the case, consider giving your dog his or her dinner at least 10 to 15 minutes before leaving so that it has time to finish before you go.
1.10. Disorders of Digestion
A puppy has no concept of what is healthy or unhealthy for them. This could lead to gastrointestinal problems if they ate something they shouldn’t have or if you fed them something they shouldn’t have unintentionally. Dog treats, in particular, can be too rich for your dog’s digestive system and cause diarrhea. And if your dog figures out that its food is the source of its stomach troubles, it may stop eating altogether.
1.11. Dietary Changes
If your puppy isn’t eating, switching their nutrition is the first thing you can do. If you’re currently providing kibble, you might switch to wet canned food or a combination of the two for your pet. Alternatively, add warm water to their kibble or mix in a different protein source. They’ll probably eat more since they’ll appreciate what they eat more.
2. What Can You Do If Your Puppy Stops Eating?
2.1. Try different dog foods
You can experiment with different flavors or feed your dog a different type of food to see if he likes it better. If you want to avoid upsetting their stomach, make any necessary changes gradually.
2.2. Combine their food with something appetizing
Try adding some human food to the mix and see if it helps. Steamed or boiled butternut squash, sweet potatoes, or pumpkin are good possibilities, as are plain chicken, fish, or a little low-sodium beef or chicken broth. Avoid giving them any onions or garlic, which can cause stomach upset in dogs.
2.3. Reheat the meal
In the same way as us, dogs love a hot meal. You can microwave the food briefly or add a tablespoon of warm water. Make sure it’s not too hot, or your dog’s tongue could be burned.
2.4. Walk before eating
You can increase your dog’s appetite by walking it out well before feeding. Dogs are creatures of habit and frequently connect certain situations with particular activities. It might become ingrained in your dog’s routine if you regularly walk them before feeding them. Walking eventually signals to the dog that mealtime is approaching, leading to a phenomenon known as Pavlovian conditioning.
2.5. Consistent feeding schedules
Separate the meals into two or three portions and serve them regularly throughout the day. To help establish meal times and prevent your dog from snacking between meals, pick up any uneaten food within 10 minutes.
Don’t feed your dog regular meals; use the kibble as a treat. With no other options, your dog will have to consume the food you provide and, perhaps, become accustomed to it.
2.6. Change the food-preparation environment
Your puppy may be avoiding food because they are nervous about eating in the presence of your other pets. If you typically feed your pets together, try feeding them separately for a change. Remove any potential sources of anxiety and make the eating situation as relaxing and secure as possible.
2.7. Combine dry food with wet food
Do not eat at this time; return later. After two minutes, take the puppy’s food away if he or she hasn’t started eating. In an hour, when you have a new meal, try again.
Eat after a game or a stroll. Your puppy may eat more after a good workout. Feed them a light lunch afterward if you can.
2.8. Try out new feeding ways with your dog
Both you and your puppy need to relax during mealtime. Use interactive elements like puzzles or food dispensers to keep people interested. Obedience training with kibble as a reward can be just as entertaining and engaging.
3. When Should You Be Concerned About Your Dog Not Eating?
You should take your dog to the vet if:
- Doesn’t appear to have eaten in the past day
- Not eating for the past 12 hours because of illness or diarrhea
- Not consuming any food or liquids
- Is weight loss
- Is unusually fatigued
- In other aspects, it seems sick. Example (s): coughing, constipation, or straining to poop
- Displays symptoms of dental problems (such as a lack of appetite, dribbling, pawing at their face or mouth, and so on).
4. How To Make Dog Food More Appetizing
There are a few things you can do to make your dog’s food more enticing if he or she isn’t eating:
Kibble can be softened by soaking it in a bowl of lukewarm water for a few minutes before feeding it to your pet.
Warm their regular cans of dog food in the microwave until they are at a comfortable temperature for eating. When heated, the aroma increases in intensity and becomes more alluring. It’s important to stir and feel the temperature of canned food before eating it because it can get very hot very quickly.
To get them to eat, try adding some boiling chicken that has been let cool to the dish. The chicken must be skinless and boneless.
5. What Did You Do If Puppy Not Eating Much But Acting Normal?
High-quality nutrients are essential for growing bodies. If your puppy hasn’t eaten in more than a day but seems otherwise healthy, it’s best to seek veterinary assistance. Is your dog also averse to drinking water? After 48 hours of not eating or drinking, call your veterinarian.
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Although a puppy not eating might be a worrying situation for pet parents, it is a problem that is frequently remedied with patience and empathy. You may assist your canine companion in regaining a healthy, content, and hearty appetite by taking into account the typical causes of a puppy’s loss of appetite and taking the necessary action to solve the problem. Remember that the best course of action to guarantee your puppy’s well-being is to seek professional veterinary care if the issue persists or is accompanied by alarming symptoms.